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Monday, April 12, 2021

PSA: Guernsey boy takes Jersey title

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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Chris Simpson (green) gets in front in the final. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS
Chris Simpson (green) gets in front in the final. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS

PSA $10k Jersey Squash Classic, Final:

[1] Chris Simpson (Ggy) 3-0 [3] Charles Sharpes (Eng) 11/2, 11/7, 11/6 (44m)

Simpson seizes Jersey Classic title

Top seed Chris Simpson became the first winner of the Jersey Classic after a hard-fough victory over fellow Englishman Charles Sharpes in the final at Jersey Squash and Racketball Club in St Clement.

Simpson, the world #26 from Neighbouring Guernsey, was quickly out of the blocks, taking the first game 11-2. That scoreline was a little flattering though, as Sharpes, five years younger and ranked #73 in the world, competed strongly in the 11-minute game that featured many tough rallies. It was Simpson though who was able to capitalise on anything loose, punching away several crisp low volleys on his way to taking the lead.

The second game followed a similar pattern, but Sharpes was keeping the ball tighter and Simpson wasn’t able to find as many opportunities to punish him. The scores were level pegging until Simpson managed to pull away from 7-6, taking four points in a row to double his advantage after 14 minutes.

The third started off evenly, but again it was Simpson who accelerated away, this time from 3-all through to 7-3. Sharpes managed to get three points back but Simpson took the final four points in quick succession to claim the title after 44 minutes of play.

“I came out pretty sharp and steamrollered the first,” said a delighted Simpson, “but I knew it couldn’t last, we’d had a lot of tough rallies up and down the walls. Sure enough the next two were tougher. It was hard work trying to keep him behind me as much as I could, but I knew I had to try to do something to open up the court when I got the chance.

“It was a physically hard match, and I was getting a bit edgy in the third, I’m glad I managed to pull clear and at the end I think he started to feel the tough matches he’d had earlier on.

“This has been a great tournament, the organisation and atmosphere has been the best I’ve seen for an event this size, so thanks to Nick and everyone who helped put it on and I hope to be back to defend the title next year!”

Sharpes’ assessment of the match was similar:

“The first game didn’t feel like an 11-2, he came out of the blocks fast but there were plenty of tough rallies. I wanted to try to get stuck into him in the next two games but all credit to him he stayed strong and I couldn’t quite get there.

“It’s been a good tournament for me, I wasn’t seeded to get to the final but I did start to feel those earlier tough matches towards the end.

Charles was equally enthusiastic about the event too: “The tournament has been fantastic, it’s a credit to everyone involved and to Jersey and its squash community,” he said.

Full coverage and photos: www.squashsite.co.uk/jerseyclassic and www.jerseysquashclassic.com

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