• Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 24th to 28th March 2014 • London •  

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TODAY at the Canary Wharf Classic                Follow on Twitter @CWCsquash
Sun 23rd March, Qualifying at Wimbledon:

Qualifying Finals:                                                    full Draws

Adrian Waller (Eng) 3-1 Charles Sharpes (Eng)   plays Willstrop
                    11-5, 5-11, 11-3, 11-6 (50m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) 3-2 Joe Lee (Eng)               plays Rösner
                    1-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-1, 13-11 (88m)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) 3-1 Leo Au (Hkg)                plays Selby
                         12-14, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (44m)
Max Lee (Hkg ) 3-0 Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy)   plays Darwish
11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)

Qualifying complete in Wimbledon
Alan Thatcher reports

There was no love lost between training partners Adrian Waller and Charles Sharpes as they battled for a place in the main draw of the Canary Wharf Classic.

Waller, the 24-year-old left-hander from Enfield, overpowered Sharpes 11-5, 5-11, 11-3, 11-6 in a match that was littered with arguments and accusations of double bounces.

World No.29 Waller started positively and steamed into a 9-0 lead as Sharpes, despite playing on his home club courts at Wimbledon, struggled to get into the game.

However, he put five points on the board before Waller closed out the game 11-5.

Sharpes, the world No.63 from Kingston, improved his control in the second and built up a 5-2 lead. Waller drew level but Sharpes pulled away with six points in a row to make it one game all.

Sharpes tinned a couple of attempted winners which stopped him from maintaining that momentum at the start of the third game, allowing Waller to construct an early lead that he carried through to an 11-3 game score.

Sharpes improved in the fourth but Waller surged ahead from 5-4 to close out the match.

Waller said: “It can be difficult playing people who you know very well, and I had the same thing yesterday playing Ben Coleman. You have to put that stuff out of your mind and concentrate on the match, and hope that after a few minutes you forget about it.

“It wasn’t a great performance, but it was enough to get through. I know I’ll need to improve whoever I draw in the first round.”

Ali Anwar Reda hit back from two games down to beat England’s Joe Lee in a controversial fifth-game cliffhanger.

The match lasted 88 minutes and produced an astonishing scoreline in which both players won a game 11-1. Lee took the opening game in quick fashion as Reda started slowly, and the Egyptian drew level with a similarly one-sided fourth game as Lee lost his concentration having earlier led by two games and 5-3 in the third.

Reda eventually triumphed 1-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-1, 13-11 after a seesaw battle that was decided in a desperately close passage of play from 9-9 in the fifth game.

Lee was furious at being denied a let when Reda fell over in the middle of the court. The three officials unanimously called “No Let” to give Reda match ball.

He put a drop shot into the tin to allow Lee back into the match and this time the tall Surrey player seemed to have regained his composure to lead 11-10. However, he failed to close it out and the Egyptian won two points to hold match ball for a second time.

The exchanges were brutal and Lee had Reda running all over the court in what proved to be the final rally of the match. With Reda at the back of the court, Lee put a backhand drop shot into the tin.

He was still seething after the match about the “No Let” call at 9-9, but in a calmer moment of reflection he might mull over the chances he wasted to reach the main draw.

Jonathan Kemp is still playing outstanding squash at the age of 33, as he demonstrated in removing fourth qualifying seed Leo Au from Hong Kong.

Kemp struggled to find his rhythm at the start of the match and surrendered the opening game 14-12, but then got into his stride and produced a fluent display to win the next three games 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 in 44 minutes.

He revealed a change in tactics after yesterday’s flurry of reverse angles against Zahed Mohamed. Today he favoured soft, straight drops that clung to the sidewalls and forced Au into errors. He also hit some immaculate length shots to work his tiny opponent around the work.

Kemp, ranked 47 in the world (seven places behind his opponent) said: “I was trying to work out about 15 different ways to beat him and then realised that he was getting tired, so I might as well just keep the rallies going.

“I tried one reverse angle early on and he covered that rather quickly so I’ll save those for another day.”

Max Lee wrapped up the schedule with a quick victory over Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar, winning 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 in just 33 minutes.

