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Guernsey's Simpson Takes Jersey Title

Jersey Classic 2013
10-13 May, Jersey, $10k
Round One
11 May  14.00-19.15
12 May
12 May
13 May
[1] Chris Simpson (Ggy)
 11/5, 11/4, 13/11 (41m)
Nathan Lake (Eng)
Chris Simpson
11/7, 11/5, 11/4 (25m)
Rory Pennell
Chris Simpson
11/4, 11/7, 11/6 (50m)
Steve Finitsis
Chris Simpson 
11-2, 11-7, 11-6 (44m)
Charles Sharpes
Alex Ingham (Eng)
   14/12, 4/11, 12/10, 11/4 (58m)
[Q] Rory Pennell (Eng)
Johan Bouquet (Fra)
11/13, 12/10, 11/2, 11/13, 11/6 (70m)
[Q] Youssef Abdalla (Eng)
Johan Bouquet
11/4, 11/3, 11/6 (22m)
Steve Finitsis
[4] Steve Finitsis (Aus)
11/7, 11/5, 11/7 (38m)
[Q] David Haley (Wal)
Kevin Moran (Sco)
11/5, 8/11, 11/4, 5/11, 11/3 (64m)
[3] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
Charles Sharpes
11/6, 11/6, 13/11 (53m)
Aqeel Rehman
Charles Sharpes
11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (49m)
 Omar Abdel Aziz
Aqeel Rehman (Aut)
8/11, 11/2, 11/5, 11/7 (58m)
[Q] Dougie Kempsell (Sco)
Arthur Gaskin (Irl)
 12/10, 11/4, 11/9 (41m)
Matt Sidaway (Eng)
Arthur Gaskin
11/7, 11/2, 11/7 (34m)
Omar Abdel Aziz
Alex Phillips (Eng)
13/11, 7/11, 11/4, 11/4 (36m)
[2] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)

Guernsey's Simpson Takes Jersey Title

Chris Simpson, the top seed from neighbouring Guernsey, became the first winner of the Jersey Squash Classic after a hard-fought victory over fellow Englishman Charles Sharpes in the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at the Jersey Squash & Racketball Club in St Clement, Jersey.

The world No26 was quickly out of the blocks, taking the first game 11-2. That scoreline was a little flattering though, as Sharpes, five years younger and ranked almost 50 positions lower, competed strongly in the 11-minute game that featured many tough rallies. It was Simpson though who was able to capitalise on anything loose, punching away several crisp low volleys on his way to taking the lead.

The second game followed a similar pattern, but Sharpes was keeping the ball tighter and Simpson was unable to find as many opportunities to punish his compatriot. The scores were level pegging until Simpson managed to pull away from 7-6, taking four points in a row to double his advantage after 14 minutes.

The third started off evenly, but again it was Simpson who accelerated away, this time from three-all through to 7-3. Sharpes managed to get three points back but Simpson took the final four points in quick succession to claim the title after 44 minutes of play.

"I came out pretty sharp and steamrollered the first," said a delighted Simpson. "But I knew it couldn't last, we'd had a lot of tough rallies up and down the walls. Sure enough the next two were tougher. It was hard work trying to keep him behind me as much as I could, but I knew I had to try to do something to open up the court when I got the chance.

"It was a physically hard match, and I was getting a bit edgy in the third, I'm glad I managed to pull clear and at the end I think he started to feel the tough matches he'd had earlier on.

"This has been a great tournament, the organisation and atmosphere has been the best I've seen for an event this size, so thanks to Nick (Taylor) and everyone who helped put it on and I hope to be back to defend the title next year!"

The success marks the seventh PSA Tour title of Simpson's career.

Sharpes, the event's third seed who made his breakthrough in the semi-finals where he removed second-seeded Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz, was pleased with his performance: "It's been a good tournament for me, I wasn't seeded to get to the final but I did start to feel those earlier tough matches towards the end.

"The tournament has been fantastic, it's a credit to everyone involved and to Jersey and its squash community," added the 21-year-old world No73 from Surrey.


Sharpes Shocks Aziz In Jersey Classic

Charles Sharpes stunned Egypt's second seed Omar Abdel Aziz in today's semi-finals of the Jersey Squash Classic to ensure an English winner of the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at the Jersey Squash & Racketball Club in St Clement, Jersey.

