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Richards Celebrates Maiden PSA Tour Title At Hithercroft

Hithercroft Open 2008
Oxfordshire, England, 27 May - 01 Jun, $10k
Round One
[1] Tom Richards (Eng)
11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (21m)
[Q] Olly Pett (Eng)
Tom Richards
11-2, 11-4, 11-9 (33m)
Morten Sorensen
Tom Richards
8-11, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7, 11-6
Ben Ford
Tom Richards
11-3, 9-11, 11-0, 11-6 (44m)
Scott Handley
[7] Morten Sorensen (Den)
11-6, 11-10 (2-0), 5-11, 11-2 (52m)
James Snell (Eng)
[LL] Chris Truswell (Eng)
11-7, 11-9, 11-1 (32m)
Arthur Gaskin (Irl)
Arthur Gaskin
6-11, 11-10 (4-2), 11-9, 9-11, 11-8
Ben Ford
[5] Ben Ford (Eng)
11-8, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8 (43m)
Siddarth Suchde (Ind)
Ryan Thompson (Nam)
11-7, 11-6, 10-11 (0-2), 11-5 (68m)
[8] David Vidal (Esp)
David Vidal
11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6
Scott Handley
Scott Handley
11-4, 7-11, 11-10 (3-1), 10-11 (0-2), 11-9
Mohamed El Shorbagy
[Q] Tom Pashley (Eng)
9-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (45m)
[3] Scott Handley (Eng)
[Q] Joe Lee (Eng)
11-10 (4-2), 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 (54m)
[6] Rob Sutherland (Wal)
Joe Lee
11-9, 11-9, 11-6
Mohamed El Shorbagy
[Q] Lewis Walters (Eng)
9-11, 11-1, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 (60m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)

28-May, Qualifying Finals
Lewis Walters bt Joan Lezaud 11/7, 11/9, 10/12, 11/7 (77m)
Joe Lee bt Darren Lewis 9/11, 11/9, 11/2, 11/5 (44m)
Tom Pashley bt Jason Barry 11/6, 11/7, 7/11, 11/1 (40m)
Olivier Pett bt Chris Truswell 11/4, 8/11, 11/2, 11/5 (34m)

27-May, Qualifying Round One
Joan Lezaud (Fra) bt Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 12/10, 11/8, 5/11, 19/17 (75m)
Lewis Walters (Eng) bt Phil Nightingale (Eng) 7/11, 11/4, 11/5, 9/11, 12/10 (70m)
Darren Lewis (Eng) bt Eddie Charlton (Eng) 11/9, 11/8, 2/11, 12/10 (58m)
Joe Lee (Eng) bt Lewys Hurst (Wal) 11/6, 11/8, 11/7 (38m)
Jason Barry (Rsa) bt David Barnett (Eng) 11/9/ 11/6, 8/11, 11/2 (45m)
Tom Pashley (Eng) bt Fabien Verseille (Fra) 11/9, 3/11, 12/10, 11/6 (45m)
Chris Truswell (Eng) bt Paul Johnson (Eng) 11/3, 11/7, 11/7 (18m)
Olivier Pett (Eng) bt Stuart Crawford (Sco) 11/9, 9/11, 9/11, 11/8, 11/9 (60m)

Richards Celebrates Maiden PSA Tour Title At Hithercroft

Tom Richards celebrated the maiden PSA Tour title of his career when he beat fellow Englishman Scott Handley in the final of the Hithercroft Open, the $10,000 squash event in its third year in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire.

Richards has been enjoying an impressive return to form since undergoing knee surgery just over a year ago.  The 21-year-old from Walton-on-Thames in Surrey dropped more than 60 places in the world ranking while out of action - and moved back to within ten positions of his career-high 54th position before qualifying for the British Open for the first time last month.

The event favourite took the opening game, but third seed Handley - the 33-year-old local hero who was celebrating his first appearance in the final at his third attempt after upsetting second-seeded Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy in the previous round - fought back to take the second.

