FLying Scot Clyne Claims
By Alan Thatcher
Kent Open final: (1) Alan Clyne (Scotland) beat (Q) Jonathan Harford
(England) 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (35 minutes).
Top seed Alan Clyne powered home to the
$10,000 Kent Open title with a straight-games victory over surprise finalist
Clyne won 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 in 35 minutes,
finishing strongly in the first and third games and totally dominating the
second to win the inaugural PSA One Star tournament held at The Mote Squash Club
in Maidstone, England.
The 23-year-old world No.62 from Edinburgh
was in control throughout most of the match, using his incredible speed and
court coverage to counter any attacking moves from the tall Englishman who had
enjoyed a walkover into the final following the withdrawal through illness of
No.3 seed John Rooney.
Clyne dominated the front half of the court
and whenever Harford played anything loose or short, the Scotsman pounced on the
ball and won a succession of points with his trademark killer drop shots.
Clyne's composure at the business end of
games was obvious. From 6-6 in the first game he tightened up to win four points
in a row and although Harford countered with two stunning winners, Clyne had no
trouble in seeing out the game.
In hot, humid conditions, both players were
literally dripping with sweat as the second game started and Harford was unable
to withstand the ferocious barrage of front-court winners flowing from the
The game was over in five minutes and the
crowd were willing Harford to prolong the match.
He responded solidly and fought hard in the
third game, but he was unable to build on his 8-5 lead as Clyne regained control
to win six points in a row to claim the title.
A delighted Clyne said: "I was very pleased
with the way I played all week. The courts here at The Mote are excellent and
everyone at the club made us very welcome. It's always great to see new
tournaments added to the calendar and I am sure all the players will look
forward to coming back next year."
Runner-up Harford was pleased to claim some
valuable points to help his climb back up the PSA rankings following a hip
operation. He said: "Alan played a fantastic game and I couldn't get near him
today.He was absolutely awesome at the front of the court.
"I would like to thank The Mote Squash Club
and the Kent SRA for giving me a local spot in qualifying. It has really helped
me to get back into the game. I can only endorse what Alan said about the
hospitality at this club and the players are all grateful for the way they have
been looked after. It's been a great tournament."
CLyne Fightback Cliches Place In Final
By Alan Thatcher
Top seed Alan Clyne fought back from two games
down to beat Dutchman Piedro Schweertman in the semi-finals of the Kent Open.
The Scottish No.1 won 6-11, 11-13, 11-1, 11-8,
12-10 in 69 minutes of high quality squash that delighted a packed gallery at
The Mote Squash Club in Kent.
The entertainment value served up by both players
more than made up for the earlier disappointment of the sudden withdrawal of
No.3 seed John Rooney, who went down with food poisoning overnight after a
Chinese meal with his family and friends in London.
That presented qualifier Jonny Harford with a
walkover into the final and the prospect of picking up some valuable ranking
points as he bids to climb back up the PSA world ladder after several months out
with a hip injury.
Clyne will obviously be favourite to become the
first winner of this new $10,000 PSA One Star tournament but Harford was
delighted to watch Clyne and Schweertman make such a massive physical investment
in the semi-final.
The No.6 seed from Amsterdam lost in straight
games to Clyne when they met in the recent final of the West of Ireland open.
This time he began strongly to take the first game and hit back from 8-4 down to
win the second 13-11 on a tiebreak.
However, that phenomenal effort clearly took its
toll as he tired in the second game. It looked like Clyne might achieve a rare
11-0 whitewash until the Dutchman scrambled a point on game ball.
If Schweertman was taking a tactical rest it
clearly had the desired effect as he opened up an 8-5 lead in the fourth game.
He then showed commendable sportsmanship as he called his own shot down just
three points away from victory.
Clyne responded in magnificent style, reeling off
six points in a row to make the scores level at two games all.
The fifth game was a classic mixture of skill and
attrition as both players fought to a standstill. Clyne won the first three
points but Schweertman drew level and then moved ahead at 6-5. Clyne then won
four points in a row but Schweertman turned the tables to reach match ball at
Both players attacked throughout and a succession
of devastating winners were matched by some spectacular retrieving.
Staring defeat in the face, Clyne once again
showed his phenomenal powers of recovery to force a tiebreak and win the next
two points to clinch victory.
The final will provide a massive contrast in
styles, with the tall, hard-hitting Harford seeking to overpower one of the
fastest and best retrivers in the game who posesses a killer drop shot.
Top Seed Clyne Powers Home In Kent
Top seed Alan Clyne was too fast and too accurate for young Malaysian Ivan Yuen,
completing a clean sweep of straight-game results in the quarter-finals of the
Kent Open, a new $10,000 One Star event on the PSA World Tour taking place at
The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent.
Clyne won 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 in 35 minutes to confirm his
status as the tournament favourite. From 3-1 down in the opening game he
dominated throughout, never allowing his opponent to put more than two points
together as he controlled the scoreboard.
