Top seeds coast through, with a tasty bagel for Soares
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Rising star Nick Wall is looking forward to a rest after completing the busiest week of his life.
The Sheffield teenager bowed out of the Colin Payne Kent Open, sponsored by Select Gaming, after losing to fellow Yorkshire player Stuart Macgregor in front of a packed gallery at Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Having won a tough battle against the experienced Mark Fuller in the first round earlier in the day, Wall was leading by two games to one against Macgregor when he fell and twisted his ankle.
After an injury break he returned to court in slightly hesitant fashion and admitted that he was reluctant to push too hard for fear of causing serious damage.
Macgregor maintained a solid, steady rhythm to clinch his second five-game victory of the day in this PSA Challenger Tour event, having beaten Kent veteran Ben Ford in the opening round.
Wall revealed: “After I turned my ankle I could still feel it when I came back on to court. It was on my mind for the rest of the match.”
He had every right to feel cautious, having put his body through the mill in the past week. He finished runner-up in the Dunlop British Junior Open Under-19 final in Birmingham on Sunday and also turned out in the PSL on Tuesday for the University of Warwick-Kenilworth team.
Bizarrely, he lost that match to Macgregor as well, returning to the University of Birmingham courts two days after losing to Egypt’s Mostafa Asal at the same venue in the British junior final.
Wall added: “I am definitely having a break now for at least three days before I get back on court. I must have played something like nine matches in the past nine days.”
Macgregor, reflecting on two marathon matches in the same day, said: “That’s me all over. I always seem to do things the hard way.”
The top two seeds, Rui Soares of Portugal and Belgium’s Jan Van Den Herrewegen, enjoyed a more comfortable route to the semi-finals.
They won both of their matches in quick time, with Soares notching up an 11-0 “bagel” in the second game of his quarter-final against No.7 seed Miles Jenkins.
Soares admitted: “I don’t like doing it. The only reason it happened was because I was showing my opponent so much respect. He’s a good player and I knew it would be a hard match.”
Soares tackles talented Mexican Leonel Cardenas in the semi-finals, while Belgian Herrewegen meets his Birmingham training partner Macgregor.
COLIN PAYNE KENT OPEN (PSA Challenger Tour 5k event) Sponsored by Select Gaming at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club, Kent, England.
First Round, Thursday January 10th.
(2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) beat Nick Mulvey (Eng) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 ( 28 mins)
(6) Ben Coates (Eng) beat Rohan Toole (Aus) 3-2: 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-15, 11-6 (50 mins)
Nick Wall (Eng) beat (5) Mark Fuller (Eng) 3-1: 11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 (44 mins)
(4) Stuart Macgregor (Eng) beat (WC) Ben Ford (Eng) 3-2: 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3 (49 mins)
(3) Leonel Cardenas (Mex) beat Charlie Cowie (Eng) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (26 mins)
(8) Connor Sheen (Eng) beat Viktor Byrtus (Cze) 3-2: 7-11, 6-11, 15-13, 11-9, 11-6 (51 mins)
(7) Miles Jenkins (Eng) beat Harry Falconer (Eng) 3-2: 7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (57 mins)
(1) Rui Soares (Por) v Mike Harris (Eng) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (26 mins)
(2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Belgium) beat (6) Ben Coates (England) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (22 mins)
(4) Stuart Macgregor (England) beat Nick Wall (England) 3-2: 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 (51 mins)
(3) Leonel Cardenas (Mexico) beat (8) Connor Sheen (England) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (29 mins)
(1) Rui Soares (Portugal) beat (7) Miles Jenkins (England) 3-0: 11-6, 11-0, 11-7 (19 mins)
Semi-Finals, Friday January 11:
8pm: (2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Belgium) v (4) Stuart Macgregor (England)
7pm: (1) Rui Soares (Portugal) v (3) Leonel Cardenas (Mexico)
Pictures by ARTYOM LISS