Good Luck to all the Cantabrians taking part in the Barfoot and Thompson NZ Nationals this weekend. Most of New Zealand’s best will be converging in Auckland this weekend and whilst there are some notable Cantab’s missing from this years draw, our impact will still be felt by those going.
In the Men’s Open West Coaster Paul Coll is ranked no.1 rightly named SUPERMAN in the PSA, Coll is the clear favourite to win the title and in doing so defend it for the 5th year in the row. Also joining him in the Men’s Open is Adam Odering, from Christchurch Football club who is ranked 16th and plays Sam Sayes who is ranked 17th in the first round. If Odering wins against Sayes then the metal threat of the Terminator will play the ‘Man of Steel’, Paul Coll. This will be great for Odering to test out his fitness which has been his strength this season but as we all know Coll never tires. The last Cantab in the Men’s draw is the Marlborough raised danger of Quinn Udy from MCOB who is ranked 22nd and will play Willz Donnelly who is ranked 11th in the first round. Udy has been getting an education over in USA and we hope has been training and playing against the very best over there.
In the Women’s Open, Megan Craig is ranked 6th and is back at the Nationals after a couple of of years absence after becoming a new mother. She has a bye in the first round and my bet is that even though her seeding is lower than normal, she will still likely end up in the semis or final. Emma Cormack who is another from Christchurch Football, is ranked 17th and plays Sophie Hodges who is ranked 16th in her first round. A win for Cormack will see her play Joelle King, which would be a good gauge for her to see where she can go after being largely unbeaten back in Canterbury nearly all year. Grace Hymers is from Christchurch Squash Club and is ranked 22nd her first round match will be up against Juee Bhide, who is ranked 11th. Hymers could be game for a big upset if she backs her power game and plays with true determination. Petra Curd-McCullough is ranked 9th I the Women’s Division 1 and will play Abbie Holmes in her first round. It is great to see Curd-McCullough developing at such a great rate and she will be another to watch out for as she will likely be under-ranked as her ranking is still catching up to her playing ability.