Clyne has one of the best counter-drops in the game and
showed that as he nullified the Malaysian's touch play at the front of the
He now takes on tough Dutchman Piedro Schweertman, who
produced a performance of power and precision to overcome England's No.4 seed
Lee lost a tight first game and will be kicking himself
for blowing a
6-2 lead in the second.
Schweertman maintained his ice-cool composure to
dominate the third game but he will need to repeat that form to trouble Clyne,
who beat him in straight games in the recent final of the West of Ireland Open
Jonny Harford outplayed his Birmingham housemate Chris
Truswell to reach the semi-finals. In the battle of two qualifiers, Harford was
always the more consistent player, mixing accurate drops with tight, deep drives
to clinch a deserved victory which gives him bragging rights in the Birmingham
suburb of Edgbaston.
Harford, who beat No.2 seed Muhamed Asyraf Azan in the
first round, meets John Rooney in the semi-finals after the Irish No.3 seed beat
Kent veteran Ben Ford.
Ford, the Kent captain and county coach, began strongly
and opened up an
8-3 lead before Rooney began to work his way into the
match, amazingly winning eight points in row to take the opening game 11-8.
Ford won the first two points of the second game but
again Rooney countered strongly to lead 7-2. This time it was Ford's turn to
fight back and a run of five points brought him level at 7-7. Again the score
see-sawed and Rooney bagged the next three points to reach game ball. He
clinched the game 11-8 and Ford was facing a tough challnge getting back into
The third game was level pegging until 7-7 when Rooney
won four of the neext five points to clinch his place in the last four.
As Housemates Clean Up In Kent Open
housemates Jonathan Harford and Chris Truswell, both qualifiers,
will meet each other in the quarter-finals of the Kent Open after
knocking out two of the top seeds in this new $10,000 PSA World Tour
squash event at the Mote Squash Club in Maidstone in the English
county of Kent.
produced a storming performance to remove Malaysia's No2 seed Muhd Asyraf
Azan, ranked more than 160 places higher, while Truswell finished strongly
to oust No7 seed Harinder Pal Sandhu, from India, in a thrilling
The pair both
emerged from the qualifying competition to delight the packed galleries with
their stunning victories at The Mote Club.
ranked 59 in the world, Harford has seen his PSA ranking slump to 236 following
a long injury lay-off. But the 26-year-old was clearly back on top form as he
outplayed world No64 Azan 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 65 minutes.
25-year-old world No 137, was in a similarly inspired mood to achieve a notable
victory against Sandhu, who is ranked 47 places above him in the world list.
Truswell hit back from 2/1 down to win 8-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 in 54
third housemate, British Under-23 champion Joel Hinds, failed to make it
a hat-trick as he fell to top seed Alan Clyne. Hinds fell away after a
promising start as Scotland's world No62 clinched a fourth game tie-break to win
4-11, 11-8, 11-2, 12-10 in 53 minutes.
Clyne will face fifth-seeded Malaysian Ivan Yuen in what is sure to be a
high-speed encounter. Yuen had too much guile and control as he nullified the
hard-hitting Egyptian Karim AGA Samy, winning 11-3, 12-10, 11-4 in 28
Egyptian to exit was the hugely-talented qualifier Wael Farag, who
mounted fierce resistance before falling to sixth seed Piedro Schweertman.
The Dutchman combined ferocious power with sublime touch to triumph 11-9, 8-11,
11-5, 14-12 in 46 minutes.
now meets 20-year-old rising England star Joe Lee, the No4 seed from
Surrey who beat fellow Englishman Neil Hitchens in four games.
the 34-year-old Kent county captain, enjoyed massive vocal support from his home
crowd as he beat Sussex qualifier Tom Pashley in four games. Ford now
meets 30-year-old No3 seed John Rooney, who ended the hopes of Kent wild
card Steven London with a straight-games victory in 28 minutes.
Pash And Grab Tiebreak
Wins It For Tom
By Alan Thatcher
Tom Pashley fought back from match ball
down to win a dramatic fifth-game tiebreak in the qualifying finals against
fellow Englishman Mark Fuller to clinch his place in the first round of the Kent
Open, a new $10,000 One Star event on the PSA World Tour taking place at The
Mote Squash Club in Maidstone.
Pashley, a 22-year-old left hander based in
Halifax, clinched victory 12-10 after 54 minutes of high quality squash and was
rewarded with a place in the main draw against Kent veteran Ben Ford, the No.8
Pashley won the opening game in emphatic
style but the determined Fuller hit back to win the next two games to threaten a
shock victory. However, Pashley regained control to win the fourth and take the
match into a fifth-game decider. The score was neck and neck until 6-6, at which
point Fuller got his nose in front and held match ball at 10-9. But he was
unable to finish the job off and Pashley came back to win the final three
Pashley's victory was the longest of the
qualifying finals, while Yorkshire neighbour Chris Truswell, who is based in
Leeds, achieved the quickest victory of the night, overcoming Issa Kamara of
Sierra Leone in just 19 minutes. He will be looking forward to a high-speed
contest against India's No.7 seed Harinderpal Sandhu.
