Abhay Singh during his North Coast Open semi final.
Abhay Singh during his North Coast Open semi final.

International surprise in North Coast Open

QUALIFIER Abhay Singh has made it through to the final of the North Coast Open.

The Indian squash player made it into Sunday's big game by coming back from two games down against top seed Rhys Dowling to win 6-11 5-11 12-10 11-9 11-8.

Dowling actually held a match ball at 10-7 in the third before Singh withstood the pressure to draw level at 10-10 and take the game to get back into the match.

It proved to be a turning point as Singh got the better of most of the rallies due to Dowling's shift of momentum which saw the fourth game to the Indian to send the match to a deciding fifth game.

The deciding game was level pegging but Abhay held his nerve to the end to deny the top seed a spot in the final.

"I felt flat at first and being down two games realised I went into the match with no real game plan," Singh said.

"When down 10-7 I got to 10-10 and won the game. I started to sort it out from there an happy to be through to my first PSA final."

In an international final Singh will meet Swiss player Dimitri Steinmann.

Like Singh, Steinmann was forced to come from behind after a slow start against Belgian Joeri Hapers.

After losing the first game 9-11 Steinmann found his rhyth to win the next three games 11-6 11-2 12-10.

"I felt good but struggled a bit in the opening game but came out on top in the fourth," Steinmann said.

Thinking toward Sunday's final, Steinmann said history, albeit brief, is on his side.

"I've played Abhay once before 12 months ago which I won so hoping to repeat that in the final tomorrow," he said.

Coffs Harbour's own Tamika Saxby has a chance to claim back-to-back North Coast Open titles when she meets Indian Sunayna Kuruvilla.

Saxby beat Yura Choi in three games in the semi final to progress.

"I felt good, worked my way into the match finding my length. Happy to win in three in the semi-final," Saxby said.

"Look forward to the final tomorrow and feeling confident to play well."

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