Dowling goes out in NT Open semi-final
TERRITORY squash star Rhys Dowling won his all-local quarter-final over Joseph White, but his NT Open title bid ended in last night’s semifinals.
Third-seeded Dowling, 21, fell a game behind impressive 18-year-old White yesterday morning before rallying for a 9-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-4 triumph.
That win delivered him a maiden final-four berth at his hometown event, but top seed Zac Alexander — ranked 56 places higher at No. 107 — proved too tough in an 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 loss.
Alexander will face second seed Adam Murrills in today’s final at 1pm. The Englishman beat Malaysian sixth seed Mithran Selvaratnam 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 in his semi-final.
The women’s decider pits Sydney-based Irishwoman Madeline Perry, a former world No. 3, against sixth seed Lisa Camilleri at noon.
Perry dispatched fourthseeded Lakeesha Rarere 11-5, 11-7, 11-7, while Camilleri downed Samantha Foyle 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5.
Dowling conceded after his victory over White that he “underestimated” his teenage rival and would have to perform at a higher level to beat Alexander.
“He’s a solid player and I think he took me by surprise. I didn’t do my full warm-up, because I thought it’d be a pretty cruisy match,” Dowling told the NT News.
“I should just do my normal warm-up all the time and not underestimate people. He came out firing and played the best I’ve seen him play in a long time, so I take my hat off to him.
“I really switched on after the first game and warmed up and got that error rate down.”
Dowling and White were in the NT Squash Academy under head coach Clive Naylor and are now in the Brisbanebased Winning Edge high-performance program.
White is set to represent the junior Australian team in Poland this year, an honour Dowling previously achieved.
“He’s got a few things to work on in his game, but it just comes with age, really,” Dowling said of White.
“He definitely has the potential (to be a good player). He’s young and fit and if he keeps his mentality right then he’s got a long way to go ahead of him.”