5:33 am
16 Jul 2024

Auckland Lands Maiden Tour Title

8 Sep 2014

It was third time lucky for Adam Auckland on the PSA World Tour in Australia over the past two weeks when the Englishman landed the first Tour title of his career at the North Coast Open, the PSA Challenger 5 squash event in its fifth successive year at Coffs Harbour Squash & Swim Centre in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales.

Seeded five, the 21-year-old from St Albans made his breakthrough in the semi-finals where he beat Australia's Rhys Dowling, the No4 seed, in straight games to reach the third Tour final of his career.

His next opponent Piedro Schweertman is no stranger to Tour finals. The sixth-seeded Dutchman clocked up his sixth in a row since April when he also upset an Australian in the semi-finals, downing No3 seed Joshua Larkin.

"Before a large crowd, both finalists put on a classy display with firstly Piedro opening with powerful shots to both sides of the court and Auckland appearing tentative in stemming the attack as Schweertman wrapped up the first game 11-3," said tournament organiser Peter Saxby.

Auckland fought back to draw level. "The third game was more work to the front court by Auckland taking the early initiative with some brilliant placements and angles at the front," Saxby continued. "As the match progressed there was a complete shift in the balance with Auckland confidently taking charge and setting up his opportunities to the front court to take a confident lead 2/1.

"The fourth game see sawed into a tie break with Auckland having three match balls before he closed out the match in four games to great relief and excitement at the same time for his first PSA title success."

Auckland, ranked 166 in the world and in his fourth year as a PSA member, was delighted with his podium success: "My first PSA win - I can't believe it!

"When I was 2/1 up the nerves crept in and all I could think about was for my first PSA win. At the end I had to be very patient in attacking the front as Piedro started to get onto the ball earlier. I managed to go 11-10 match point where Piedro stayed extremely solid, forcing me to tin out.

"He carried on with this play and had game point to take the match into a fifth. The next three points were the best three points I've ever played. I relaxed, was patient and attacked!

"A special thank you to the Saxby family for running such a well-organised tournament. I would definitely want to come back next year. Thanks to Piedro for making it a fair and enjoyable fight in the final. To my sponsors Nemesis Transport for making it possible to play these tournaments also.

"One last special thanks to Matthew Hopkin and my girlfriend Coline Aumard for the support over the past three weeks."

[5] Adam Auckland (ENG) bt [6] Piedro Schweertman (NED) 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 14-12 (38m)