Squash player Greg Lobban is making the long journey back to his training base at Heriot-Watt University’s Oriam performance centre after narrowly missing out on a New Zealand hat-trick and his fourth PSA title in a row in yesterday’s XL Open final in Auckland.
The Scottish No.2 was aiming to complete a clean sweep Down Under following back-to-back titles at Palmerston North and Invercargill, but New Zealander Campbell Grayson proved to be his bogeyman for the second time in less than a year.
Lobban led the Kiwi by two games to love in last October’s Chicago Open final before tearing his hamstring, losing the match and then spending six months out after undergoing surgery.
The opening two games could have gone either way yesterday, but top-seeded Grayson nicked both and went on to win 12-10, 15-13, 11-5 as the Scot suffered his first defeat in 16 matches.
“I was second best this week,” admitted Lobban after contesting his fifth consecutive PSA final. “I had my chances in the first two games, but Campbell played the big points better than I did. It’s still been a great trip to New Zealand.”
Once back in Edinburgh, Lobban and Scottish No.1 Alan Clyne will prepare for the defence of their world doubles title in Manchester in early-August.