The first round of the main draw of the Gibson O’Connor North Shore Open and PSA has finished up with some tense matchups and upsets along the way!
The first round of the Men's main draw saw ex club mates Luke Jones and Jason Van Der Walt facing a battle they had both faced many times before. Whilst Van Der Walt was able to claim the first game 11-8 Jones got back into the match and took the next 3 games 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 to claim his spot in the quarter finals.
The first game of the Women's main draw saw Kiwis Amanda Landers-Murphy and qualifier Rhiarne Taiapa taking to the court for their place in the quarter finals. Landers-Murphy proved to be too strong for her fresh-faced opponent winning in 3 (11-2, 11-6, 11-2).
The second men's match saw Robert Garcia of the Philippines take on Valentino Bong of Malaysia. Both players moved exceptionally well around the court and played stunning shots but it was Bong who took the first game 13-11 and then never looked back claiming the next 2 games 11-2 11-6.
The second women's match saw another Kiwi match-up between Emma Millar and Kaitlyn Watts. Watts had claimed the win from Millar a few weeks earlier at the Bay of Plenty Open but Millar was out for revenge. Millar came out in style and whilst both players had high intensity rallies it was Millar who came out on top winning in 3 (11-8, 11-8, 11-3).
The next women's match saw Jemyca Aribado of the Philippines take on Lauren Clarke of New Zealand and whilst Clarke did well to find composure during the match it was not enough with Aribado claiming the match in 3 (11-2, 11-7, 11-6).
The men's match between Zac Millar of New Zealand and Brad Masters of England was a physical affair and with lots of powerful hitting from both players it kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Masters took the first two games 11-7, 11-6 before Millar found his wind and took a strong third game 11-3, this wasn't enough to swing the match Millar’s way as Masters claimed the fourth 11-4 and his spot in the semi-final.
Courtney Trail of New Zealand took on Australian Sam Foyle in their first-round match and whilst Trail showed some great form against the more experienced player she wasn't able to convert going down in 3 (11-7, 11-4, 12-10).
The men's match between Australian Joel Luca and New Zealand’s Chris van der Salm saw Van Der Salm use his experience from his time on the PSA to attack the ball putting Luca under pressure. Luca looked set to come back at points but it wasn't enough with Van der Salm claiming the match in 3 (11-7, 12-10, 11-5).
It was another win for the Australians as Jess Turnbull bet Nadia Hubbard of New Zealand with controlled rallies and great movement that Hubbard wasn't able to match. Turnbull took the win in 3 (11-6, 11-7, 11-4).
Ben Grindrod of New Zealand took on Reymark Bergornia of the Philippines. Grindrod showed great length with shots tight to the wall that lead Grindrod to claim the match in 3 (11-4 11-7 11-8).
Next up were two local club players in the men's and women's. In the men's Sion Wiggin took on fellow Kiwi Evan Williams. Williams the top seed came out looking to make his way into the final in convincing style, but Wiggin used his home court knowledge and athleticism to keep Williams honest. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for Wiggin and Williams claimed the match in 3 (11-8 11-1 12-10).
Abbie Palmer was the other local player to take to the court and she used her knowledge of the club to play some great shots and worked Australian Moana Gray hard. Gray matched Palmer at points but this wasn't enough and Palmer made her way into the quarters winning in 3 (11-8 11-6 11-8).
Chang Wook Woo of Korea played New Zealand qualifier Matthew Lucente. Lucente was looking to cause an upset and with some great movement and shot selection he put Woo under pressure, however it wasn't enough for the young player as Woo claimed the match in 3 (11-8 11-9 11-9).
Christine Nunn of Australia and Lisa Aitken of Scotland had one of the matches of round 1 with both players digging deep and playing exceptional rallies. Aitken took the first two games 11-7, 11-8 but then Nunn turned the tables and levelled the game score winning 11-6, 11-3 before managing to close the match out in 5 Nunn, winning the fifth 11-3.
The last match of the Women's Round 1 saw Kiwi players Anika Jackson and Megan Craig take to the court. The more experienced Craig showed she was to strong today taking her win in 3 (11-2, 11-2, 11-3).
The final match of the Men’s Round 1 saw a Trans-Tasman battle between Kiwi Scott Galloway and Australian Josh Larkin. Whilst Galloway looked set to upset the match taking the first game 11-4 with some strong shot selection, it wasn’t enough as Larkin found another gear and took the next 3 games 11-5, 12-10, 11-1.
The quarter finals of the men’s and women’s draws kicks off at 10am Saturday and matchups can be found below. Matches will be livestreamed and the quarter finals link can be found here or below in this article. All Round 1 Women’s matches can be found here.
If you wish to commentate or listen to some alternative commentary over the weekend jump over to SPALK here.
Photos from the first round can be found here.
Main Draw – Mens
3pm -  Luke Jones (NZL) bt Jason van der Walt (NZL) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9
3:45pm -  Valentino Bong (MAS) bt Robert Andrew Garcia (PHI) 3-0: 13-11, 11-2, 11-6
4:30pm -  Bradley Masters (ENG) bt Zac Millar (NZL) 3-1: 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 11-4
5:15pm – [Q] Chris van der Salm (NZL) bt  Joel Luca (AUS) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-5
6pm -  Ben Grindrod (NZL) bt [Q] Reymark Begornia (PHI) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-8
6:45pm -  Evan Williams (NZL) bt Sion Wiggin (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-1, 12-10
7:30pm -  Chang-Wook Woo (KOR) bt [Q] Matthew Lucente (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-9
8pm -  Joshua Larkin (AUS) bt [Q] Scott Galloway (NZL) 3-1: 4-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-1
Main Draw – Womens
3pm -  Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [Q] Rhiarne Taiapa (NZL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-2
3:45pm -  Emma Millar (NZL) bt Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-3
4:30pm -  Jemyca Aribado (PHI) bt Lauren Clarke (NZL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-6
5:15pm -  Samantha Foyle (AUS) bt [Q] Courtney Trail (NZL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 12-10
6pm -  Jessica Turnbull (AUS) bt [Q] Nadia Hubbard (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-4
6:45pm - Abbie Palmer (NZL) bt  Moana Gray (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-8
7:30pm -  Christine Nunn (AUS) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-2: 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3
8:15pm -  Megan Craig (NZL) bt [Q] Anika Jackson (NZL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-3
10am -  Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) vs  Emma Millar (NZL)
10:45am -  Luke Jones (NZL) vs  Valentino Bong (MAS)
11:30am -  Jemyca Aribado (PHI) vs  Samantha Foyle (AUS)
12:15pm -  Evan Williams (NZL) vs  Bradley Masters (ENG)
1pm -  Jessica Turnbull (AUS) vs Abbie Palmer (NZL)
1:45pm -  Ben Grindrod (NZL) vs [Q] Chris van der Salm (NZL)
2:30pm -  Christine Nunn (AUS) vs  Megan Craig (NZL)
3:15pm -  Chang-Wook Woo (KOR) vs  Joshua Larkin (AUS)