Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Canary Wharf: Sharpes lands dream draw against Willstrop

Charles Sharpes wins at Wimbledon. Pictures by Patrick Lauson
Lee is sent into the back left corner as Sharpes waits on the T. Picture: Patrick Lauson


ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic, Qualifying Finals, Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club

Robbie Temple (England) beat Karim Abdel Gawad (Egypt) 11-8, 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (68mins)

Henrik Mustonen (Finland) beat Davide Bianchetti (Italy) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11 (70 mins)

Matthew Karwalski (Australia) beat Campbell Grayson (NZ) 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (37 mins)

Charles Sharpes (England) beat Max Lee (Hong Kong) 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5 (52 mins)


British Under-19 champion Charles Sharpes powered through the qualifying competition to land a dream first round clash with No.2 seed James Willstrop in the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.

Londoner Sharpes produced a mature display to beat Max Lee of Hong Kong 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5 in 52 minutes of high-quality squash at his home base, Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club.

Lee revealed some superb volleys while beating Guernsey’s Chris Simpson the previous day. But Sharpes gave his opponent few opportunities to do the same as he stuck to a solid game plan with tight, low drives to the back corners throughout the match.

Sharpes, who was 19 in February, is looking forward to his second meeting this year with Willstrop, who has won the Canary Wharf title three times.

Sharpes said: “I played James in the National Championships in Manchester and the whole experience was a little overwhelming. But I am really looking forward to playing him on the glass court at Canary Wharf.

“It’s a great opportunity to show what I can do in such a special tournament and at a fantastic venue. I enjoy playing on the glass courts and hope I can give James a tougher match this time round. I was born in Bermondsey so I am hoping for some local support.”

Sharpes’ progress from the junior to senior ranks has produced two PSA World Tour titles in Denver and Jordan, and he thanked coaches Paul Carter at Potters Bar and Phil Rushworth at Wimbledon for guiding his development.

“It was great to get through the qualifying rounds here at Wimbledon. I have been a member here for seven years and I am grateful to the club coach, Phil, who has always been a mentor.

“Paul Carter has helped me enormously in making the transition from junior squash to the professional circuit and I have also had a lot of help and advice from the new national coach Chris Robertson.”

Joining Sharpes in tomorrow’s first round at the magnificent East Wintergarden venue at Canary Wharf are Matthew Karwalski (Australia), Henrik Mustonen (Finland) and Gloucester’s Robbie Temple, who is also based in London and coached by Peter Genever at Dolphin Square.

Like Sharpes, Temple faces a tough first round battle against another leading England international, Londoner Peter Barker, the No.4 seed.

First round draw (bottom half Monday; top half Tuesday):
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Tom Richards (ENG)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) v (Q) Robbie Temple (ENG)
Stewart Boswell (AUS) v (Q) Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
Joey Barrington (ENG) v (Q) Matthew Karwalski (AUS)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) v (Q) Charles Sharpes (ENG)

Tournament website; www.canarywharfsquash.com  


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