Wednesday, May 22, 2024

PSA Kent Open: Lucky loser Nightingale makes main draw

Robbie Downer and Leo Au in action. Picture by Kim Roberts

PSA Challenger 10 Kent Open at The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, England.

Qualifying Finals Results

Ben Coleman (Eng) beat Aqib Hanif (Pak) 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 (42 mins)
Leo Au (HKG) beat Robbie Downer (Eng) 11-5, 11-13, 11-1, 11-8 (51 mins)
Chris Fuller (Eng) beat Phil Nightingale (Eng) 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (52 mins)
Yasir Butt (Pak) v Alex Ingham (Eng) 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 (30 mins)

First Round Draw

3 Max Lee (Hkg) v Q Chris Fuller (Eng)
Fabien Verseille (Fra) v Ben Ford (Eng)
Olivier Pett (Eng) v Q Ben Coleman (Eng)
James Snell (Eng) v Joel Hinds (Eng)
4 Henrik Mustonen (Fin) v Q Leo Au (Hkg)
Dick Lau (Hkg) v Q Phil Nightingale (Eng)
Eddie Charlton (Eng) v Q Yasir Butt (Pak)
2 Chris Ryder (Eng) v Chris Truswell (Eng)

Top seed Joey Barrington’s late withdrawal from the Kent Open was good news for qualifier Phil Nightingale, who was awarded a Lucky Loser’s place in the first round of this PSA Challenger 10 tournament.

World No.36 Barrington was forced to pull out with a hamstring injury midway through the qualifying competition at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent. But the 6ft 4in Surrey player Nightingale gained a reprieve after losing in straight games to Chris Fuller in the qualifying finals.

Nightingale’s reward is a first round match with Dick Lau, from Hong Kong, while Fuller faces a much tougher examination against the new No.2 seed, Max Lee, also from Hong Kong.

A third Hong Kong player, Leo Au, overcame Hampshire’s big hitter Robbie Downer to book his place in the first round draw against No.3 seed Henrik Mustonen from Finland.

Earlier in the day Downer had come desperately close to beating John White’s world record ball speed of 172mph.

Watched by a cheering crowd of school children taking part in the Kent Junior Squash Festival, Downer achieved an amazing 171mph with his powerful forehand, but he was unable to out-hit the patient and controlled Au later in the day.

Chris Ryder, the new top seed, faces fellow Englishman Chris Truswell.

First round playing schedule:

5.30pm Court 1: Chris Ryder (Eng) v Chris Truswell (Eng)

5.30pm Court 2: Eddie Charlton (Eng) v Yasir Butt (Pak)

6.30pm Court 1: Henrik Mustonen (Fin) v Leo Au (Hkg)

6.30pm Court 2: Dick Lau (Hkg) v Phil Nightingale (Eng)
7.30pm Court 1: James Snell (Eng) v Joel Hinds (Eng)

7.30pm Court 2: Olivier Pett (Eng) v Ben Coleman (Eng)

8.30pm Court 1: Fabien Verseille (Fra) v Ben Ford (Eng)

8.30pm Court 2: Max Lee (Hkg) v Chris Fuller (Eng)



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