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Auckland Junior Open Preview

The best juniors in the country are set to compete alongside the professionals of the PSA tour as the Auckland Junior Open and CourtTech Women's PSA Classic take to the court this weekend at SquashXL. The Auckland Junior Open will offer a final chance for the Junior Boys and Girls national squad members to shine in front of selectors as they battle for a spot in the NZ World Junior Boys team and World Individual Championships to compete in India later this year.

Defending champion Matthew Lucente will be top seed in the Boys Open draw but will face plenty of stiff competition. Seeded to meet him in the final is clubmate Gabe Yam, however third seed Temwa Chileshe (WK) and fourth seed Sean Dykes (BOP) will not make the task easy. Auckland players fill out the next three spots with Anthony Lepper (5th), Leo Fatialofa (6th), and Elijah Thomas (7th) looking to cause some upsets over the weekend.

The Girls Open offers up plenty of intriguing matchups throughout the entire weekend. Central visitor Courtney Trail is seeded in the ace draw, however there is very little separating her from second seed Anika Jackson whom she beat in four games at the recent Waikato Open. Also in the mix is promising Australian visitor Alex Haydon who takes the third seed, while Eastern's Winona-Jo Joyce rounds out the top four.

Overall the tournament will see 108 junior players take to the court, with over a third of those players hailing from outside Auckland. The Herne Bay Ponsonby Rackets Club will also be used as a second venue on Saturday morning for around twenty matches. Matches begin Thursday evening and will concludes on Sunday afternoon with the Girls Open final at 3.40pm and the Boys Open final at 4.20pm. The majority of the division finals will be played of the all-glass court offering up an exciting propsect for all competitors.

The CourtTech Women's PSA Classic begins with qualifying on Tuesday afternoon, leading into the first round of the main draw on Thursday. There will be plenty of Kiwi interest with Anika Jackson, Emma Millar, Abbie Palmer, Kaitlyn Watts, and Casey Owen all receiving spots in the main draw. Action will continue Friday evening, with semifinals from 4pm Saturday and the final at 5pm Sunday following the Boys Open final.

Entry is free for spectators all weekend and are welcomed to make the most of this exciting opportunity to see some of the countries top female and junior players in action at this revolutionary venue. Visit Squash Auckland website to view the draws.


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