This year’s Canterbury Open is going quite the spectacle with nearly all the top players from around Canterbury and further afield will be converging at Burnside Squash Club this weekend. Entries are up on last year’s Canterbury Open with over 160 people entered, making for over 10 draws with even a junior draw in the mix. The way the draws have panned out means there won’t be too many one sided affairs this weekend and whether you’re new to squash or a 40 year veteran, there will be great games for everyone to come down and watch.
Both the Men’s and the Women’s Opens are look extremely strong this year with 8 A-graders in the Men’s and 4 A graders in the Women’s. Additionally just ranked under the A-graders in both draws are some up and coming, and particularly dangerous B1’s. Notably are the juniors Paul Moran and Henry who hail from the top of the North Island and could be game for an upset or two this weekend.
If you want to know what games to watch this weekend, for starter there will be some great games Thursday and Friday night. Our key picks for great viewing are:
Burnside the host will be keeping the courts warm all weekend for great games and comfortable viewing. Makes sure if you do come down to bring some money for food and drinks at the club as all money is recycled back into squash to help improve squash for everyone.
Important Note: Remember Rugby occurs at Burnside Park on Saturday’s and parking may be difficult, keep that in mind when planning how you get to squash.
Oliver Johnson;The defending champion and No.1 seed Oliver Johnson will be setting the pace this weekend. He has earned himself a name for being impossible to beat, having not lost within Canterbury for over 2 years. Whilst he has an incredible record, injury plagues him, hence why he’s the Darth Vader of the squash court, as even without properly functioning body parts he still goes out and makes his opponents feel like they are in a choke hold as he forces the win. The prophets are saying that his son Sebastian will be the only one to bring about his down fall.
Adam Odering;This man has lost been slowly losing touch with humanity this year as he has gone from coaching some of the best in Canterbury to becoming one of the best. He has been deadly on court all year and in true Terminator style has got in such good shape that even Arnold would be impressed. Getting on the Paleo Diet has helped largely for this machine, granting him incredible fitness and insane speed around the court. There is only one more human left for him to terminate and if your wise this weekend you would be coming down to catch a glimpse of this robot in action.
Sam Sayes;Well we haven’t had too many North Islanders come down to the Canterbury in recents years its fair to say but here we have the Notorious S.A.M. He’s a former New Zealand junior representative, now turned chef in one of Auckland’s finest restaurants. Since he’s not in the kitchen this weekend he’s promised the Canterbury crowd that he’ll be cooking up a few nicks and devastating rallies this weekend. However if you do see him this weekend my advise would be to ask him advise on that dish you could never quite master.
Emma Cormack;As the No.1 seed and defending champion and Cormack has been dominating the Canterbury women for quite some time now and is a tough egg to crack. Cormack she has a great attacking game but you’d be amiss if you thought you had her in trouble as her great movement and ankle breaking boasts are the back bone of her success as she can swiftly get out of trouble and win the point before you can say “squash is better than tennis”. Cormack would be great for anyone this weekend to learn how to float like butterfly and sting like a bee on the squash court.
Erin Ellery;Erin Ellery is a dangerous player and hailing from the west coast (the land of Paul Coll) I shouldn’t need to say anymore. Ellery is talent with racket in hand and must’ve picked up a few tips from husband Clark as she regularly cleans up both the men’s and the womens sections on the West Coast and is teaching the kids to do the same. Obviously she’s come to the East coast to show Christchurch how the game should be played and she will be hoping she can bring the trophy back to the West Coast.
Grace Hymers;Canterbury would have to say we’ve been lucky to find Hymers as not only has she come out of the blue, playing fantastic squash but she offers something different on court. Coached by the Canterbury great Rod Hayes she has taken on board his philosophies to become one of the most feared players on court. If you’re lucky enough to see her play you might struggle to see to ball as Hymers hits the ball harder than most men and if the ball’s not going to the back of the court then in probably rolling out of the nick.