Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hopkin a giant-killer at international

Unseeded Australian Matthew Hopkin has swept all before him to win the Shepparton International squash tournament at the weekend.

GREGOR MACTAGGART August 28, 2014 3:15am

Macau top seed Steven Liu plays this forehand in his surprise second round loss to Frenchman Baptiste Masotti at the Shepparton International.

Unseeded Australian Matthew Hopkin landed the biggest win of his burgeoning squash career in Sunday’s final of the Shepparton International.

The 23-year-old Queenslander capped a fairytale run through the $5000 event when he downed Dutch fifth seed Piedro Schweertman in the decider.

The Shepparton International was Hopkin’s first PSA World Tour event triumph and he could not hide his delight.

‘‘I’m really stoked to win an event in my first year as a PSA member,’’ Hopkin said.

‘‘I’m exhausted, it was a tough tournament.’’

Hopkin had announced himself as a giant-killer a day earlier when he knocked out second seed Josh Larkin in four sets.

Schweertman went into the final as a warm favourite following earlier wins over France’s Baptiste Masotti and young gun Rhys Dowling.

Dowling, the third seed, survived an opening marathon against Kim Are Killingberg from Norway, but had no answers to the Flying Dutchman in their quarter-final match-up.

Schweertman’s challenging run to the big one could well have contributed to a sluggish start as Hopkin prevailed in the opening set 11-7.

Hopkin went two sets to love up on the back of an 11-9 score before Schweertman clawed his way back into the contest, winning the third set 11-8.

Normal service resumed in the decisive fourth set with Hopkin claiming the first-prize cheque after saluting 11-8.

The event lived up to its international flavour with players from 11 different countries including the Korea Republic, Pakistan, United States and Belgium lining up in the four-day competition.

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