Thursday, February 29, 2024

Chris Simpson’s joy at retaining Jersey title

Channel Islander withstands Waller’s challenge in marathon final
By Squash Mad  Reporter

Chris Simpson at full stretch against Adrian Waller
Chris Simpson at full stretch against Adrian Waller

England’s Chris Simpson retained his Bedell Jersey Classic title on the Channel Island of Jersey – but the top-seeded Englishman prevailed in the longest winning match of his career to hold off fellow countryman Adrian Waller in the final of the PSA Challenger 15 squash event at the Jersey Squash & Racketball Club in St Clement.

Simpson, born in the neighbouring Channel Island of Guernsey, had to survive two matches lasting more than an hour to reach the Jersey climax – the tenth Tour final of his career.

By contrast, Waller waltzed to his semi-final victory over surprise opponent Greg Lobban – the eighth-seeded Scot who surprised No.3 seed Omar Abdel Meguid in the previous round – in just 24 minutes.

The first game of the final alone took 29 minutes, with World No.22 Simpson edging it after a tie-break.

Waller, ranked just four places behind, responded by taking the second – and then the fourth after Simpson again regained the lead by winning the third.

Any match between these two England hopefuls is a key indicator of possible future positions in the national line-up, and Waller will be kicking himself for fading in the fifth.

It was defending champion Simpson who eventually sealed victory 12-10, 8-11, 14-12, 3-11, 11-6 after 104 minutes to record his historic win.

“The was a really, really tough match, played at a ridiculous pace on a hot court,” said the exhausted 27-year-old, based in Harrogate in Yorkshire.

“He had me on the ropes for a while and I was doing a lot of work, but I was really pleased to come through to win the third especially.

“I ran out of steam a bit in the fourth but I knew I had to give it one more push in the fifth – my plan was to try to stay with him to say five-all, then really go for one last surge and it worked to perfection!

“It’s been a great week here, massive thanks to all the supporters, sponsors and especially Nick Taylor for making this a really great event. Long may it continue.”

PSA Challenger 15 Bedell Jersey Classic, St Clement, Jersey

1st round:
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (38m)
[5] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) bt [WC] Matthew Sidaway (ENG) 19-17, 11-7, 11-9 (42m)
[7] Joel Hinds (ENG) bt [Q] Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8 (84m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Declan James (ENG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (43m)
[3] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Ammar Altamimi (KUW) 11-13, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5 (54m)
[8] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-4, 11-6, 13-11 (47m)
[6] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [Q] Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (28m)
[2] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [Q] Alex Ingham (ENG) 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [5] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 11-4, 15-13, 8-11, 11-2 (62m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [7] Joel Hinds (ENG) 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5 (54m)
[8] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [3] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 14-12 (94m)
[2] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [6] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 (52m)
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [4] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4 (66m)
[2] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [8] Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (24m)
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [2] Adrian Waller (ENG) 12-10, 8-11, 14-12, 3-11, 11-6 (104m)

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Picture courtesy of PSA


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