Lee has made an enormous improvement to his front court game and a mixture of straight drops and sliced crosscourt punished any loose balls from his opponent.

Abouelghar competed solidly until the mid-point of each game. He was level at 7-7 in the first, led 7-6 in the second and was 5-4 ahead in the third, but Lee finished strongly each time.

Lee was rewarded with a first round draw tomorrow against former world number one Karim Darwish. Tuesday’s draw sees Reda against Simon Rosner, Kemp against Daryl Selby, and Waller against four-times champion James Willstrop.

Qualifying Round One:       full Draws

Adrian Waller (Eng) 3-0 Ben Coleman (Eng)          11-2, 11-7, 11-2 (35m)
Charles Sharpes (Eng) 3-2Steve Finitsis (Aus)
                                                         11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (92m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) 3-2 Joel Hinds (Eng)
                                                         12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 1-11, 11-7 (45m)
Joe Lee (Eng) 3-0 Lewis Walters (Eng)                    11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)
Leo Au (Hkg) 3-1 Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)       11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (58m)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) 3-1 Zahed Mohamed (Egy)
                                                                  8-11, 11-7, 11-1, 11-8 (38m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 3-1 Eddie Charlton (Eng)
                                                                  11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9 (44m)

Max Lee (Hkg) 3-0 Steve London (Eng)                 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 (25m)

Sharpes wins Marathon
Alan Thatcher reports

Charles Sharpes recorded a marathon victory over Australian Steve Finitsis to reach the qualifying finals in the Canary Wharf Classic. Playing at his home club, Sharpes delighted his supporters at the Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club.

The match lasted 92 minutes. Before Sharpes clinched victory, two matches had been completed on the adjacent court and players in the third were warming up.

The opening game lasted 26 minutes before Finitsis closed out 13-11. Sharpes trailed 4-0 at the start of the second game before hitting back to win 11-9.

He powered 9-0 ahead in the third before the Australian made the scoreline look more respectable.

At 2-1 and 6-2 up in the fourth the match looked in the bag for Sharpes, but Finitsis hit a stream of stunning winners from all parts of the court to regain the lead.

He edged it 11-9 and led 5-4 in the fifth. In a physical encounter, a crucial spell developed in the middle of the final game. After a succession of lets, Sharpes hit back from 6-7 down and won five points in a row to clinch victory.

Two were gifts as Finitsis struck the tin with a service return and a drop shot, but Sharpes found the back corners at vital moments to engineer a popular victory which puts him in the final shoot-out against Adrian Waller.

A delighted Sharpes said: “It’s always good to play here in front of your home crowd.

“Adrian and I train together nearly every day so we both know each other’s games inside out, so I’ll have to try and produce some shock tactics for him tomorrow.

“Whatever happens it guarantees a Londoner in the main draw, which is a great thing.

“It was a fairly physical match and at the end, as the referee called the score, I suddenly realised how much I was hurting.

“Steve is an experienced pro and he hits some unbelievable shots at times, so I’m just so pleased to have got through.

“It was very close in the fifth, and he held the lead for quite some time, but I managed to hold it together at the end with a good run of points.

“I’m really looking forward to playing Adrian and I hope we can make it a good match for the Wimbledon crowd.”

The tall left-handed Waller powered his way past Ben Coleman and Joe Lee also won in straight games against Lewis Walters before Sharpes clinched victory next door.

Lee meets Luxford St George’s Hill team-mate Ali Anwar Reda in the qualifying finals after his five-game victory over Joel Hinds, which, astonishingly, included an 11-1 win for Hinds in the fourth game.

Jonathan Kemp cleverly engineered a route to victory past young Egyptian Zahed Mohamed, who was clearly not used to the left-hander's formidable deployment of the reverse angle (this scribe's favourite shot!).

Kemp matched Hinds with an 11-1 game score, but for the Shropshire Shabana it was part of a winning scoreline.

Kemp meets Leo Au, from Hong Kong, who beat Jaymie Haycocks 3-1 in a high-quality match lasting almost an hour.

Max Lee made it two players from Hong Kong in the qualifying finals after overpowering Steven London 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 in 25 minutes.

Photos by
Patrick Lauson

Full Draws

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