Talented Egyptian Wael Farag was happy to
play a waiting game as he nullified the threat of tall Surrey player Phil
Nightingale, winning in straight games to line up a first round clash with Dutch
No.2 Piedro Schweertman.
England's Jonny Harford continued his
return to form after a prolonged absence through injury by beating Ireland's
Arthur Gaskin in a match of astonishing contrasts. Gaskin led the opening game
6-0 before Harford registered his first point, but gradually the tide turned.
Although Gaskin won that game 11-6, Harford gradually took control to win the
next three games 11-6, 11-2, 11-0 to book a place in the first round against
Malaysia's No.2 seed Muhamed Asyraf Azan.
Junior James Shines In
James Evans, at 14 years and six months one
of the youngest players ever to appear in a PSA World Tour event, came close to
recording a shock victory in the qualifying round of the Kent Open.
Playing at his home club, The Mote Squash
Club in Maidstone, Evans showed flashes of attacking genius as he made Issa
Kamara fight all the way to book a place in the qualifying finals of this new
One Star event on the PSA calendar.
Kamara, the 31-year-old from Sierra Leone,
was relieved to win 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 in four close games and paid tribute
to his young opponent.
He said: “I played James in Kent back in
January and was happy to win
3-1 that day as well. He has come on so
much since then and I was surprised at how much his attacking game has
developed. He was hitting nicks from all over the court.”
Evans, who recently made a winning debut
for the England Under-15 squad, trains at The Mote with some bloke whose name
escapes me at the moment.
The youngster was delighted to play in a
major world-ranking event and
said: “It was a great experience to play in
my first PSA tournament and I was very happy with how I played. I didn’t make
too many mistakes. I was away at an outward bound camp all last week with my
school and because of a hamstring injury I haven’t picked up a racket for two
weeks so I know I can do a little bit better than that.”
Kamara, who is now based in Turkey, faces
England’s Chris Truswell in today’s qualifying finals. The Leeds-based Truswell
took 55 minutes to beat Namibia’s Ryan Thompson in the longest match of the
evening, his 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 victory lasting 55 minutes.
Top qualifying seed Tom Pashley, another
Yorkshire-based player from Halifax, beat 19-year-old Ben Coleman from Essex in
straight games to clinch a qualifying final berth against Mark Fuller. The
25-year-old from Nottingham beat the higher-ranked Neil Cordell from York in
just 25 minutes.
There were quick wins for Egypt’s Wael
Farag and Ireland’s Arthur Gaskin against Kent players Jonny Powell and Neil
Baker. Farag meets Phil Nightingale, who overpowered Russian No.1 Sergey
Severinov, and Gaskin faces Jonny Harford, who squeezed home 11-9 in the first
game against Holland’s Bart Ravelli before powering through the next two games
for the loss of just three points.
Scottish Star Clyne Is
FLYING Scot Alan Clyne is the top
seed for the forthcoming Kent Open at The Mote Squash Club.
Clyne is one of the fastest and
fittest players on the PSA Tour and heads up a truly international field in this
new One Star world-ranking tournament, which runs from June 1-6.
The 23-year-old from Edinburgh was
a semi-finalist in The Mote Open invitation event last year, showing his
enormous potential in a narrow defeat to Australia’s Aaron Frankcomb in a
marathon two-hour battle.
Clyne faces a tough battle in the
first round against England’s Joel Hinds, the recent winner of the British
Kent county captain Ben Ford, from
Bexley, is seeded eight and plays a qualifier in the first round on June 3.
Wild card Steven London, from
Beckenham, faces a baptism of fire in his first PSA tournament against Irish
No.1 John Rooney, the No.3 seed.
After Clyne, the leading seeds
include Muhammad Azan (Malaysia), Joe Lee (England), Ivan Yuen (Malaysia),
Piedro Schweertman (Holland) and Harinder Pal Sandhu (India).
Leading Mote players Jonny Powell
and James Evans, plus Rodmersham’s Neil Baker, will be keen to make an
impression during the qualifying competition which takes place on June 1-2.
Admission is free all week at The
Mote and the tournament follows the Kent Squash Festival, which has been running
for several weeks and has introduced squash and racketball to students at more
than 20 schools all over the county.
The Festival and the Kent Open have
been funded by England Squash and Racketball, with additional sponsorship from
Harrow Rackets and a number of private donations.
Tournament Director Alan Thatcher
said: “We are delighted to have attracted such a high-quality field and our
ambition is to make the Kent Open a major annual event on the world squash
“The courts at The Mote are in
superb condition after a major refurbishment and we look forward to seeing a
packed gallery for six days of superb entertainment.”
Ahead of the main draw final on
June 6, the successful Kent junior squad will be playing a Challenge Match
against the SE Region.
The finals weekend will also
include doubles, racketball, coaching clinics and a Radar Gun Challenge to see
if any players can get near to the current world record of 172mph set by
Scotland’s John White.
details on the Kent SRA website: