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15/06/2014
KENT OPEN 2014
 

Kemp Retires On A High After Kent Open Win

Alan Thatcher Select Gaming Kent Open 12-15 June 2014,
The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone
Round One
12 June
Quarters
13
June
Semis
1
4 June
Final
15 June
(1) Steve Finitsis (AUS)
11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (44 mins)
Youssef Abdalla (ENG)
Steve Finitsis
11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (42m)
Declan James
Steve Finitsis
11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (38m)
Richie Fallows
Steve Finitsis
13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 (60m)
Jonathan Kemp
(6) Declan James (ENG)
5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (92 mins)
Chris Fuller (ENG)
Richie Fallows (ENG)
11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (24 mins)
(8) Adil Maqbool (Pakistan)
Richie Fallows
11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 (89m)
Greg Lobban
(4) Greg Lobban (ENG)
11-9, 1-11, 11-8, 11-4
(52 mins)
Tom Ford (ENG)
(3) Charles Sharpes (ENG)
11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (32 mins)
Steven London (ENG)
Charles Sharpes
11-13, 11-8, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9 (67m)
Todd Harrity
Todd Harrity
11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 (41m)
Jonathan Kemp
(7) Todd Harrity (USA)
11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (37 mins)
Mike Harris (ENG)
(5) Ben Coleman (ENG)
11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (54 mins)
George Parker (ENG)
Ben Coleman
8-11, 11-8, 15-13, 11-3 (48m)
Jonathan Kemp
(2) Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
1-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9
(37 mins)
James Earles (ENG)

RESULTS:         PSA Challenger 10 Select Gaming Kent Open,
Maidstone, England

Kemp Retires On A High After Kent Open Win

PSAWorldTour
 
England's
Jonathan Kemp brought the curtain down on a distinguished squash career in impressive style by winning today's final of the Select Gaming Kent Open against top-seeded Australian Steven Finitsis.
 
Kemp delighted the packed gallery at
The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone with a devastating display of skill in the climax of the PSA Challenger 10 event as he reeled off a succession of winners into the front corners.
 
Local fans had renamed the front right area of the court 'Kempy’s Corner' in tribute to the left-hander's cultured backhand drop shots.
 
However, the 33-year-old No2 seed was forced to battle hard throughout the match by his tenacious opponent, who frequently matched Kemp’s quality in that very same corner.
 
The opening rallies were full of intelligent, patient squash as defending champion Kemp built a 9-5 lead.  Finitsis then enjoyed a purple patch to lead 11-10 before Kemp regained control to nick it 13-11.
 
Finitsis, the 31-year-old World No.50 who is based in The Hague, began the second game well to lead 5-2.  Kemp drew level at 5-5 and 6-6 but Finitsis won four points in a row to hold game ball. Kemp hit back again to make it 10-10 but Finitsis hit two quick winners to level the match.
 
Kemp surged ahead in the third to lead 6-2 and then 9-4 and although Finitsis recovered to take four more points, the experienced left hander from Ipswich closed out the game 11-8.
 
Kemp won the first three of points of the fourth game and constructed a run of six points to move within touching distance of his second Kent Open title.  Finitsis fought back to draw level at 8-8 and 9-9, but Kemp won the final two points to end his career on a positive note.
 
“Once I had made my decision to retire, I almost felt like pulling out of the tournament – but I am glad I didn’t," said Kemp, who has rounded off his career with 15 Tour titles from 20 final appearances.  "It’s great to go out on a high like this, and I’d like to thank Steve for making it such an enjoyable final.  I’m glad it didn’t go to five.”
 
As well as receiving his trophy for a second year, the champion was presented with a special commemorative shirt with the words “The Kemp Open” on the back (see image below)!
 
Finitsis added:  “I was trying my hardest to win that match but if I had to lose to anybody I’m glad it was Jonathan. He’s a great player and I wish him all the best in his coaching career.  This is a great tournament and all the players are grateful for the way they are looked after.
 

Select Gaming Kent Open
(Report Courtesy of Alan Thatcher)

Australian top seed Steve Finitsis and American star Todd Harrity join six English players in the quarter-finals of the Select Gaming Kent Open.

This PSA Challenger 10 tournament, celebrating its fifth year at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, England, once again provides a platform for rising home talent to impress on the internationalo stage.

Assistant national coach David Campion was present to check the progress of many of his charges with five all-English battles on the schedule.

