Franklin and Browne at next level’
The top two seeds will meet in the MBH Bermuda National Squash Championships men’s and women’s finals this evening when Micah Franklin plays Noah Browne and Rachel Barnes faces Laura Robinson.
Franklin came from a game down in last night’s semi-final against Kristen Johnson to win 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4, before Browne closed out the night with an 11-2, 11-7, 11-8 win over Patrick Foster in the other semi-final. Foster, the director of squash at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association, praised Browne for his win and expects two closely contested finals.
“Both of our pros, Noah and Micah, have gone to the next level and you can see it in their games now,” Foster said. “It was an intensity, level of fitness and an accuracy that is pro-player level.
“That is by far the best I’ve ever experienced Noah on the court, I felt all my good shots being thrown back at me with interest. I played well but was definitely up against it today, he was far too strong. I think we have some great finals in store across the board.”
Browne is hoping to turn the tables on Franklin after last year’s final defeat.
“I’m looking forward to the final a lot, it’s been one of my main focuses since making the final last year and losing,” he said. “I really wanted to come out strong this year and get that result. We’re really good friends and have always been friends and rivals, so I’m looking forward to playing him in the final. I was feeling confident against Patrick but nerves got to me a little bit.”
Franklin was involved in the closest of the four semi-finals, losing the opening game to Johnson before closing out a deserved victory.
“I seem to play Kristen at the semi-finals of this tournament the past few years and it’s never easy,” Franklin said. “In the first game he came at me just like I thought he would, and to be fair he was the better player in that first game. My tactic was to make it as hard as possible for him to get back into it and put some miles into his legs.”
Barnes is looking forward to playing in the final after her close 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 win over Sarah Nicholson.
“It was fun and great to play a quick-paced match and I felt really good,” she said. “It was super-close, every game was with a couple of points. She’s really talented and we play frequently; every time there a semi or final in the clubs or nationals, we end up playing each other.”
Robinson lost only eight points in a straight-games win over Jayne Craig in her semi-final.
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