Nick Matthew Academy,
City Open, Sheffield, England
Makes it Four in a Row at Steel City Open
World No.46 Declan James claimed an incredible fourth successive PSA
World Tour title with a dramatic 3-2 victory over fellow Englishman
George Parker in the final of the Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel
City Open, PSA M10 tournament.
Nottingham-born James came through a gruelling five-game-thriller with
compatriot Richie Fallows in the semi-final while Parker caused a big
upset in his last four clash, coming back from a two-game deficit to
down second seed Jaymie Haycocks.
James took the opener 11-8 in a highly-charged first game which
delighted the gathered spectators at the Hallamshire Tennis and Squash
Club but Parker, who was celebrating breaking into the world's top 100,
battled back impressively to restore parity.
World No.98 Parker then took a surprise lead in the third as an exciting
game finished with an 11-8 result in the number seven seed's favour.
James, who is in the midst of some of his greatest ever form, amassed
three game balls in game four but Parker showed great tenacity as he
drew level. A number of mammoth rallies then played out with James
narrowly winning 14-12 to send the match into a climactic fifth game.
An absorbing start saw the game finely poised at 5-5 but top seed James
pulled away to seal an 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-6 victory, bringing a
stunning spectacle to an end and lifting his eighth PSA World Tour crown
in the process.
“It was a brutal final against George today,” said James.
“I just managed to come out on top at the end but was made to work
seriously hard for it. It was a good fight.”
No.130 Jan van den Herrewegen upset number eight seed Chris Fuller in
the opening round of the Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel City
Open, PSA M10 event after a dramatic five game affair.
The Belgian, who reached his first ever PSA World Tour final at the BDO
Northfield Cup last week, went a game down to his opponent early on
before recovering to take a 2-1 lead. After being swept aside in the
fourth game by Fuller, it appeared van den Herrewegen would capitulate
but he pressed on with renewed strength in game five to secure a 9-11,
11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 triumph.
He will go up against 20-year-old Englishman Richie Fallows in the
quarter-final after the number three seed earned a hard-fought 3-1
victory over wildcard and close friend Ashley Davies with all four games
going to a 12-10 tie-break.
Declan James kicked off his assault for a fourth consecutive PSA World
Tour title with a win as he defeated compatriot Ben Ford in four. He
goes up against James Earles in the next round thanks to the number five
seed’s victory over Israel’s Daniel Poleshchuk.
Second seed Jaymie Haycocks will also participate in the last eight with
a 3-0 triumph against Douglas Kempsell paving the way for his
progression. The Shrewsbury-born 31-year-old will line up against
Matthew Hopkin, who beat Ismail Rauf, in the quarter-final.
Meanwhile, Joel Hinds and XVI Trofeu Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona
winner George Parker will face off in the next round after they scored
victories over Lyell Fuller and Ahmad Al-Saraj, respectively.