The main draw of the Gibson O’Connor North Shore Open and PSA has been decided after some close matches in the final round of qualifying.
The first Men's qualifying match saw New Zealand’s Chris Van Der Salm take on David Pelino of the Philippines. Van Der Salm showed great volleying making Pelino work hard on the court. Pelino wasn't able to keep up with the intensity losing the first game to Van Der Salm 11-6. Van Der Salm used his win from the first to propel him in the second with Pelino not able to keep up and the errors creeping into his game Van Der Salm took the second game 11-1. Pelino started to gain momentum again in the third but it wasn't enough with Van Der Salm using his reach to win the third game 11-6 claiming the match in 3.
The first game of the Women’s qualifying saw local north shore player Amara Afghan take on New Zealand player Anika Jackson. Jackson and Afghan had some strong rallies with great power and accuracy in their play but it was Jackson who was able to claim the first game 11-9. The next game saw Jackson get off to a strong start with Afghan making some errors in her game. Jackson maintained her lead and whilst Afghan reduced her errors it was not enough as Jackson claimed the second game 11-6. The final game saw both Jackson and Afghan see saw back and forth. Both players turned each other and moved the ball, but it was Jackson that managed to get the game 11-9 and claim the match in 3.
The second match of the men's qualifying saw New Zealand’s Chris Lloyd who took on Reymark Bergornia of the Philippines. Bergornia got off to a strong start as Lloyd wasn't able to find his shots and Bergornia put the ball away to claim the first game 11-3. Lloyd got his way back into the second game building the rallies and matching the pickups of Bergornia, Bergornia was able to keep the edge though and he claimed the second game 11-8. Lloyd started to find his rhythm in the third as Bergornia waned and was not able to get Lloyds shots. Lloyd kept the pressure on Bergornia and took the third game 11-8. Lloyd and Bergornia continued with massive rallies of pace and accuracy in the fourth and whilst Lloyd had his chance to level the game score Bergornia kept his calm and fought back to then claim the game 12-10 and took the match in 4.
The second women's draw was unable to be played with Annaleise Faints flight being cancelled due to fog seeing Nadia Hubbard move directly into the main draw.
The third match of the Women’s draw saw another New Zealand matchup between Camden Te Kani McQueen and Courtney Trail. Trail and Te Kani McQueen showed some powerful hitting in their first game and their accuracy was second to none, but Trail managed to work it away from Te Kani McQueen and claimed the first game 11-7. The second game was similar to the first with both players showing great power and accuracy but Trail kept the ball away from Te Kani McQueen and claimed the second game 11-9. The last game saw Trail keep her cool and whilst there was some great work from Te Kani McQueen it was not enough and Trail claimed the third 11-8 and the match in 3.
The third men's qualifying saw local Belmont Park members Sam Sayes and Matthew Lucente battling for a spot in the main draw. Lucente played great tight shots throughout the first game and Sayes wasn’t able to compete seeing Lucente claiming the first game 11-2. Sayes managed to turn it around in the second game tightening his shots and Lucente went on to the back foot. Sayes leveled the game score claiming the second 11-6. Lucente went back to taking the ball early in the third and Sayes was not able to get the ball back and Lucente reclaimed his lead taking the third 11-3. Lucente got out to an early lead in the fourth but Sayes managed to level the game before Lucente found his second wind and he managed to take the fourth 11-7 and his spot on the main draw.
The final women's qualifying match was between Kiwi juniors Rhiarne Taiapa and Zoe Dykzeul. Taiapa was lethal in the first game with her powerful shots and deadly accuracy left Dykzeul unable to answer and Taiapa took the first game 11-3. Dykzeul found her rhythm in the second as Taiapa started to see errors in her game but some composure and resetting from Taiapa saw her manage to fight to the end and clinch the game in an enthralling 12-10. Taiapa took a convincing lead in the third game with Dykzeul not being able to find the shots to match her. Once Taiapa got out to a lead she never looked back claiming the third 11-7 and her place in the main draw.
The last men's qualifying match saw New Zealand’s Scott Galloway take on Nyeon Ho Lee of Korea. Galloway and Lee played a quick paced game in the first but it was Galloway that managed to play some great shots and claimed the first 11-6. The second game saw the players continue in much the same fashion and it was Galloway who was able to get some extraordinary shots away and take his lead in the match claiming the second game 11-8. Lee managed to turn the tables in his favor in the third and made Galloway feel the pressure and even a fight back wasn’t enough from Galloway as he went down in the third 11-9. Galloway and Lee knew it was all on the line in the fourth and the players retrieved some exceptional shots and used great deception but it was Galloway who took the win 13-11 and claimed his spot in the main draw.
Photos from the final round of qualifying can be found here.
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Final Qualifying – Men
[L] Chris van der Salm (NZL) bt  David Pelino (PHI) 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 11-6
 Reymark Begornia (PHI) bt [L] Chris Lloyd (NZL) 3-1: 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10
[L] Matthew Lucente (NZL) bt  Sam Sayes (NZL) 3-1: 11-2, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7
 Scott Galloway (NZL) bt  Nyeon-Ho Lee (KOR) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11
Final Qualifying – Women
 Anika Jackson (NZL) bt [L] Amara Afghan (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-9
 Nadia Hubbard (NZL) bt [L] Annaleise Faint (NZL) Def
[L] Courtney Trail (NZL) bt [L] Camden Te Kani-McQueen (NZL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-8
[L] Rhiarne Taiapa (NZL) bt  Zoe Dykzeul (NZL) 3-0: 11-3, 12-10, 11-7
Main Draw – Mens
3pm -  Luke Jones (NZL) vs Jason van der Walt (NZL)
3:45pm - Robert Andrew Garcia (PHI) vs  Valentino Bong (MAS)
4:30pm - Zac Millar (NZL) vs  Bradley Masters (ENG)
5:15pm – [L] Chris van der Salm (NZL) vs  Joel Luca (AUS)
6pm -  Ben Grindrod (NZL) vs  Reymark Begornia (PHI)
6:45pm -  Evan Williams (NZL) vs Sion Wiggin (NZL)
7:30pm -  Chang-Wook Woo (KOR) vs [L] Matthew Lucente (NZL)
8:15pm -  Scott Galloway (NZL) vs  Joshua Larkin (AUS)
Main Draw – Womens
3pm -  Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) vs [L] Rhiarne Taiapa (NZL)
3:45pm - Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) vs  Emma Millar (NZL)
4:30pm -  Jemyca Aribado (PHI) vs Lauren Clarke (NZL)
5:15pm - [L] Courtney Trail (NZL) vs  Samantha Foyle (AUS)
6pm -  Jessica Turnbull (AUS) vs  Nadia Hubbard (NZL)
6:45pm - Abbie Palmer (NZL) vs  Moana Gray (AUS)
7:30pm -  Christine Nunn (AUS) vs Lisa Aitken (SCO)
8:15pm -  Anika Jackson (NZL) vs  Megan Craig (NZL)