The top four seeds in the women’s draw reached their predicted places in the semifinals at the New Zealand Squash Nationals in Henderson.
Top ranked Joelle King, the world No.4 and winner of the singles and women’s doubles gold medals along with the mixed bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast cruised through her quarter-final against Auckland Juee Bhide and will now take on fourth seed Abbie Palmer, formerly of Northland and now out of Auckland.
Palmer, 20 has a world ranking of 83 and overcame Ellie Epke in five marathon games in her quarter-final.
Second seed and Gold Coast gold medallist Amanda Landers-Murphy from Rotorua won her last eight match in straight games and now faces third seed Emma Millar (Waikato) who has been in top domestic form. Millar ranked 116 beat Waikato junior Anika Jackson in three games.
The men’s semifinals features three of the top four seeds with just the fourth ranked Luke Jones from Palmerston North falling in the quarters. Jones was beaten in four games by teenager, Gabe Yam from the Belmont Park club. Yam is a member of the New Zealand team travelling to the world junior champs in India next month.
World No.10 Paul Coll eased into his semi with a straight game win to set up a match with Yam, while second seed Evan Williams faces another Commonwealth Games team member, third seed Lance Beddoes in the other men’s semi.
All semifinals are played on Saturday afternoon and early evening with the finals Sunday afternoon.
(1) Joelle King (Waikato) bt Juee Bhide (Belmont Park) 11-1, 11-7, 11-3,
(4) Abbie Palmer (Auckland) bt Ellie Epke (Auckland) 11-8, 13-15, 11-6, 11-13, 11-5,
(3) Emma Millar (Waikato) bt Anika Jackson (Waikato) 11-3, 11-5, 11-8.
(2) Amanda Landers-Murphy (Rotorua) bt Priscilla Wildsmith (Remuera) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7,
(1) Paul Coll (Canterbury) bt Lwambe Chileshe (Waikato), 11-3, 11-5, 11-5,
Gabe Yam (Belmont Park) bt (4) Luke Jones (Palmerston North) 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5.
(3) Lance Beddoes (Henderson) bt Scott Galloway (Mitchell Park, Lower Hutt) 11-8, 11-4, 11-6,
(2) Evan Williams (Kapiti Coast) bt Matthew Lucente (Belmont Park) 11-9, 11-2, 11-2.