I’m a believer says Charles as he downs Lee and books London final date with Wagih
By LEE HORTON – Squash Mad Reporter
LONDONER Charles Sharpes called on mind-power to book his place in today’s $15,000 PSA London Open at the Cumberland Club.
The 22-year-old world number 73 upset the form book and training partner Joe Lee defeating the number one seed to seal a final showdown with Egypt’s Andrew Wagih.
Sharpes had never previously taken a game against Lee in their two PSA encounters but he was running high on confidence and in his usual forceful mood.
Afterwards, Sharpes spoke about his strong mindset: He said: ”Joey has bossed our previous two PSA matches but I went into the match feeling confident. That’s no disrespect to him, but I knew I was feeling good and playing well. My mental strength was good and I need to take that mindset into the final. Self confidence is a strange factor that is not always present so it’s important to embrace it when it’s there.”
Lee took the first game 11-4 but the 22-year-old Sharpes raised the tempo and the temperature to graft his way to a 2-1 lead. The verbals matched the endeavour but they were always the right side of respect and honesty.
The third game prove pivotal and costly for Lee. He lead 10-7 but was unable to close out the game with Sharpes producing a spectacular air-born cross-court nick to take the game 12-10.
Lee responded in the fourth slowing the game and upsetting Sharpes’ timing and tempo in the process. The world number 33 took the game 11-6 and most observers would have gone with him to close out the match in the decider.
But Sharpes in made of gritty stuff and he quickly stamped his authority on a tiring Lee. Sharpes led 6-1 and 8-4 before sealing the deal 11-6 to secure his first victory over his St George’s training partner.
Hopes of an all-London final were ended when Wagih took out Stratford’s 19 year old Richie Fallows in a spiky semi-final that bordered on the farcical at times. If lets were pounds notes, both players would have enough money to retire. Fallows will have to take comfort from his early round wins over Ben Coleman and second seed Alan Clyne.
The fewer words written about Wagih’s 3-1 victory the better. The match was a car crash in terms of sportsmanship with a script straight out of the playground.
Joe Lee (Eng) 11-4, 5-10, 10-12, 11-6, 6-11 (75 mins); (5) Charles Sharpes (Eng).
(7) Andrew Wagih Shoukry (Egy) 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4 (44 mins) Richie Fallows (Eng).
English hopes in the women’s $5,000 event were dashed when Millie Tomlinson and Leonie Holt were denied.
World Student champion Tomlinson from Derbyshire fought bravely in five gripping games against Belgium world number 81 Nele Gilis who used her added experience to claw over the line. She will face Egyptian Yathreb Adel. Her 3-0 victory went with the pre-match predictions despite a brave display from Leonie.
(5) Yathreb Adel (EGY) 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 (20 mins) Leonie Holt (ENG)
(7) Nele Gilis (BEL) 7-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4 (68 mins) Millie Tomlinson (ENG)