Thursday – Rnd 1

Adam Murrils

What worked well for you today?
I feel, in general, I played really well today. My game was working just how I like it to. My opponent is very strong and skilful, so I knew I needed to keep him contained, to make sure he didn’t let any of his good killers loose.

My legs felt good today, so I was able to move really well around the court, getting to a lot of my opponent’s shots. It was a good match for both of us, and it was made better as I didn’t really give away that many cheap points, except for a couple in the third game.

How do you feel you worked after going 2-0 up?
I tried to keep concentration, as I know this is crucial to have a good match. However, after going 8-4 up, I gave away a few cheap points, that I shouldn’t have done, which meant that I was now only 8-7 up. However, I regained concentration, and didn’t drop another point, to win the match 3-0.

Are you looking forward to the rest of the tournament?
Yes. I really like this club, and I look forward to playing on the show court tomorrow for the next round. All the players seem quite nice, and I hope to go far in this tournament.

Richie Fallows

What worked well for you today?
Today I was fortunate to feel really sharp, so I was able to attack the ball really well, meaning I was ending the rallies. As well as this, I felt I had good movement around the court, enabling me to reach some of his good shots. I was also able to kill the ball more than him, which worked to my advantage, and worked well for this match.

What was your game plan?
I know that my opponent is confident on playing long rallies, continuously throwing up the ball for a very long time, without making mistakes. Therefore, my plan today was to shorten his rallies, making him feel uncomfortable with the shorter rallies, and using his shorts to play winners from.

Are you looking forward to the rest of the tournament?
Yes- everyone here seems so nice, the club and the courts, which means it is nicer to play. Last year I lost in the semis, therefore this year, I plan to go one step further then hopefully win.

Kristian Frost

What went well for you today?
Before the match, I felt slightly nervous and apprehensive for the match to come, however this release about half way through the second game, which meant I felt more free. I am happy with the result, and I think a 3-0 victory will give me confidence for the rest of my matches, which will be really good. I felt like I was moving well around the court, picking up my opponents shots.

Where there any challenging factors for you today?
I found the court, especially due to playing on court 2, quite stuffy, and there wasn’t a lot of air circulation. This made it hard, as it was really hot, therefore I was feeling a bit uncomfortable while in the match.

Are you looking forward to playing for the rest of the week?
I have played here twice before, and I am glad I am returning again. I like this club, and I hope to go really far in this competition. If I do, I think it will give me a confidence boost for next season.

Jan van den Herrewegen

What went well for you tonight?
I made sure that I kept my head, after the mishap in the first game. I didn’t panic, I just waited for his good spurt to pass, as I knew he probably couldn’t keep up his amazing play for the whole match. I felt I was moving around the court well, and when I got to the ball, on the whole, I was hitting it really well.

What happened in the first game?
Unfortunately in the first game, I went 8-1 down. I feel like I lost concentration slightly, however I believe that Connor was having a really good start to the match. I got my head together, and he started making more mistakes, and then I managed to pull it back, and win the game. I made sure for the rest of the match that I didn’t lose concentration, as I didn’t want the added pressure of having to make a come back!

How do you feel about the courts?
I really like this club, here at The Mote. It is my first time at this tournament, and I hope to return next year, if possible. I like the court I played on tonight, however it was slightly difficult, because it was really hard to get a good length, due to it being so hot. I look forward to the rest of the week, with hopefully many more good matches to come.

Joel Makin

What worked well today?
I was quite fortunate in that my opponent did a lot of the work for me today. He didn’t seem too interested in having long rallies, and he made a number of mistakes, which was to my advantage

How do you feel for the rest of the tournament?
Last year I played in this tournament, and I lost in the final, at the last hurdle. Therefore, this year, I hope to get there again, but hopefully be victorious this time.


Connor Sheen

How did you feel today went?
If I’m being honest, I feel like I played a lot better today than yesterday. This is due to the fact that I concentrated really hard as I know he is a really good player. I focused on playing low and hard, as he is a good volleyer, but today I was fortunate that all my shots worked. I also had to play tight to move him off of the tee.

Did the heat affect the game today?
I was lucky today, because although off court, it was so hot, on court it wasn’t too bad, however, it did become more crucial for me to have ball control, due to it being bouncy, and if I lost control, the ball would have been flying everywhere. However, sometimes the hot court gave me an advantage, as it meant I could get to shots, as the balls were bouncing.

What happened to make you fall over?
In the first game, on one of the first few points, I slipped over on a patch of sweat that was on the court. On the way down I bashed my hamstring on the floor, and I had a small worry that my leg was going to go dead. However, after forcing movement to it, it loosened up and was I was luckily OK to carry on and eventually win the match.

Ondrej Uherk

What went well for you today?
My legs felt very strong, which is good, especially after yesterday’s match. I felt strong going into today. I felt fit, which stood me in good stead, and I felt I was fast, which was good, I as know I was up against a tough player, and needed to be on my best form.

What happened in the order of play?
I started strong by going 2-0 up, which meant I felt slightly more relaxed. However, I think I possibly relaxed a little bit too much, and went to 2-2. However, I had faith in myself that I could win the final game, which I did. I think this was a good result.

