Guernsey's Simpson Takes Jersey Title

Chris Simpson, the top seed from neighbouring Guernsey, became the first winner of the Jersey Squash Classic after a hard-fought victory over fellow Englishman Charles Sharpes in the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at the Jersey Squash & Racketball Club in St Clement, Jersey.

The world No26 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 almost 50 positions lower, 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 was unable to find as many opportunities to punish his compatriot. 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 three-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 (Taylor) and everyone who helped put it on and I hope to be back to defend the title next year!"
The success marks the seventh PSA Tour title of Simpson's career.

Sharpes, the event's third seed who made his breakthrough in the semi-finals where he removed second-seeded Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz, was pleased with his performance: "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.

"The tournament has been fantastic, it's a credit to everyone involved and to Jersey and its squash community," added the 21-year-old world No73 from Surrey.

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Jersey Classic, St Clement, Jersey
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [3] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 11-2, 11-7, 11-6 (44m)
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