But the surprise five-game semi-final win had clearly taken its toll on Wallingford-based Handley as Richards romped through to his historic 11-3, 9-11, 11-0, 11-6 Hithercroft win in 44 minutes.


Third Time Lucky For Local Hero Handley At Hithercroft

It was third time lucky for Scott Handley when the Oxfordshire squash star upset second seed Mohamed El Shorbagy in the semi-finals of the Hithercroft Open to reach the final of the $10,000 PSA Tour event in its third year in his home town of Wallingford in England for the first time.

A quarter-finalist in 2006 and semi-finalist last year, third seed Handley was determined to maintain his progress in the third staging of the event at his home club.

But El Shorbagy, a 17-year-old Egyptian studying at
Millfield School in the UK, was also eager to make the first PSA Tour final of his brief career. 

It was a marathon encounter - but the experienced 33-year-old 'underdog' withstood a saved match ball in the fourth game to go on to record a popular 11-4, 7-11, 11-10 (3-1), 10-11 (0-2), 11-9 victory, and a place in the 15th Tour final of his career.

Handley will face Tom Richards in the event's first all-English final.  But Richards, the top seed from Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, was also taken the full distance in the other semi, ultimately prevailing 8-11, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7, 11-6 over compatriot Ben Ford, the fifth seed from

Richards, 21, is celebrating his second appearance in a Tour final - but looking for his maiden success.

Home Hero Handley Makes It Into Hithercroft Semis

Oxfordshire squash star Scott Handley delighted local supporters at the Hithercroft Open when he fought through to the semi-finals of the $10,000 PSA Tour event in its third year in his home town of
Wallingford in England.

The 33-year-old third seed defeated eighth seed David Vidal, from Spain, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6 - and will now face second seed Mohamed El Shorbagy after the 17-year-old Egyptian ended English qualifier Joe Lee's brave run.

The other semi-final will be an all-English affair between favourite Tom Richards and fifth seed Ben Ford. Richards, from Surrey, beat Denmark's Morten W Sorensen 11-2, 11-4, 11-9, while Ford, from Kent, needed five games to overcome unseeded Irishman Arthur Gaskin 6-11, 11-10 (4-2), 11-9, 9-11, 11-8.

Lee Leaps Into Hithercroft Quarters

English qualifier Joe Lee produced a notable upset in the first round of the Hithercroft Open when he ousted sixth-seeded Welshman Rob Sutherland to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the $10,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire.

Lee, the 18-year-old British Junior champion from Surrey, battled for 54 minutes to overcome Sutherland - ranked almost 40 places higher in the world - 11-10 (4-2), 11-9, 6-11, 11-8.

The Walton-on-Thames teenager now faces Mohamed El Shorbagy - but the second seed from Egypt was taken the full distance by Lewis Walters before beating the English qualifier from Nottingham 9-11, 11-1, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 60 minutes.

Top seed Tom Richards successfully began his bid to reach his expected place in the final when he despatched fellow Englishman Olivier Pett in just 21 minutes. The 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 victory takes Richards, 21, also from Walton-on-Thames, to a quarter-final clash with
Denmark's seventh seed Morten W Sorensen.

English Clean Sweep In Hithercroft Qualifiers

There will be home interest in all but one match in the first round of the Hithercroft Open after Englishmen claimed all four places qualifying places in the $10,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire.

Lewis Walters survived the longest battle, beating Frenchman Joan Lezaud 11-7, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7 in 77 minutes. The 20-year-old from Nottingham will now face Egypt's rising star Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 17-year-old second seed from Alexandria who trains in the UK under Jonah Barrington at Millfield School in Somerset.

Joe Lee became the youngest qualifier. The 18-year-old British Junior champion from Surrey beat compatriot Darren Lewis 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 and will now line up against Welshman Rob Sutherland, the sixth seed.

The last-minute withdrawal of Dutchman Tom Hoevenaars, the fourth seed, opened the way for lucky loser Chris Truswell to claim a place in the first round. The 23-year-old from
Birmingham will take on Irish international Arthur Gaskin.