SE LEISURE KENT OPEN FINAL
PSA World Tour Challenger 10 SE Leisure Kent Open, at The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent.
(2) Jonathan Kemp (Eng) beat (1) Adrian Waller (Eng) 11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 (48 mins)
CLASSY JONATHAN MAKES IT THE KEMP OPEN
Jonathan Kemp’s adventurous array of attacking shots proved the decisive factor as he overcame top seed Adrian Waller to win the final of the SE Leisure Kent Open at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, England.
In a battle of two left-handers, Kemp’s ability to control the front half of the court made the difference as he won 11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 in 48 minutes of fiercely-contested squash.
Against a supremely fit opponent, whose 6ft 3in height enables enormous court coverage, the 32-year-old Kemp needed to produce tight drops and good-length drives to move Waller around.
He achieved those twin objectives for long spells of the match as he clinched his second PSA title in eight days after winning the Ipswich tournament at his home club a week earlier.
Londoner Waller started strongly and built a 4-1 lead in the opening game but Kemp soon found his touch and reeled off 10 of the next 11 points.
His touch deserted him in the second as Waller dominated proceedings, adding plenty of tight drops of his own to some solid driving to the back corners.
The third and fourth games were similar to the first as Waller built early leads only for Kemp to respond with long spells of control.
In the third he moved to 8-3 ahead before Waller responded, but Kemp was able to close out the game 11-8.
Again Kemp trailed 3-1 in the fourth but this time powered his way towards the finishing line with a succession of superb winners, including nicks and several reverse angles, that put him 9-4 ahead.
Waller launched a solid and determined revival to draw level at 9-9, but Kemp struck a winning volley to reach match ball and clinched the title with a clinging drop shot.
After receiving his trophy from tournament sponsor John Powell of SE Leisure, Kemp said: “I played well in patches and was pleased to see Adrian looking tired at times. After a tough semi-final against Joe Lee I knew it was going to be a battle today.
“My tactics worked well for most of the time and I was pleased to catch Adrian with a couple of crosscourts when he came across to cover the straight shot.
“After organising my first tournament in Ipswich last week I now appreciate all the work that goes on behind the scenes so I would like to congratulate the team here at The Mote for running such a superb event.”
The Kent Open is sponsored by SE Leisure, Craft Insure, Shepherd Neame, The Mote Squash Club and Harrow Sports.