Friday, July 12, 2024

Nash and grab as Dougie Kempsell beats Abdulla Al Tamimi

Doug Kempsell winds up a backhand
Doug Kempsell winds up a backhand

Ben cool-man takes out Shawn Delierre 
By JAY NASH in London, Ontario


Scotland’s Dougie Kempsell achieved the best win of his career as he toppled No.3 seed Abdulla Al Tamimi in the first round of the PSA M15 Nash Cup in Canada.

In front of an enthusiastic crowd in London, Ontario, qualifier Kempsell won 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 57 minutes to set up a quarter-final clash with England’s No.5 seed Ben Coleman, who overcame Canada’s Shawn Delierre in straight games.

The 21-year-old Al Tamimi, from Qatar, is ranked 42 in the world and lists the formidable array of Geoff Hunt, Stuart Boswell, Jonathan Kemp and Rodney Martin as his coaching team.

He began confidently, taking the ball early, but Kempsell showed some seriously athletic movement as he took the first game 11-9.

A very entertaining start to the second game, with a cross court roller from Al Tamimi. Kempsell fired back with a straight cross kill. Both players went for their shots in this fast-paced game, but Al Tamimi came out on top, winning 11-7.

Al Tamimi wasted no time in taking the ball in short at the start of the third, while Kempsell continued to show strong movement around the court. Kempsell took a 5-3 lead, withstanding Tamimi’s devastating short game. Exceptional retrieving and some solid squash of his own gave Kempsall the third 11-7.

There was no lapse in pace in the fourth game. Tamimi continued to put Kempsell under pressure at the front of the court and led 4-2. An error by Kempsell made the score to 7-4 Tamimi but the Scot was flying and fought back to 9-9. Two backhand errors by Tamimi gave Kempsell the match, 11-9.

The 23-year-old Kempsell, from Edinburgh, said: “This was my best win ever! He’s top 50, wow. I’m so happy, amazing atmosphere. I played tactically great. I frustrated him and picked my moments to attack. We are looked after so well here it’s incredible. Look forward to playing Ben Coleman, who I’ve never beaten either.”

Coleman not only mastered the occasion of playing a home favourite on his own territory, he also avoided being detained on court for more than two hours, as had been the case in previous battles between these two on Canadian soil.

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Delierre tried his hardest to break Coleman’s rhythm, but a “no-let” call gave the opening game to Coleman.

Coleman wisely chose not to let the interference affect him and he continued to play sharp, disciplined squash with some added sting to his volleys. In game two, Delierre won a few quick rallies with two outrageous winners out of nowhere and a decision that went his way got him back to 8-9 but a clipped tin and an inch-perfect back-hand drop by Coleman gave the Englishman a two-game cushion.

Delierre tried some different tactics, trying to break Coleman’s rhythm. With some wide cross courts, kills from the back and even the occasional war-cry in between points, Delierre made some inroads and plays some beautiful points but Coleman’s performance was one of impeccable control.

He said: “I played so focused. I didn’t get frustrated, which can happen against Shawn. So pleased to win in three and be fresh for tomorrow.”

English qualifier Ashley Davies produced an incredible fightback from 2-9 down to win the fourth game 11-9 against Finland’s Henrik Mustonen, only to succumb 14-12 in a nail biting fifth game. Mustonen now meets fellow Finn, veteran Olli Tuominen, in the quarter-finals.

Henrik admitted: “At 2-0 I was in control. At the start of the third I hit three drop shots into the tin and got real tentative to play short. This let him back into it and he took full advantage. I was very lucky to sneak through in the fifth. Happy to play Olli tomorrow. He’s the favourite no matter what he says!”

Top seed Diego Elias beat Mike McCue 3-1 and meets another Canadian, Andrew Schnell, in the quarters. Reigning champion Declan James won a tough battle against fellow Englishman Jaymie Haycocks and faces Belgium’s Jan van den Herrewegen in the last eight.

PSA M15 Nash Cup, London Squash and Fitness, London, Ontario, Canada.

[1] Diego Elias (PER) v [7] Andrew Schnell (CAN)
[4] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [6] Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
[Q] Douglas Kempsell (SCO) v [5] Ben Coleman (ENG)
[2] Declan James (ENG) v Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL)

1st round:
[1] Diego Elias (PER) bt [Q] Michael McCue (CAN) 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 (45m)
[7] Andrew Schnell (CAN) bt [WC] Cameron Seth (CAN) 8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 (37m)
[6] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt [Q] Ashley Davies (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 14-12 (54m)
[4] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt [Q] Anthony Graham (ENG) 11-5, 11-5, 14-12 (43m)
[Q] Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt [3] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 (57m)
[5] Ben Coleman (ENG) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (60m)
Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) bt [8] Jens Schoor (GER) 8-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 (53m)
[2] Declan James (ENG) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)

Qualifying finals:
Ashley Davies (ENG) bt Christophe Andre (FRA) 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (74m)
Anthony Graham (ENG) bt Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR) 12-10, 11-2, 11-3 (30m)
Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt Cameron Stafford (CAY) 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (28m)
Michael McCue (CAN) bt David Baillargeon (CAN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (36m)

1st qualifying round:
Christophe Andre (FRA) bt Thomas King (CAN) 11-0, 11-3, 11-4 (16m)
Ashley Davies (ENG) bt Elliot Selby (ENG) 11-5, 16-14, 11-2 (33m)
Anthony Graham (ENG) bt David Mill (CAN) 13-11, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)
Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR) bt Micah Franklin (BER) 11-9, 10-12, 4-11, 11-2, 11-7 (52m)
Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt Sam Gould (USA) 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (24m)
Cameron Stafford (CAY) bt Stefan Houbtchev (CAN) 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 (23m)
David Baillargeon (CAN) bt Kale Wilson (TRI) 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (23m)
Michael McCue (CAN) bt Diego Gobbi (BRA) 11-1, 11-9, 11-6 (33m) 

Pictures by Rael Wienberg


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