Van Den Herrewegen won the Colin Payne Kent Open after a punishing,
pulsating final against top seed Rui Soares.
The Birmingham-based Belgian won a massively entertaining five-setter
9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 after 76 minutes of high-quality squash in
front of a packed crowd at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club.
The score see-sawed throughout the match, with the ascendancy switching
from player to player.
That was clearly evident in the opening game as Van Den Herrewegen
surrendered an 8-3 lead. Soares put together a run of points but when he
reached 10-9 he noticed blood pouring from his left thumb after scraping
his hand on the court floor.
a 14-minute break for treatment, he returned to wrap up the opening
Van Den Herrewegen began strongly again the second game and advanced to
a 9-4 lead before Soares began his customary recovery process. The
Portuguese clawed his way back to 8-9 but the Belgian managed to clinch
the game 11-9.
The third began in a similar pattern, but this time Soares failed to
make any inroads as Van Den Herrewegen powered through 11-4.
Soares did respond in the fourth, however, battling back from 7-4 down
to win 11-9 and take the game to a fifth.
This time Van Den Herrewegen imposed himself firmly on proceedings and,
having built a 9-2 lead, withstood a brief recovery from Soares to close
out the match 11-5.
a poignant presentation ceremony, Colin Payne’s daughters Alice and
Charlotte handed the runners-up trophy to Soares before Van Den
Herrewegen received the winner’s trophy from Councillor Jane March, head
of Culture, Leisure and Tourism at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
Van Den Herrewegen, who is studying for a PhD at Birmingham University,
was delighted to win his first PSA title for more than a year. He said:
“It was a great match, very fair, and we were both trying to play the
ball at every opportunity.
“There were some odd dynamics going on because I feel Rui plays his best
squash when he is behind and he proved that with the two games he won.
But I am very pleased with how I played. There were a few passive spells
but I was confident going forward to attack.
is a great tournament and it has a lovely feel to it with all the club
members getting involved. They were absolutely hanging from the rafters
upstairs and I love playing in tournaments like this.”
Soares said: “I keep coming back and maybe one day I will this
tournament. As Jan said, this is a great event with so many people
working hard in the club to make it happen.”
Before the final, Jasmine Hutton of Sussex won a highly entertaining
Collins Jewel Women’s Challenge against Elise Lazarus of Essex 11-9,
seeds Rui Soares and Jan Van Den Herrewegen will contest the final of
the Colin Payne Kent Open, sponsored by Select Gaming, after two
contrasting semi-final encounters.
Soares was made to battle hard by the tenacious talents of young Mexican
Leonel Cardenas, but Van Den Herrewegen enjoyed a comfortable passage
courtesy of tired opponent Stuart Macgregor.
front of a packed gallery at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club, Portuguese ace
Soares began strongly against Cardenas but the 18-year-old was furious
at being denied a stroke when game ball down.
He began the second in furious fashion and went 8-2 up with a succession
of stunning winners. However, Soares weathered the storm and gradually
regained control to hold game ball at 10-9.
was annoyed by more controversial decisions that went against him and
Soares squeezed home 15-13.
The third game saw a complete turn-around as Cardenas dominated
throughout and Soares offered only token resistance in many rallies as
the Mexican raced through 11-1.
Soares found himself behind again the fourth as the crowd got behind the
Mexican, who led 7-3 and seemed destined to take the match to five.
from that point on he was only to score one more point as Soares
regained control to win 11-8 and complete victory in 45 minutes.
The 20-year-old Macgregor admitted to feeling exhausted after two brutal
five-setters the day before.
tried his hardest against Van Den Herrewegen but admitted: “I was
shattered after those two matches yesterday. It would have been nice had
one of them been an easy three-love, but that wasn’t the case. I had my
ankle strapped up for support but that wasn’t an issue. I was simply
star Nick Wall is looking forward to a rest after completing the busiest
week of his life.
The Sheffield teenager bowed out of the Colin Payne Kent Open, sponsored
by Select Gaming, after losing to fellow Yorkshire player Stuart
Macgregor in front of a packed gallery at Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Having won a tough battle against the experienced Mark Fuller in the
first round earlier in the day, Wall was leading by two games to one
against Macgregor when he fell and twisted his ankle.
After an injury break he returned to court in slightly hesitant fashion
and admitted that he was reluctant to push too hard for fear of causing
maintained a solid, steady rhythm to clinch his second five-game victory
of the day in this PSA Challenger Tour event, having beaten Kent veteran
Ben Ford in the opening round.
Wall revealed: “After I turned my ankle I could still feel it when I
came back on to court. It was on my mind for the rest of the match.”
He had every right to feel cautious, having put his body through the
mill in the past week. He finished runner-up in the Dunlop British
Junior Open Under-19 final in Birmingham on Sunday and also turned out
in the PSL on Tuesday for the University of Warwick-Kenilworth team.
Bizarrely, he lost that match to Macgregor as well, returning to the
University of Birmingham courts two days after losing to Egypt’s Mostafa
Asal at the same venue in the British junior final.
Wall added: “I am definitely having a break now for at least three days
before I get back on court. I must have played something like nine
matches in the past ten days.”
Macgregor, reflecting on two marathon matches in the same day, said:
“That’s me all over. I always seem to do things the hard way.”
top two seeds, Rui Soares of Portugal and Belgium’s Jan Van Den
Herrewegen, enjoyed a more comfortable route to the semi-finals.
