Haydon, Dowling clinch Premier Grade titles

Published Sun 24 Mar 2024

Prior to Sunday night’s PSA World Tour finals, the City Tattersalls Group Squash Australian Open graded events were decided at Sydney University.

In the women’s final, Alex Haydon bounced back from an opening round loss on Wednesday to take the win over Madison Lyon 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-5).

The South Australian succumbed to momentum swings in her PSA World Tour loss earlier in the week, but there was no danger of that today as she took the ascendency early and never let up.

“It was a good win for me,” said Haydon. “It was so hot out there so I was happy to get it done in three.

“I was just trying to be super focused and bring that intensity to my game. When things aren’t going well I really wanted to bounce back quicker than I did in the Australian Open so I wasn’t losing a lot of points.

I was devastated with that loss. I’ve been working really hard and it just didn’t come together for me.

“There were a few things that weren’t clicking and so I was really able to work on that over the next few days.

“It’s just about shaking it off; you’ve got to keep moving forward and these matches were a great opportunity to right wrongs.”

In the men’s final, Australian no.2 Rhys Dowling was up against Brad Fullick who fought his way through to the decider in a 73-minute marathon semi-final.

With a vocal crowd behind him, fatigue didn’t seem to be a factor for Fullick who pushed Dowling all the way in the opening two games before taking the third.

Both players went to extremes in the fourth game, diving around the court in desperation, however Dowling ultimately came out on top 3-1 (12-10, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9).

Dowling said the parochial crowd created a great atmosphere at the end of a big week of action.

“Tough conditions, tough battling the home crowd but happy to get the win,” he said. I love playing in matches like those - it’s good for the sport.

“I was pretty happy with my PSA result; didn’t get the win but it was definitely interesting to see how I go up against the top players in the world, and obviously getting the win in the Premier [Grade] tops it off, it’s great.”

Like Haydon, Dowling’s attention now turns to World Championships qualifying in early April on the Gold Coast, with the Premier Grade tournament providing great match practice.

“I can’t remember the last time I played five matches in two days but it’s good to get on court and boost some confidence for the next tournaments coming up.”

22-24 March 2024 | Sydney NSW

Premier Grade Women: 1st Alex Haydon, 2nd Madison Lyon, 3rd Urwashi Joshi
Premier Grade Men: 1st Rhys Dowling, 2nd Brad Fullick, 3rd Jack Hudson

A Grade Women: 1st Emmy Lamb, 2nd Aimee McConnell, 3rd Jess Rogerson
A Grade Men: 1st Shane Kendall, 2nd Daniel Santamaria, 3rd Nathan George

B Grade Women: 1st Romy Ehrlich, 2nd Fatimah Khan, 3rd Frankie Carney
B Grade Men: 1st Kieran Willathgamuwa, 2nd Victor Vo, 2rd Andres Velasquez

C Grade Women: 1st Adrienne Toohey, 2nd Laura Saunders, 3rd Dana Carmichael
C Grade Men: 1st Chase Rogers, 2nd Ryan Hay

D Grade Women: 1st Georgina Murphy, 2nd Snigdha Snigdha, 3rd Melody Wang
D Grade Men: 1st Brendan Day, 2nd Alex Mietzke, 3rd Nathaniel Middleton

E Grade Men: 1st Thomas Wilkins, 2nd Leighton Culver, 3rd Charles Cui


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