Friday, April 19, 2024

PSA: Egyptian ace out to spring Kent Open shock

Top seed Chris Simpson in action. Picture: KIM ROBERTS
Karim Ali Fathi in action against Anthony Graham. Picture by KIM ROBERTS

PSA Satellite 10 SE Leisure Kent Open, The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent.

SE Leisure Kent Open Quarter-finals:
(1) Chris Simpson (Eng) beat Elvinn Keo (Mas) 11-13, 11-3, 11-5, 11-9 (50 mins)

(4) Kristian Frost (Denmark) bt Lucas Serme (France) 11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 (80 mins)

Karim Ali Fathi (Egypt) beat Anthony Graham (England) 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 (60 mins)

(2) Henrik Mustonen (Finland) beat Julien Balbo (France) 11-3, 12-10, 11-5 (30 mins)


Young Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi is determined to upset the seedings after reaching the semi-finals of the SE Leisure Kent Open.

The 19-year-old from Cairo, who won the I-Squash Open title in Wales last week, outplayed English giant-killer Anthony Graham to reach the last four.

Graham, the 22-year-oldfrom Gloucester who knocked out No.3 seed Mark Krajcsak the previous day, was beaten by the accuracy of by Ali Fathi’s winners at the front of the court.

In addition to some outstanding drop shots, he also unleashed some powerful straight kills that found the nick. His 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 victory came after 60 minutes of high-quality, inventive squash.

His semi-final opponent, No.2 seed Henrik Mustonen, spent exactly half that time on court as he overwhelmed his French adversary, Julien Balbo.

The world No.52 from Finland is a smooth mover around the court and had all the answers when it came to retrieving Balbo’s best shots and placing winners beyond his opponent’s reach.

Top seed Chris Simpson beat Malaysian Elvinn Keo in four games and is looking forward to a tough battle with Denmark’s Kristian Frost Olesen, who battled past another Frenchman, Lucas Serme, in a brutal 80-minute encounter.

Simpson let the first game slip after leading 10-6 but tightened up to win the next three. He said: “It was a tough match. He was game ball down in the first and from then on he played some really good winners. After that I decided I had to make him work hard and put some work into his legs. And this worked for the next few games.

“I think there will be some long, hard matches this week as it’s very hot and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s match.”

Frost enjoyed a stroke of good fortune as he served for the match against Serme. Having reached match ball with a spectacular volley kill off the serve at 9-9, Frost served behind his opponent’s back and the ball struck Serme’s racket and spun to the floor.

5pm: (1) Simpson v (4) Frost.
6pm: (2) Mustonen v Ali Fathi.

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