Temwa Chileshe reaches semi-finals of the PSA Victorian Open in Australia

July 16 2023

Temwa Chileshe was denied a place in the final of the PSA Victorian Open at the Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne by Australian top seed Rex Hedrick who overcame the 4th seeded New Zealander 11-8 11-5 11-8 in the semi-finals.

The New Zealand 3rd seed, who claimed his first PSA World Tour event last week with victory at the PSA City of Greater Shepparton International, couldn’t find a way past the experienced Hedrick, who’s attritional and fast paced game proved effective over the 45-minute semi-final.

Hedrick, the reigning champion, will look to defend his title against Rowan Damming from The Netherlands. Damming, the World Junior Champion, has been on a remarkable winning streak, securing two titles in the last three events in Australia and is expected to be fearless in his quest for a third triumph. In the semi-finals, Damming overcame the formidable Baptiste Bouin of France, who had previously defeated the No.2 seed, Lwamba Chileshe.

The encounter between Damming and Hedrick promises to be an intense battle.

The quarter-finals of the PSA Victorian Open at the Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne, Australian witnessed contrasting fortunes for Lwamba and brother Temwa Chileshe.

Whilst Temwa progressed to the semi-finals with a hard-fought 53-minute 11-5 10-12 11-6 11-3 victory over Nicholas Calvert, Lwamba was denied in straight games by Baptiste Bouin of France.

UNSQUASHABLE players Lwamba Chileshe and Temwa Chileshe have both progressed to the quarter-finals of the PSA Victorian Open being staged at the Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne, Australia.

2nd seed Lwamba Chileshe defeated Laouenan Loaec of France 11-7 11-6 13-11 in 38 minutes to face another French player, Baptiste Bouin, in the quarter-finals.

Brother Temwa beat Joel Arscott 11-6 8-11 11-8 11-5 in 49 minutes and will face 7th seed Nicholas Calvert of Australia.

The men's draw witnessed few surprises, with all top eight seeds progressing to the PSA Challenger 5 quarter-finals. The exception was Malaysia's Bryan Lim Tze Kang, who unfortunately had to withdraw from his match against France's Baptiste Bouin, thereby allowing the Frenchman to advance to the next round.

Rex Hedrick, the top-seeded player and defending champion, faced a formidable challenge from France's Brice Nicolas. Hedrick displayed his experience and tenacity, securing a hard-fought win in four games. Although Nicolas managed to stage a comeback in the third game with a score of 11-6, Hedrick's prowess prevailed as he replicated the same scoreline in the fourth game, clinching the victory.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Victorian Squash Open 2023, Mulgrave Country Club, Melbourne, Australia
[1] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [4] Temwa Chileshe (NZL) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (45m)
[3] Rowan Damming (NED) bt Baptiste Bouin (FRA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (35m)

[1] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [6] Rhys Dowling (AUS) 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-3 (41m)
[4] Temwa Chileshe (NZL) bt [7] Nicholas Calvert (AUS) 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-3 (53m)
[3] Rowan Damming (NED) bt [5] Ravindu Laksiri (SRI) 7-11, 11-7, 11-1, 8-11, 11-8 (59m)
Baptiste Bouin (FRA) bt [2] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 (35m)

Men's 2nd Round:
[1] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [9/16] Brice Nicolas (FRA) 11-7, 11-3, 6-11, 11-6 (56m)
[6] Rhys Dowling (AUS) bt Dylan Molinaro (AUS) 11-6, 11-8, 14-12 (33m)
[7] Nicholas Calvert (AUS) bt [9/16] Anthony Lepper (NZL) 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (41m)
[4] Temwa Chileshe (NZL) bt [9/16] Joel Arscott (NZL) 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 (49m)
[3] Rowan Damming (NED) bt Shamil Wakeel (SRI) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (16m)
[5] Ravindu Laksiri (SRI) bt Paul Gonzalez (FRA) 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 (59m)
Baptiste Bouin (FRA) bt [8] Bryan Lim Tze Kang (MAS) w/o
[2] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) bt [9/16] Laouenan Loaëc (FRA) 11-7, 11-6, 13-11 (38m)

Following the conclusion of the 1st round at the PSA Victorian Open, UNSQUASHABLE players Lwamba Chileshe and brother Temwa Chileshe will face Laouenan Loaëc and Joel Arscott in their respective opening matches at the Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne, Australia.

16 players in the respective men’s and women’s draws secured places in the 2nd round to face the top eight seeds, who received byes in the opening round.

The highlight of the opening day of the championships unfolded in the men's event when Dylan Molinaro staged an extraordinary comeback to defeat Egypt's Mohamed Gohar, despite trailing 2-0. Gohar, the brother of women's World No.1 Nouran Gohar, displayed exceptional form and swiftly claimed a two-game advantage. Yet, Molinaro exhibited resilience, clinching a hard-fought third game with an 11-9 scoreline. He then proceeded to triumph confidently in the fourth and fifth games, both with scores of 11-4. This remarkable victory propels Molinaro into the second round, where he will face fellow countryman Rhys Dowling, the tournament's sixth seed.

