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Kent Open 2019

 Previews   History   Schedule
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Kent Open 2019
 10 - 12 Jan
Kent, England, $5.5k

10 JAN
10 DEC
11 DEC
12 DEC
[2] Jan Van Den Herrewegen (BEL)
11-6, 11-7 ( 28m)
Nick Mulvey (ENG)
Jan Van Den Herrewegen
11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (22m)
Ben Coates
Jan Van Den Herrewegen
11/3, 11/3, 11/8 (24m)
Stuart Macgregor
Jan Van Den Herrewegen
9-11, 11-9, 11-4,
9-11, 11-5 (76m)
Rui Soares
[7] Ben Coates (ENG)
7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-15, 11-6 (50m)
Rohan Toole (AUS)
[6] Mark Fuller (ENG)
11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 (44m)
Nick Wall (ENG)
Nick Wall
11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 (51m)
Stuart Macgregor
[4] Stuart Macgregor (ENG)
11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3 (49m)
[wc] Ben Ford (ENG)
[3] Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (26m)
Charlie Cowie (ENG)
Leonel Cardenas
11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (29m)
Connor Sheen
Connor Sheen
11/5, 15/13, 1/11, 11/8 (45m)
Rui Soares
Viktor Byrtus (CZE)
7-11, 6-11, 15-13, 11-9, 11-6 (51m)
8] Connor Sheen (ENG)
[7] Miles Jenkins (ENG)
7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (57m)
Harry Falconer (ENG)
Miles Jenkins
11-6, 11-0, 11-7 (19m)
Rui Soares
Mike Harris (ENG)
11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (26m)
[1] Rui Soares (POR)


Jan The Man In Kent Open Final
Report By Alan Thatcher,
Photographs Courtesy Of Artyom Liss

Jan 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.

After a 14-minute break for treatment, he returned to wrap up the opening game.

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.

In 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.

“This 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, 13-11, 11-7.


Top Seeds To Contest Kent Open Final
Report By Alan Thatcher,
Photographs Courtesy Of Artyom Liss

Top 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.

In 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.

Cardenas 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.

However, 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.


He 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 exhausted.”


Nick Hits The Wall After Brutal Week On Court
Report By Alan Thatcher,
Photographs Courtesy Of Artyom Liss

Rising 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 serious damage.

Macgregor 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.”

The 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 Miles Jenkins.

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.”

Soares tackles talented Mexican Leonel Cardenas in the semi-finals, while Belgian Herrewegen meets his Birmingham training partner Macgregor.


Images Courtesy Of Artyom Liss

Previews (Click on Images for larger view)

Top Seed Lee Withdraws Because Of Illness

January 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.

Belgium 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.”

There 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 Maidstone Open.


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 Thursday.

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 Payne Shield.

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 tournament party.

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)

Remembering Colin Payne

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 Championship.

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.

Email: alan@squashmad.com 

Kent Open Top four seeds
Courtesy of Alan Thatcher

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 Payne.

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 night.

Viewing space is limited but you can reserve a seat here: Tickets

Looking forward to a fantastic tournament.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Alan Thatcher
Click Poster for large PDF version




Joel Makin (Wales) beat Josh Masters (England)
11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (37 minutes)

Tom Ford (England) beat Joel Makin (Wales)
8-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9 (83 minutes)

Charles Sharpes (England) beat (Q) George Parker (England)
11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10 (74 mins)

Jonathan Kemp (England) beat Steve Finitsis (Australia)
13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 (60 minutes)

Jonathan Kemp (England) beat Adrian Waller (England)
11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 (48 minutes)

Chris Simpson (England) beat Karim Ali Fathi (Egypt)
11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (45 minutes)

Chris Ryder (England) beat Max Lee (Hong Kong)
11-9, 16-18, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4 (121 minutes)

Alan Clyne (Scotland) beat Jonathan Harford (England)
11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (35 minutes)

Invitation Tournament:
Chris Ryder (England) beat Aaron Frankcomb (Australia)
11-13, 13-11, 11-2, 11-6 (82 minutes)



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