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Evan Williams (left) and Joel Arscott (right) played in the final of the Henderson Rochelle Hobbs Open

Henderson RH Open: Williams Survives Match Balls To Win

Evan Williams claimed the title at the Henderson Rochelle Hobbs Open in Auckland, New Zealand, after saving four match balls and coming from two games down to defeat compatriot Joel Arscott in the final.

Williams, the World No.87, was the top seed for the event, which was restricted to domestic entries only due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

After battling through a five-game quarter-final against No.7 seed Temwa Chileshe, and then needing four games against the unseeded Lance Beddoes, Williams found life even tougher going against Arscott, ranked 171 places below him in the World Rankings.

Arscott took the the first two games, both of which were very tight, to hold a commanding lead in the match. The World No.248 went on to have four match balls in the third game, but Williams was able to withstand the pressure, coming through it 16-14, before going on to take command of the match.

He won the fourth game 11-8, before allowing his compatriot to score just a single point in the deciding game, as the World No.87 took the 7th title of his professional career, and the first since he won the ILT & Community Trust NZ Southern PSA Open in Invercargill in June 2019.

The surprise of the week was Lance Beddoes, who despite being unseeded, made it through to the semi-finals of the Challenger 5 level tournament. The World No.688 knocked out both No.8 seed Glenn Templeton and No.3 seed Sion Wiggin to reach the last four in Auckland.

The PSA Challenger Tour will return to the city in a couple of weeks time, with the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Open taking place from March 4-7 at the North Shore Squash Club in Takapuna.

Results: Henderson Rochelle Hobbs Open
(All players from NZL)
Final
[1] Evan Williams bt [5] Joel Arscott 3-2: 9-11, 10-12, 16-14, 11-8, 11-1

Semi-Finals
[1] Evan Williams bt Lance Beddoes 3-1: 11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4
[5] Joel Arscott bt [6] Elijah Thomas 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-9

Quarter-Finals
[1] Evan Williams bt [7] Temwa Chileshe 3-2: 11-3, 10-12, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6
Lance Beddoes bt [3] Sion Wiggin 3-2: 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5
[5] Joel Arscott bt Finn Trimble 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-6
[6] Elijah Thomas bt [2] Lwamba Chileshe 3-2: 11-8, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8

Round One
[1] Evan Williams bt Joe Smythe 3-0: 11-4, 11-1, 11-2
[7] Temwa Chileshe bt Benjamin Adams 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-7
Lance Beddoes bt [8] Glenn Templeton 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-9
[3] Sion Wiggin bt Apa Fatialoa Junior 3-1: 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-1
Finn Trimble bt [4] Zac Millar 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7
[5] Joel Arscott bt Leo Fatialofa 3-0: 11-7, 14-12, 11-6
[6] Elijah Thomas bt Riley-Jack Vette-Blomquist 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-3
[2] Lwamba Chileshe bt Mason Smales 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-7

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