Furthermore, the French contingent had an impressive showing on day one, with three players, namely Paul Gonzalez, Baptiste Bouin, and Laouenan Loaec, securing victories and advancing to the second round. Notably, Gonzalez and Bouin, both unseeded, emerged triumphant against Malaysia's Hafiz Zhafri and Denmark's Theis Houlberg, respectively, in highly entertaining matches.

The opening round of the Victorian Open showcased remarkable performances and unexpected turnarounds, setting the stage for an exhilarating continuation of the tournament.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Victorian Squash Open 2023, Mulgrave Country Club, Melbourne, Australia
1st Round:
[1] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bye
[9/16] Brice Nicolas (FRA) bt [WC] Harvey Allan (AUS) 11-1, 13-11, 11-1 (22m)
Dylan Molinaro (AUS) bt [9/16] Mohamed Gohar (EGY) 8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (74m)
[6] Rhys Dowling (AUS) bye
[7] Nicholas Calvert (AUS) bye
[9/16] Anthony Lepper (NZL) bt [WC] Andre Lynn (AUS) 14-12, 11-3, 12-10 (38m)
[9/16] Joel Arscott (NZL) bt [WC] Connor Hayes (AUS) 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 (32m)
[4] Temwa Chileshe (NZL) bye
[3] Rowan Damming (NED) bye
Shamil Wakeel (SRI) bt [9/16] Shota Yasunari (JPN) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (56m)
Paul Gonzalez (FRA) bt [9/16] Hafiz Zhafri (MAS) 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (33m)
[5] Ravindu Laksiri (SRI) bye
[8] Bryan Lim Tze Kang (MAS) bye
Baptiste Bouin (FRA) bt [9/16] Theis Houlberg (DEN) 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3 (42m)
[9/16] Laouenan Loaëc (FRA) bt [WC] Javed Ali (AUS) 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (23m)
[2] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) bye

Women’s 1st round:
[1] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bye
[9/16] Colette Sultana (MLT) bt Ayaka Matsuzawa (JPN) 11-7, 11-7, 11-1 (17m)
[9/16] Sze Yu Lee (AUS) bt Maria-Rose Kalafatis (AUS) 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (14m)
[8] Risa Sugimoto (JPN) bye
[7] Noor Ul Huda (PAK) bye
[9/16] Mingyeong Heo (KOR) bt Amelie Guziak (AUS) 11-8, 11-5, 11-0 (15m)
[WC] Courtney Scholtz (AUS) bt [9/16] Aiman Shahbaz (PAK) 11-1, 11-6, 11-1 (11m)
[4] Urwashi Joshi (IND) bye
[3] Toby Tse (HKG) bye
[9/16] Pascale Louka (AUS) bt Liu Kwai Chi (MAC) 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4 (24m)
[WC] Carina Loi (AUS) bt [9/16] Riffat Khan (PAK) 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (15m)
[6] Wai Sze Wing (HKG) bye
[5] Sophie Fadaely (AUS) bye
[WC] Remashree Muniandy (AUS) bt [9/16] Jennifer Condie (AUS) 11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (19m)
[9/16] Erin Classen (AUS) bt [WC] Shona Coxsedge (AUS) 11-1, 11-6, 11-4 (17m)
[2] Yasshmita Jadishkumar (MAS) bye

UNSQUASHABLE players Lwamba Chileshe and Temwa Lwamba will next compete at the PSA Victorian Open being staged at the Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne, Australia from the 12th to 16 July.

The Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne will be the exclusive venue for the PSA Victorian Open, where 48 men and women will vie for the coveted PSA Challenger 5 titles.

Australia's Rex Hedrick, the top-seeded player in the men's category, aims to defend his title after triumphing in 2022, defeating this year's second seed, Lwamba Chileshe, in a straight-set final. Hedrick is determined to clinch his 20th career title, as he makes his first appearance in an event this year.

Meanwhile, Lwamba Chileshe, hailing from New Zealand, holds the second seed and seeks to surpass last year's runner-up finish by claiming his sixth PSA tour title. Despite not experiencing victory since June 2022, Lwamaba is resolute in ending his drought and displaying his prowess in Melbourne.

Joining them in the top four seeds are recent finalists of the Greater City of Shepparton International, Rowan Damming and Temwa Chileshe. Damming's quest for a third consecutive title was thwarted by Temwa Chilesche in Shepparton, as the New Zealand No.3 emerged victorious in straight games, securing his first PSA World Tour title.

In the women's event, Australian No.2 Sarah Cardwell assumes the top seed position, aiming to regain her form and secure her first event win since 2015. Another strong contender is recent event champion Yasshmita Jadishkumar, looking to achieve back-to-back titles following her victory at the City of Greater Shepparton International. With her confidence soaring, the 18-year-old seeks to improve upon her runner-up finish from last year's event and clinch the title.

The PSA Victorian Open at the Mulgrave Country Club promises intense competition, with skilled players like Lwamba Chileshe, Temwa Chileshe, Rex Hedrick, Sarah Cardwell, and Yasshmita Jadishkumar showcasing their talents as they vie for victory.