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Rodney Martin (left) in action against Luke Jones

Former World Champ Martin Returns in Victorian Open Qualifying


1991 World Champion Rodney Martin made a brief return to the PSA World Tour in the qualification stage of the Victorian Open, PSA M10 tournament, narrowly losing 3-1 to New Zealander Luke Jones at the Mulgrave County Club in Melbourne, Australia.

The 50-year-old, who retired in 1994, became only the second Australian Men’s World Champion when he defeated the legendary Jahangir Khan 25 years ago and was also a three-time British Open finalist.

Martin dropped the opening game to Jones, who is 31 years his junior, but battled back to draw level after taking the second. However, his revival was short-lived and Jones, who wasn’t born when Martin triumphed at the World Championship, eventually got back on top, claiming an 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 victory to reach the main draw where he will take on Macau’s Steven Liu.

There was to be no luck either for the rest of the Australian contingent in the qualifying stages as they all fell to defeats, with Darcy Evans coming the closest to reaching the main draw after coming out on the wrong end of a hard-fought five-game battle with July PSA Player of the Month Vincent Droesbeke. The Frenchman will take on India’s Ravi Dixit in round one of the main draw.

Elsewhere, Nathan Lindner exited at the hands of Qatar’s Syed Azlan Amjad, while Dominique Ratcliffe, Caillin Austin and Tyler Hawkins were also casualties, losing to Jong Myoung Park, Sandeep Ramachandran and Connor Sheen, respectively.

Amjad will take on Reiko Peter in the main draw, while Park and Ramachandran have respective fixtures against Rex Hedrick and Rohan Toole in store. Sheen’s reward, meanwhile, is a meeting with World No.84 Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu.

Results – Qualifying Round: Men’s Victorian Open 2016
[4] Vivian Rhamanan (SIN) bt Daehoon Jeong (KOR) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (27m)
[L] Darren Chan (MAS) bt [8] Luca Wilhelmi (SUI) 3-1: 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 (39m)
[6] Connor Sheen (ENG) bt [L] Tyler Hawkins (AUS) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (19m)
[3] Sandeep Ramachandran (IND) bt [L] Caillin Austin (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (26m)
[2] Jong Myoung Park (KOR) bt [L] Dominique Ratcliffe (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (22m)
[5] Luke Jones (NZL) bt [L] Rodney Martin (NZL) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 (45m)
[7] Vincent Droesbeke (FRA) bt Darcy Evans (AUS) 3-2: 11-4, 1-11, 2-11, 11-7, 11-5 (52m)
[1] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) bt [L] Nathan Lindner (AUS) 3-1: 11-4, 4-11, 11-1, 11-3 (30m)

Main Draw – First Round
[1] Joe Lee (ENG) v Patrick Miescher (SUI)
Elvinn Keo (MAS) v Remo Handl (SUI)
David Clegg (AUS) v Thomas Calvert (AUS)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) v [6] Arthur Gaskin (IRL)
[7] Evan Williams (NZL) v Courtney West (AUS)
Ravi Dixit (NZL) v [Q] Vincent Droesbeke (FRA)
Mithran Selvaratnam (MAS) v Lance Beddoes (FRA)
[Q] Connor Sheen (ENG) v [3] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND)
[4] Reiko Peter (SUI) v [Q] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT)
Rhys Dowling (AUS) v [WC] Jason Holmes (AUS)
Rohan Toole (AUS) v [Q] Sandeep Ramachandran (IND)
Ko Youngjo (KOR) v [8] Kush Kumar (IND)
[5] Joel Makin (WAL) v [Q] Darren Chan (MAS)
Ben Grindrod (NZL) v [Q] Vivian Rhamanan (SIN)
Steven Liu (MAC) v [Q] Luke Jones (NZL)
[Q] Jong Myoung Park (KOR) v [2] Rex Hedrick (AUS)

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