Muldoon pulls off major upset
Dylan Muldoon stunned favourite Kion Knights to book a place in today's under-19s final at the Digicel National Junior Championships at the Devonshire courts.
Muldoon won a fast-paced semi-final 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 to set up a meeting with Nazhir Smith, the defending champion, who beat Beckett Simmons 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7.
Knights had been tipped to win the event in his final year of eligibility having already recently beaten Smith in a club tournament.
Muldoon had other ideas and Patrick Foster, the tournament director, said that it looked like some coaching at school in the United States had been paying dividends for Muldoon.
“Dylan winning was a big upset,” Foster said. “I guess he's had three months of good training abroad and he's looking pretty solid.
“The second set was all important. There is a big difference [for Knights] between tying it up one-all and coming out as the older guy with more experience, than going back in two-love down with all the pressure on you.
“I'm pleased for Dylan, it's hard for Kion, but hopefully he'll spring back from this defeat.”
Ultimately the semi-final came down to the big points at the end of each game, which all went Muldoon's way when it mattered most. Now he faces Smith, an equally challenging opponents as Knights.
“The qestion is can he [Muldoon] do it again,” said Foster. “Nahzir is definitely our most experienced junior, he's been around forever, he's won senior titles as well and won't want to relinquish his under-19s title without a fight.”
Muldoon will have two titles on the line today, after he cruised through the under-17s bracket to set-up a final clash with Jacques Deverteuil, who pulled off an upset of his own winning a thrilling five-setter against Dylan Pratt, 8-11, 11-7, 15-13, 5-11, 11-8.
There were surprises too in the girls' under-19s divison, where Susanna Armano beat Tiye Williams 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 in a match-up that Foster said could have gone either way. Armano faces Emma Keane, who will be defending her title for the third time in her final year of eligibility at junior level.
Today's finals take place at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association beginning at 9am with the girls' under-11s, and ending with the boys' under-19s final at 12pm.