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02/07/2012
KENT OPEN 2012
 

Straight Six For Simpson At Kent Open

Reports
  Final      Semi Finals      Quarter Finals       1st Round   
SE Leisure Kent Open 2012
The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent.
 
Round One
28/6
Quarters
29/6
Semis
30/6
Final
1/7

(1) Chris Simpson (Eng)
11-7, 11-8, 11-2 (34m)
Antoine-Camille Petrucci (Fra)

Chris Simpson
11-13, 11-3, 11-5, 11-9 (50m)
Elvinn Keo
Chris Simpson
12-10, 11-8, 11-7 (74m)
Kristian Frost
Chris Simpson
11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (45m)
Karim Ali Fathi
Elvinn Keo (Mas)
11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 13-11 (41m)
Alex Phillips (Eng)
(4) Kristian Frost (Den)
11-7, 11-9, 11-4 (48m)
Robbie Downer (Eng)
Kristian Frost
11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 (80m)
Lucas Serme
Lucas Serme (Fra)
11-7, 13-11, 11-7 (38m)
Adil Maqbool (Pak)

(3) Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10 (76m)
Anthony Graham
(Eng)

Anthony Graham
12-10, 11-8, 11-9 (60m)
Karim Ali Fathi
Karim Ali Fathi
11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (41m)
Henrik Mustonen
Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (33m)
Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
(Q) Steven London (Eng)
14-12, 11-7, 11-7 (48m)
Julien Balbo
(Fra)
Julien Balbo
11-3, 12-10, 11-5 (30m)
Henrik Mustonen
(Q) Declan James (Eng)
13-11, 11-3, 14-12 (44m)
(2) Henrik Mustonen (Fin)

Qualifying finals:

 

PSA Satellite 10 SE Leisure Kent Open,
The Mote Squash Club,
Maidstone, Kent.

Final

Straight Six For Simpson At Kent Open

England's top seed Chris Simpson produced a stylish and professional display to crush the resistance of talented young Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi to win the SE Leisure Kent Open final - and notch up his sixth PSA World Tour title in his sixth final appearance.

The world No43 from Harrogate enjoyed long spells of dominance throughout the climax of the PSA Challenger 10 event at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, England.

His immaculate length and width denied Ali Fathi the opportunity to attack with an accurate game-plan that worked to perfection.

From 0-2 down in the first game Simpson powered ahead to 8-3 and he weathered Ali Fathi's best spell of the match to win 11-8.

The 19-year-old Egyptian had entertained the packed gallery all week with some dazzling kill shots and superb drop shots but he was unable to find the openings he so desperately needed.

Simpson's intelligent tactics generated an early 5-1 lead in the second and although Ali Fathi hit back to reach 6-7, the Channel Islander took control again when it mattered to win 11-6.

The third game mirrored the first. Ali Fathi won the first two points but Simpson won six in a row to put himself in the driving seat.

Ali Fathi had a glimmer of hope at 4-6 but Simpson's next surge of points took him to match ball at 10-4. Ali Fathi refused to surrender but after two points from the Egyptian Simpson closed out the match to claim his first Kent Open title.

"I have seen Karim play all week," said Guernsey-born Simpson. "He is obviously a very dangerous player who can hit winners from a variety of positions. So my tactics were to try to keep him quiet and not let him get in front, where he is so dangerous.

"He was getting frustrated and when I saw him slow-balling down the backhand wall it was clear that he was being forced to do something he doesn't like doing.

"He likes a fast game and that's how he won his matches to get to the final. But I sensed he was getting tired and he wasn't getting forward well from the back corners if I was able to play it short.

"I'm pleased with the way I've played all week and would love to come back and defend the title next year.

"It's nice to travel the world and play on the glass court in some amazing locations, but it's great to play in small clubs like this where the gallery is full of knowledgeable squash fans every day. It creates a tremendous atmosphere.

"We have been so well looked after and all the players echo that sentiment. I had heard a lot of good things about this tournament from other players and it's all true."

Ali Fathi, who was celebrating his fourth final appearance this year, said: "After the first game my coach Phil Whitlock told me to stop hitting cross courts because Chris was picking them off. I couldn't get in front of him.