In the longest match of the night, No.6 seed Declan James beat his Nottingham team-mate Chris Fuller in a 92-minute marathon.

James meets top seed Finitsis in the last eight after the tall Australian overpowered Youssef Abdalla in straight games.

European junior champion Richie Fallows took just 24 minutes to beat Pakistan's Adil Maqbool  to set up a quarter-final clash with Scotland's No.4 seed Greg Lobban.

Bizarrely, Lobban lost the second game 11-1 but hit back to beat young England hopeful Tom Ford 3-1.

Second seed Jonathan Kemp, the reigning Kent Open champion, also lost a game for just one point but he too hit back to win a tough battle with Yorkshire fighter James Earles.

Kemp, who is appearing in his final tournament after announcing his retirement from the PSA Tour, faces a tough quarter-final against the in-forrm Ben Coleman, who won a brutal battle with 18-year-old qualifier George Parker.

American No.7 seed Harrity beat qualifier Mike Harris in straight  games and now meets No.3 seed Charles Sharpes. The British Under-23 champion withstood fierce pressure in the first game against wild card Steven London to win from 8-7 down but then took control to win the next two games 11-3.  
 

KENT OPEN SQUASH DRAMA


The Select Gaming Kent Open squash tournament was forced to overcome a last-minute drama when top seed Ali Anwar Reda was forced to withdraw.

The world No.41 from Cairo was unable to secure a visa to leave Egypt. This forced a reshuffle of the draw and promoted top seeded qualifier Richie Fallows, the European junior champion who trains at Bexley, into the main event at The Mote.

Fallows, who is coached at Bexley by Ben Ford, meets Pakistan’s world No.98 Adil Maqbool fresh from winning his first PSA World Tour title in Kriens, Switzerland.
richie fallows

Fallows, 18, beat Egypt’s world No.53 Zahed Mohamed in the Kriens final and said: “I’m ecstatic at my first senior pro tournament win. I just hope I can carry that form forward into the Kent Open.”
The Kent Open begins on Sunday with a pre-qualifying tournament which pitches eight locals in with the professionals.
Eight days of top-class squash come to a close with the final on Sunday week (June 15).

Australian Steve Finitsis takes over as number one seed with reigning champion Jonathan Kemp at two. Both meet qualifiers in the first round of the main draw.

British Under-23 champion Charles Sharpes, from Surrey, is installed as No.3 seed with Scotland’s Greg Lobban at four.

Sharpes tackles Kent’s wild card Steven London, from Park Langley, while Lobban meets in-form England youngster Tom Ford, who recently won the Pretoria Open in South Africa.

Another English player in form is Essex ace Ben Coleman, who has completed a hat-trick of tournament wins in the past month in Aberdeen, Ipswich and Madrid.

He is seeded to meet Kemp in the quarter-finals. Not only is an all-English showdown on the cards, but a Coleman win would bring down the curtain on a distinguished career for the stylish left-hander Kemp, who has announced his retirement from the PSA Tour at the age of 33.

The Kent Open will be his final event and Tournament Director Alan Thatcher said: “I am sure Jonathan would love to go all the way and win his final PSA Tour event. He made a lot of friends at The Mote last year and he is a wonderful role model.
“He plays with style and a smile and however well he performs we will honour his contribution to the sport with a special presentation.

“I have seen Jonathan play in various tournaments all over the world and I will never forget how close he came to beating four-times world champion Amr Shabana in Richmond, Virginia, a couple of years ago.”

 

Preview
The Select Gaming Kent Open squash tournament was forced to overcome a last-minute drama when top seed Ali Anwar Reda was forced to withdraw.

The world No.41 from Cairo was unable to secure a visa to leave Egypt. This forced a reshuffle of the draw and promoted top seeded qualifier Richie Fallows, the European junior champion who trains at Bexley, into the main event at The Mote.

Fallows, who is coached at Bexley by Ben Ford, meets Pakistan’s world No.98  Adil Maqbool fresh from winning his first PSA World Tour title in Kriens, Switzerland.

Fallows, 18, beat Egypt’s world No.53 Zahed Mohamed in the Kriens final and said: “I’m ecstatic at my first senior pro tournament win. I just hope I can carry that form forward into the Kent Open.”

The Kent Open begins on Sunday with a pre-qualifying tournament which pitches eight locals in with the professionals.

