SQUASH

Kaitlyn Watts Wins First PSA Squash Challenger Title With Dramatic Win At Royal Oak

Monday 22 March 2021, 7:07AM
By dave worsley
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The comeback continued for 20-year-old Manawatu squash player, Kaitlyn Watts as she took away her first PSA Challenger title in what truly was a return to top squash in so many ways.

Facing top seed and 98th ranked player in the world, Emma Millar it came down to a fourth game in which the higher ranked player held a significant lead at 10-3 and 2-1 up in sets to have a huge opportunity to take the title.

Each time Millar looked like winning the match and her first PSA Challenger, Watts somehow fought back and hung in against the current New Zealand champion.

There was a total of six lets when the score was 10-9 to Millar and number in the points leading up to there as well. Millar whose demeanour on court is usually unflappable, smiley and quiet  questioned a number of calls, as point after point was repeated.

Eventually as the final went in to the fifth set it was all the way of a fired up Watts who won her first title at that level 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-1 in 53 minutes and enjoyed being back on court competing again after having just over a year away from the sport.

For Millar it was her first loss domestically since a similar stage last year in the final of the Auckland Open

In the men’s PSA Satellite final, Taupo’s Willz Donnelly, 20 continued his like of long matches after his two five set victories in his quarters and semis.

In the final he pushed top seed, Lwamba Chileshe, 21 ranked 152nd in the world all the way to five sets and even had a two games to one lead. Chileshe kept his head and was fortunate to hit five winners in the fifth game which helped him get across the line 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6 in 50 minutes to take his eighth Satellite title.

Royal Oak PSA Women’s Challenger final:

Kaitlyn Watts bt Emma Millar 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-1

Royal Oak PSA Men’s Satellite final:

Lwamba Chileshe bt Willz Donnelly 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6.