The third seed from Surrey will take on Chris Simpson, the favourite from Guernsey.

Aziz, who had won his afternoon quarter-final in about half the time it took Sharpes to progress, was unable to dominate his opponent.

Sharpes - ranked almost 40 places below the Egyptian - played steady, solid squash, going for shots when he could but never as often as the Egyptian. The London-born 21-year-old took advantage of Aziz errors in the first game to establish an 8-5 lead. Aziz won a huge rally to level at nine-all, but it was the English underdog who took the next two points to take the lead.

Sharpes was always ahead during the next two games - the world No36 from Cairo's best efforts falling short as the third seed delightedly clinched a place in the final, winning the match 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 in 49 minutes.

"As a top 30 player he's very experienced and has some great shots," said Sharpes. "But I was really happy with how I managed to contain him and I'm so pleased to get through to the final, especially in three games.

"Tournaments like this are great for giving us the chance to play people like Omar and Chris so thanks to everyone involved for putting it on," added Sharpes, now in his sixth Tour final, but his first for more than a year.

Simpson faced Steven Finitsis, the No4 seed from Australia who had blasted his way through his opening two matches, dominating both with ferocious attacking squash.

The big Aussie made his intentions clear as he hammered away a winning nick on the first rally of the semi-final, but Simpson was so effective at neutralising the game that had destroyed Finitsis' previous opponents that it wasn't until midway through the third that he managed to hit another.

World No26 Simpson had to work hard to keep his opponent in check - but he did so effectively, maintaining a lead throughout the three games. A 6-1 advantage in the first was converted 11-4. He was always a point or two ahead during the second which he took 11-7, and he pulled clear from midway through the third as Finitsis started finding the tin more frequently.

Simpson took the final game 11-6 to earn a place in the final after 50 minutes of intense action which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed.

"Steve is very talented, and he can find the nick from anywhere, especially on his forehand," said the Yorkshire-based 26-year-old, now in his eighth Tour final - and his second in a month. "So I knew I needed to keep the ball out of the middle and keep him deep as much as I could. When I took it short I tried to play it softly to take away the pace he likes, and I'm pleased with the way I managed to execute that.

"I'm pleased to be in the final of course," he concluded. "But I'll be more pleased if I can win it!"

Rory Roars Into Jersey Quarters

England's Rory Pennell became the only qualifier to make the quarter-finals of the Jersey Squash Classic after upsetting fellow countryman Alex Ingham in the opening round of the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at the Jersey Squash & Racketball Club in St Clement, Jersey.

Ingham led throughout the first game but failed to capitalise on two game balls as Pennell got the better of the end-game to take the lead after 16 minutes of solid play. Ingham raced through the second, but despite making his opponent work hard he couldn't shake off Pennell, who stuck with him and regained the lead after the third game.

It was Essex man Pennell who dominated the fourth, his extra reach paying dividends and he finished it off with a flamboyant winner to the delight of the crowd.

"That's three tough matches I've had already, all against left-handers too," said the tired but delighted Pennell after his 14-12, 4-11, 12-10, 11-4 upset in 58 minutes.

"I didn't really come here with any expectations but sometimes that works in your favour," added the 27-year-old from Chelmsford. "At the moment I'm not looking forward to another match, but that will probably change in an hour or so!"

Pennell now faces top seed Chris Simpson, also an Englishman, after the Guernsey-born world No26 beat compatriot Nathan Lake 11-5, 11-4, 13-11.

"In the first two games I got good starts and some good runs of points - and he was always chasing," said Simpson. "But in the third the ball softened up a bit and he adapted better, using height very well. I had to try to adjust my tactics and do it back to him, and that was a really tough game to win.

"I don't come back to the Channel Islands enough, so it's great to be playing a PSA event here, and really encouraging to see the job Nick (Taylor) is doing with so many juniors all as keen as mustard."

Third-seeded Englishman Charles Sharpes came through a seesaw encounter with Scotland's Kevin Moran, who was reprieved from the qualifying competition by a late withdrawal. It was a match that was fiercely contested from start to finish, each of them taking turns to forge ahead as the first four games were shared.

The final swing went the Englishman's way, and he was never going to let an 8-0 lead in the decider slip away, despite a spirited late effort from Moran.

"That was so tough," said Sharpes after his 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-3 win in 64 minutes. "The court is pretty bouncy and it makes it so hard to win every point."