Sports

Victorian Rex Hedrick wins ACT Open with flawless final performance

Malaysia's Addeen Idrakie takes on Australia's Rex Hedrick in the Squash ACT Open final on Sunday.

Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Rex Hedrick has bounced back from his Commonwealth Games disappointment to win the ACT Open – Canberra's biggest squash tournament in more than a decade.

Hedrick didn't drop a set all week on his way to a $2000 pay day after crushing Malaysian No. 6 seed Addeen Idrakie in the final 11-5 11-5 11-3 in just 35 minutes.

While it looked like he did it comfortably on the scoreboard, Hedrick emphasised there were no easy matches on his road to the title and was made to work for the silverware.

The $13,000 ACT Open was his first tournament since bowing out in the round of 16 at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last month.

Hedrick said he wanted to bounce back from his disappointment in green and gold with a strong showing in the capital and the 29-year-old did exactly that.

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"It went to plan today, I kept the pressure on and maybe he was feeling the affects of the last few days a bit more than me," Hedrick said.

"Its been a tough week, Ive managed to get through each match 3-0 but none have been easy, they've all been hard fought could have gone either way but I was able to keep control.

"I made my Commonwealth Games debut a few weeks ago and it was awesome but it would have been nice to get a medal and I probably should have gone closer than I did.

"This is my first tournament since and it's nice to bounce back with a medal here, that was the plan and it doesn't always go to plan but this time it did."

The world No. 53 has vowed to defend his title in the capital next year and praised the tournament organisers for rasing the prizemoney by more than $10,000.

"I've played in Woden plenty of times and it's always great coming up here from Melbourne," Hedrick said.

"The prizemoney this year is great and it's all thanks to the organiser Michael Nuttall for achieving that level of sponsorship and it also dictates ranking points.

"If they can run the same tournament against next year Ill definitely be back, they've done a great job."

Squash ACT president Nuttall said the tournament had been "a great success" and he already has plans to grow it next year.

"It has gone flawlessly, we 16 in the qualifiers and four of those went through to join 12 in the main draw, it was men's this year but we're hoping to do womens next year," Nuttall said.

"We've had great feedback from players and there were good crowds, the only unfortunate thing is we just don't have the facility to allow a good crowd to appreciate the whole game and whole court."

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Eamonn Tiernan

Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times

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