Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Squash: Williams thrilled to retain PSA title

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Tauranga professional and fourth seed Ben Grindrod (right) in action during his quarterfinal loss to Joe Green (England). Photo / Andrew Warner
Tauranga professional and fourth seed Ben Grindrod (right) in action during his quarterfinal loss to Joe Green (England). Photo / Andrew Warner

Top seed Evan Williams of Wellington defended his Pak'nSave PSA title in style against England's Adam Murrills in Tauranga yesterday.

Williams won 11-3, 11-5, 8-11 and 11-7 on the splendid Carrus Glass Court located inside the Tauranga Boys' College gym.

The court was the centre stage of the professional men's tournament, which was run over three days.

A top-class field of men and women competed in the Open tournament held concurrently at the Devoy Squash Centre and Mount Squash Club.

Williams, 26, said it was nice to win any title but a tournament of this calibre would help to boost his current world ranking of 101.

"I am trying to get as close to the top 50 as I can. I think if I have a good season I can get around that area in the 50s and 60s, and long-term that is the goal for this year," he said.

Williams, who spent the last four weeks based in England, said he and his fellow pros were highly impressed with the glass court and the tournament's organisation.

"It is unique for anyone. The court has not been up for six years in New Zealand, so it is unbelievable that it is here.

"It is great for us because we don't get a lot of experience on the glass court so to play on it has been unbelievable. It is great viewing for the spectators, great for the kids, it is perfect, really.

"For me the court really suited my style of squash. I am really proud of myself and how it all went. I really like playing here and really like the people ... The organisers do the best job of any PSA [Professional Squash Association] event I have been to - and that's saying a lot."

As with the tournament sponsors, media liaison Char Niles said the event exceeded expectations.

"We had no idea coming into the tournament what the glass court was going to be like, and I think it has proven well worth it. It has been good profile for the club and for squash in general.

"All the internationals coming here have brought a different flavour to the event. The feedback has been superb and for a lot of them this was their first PSA," Niles said.

Next year the Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre will host the 2017 World Junior Women's Championships.

Niles said they had learnt plenty from the last few days.

"It is a lot of hard work. We have had a lot of community support for this event with our sponsors and the funders and the squash community in general.

"Going into the world juniors next year, this has been a really good trial run for us just to see what it's like."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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