"He was too good today. After a hard week I was a bit tired today and was not moving as well as yesterday or the day before.

"Overall it was good experience for me. Before today I had won seven PSA matches in a row. That earned some ranking points. I went up to 87 this morning and I hope to go up higher next month.

"My plan now is to do six weeks of summer training to get fitter to beat players like him."

 

Semi Finals

Ali Fathi & Simpson To Contest Kent Open Climax

Unseeded Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi will face England's top seed Chris Simpson in the final of the SE Leisure Kent Open, the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, England.

Simpson powered past Kristian Frost Olesen, the No4 seed from Denmark. The 25-year-old Channel Islander, based in Harrogate, had too many answers at the front of the court after the ball spent most the time at the back.

Both players favoured drove solidly but Simpson's drop shots were more effective when openings arose at the front.

The first game was massive physical battle. Simpson led 5-1 before Frost enjoyed a solid spell of dominance that took him to 8-6. Frost was first to game ball at 10-9 but Simpson won the next three points to close out the game 12-10.

Frost again held the upper hand in the second game, leading 7-5, and then 8-6, but once again Simpson finished strongly with five points in a row to win 11-8.

In the third game Simpson advanced from 3-3 to 7-3 as Frost began to look tired. The tall Dane was forced to undergo massive court coverage as Simpson worked him long and short. Ultimately, Simpson's straight drops proved the decisive factor. He closed out the game in a professional manner to win 11-7 and book his place in the final after a fiercely-contested 74-minute encounter.

Simpson said: "I was happy with how I played today. It was a very tough match as Kristian is such a strong athlete. The ball wasn't dying at all at the front, so I tried to get control of him and work him harder than he worked me.

"By the third game I could see that this tactic had worked and he was starting to tire. Very happy to win."

Simpson faces in-form Ali Fathi, who overpowered No2 seed Henrik Mustonen in sensational fashion. Fathi has followed his triumph in Wales last week by producing three outstanding performances this week in Maidstone.

The teenager chopped Mustonen 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 in a brutal demolition job that exposed the Finn's lack of tournament practice.
Fathi said: "The only time I have played Chris was in the final of the Andy Gill Memorial Trophy in Rochdale in September. He won 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 and I was 9-7 up in all three games.

"That was before I met Phil Whitlock and I would like to think I can do better against Chris in the final. This is a good tournament for me. I was surprised that Henrik wasn't pushing up the court more because normally he is so dangerous in the front left corner. But that area was working well for me today. My game seems to suit this court."

It was a tribute to Mustonen's determination that the match lasted 41 minutes but he was clearly struggling with his movement throughout the match.

He said: "I was feeling a bit tired today and my movement was obviously affected. It was very hot on court and it was difficult to put the ball away. I haven't been playing much since March and I guess that showed today. I was defending most of the time and wasn't able to get forward to play it short. I needed to attack more but was too far off the pace."

Kristian Frost said: "I thought I played the right game to win but somehow I managed to lose. I didn't do well on the big points in the first and second games, when I was leading 8-6 and 7-5. I didn't feel confident going short because the ball is very bouncy.

"He got me moving more and that made me a big difference. Chris played his style of squash, had a good tactical plan and he stuck to it for the whole match, moving me all over the court in the process."

 

Quarter Finals

Fathi Foils Graham To Make Kent Open Semis

Young Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi is determined to upset the seedings after reaching the semi-finals of the SE Leisure Kent Open.

The 19-year-old from Cairo, who won the isquash Grand Prix title in Wales last week, outplayed English giant-killer Anthony Graham to become the only unseeded player to reach the last four of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, England.

Graham, the 22-year-old from Gloucestershire who knocked out No3 seed Mark Krajcsak the previous day, was beaten by the accuracy of by Ali Fathi's winners at the front of the court.

In addition to some outstanding drop shots, the Egyptian teenager also unleashed some powerful straight kills that found the nick. His 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 victory came after 60 minutes of high-quality, inventive squash.