How do you feel about the rest of the tournament?
I feel confident going into the main draw, as I know I have no pressure, as I am a qualifier. I am really happy to qualify, and I think it has heled increase my confidence. I have only played a few of the opponents that are in the main draw, so it is a little unknown for me what is coming up, but I am excited to play at the Mote, as it is a nice club. Hopefully my squash continues to improve throughout the rest of the week.

Rui Soares

What went well for you today?
I felt like I played very well today, almost as though I was on fire. My attacking was perfect; I took volleys whenever I could, which meant I was up in front to attack. My only thought is that I wish I could play like this all of the time.

What happened in the order of play?
I played very consistently for the entire game, which is good for me, and also my confidence. The first game I won fairly easily, 11-1, which gave me faith and hope going into the second game. My game continued to remain on fire, with my attacking being the lead to the victory, and I won in 3 games.

How do you feel about the rest of the tournament?
Now that I have qualified, I feel a release of pressure. I feel like it is the other guys who have the pressure on winning, as they are playing the qualifier. However, I hope to carry on playing really well, so then maybe I can carry on in the tournament as far as possible. As far as knowing my opponents, I am slightly uncertain, as I have only played 1 of them before, but this again means there is no pressure, so hopefully I can go in nice and relaxed, and do what I know I can do, and do well.

Mark Broekman

In the qualifying round, Mark played Rory Stewart, aged 20, who drove down from Scotland just the previous day. The final score was 3-0 to Mark, after a short match of 26 minutes. The score in the first game was 11-7, with Broekman having 3 game points on Rory’s serve, before managing to clinch the game. In the second game, Broekman stormed into the lead taking a 5-1 lead, however, Stewart soon closed this up to equalise it to 6-6. It was neck and neck throughout the rest of the game, with the final score being 13-11, so it was quite a close and long game for them both. In the 3rd game, Broekman again took the lead by gaining 5 points to 0, then to 8-2, however Stewart then managed to pull back to take the score level at 8-8. However, after this immense pull back, wining six points in a row, he was unable to secure another point in the game, so the final game score was 11-8.

Stewart is currently at his highest World ranking, at 191. However, Broekman has slipped three places from his 174, placing him at 177 currently. His win has hopefully given him the confidence in the next round of the qualifiers to gain a place into the main draw.

After the match Broekman was keen to mention that he couldn’t take all the credit for winning, as his opponent was struggling through with a back injury, meaning he wasn’t quite on his best form, which made the victory slightly easier.

Matthew Broadberry

Broadberry, aged 20, was up again Ben Coates, a fellow English player two years older. The final match score was 3-1 to Broadberry. Although he won he has been busy balancing his life with his university final exams, making sure he was playing enough squash to be able to stay in his best form for this tournament. The first game was fairly comfortable, with him securing an 11-3 victory. This put him in good stead for the rest of the match. Afterwoods, he explained that he was really trying to cut out all of the volleys his opponent put up, meaning that his opposition had less time to play the ball, putting him ahead in the rallies. The second game was tougher. He went 5-1 ahead, however Coates pulled back to 6-4, it was neck and neck for the rest of the game, until it became 8-7, where there seemed to be a surge of energy, as he only dropped one more point until he finished the game. Meaning the game score was 11-8. In the third game, Boradberry confessed he felt as though he relaxed slightly, getting slightly complacent about his 2-0 victory. He stopped volleying the balls, that he was previously taking out. Therefore, he unfortunately let the game slip away, narrowingly losing 13-11. In the fourth game, a renewed Broadberry came back on court, with a new lease of life, pushing forward to volley as much as possible. This paid off, as the final game score was 11-5, meaning he had a 3-1 victory behind him, before heading into the next round.

Connor Sheen

In the first round of the qualifiers, Sheen was up against the youngster Curtis Malik, who is only 17. Being the youngest competitor in the competition, he was faced with a challenge against the older more experienced men. The first 2 games were tight, however not too bad, and Sheen went 2-0 up. Both players were playing well, however Sheen had a slight edge over Malik. In the third game, Malik knew he had to win to stay in the match, and upped his game, using his magic at the front of the court to his advantage. He hit a number of nicks, which were unreturnable for Sheen. It was a long and very close game, however the final score was 16-14 to Malik. The game score is now 2-1, and both men came back on court hungry for a win.
In the fourth game, there were a few calls from the ref that both players disputed, however they pulled through and regained concentration on the match. In the fourth game, the score was 11-4, so a fairly comfortable win for the Liverpudlian, meaning he won the match in 41 minutes, with 3-1.

Miles Jenkins

Miles played our very own Jonny Powell, the tournament sponsor. This match was maybe not the hardest match he has played, however our sponsor gave up a good fight, and created a superbly entertaining game for everyone to watch. Both players hit some very good shots, lots of them being winners, however both also made mistakes. This match was probably the shortest match tonight, lasting just 24 minutes, for Miles to have a victory of 3-0. Both players said that the match was very fun, and our sponsor said ‘If I could wind back the clock 10 years, to when I was 22, and my opponent was 12, I could probably win’ this shows the friendly nature of the pair, and implies there were no hard feelings. Well played to both men, and thank you very much for sponsoring the 2017 Select Gaming Kent Open, for what I am sure will be a very good week of high standard squash.