Southland squash benefits from visiting overseas players

Winner Greg Lobban, right, and Ivan Yuen in the final of the Southern Open at Squash City, Invercargill, on Sunday.
Kavinda Herath/Fairfax NZ

Winner Greg Lobban, right, and Ivan Yuen in the final of the Southern Open at Squash City, Invercargill, on Sunday.

Holding Professional Squash Association tournaments in Invercargill is good for the sport's profile in Southland, official Simon Flett says.

The Southern Open, which is part of the PSA international circuit, finished at Squash City on Sunday. It ended with sixth seed Greg Lobban, of Scotland, beating top seed Ivan Yuen, of Malaysia, in an action-packed final - 11-7, 11-6, 3-11 and 11-9. 

Having overseas players at the open gave Southland squash fans an opportunity to watch top level competition seldom seen in Invercargill.  

"You don't see the quality of these players down here . . . it's something junior players can aspire to," Flett, who is Squash City's club captain, said.

"These tournaments can help bring new people into squash. There were a few new faces and a lot of juniors here this week watching." 

The open was Lobban's fourth tournament since returning from injury in May. He had been out of action for six months because of a hamstring injury.

He has been in outstanding form in New Zealand having won a PSA event in Palmerston North on June 11. The 24-year-old and Yuen will now head to Auckland for another PSA tournament this week.

Lobban won the first two sets on Sunday, Yuen took out the third and started strongly in the fourth set.

"He [Yuen] grew momentum in the fourth set and I had to dig deep, it was physically quite hard," Lobban said.  

"My attitude was good and I kept strong."

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Lobban and Alan Clyne, of Scotland, are the world doubles champions and they want to compete at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast next year.

 - Stuff

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