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New Zealand Junior Open

A big weekend for New Zealand's top young squash talent in Auckland this weekend.

More than 150 of the country's emerging stars will descend on the Remuera Rackets Club to contest the New Zealand Junior Open.  Previous winners of the prestigious event include Dame Susan Devoy, Leilani Joyce and former men's world number three Stu Davenport.

Several of this year's title hopefuls come into the event at the top of their game, having just competed in the Australian Junior Open in Canberra.  Auckland's Ellie Epke is the warm favourite to take out the Division One girl's event, after finishing runner-up across the Tasman, despite having only turned 14 a few months ago.  However, standing in her way is defending champion Rebecca Barnett of Wellington and fellow Aucklander Abbie Palmer who are more than capable of causing an upset.

The Division One boy's title is wide open with eight A-grade players in the 32 strong draw.  Wellington's Jonny Barnett gets top billing in the seeding list, but fellow Wellingtonian Zac Miller, Eastern's Todd Redman and Chris van der Salm from the Midlands are among those who should be able to give him a run for his money.

Wellington's Scott Galloway could also be a dark horse to stage a few upsets in the boy's draw.  Galloway will be brimming with confidence after being crowned the under 15 champion at the Australian Junior Open last weekend.  Galloway did not drop a game on his way to the final, where he battled to a magnificent 11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 victory over Jesse Keegan from New South Wales.

The New Zealand Junior Open gets underway tomorrow, with Abbie Palmer the first of the division one contenders on court, taking on fellow Aucklander Angee Nicholas in the opening round at 11:40am.

Full draws available at /news/index.cfm?content_id=389


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