Eight days of top-class squash come to a close with the final on Sunday week (June 15).

Australian Steve Finitsis takes over as number one seed with reigning champion Jonathan Kemp at two. Both meet qualifiers in the first round of the main draw.

British Under-23 champion Charles Sharpes, from Surrey, is installed as No.3 seed with Scotland’s Greg Lobban at four.

Sharpes tackles Kent’s wild card Steven London, from Park Langley, while Lobban meets in-form England youngster Tom Ford, who recently won the Pretoria Open in South Africa.

Another English player in form is Essex ace Ben Coleman, who has completed a hat-trick of tournament wins in the past month in Aberdeen, Ipswich and Madrid.

He is seeded to meet Kemp in the quarter-finals. Not only is an all-English showdown on the cards, but a Coleman win would bring down the curtain on a distinguished career for the stylish left-hander Kemp, who has announced his retirement from the PSA Tour at the age of 33.

The Kent Open will be his final event and Tournament Director Alan Thatcher said: “I am sure Jonathan would love to go all the way and win his final PSA Tour event. He made a lot of friends at The Mote last year and he is a wonderful role model.

“He plays with style and a smile and however well he performs we will honour his contribution to the sport with a special presentation.

“I have seen Jonathan play in various tournaments all over the world and I will never forget how close he came to beating four-times world champion Amr Shabana in Richmond, Virginia, a couple of years ago.”

KENT OPEN FACT FILE

The Kent Open is celebrating its fifth year as a PSA world-ranking tournament at The Mote.

All four winners so far have used Harrow rackets: Alan Clyne, Chris Ryder, Chris Simpson and Jonathan Kemp.

+++

Kent Open organiser Alan Thatcher is one of the busiest men in squash.  As well as being Kent SRA president, he is also co-promoter of London’s top tournament, the Canary Wharf Classic, and is founder of World Squash Day.

He also organises the squash radar gun record series. The current top speed in squash is 176mph recorded by Aussie Cameron Pilley. Players in the Kent Open will be trying to beat it next week.

+++

The Pre-Qualifying tournament starts on Sunday, with Mote members Adrian Humphries, Darren Heathfield, Matt Hazzard, Paul Newvell, Marcus Robson and Jason Goodayle, joining Canterbury pair Joe Magor and Tom May in a shoot-out with eight pros (including Maidstone’s Bradley Masters).

The two winners go through to the Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday alongside The Mote’s James Evans and Jonny Powell, and Maidstone’s Josh Masters.

Four qualifiers go through to the main draw. The first round is next Thursday, the quarter-finals on Friday, semi-finals on Saturday and the finals on Sunday June 15.

+++

Total prize money for the Kent Open is 10,000 dollars (roughly £6,000). The winner takes home just under £1,000.

+++

The Kent Open features free coaching sessions from the professionals for local juniors each day next week. The sessions start at 4pm from Tuesday to Friday.

A free Ladies Day session starts at 1pm on Saturday week, the day of the semi-finals.

+++

The finals weekend is being billed as the biggest party in squash, with a variety of fun events built into the schedule around the semi-finals and the finals.

A doubles tournament  will be staged with cash prizes attracting some serious teams from around the south of England.

+++ 

The withdrawal of Egypt’s top seed Ali Anwar Reda from the Kent Open coincides with plans for a new international academy at The Mote which could provide a major training base for leading professional players.

The Mote are planning to install an all-glass show court and Tournament Director Alan Thatcher revealed: “Egypt is the leading squash nation in the world but many of their players are finding life difficult because of the current political turmoil.

“The players suffer from restrictions imposed by the curfews and from difficulties in obtaining visas. Therefore the provision of a European training base would make good sense for many of them.

“Informal discussions have taken place so far, but we would be pleased to offer a top-class training facility for the leading English and Egyptian players.

“These are the two super-powers of world squash and it would be amazing if we were to have these players based at The Mote.

“It would also provide a massive inspiration for our junior members to train alongside some of the world’s leading players.

“The glass court would also enable us to take the Kent Open to a new level and stage other major events for television, such as international Test matches.”

Thatcher also has plans to televise professional racketball.

+++

KENT OPEN SCHEDULE
June 8-9: Pre-Qualifying.
June 10-11: Qualifying competition.
June 12: Main Draw First Round.
June 13: Quarter-Finals.
June 14: Semi-Finals.
June 15: Finals.