Fathi's semi-final opponent, No2 seed Henrik Mustonen, spent exactly half that time on court as he overwhelmed his French adversary Julien Balbo.

The world No52 from Finland is a smooth mover around the court and had all the answers when it came to retrieving Balbo's best shots and placing winners beyond his opponent's reach.

Top seed Chris Simpson beat Malaysian Elvinn Keo in four games and is looking forward to a tough battle with Denmark's Kristian Frost Olesen, who battled past another Frenchman, Lucas Serme, in a brutal 80-minute encounter.

Englishman Simpson let the first game slip after leading 10-6, but tightened up to win the next three.

"It was a tough match," said the Harrogate-based Channel Islander. "He was game ball down in the first and from then on he played some really good winners. After that I decided I had to make him work hard and put some work into his legs. And this worked for the next few games.

"I think there will be some long, hard matches this week as it's very hot and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's match," added world No43 Simpson.

Frost enjoyed a stroke of good fortune as he served for the match against Serme. Having reached match ball with a spectacular volley kill off the serve at 9-9, Frost served behind his opponent's back and the ball struck Serme's racket and spun to the floor.

 

1st Round Report From Alan Thatcher
 

Graham Grinds Down No: 3 Seed In Kent

Englandís Anthony Graham overcame No.3 seed Mark Krajcsak to reach the quarter-finals of the SE Leisure Kent Open after a pulsating battle at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone.

Graham wasted a match ball at 10-9 in the fourth and survived one himself in the fifth before triumphing  7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10 after 76 minutes of brutal squash.

The 22-year-old Graham, ranked 103 in the world, matched the Hungarian number one throughout the match for inventiveness and power, gaining great dividends from some deft drop shots on both sides of the court.

Krajcsak, the world No.54, led throughout the fifth game and finally reached match ball at 10-8, but Graham refused to give in and reeled off the final four points to book a quarter-final clash against talented Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi, who beat Birmingham-based Jaymie Haycocks in straight games.

Top seed Chris Simpson meets Malaysian Elvinn Keo in the quarter-finals.  

Simpson, the 25-year-old world No.43 based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, finished strongly to beat a tiring Antoine-Camille Petrucci of France. Simpson completed his victory with an 11-2 scoreline in the third game as his opponentís energy levels dropped in the heat.

The first two games were close but Petrucci hit the tin too many times when set up for a drop shot.

Simpson looked comfortable throughout and his colourful shorts added a Beach Boys feeling to the opening match.

Keo overcame Alex Phillips in a very entertaining match, with the Malaysian squeezing home 13-11 on a tiebreak after four close games.   

Lucas Serme (France) overcame Adil Magbool in straight games to clinch a quarter-final place against Danish No.1 Kristian Frost.  The Dubai-based Pakistani was left reflecting on a moment of sportsmanship that backfired when he refused to take a penalty point at game ball in the second game after striking his opponent.

Maqbool had fought back from 5-2 down to lead 11-10 but a relieved and grateful Serme edged home 13-11.

Magbool led 4-1 in the third game but Serme stepped up the pressure and played tighter squash as Maqboolís challenge faded in the heat of a balmy Kentish evening.

There was plenty of barmy squash next on Court One as Kristian Frost overcame wild card Robbie Downer in a hard-hitting contest that posed plenty of challenging questions for referee Ian McKenzie.

From 3-3 in the first, Frost moved ahead to 7-4 and maintained his advantage to close out the game.

Downer hit back in the second but squandered an 8-4 lead as Frost fought back in determined fashion after both players disputed the legality of a boast from the Dane.

Frost won six points in a row and although Downer grabbed another point he had lost the decisive momentum. Frost clinched the game 11-9 and from 3-2 down in the third he regained the same control to win the third 11-4.

Declan James, the English and European Under-19 champion, battled bravely against No.2 seed Henrik Mustonen. James, from Nottingham, lost two close tiebreaks in the first and third games as the Finnish world No.52 triumped 12-10, 11-4, 14-12 in 44 minutes.

Mustonen meets Julien Balbo, the third French player in the main draw, who beat Kentís Steven London 14-12, 11-7, 11-7 in 48 minutes.