THE THATCHER INTERVIEWS
Alan Thatcher chats with Kent’s number one player
A: Great to see you back at The Mote for this year’s Kent Open Josh. Will you have finished your exams in Bristol by then? What course are you studying?
J: Studying mathematics, my last exam was on 18th May
A: As number four seed, you are in the same half of the draw as number two seed Todd Harrity. How often do you train together in Bristol?
J: We train lots when we are both in Bristol.
A: You also train with the El Shorbagy brothers. How have the group dynamics changed now that Marwan has beaten big brother Mohamed twice in the past few weeks?
J: No not really, still as competitive as ever.
A: Talking of brothers, have you lost to your younger brother Bradley yet?
J: No. He’s getting the odd game in practice, but I’m still the No.1 Masters!
A: Despite me offering him a local spot in the Kent Open, Brad chose to go all the way to New Zealand instead. Did you try and talk him out of it?
J: No, he made the decision to go a few months ago. It will be good experience for him.
A: You have worked your way up the rankings, although your position dropped from 53 to 60 in the May list. Was that down to the studies? If so, how did it affect your fitness and match preparations?
J: A little, yes. My Uni work has taken priority for the last 3 months as its my final year.
A: Great to see you in action TWICE at Canary Wharf, on the first day and the last, playing Nathan Lake on both occasions in qualifying at Wimbledon and then on the glass court in the Wild Card Play-Off Challenge. You also played him again at Canterbury a few days later, where you managed to gain a win. Tell us about those matches.
J: I train with Nathan when he’s at home. He knows my game, he played very well in the Canary Wharf matches and I know that I needed to be more patient. At Canterbury I tried to play at a fast pace and attack every ball.
A: Top three seeds in the Kent Open are Joel Makin, Todd Harrity and Richie Fallows. How would you describe those three players?
J: Joel: Fit very strong. Hard to break down
Richie: Fast and physical on court
Todd: Very patient and a great thinker on court
A: What have been your most enjoyable PSL matches for Bristol this season?
J: All were enjoyable but playing Daryl Selby at Leicester, even though I lost, was good fun.
A: You won a PSA $10k tournament in Saskatoon in November, beating Peter Creed in the final. Please tell us about that experience.
J: It was a great week as it was my biggest PSA title so far. I played well all week.
A: What are your plans for the rest of the summer after the Kent Open?
J: A family holiday, then summer training.
A: Do you fancy playing some doubles at The Mote on Saturday May 27th before the FA Cup Final?
J: I would love to, but I’m playing in the Welsh Open that weekend.