They won both of their matches in quick time, with Soares notching up an
11-0 “bagel” in the second game of his quarter-final against No.7 seed
Soares admitted: “I don’t like doing it. The only reason it happened was
because I was showing my opponent so much respect. He’s a good player
and I knew it would be a hard match.”
tackles talented Mexican Leonel Cardenas in the semi-finals, while
Belgian Herrewegen meets his Birmingham training partner Macgregor.
5th 2019. - Top seed Charlie Lee was forced to withdraw from this week’s
Colin Payne Kent Open at the weekend because of illness.
Charlie, from Surrey, contacted tournament organisers and the PSA to
inform them that he was suffering from post-viral fatigue.
This has caused a reshuffle of the draw, meaning that Portugal’s
highly talented Rui Soares moves up to the number one seeding slot. To
minimise disruption to the draw, he remains in the bottom half.
No.1 Jan Van Den Herrewegen becomes No.2 seed, with Mexico’s Leonel
Cardenas at No.3 and England’s Stuart Macgregor at four. Stuart plays
Kent’s wild card Ben Ford, a long-time friend and playing partner of
Colin Payne, in the first round on Thursday afternoon.
Charlie was extremely disappointed to pull out and sent the following
message to Tunbridge Wells members: “Unfortunately I have had to
withdraw from the tournament due to the continuation of post-viral
fatigue. It’s been troubling me since late October and I was really
hoping to be fit for the event but it’s just come too soon.
“At this stage I have to be sensible to avoid going to back to square
one. I’ve been really improving in the last couple of weeks so barring
slips ups I am hoping to be back soon. Best of luck with the event and
my sincerest apologies in withdrawing.”
will be keen interest on the performance of Yorkshire’s Nick Wall in
Thursday’s first round.
The 18-year-old left-hander from Sheffield played his last match as a
junior by finishing runner-up to Egypt’s Mostafa Asal in the Dunlop
British Junior Open Under-19 final in Birmingham on Sunday 6th Jan 2019.
In Thursday’s first round, he faces a tough task against the experienced
No.5 seed Mark Fuller from Nottingham.
Wall is among a group of talented young English players being mentored
by three-times world champion Nick Matthew, who has twice been
victorious on visits to Kent when the tournament began life as the
BUSY DAY: The tournament begins on Thursday with the first round
starting at 1pm, with eight matches on two courts. Between the two
sessions we will be inviting our juniors on court for some coaching with
a couple of guest professionals.
QUARTER-FINALS: From the Quarter-Finals onwards, all the action
takes place on the Picton Court. The Quarter-Finals start at 6pm on
SEMI-FINALS AND LIGHTNING ROUND: The two Semi-Finals begin at 7pm
on Friday, and will be preceded by the Lightning Round competition. This
is a fun shoot-out, with each player needing to win three points to stay
on court to take on the next challenger. The last person standing
pockets £50, so please get your names down on the board.
FINALS DAY: We will have some Coaching Clinics with some guest
professionals on Saturday before the Doubles Competition for the Colin
The Collins Jewel Women’s Challenge between rising English stars Elise
Lazarus and Jasmine Hutton begins at 5pm, followed by the Kent Open
final at 6pm. This will be followed by the presentation ceremony and
COLIN PAYNE KENT OPEN (PSA Challenger Tour 5k event) Sponsored by
Select Gaming at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club, Kent, England.
First Round Draw (seeding number in brackets).
Matches start 1pm Thursday January 10th.
(2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) v Nick Mulvey (Eng)
(7) Ben Coates (Eng) v Rohan Toole (Aus)
(5) Mark Fuller (Eng) v Nick Wall (Eng)
(4) Stuart Macgregor (Eng) v (WC) Ben Ford (Eng)
(3) Leonel Cardenas (Mex) v Charlie Cowie (Eng)
(8) Connor Sheen (Eng) v Viktor Byrtus (Cze)
(7) Miles Jenkins (Eng) v Harry Falconer (Eng)
(1) Rui Soares (Por) v Mike Harris (Eng)
Former Tunbridge Wells number one Colin Payne was a professional player
who reached the world top 50 and appeared for Kent on more than 100
occasions. He died in a domestic incident in Dartford in 2016.
He was county champion five times, won the Kent over-35 title on ten
occasions and, during the year of his death, he won the British Over-50s
Payne owned the Ripples chain of bathroom stores in Tunbridge Wells,
Reigate and Brighton.
His long-time friend Ben Ford, who is club coach at Bexley, has been
awarded the Wild Card in the draw and faces No.4 seed Stuart Macgregor
in the first round.
1: Charlie Lee (England)
2: Rui Soares (Portugal)
3: Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Belgium)
4: Leonel Cardenas (Mexico)
We also have a Women's Challenge match on Finals Day featuring rising
stars Elise Lazarus and Jaz Hutton.
Earlier on the Saturday afternoon we will have a special doubles
competition in memory of Tunbridge Wells and Kent squash legend Colin
RAFFLE: Raffle tickets will be on sale throughout the tournament and we have
some wonderful prizes, including a two-night break for two at The Spa
Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, including bed and breakfast and dinner on one
TICKETS: Viewing space is limited but you can reserve a seat here:
Looking forward to a fantastic tournament.
Here's wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New
Year. Alan Thatcher