2019 Colin Payne Kent Open Squash Tournament – Tunbridge Wells

Semi-Finals. Friday January 11th.

Semi-Finals. Friday January 11th.

(1) Rui Soares (Por) beat (3) Leonel Cardenas (Mex) 11-5, 15-13, 1-11, 11-8 (45 mins)

(2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) beat Stuart Macgregor (Eng) 11-3, 11-3, 11-8 (24 mins).

Final: (1) Rui Soares (Por) v (2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) Saturday 6pm.

Gallery >>


Top seeds Rui Soares and Jan Van Den Herrewegen will contest the final of the Colin Payne Kent Open, sponsored by Select Gaming, after two contrasting semi-final encounters.

Soares was made to battle hard by the tenacious talents of young Mexican Leonel Cardenas, but Van Den Herrewegen enjoyed a comfortable passage courtesy of tired opponent Stuart Macgregor.

In front of a packed gallery at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club, Portuguese ace Soares began strongly against Cardenas but the 18-year-old was furious at being denied a stroke when game ball down.

He began the second in furious fashion and went 8-2 up with a succession of stunning winners. However, Soares weathered the storm and gradually regained control to hold game ball at 10-9.

Cardenas was annoyed by more controversial decisions that went against him and Soares squeezed home 15-13.

The third game saw a complete turn-around as Cardenas dominated throughout and Soares offered only token resistance in many rallies as the Mexican raced through 11-1.

Soares found himself behind again the fourth as the crowd got behind the Mexican, who led 7-3 and seemed destined to take the match to five.

However, from that point on he was only to score one more point as Soares regained control to win 11-8 and complete victory in 45 minutes.

The 20-year-old Macgregor admitted to feeling exhausted after two brutal five-setters the day before.

He tried his hardest against Van Den Herrewegen but admitted: “I was shattered after those two matches yesterday. It would have been nice had one of them been an easy three-love, but that wasn’t the case. I had my ankle strapped up for support but that wasn’t an issue. I was simply exhausted.”

Alan Thatcher

Tournament Preview & Fact File


Kent Open heads to Tunbridge Wells

in memory of former national champion Colin Payne

Now known as The Colin Payne Kent Open sponsored by Select Gaming, the open kicks off on January 10-12th at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club in London Road.

Former Tunbridge Wells number one Colin Payne was a professional player who reached the world top 50 and appeared for Kent on more than 100 occasions. He died in a domestic incident in Dartford in 2016.

He was county champion five times, won the Kent over-35 title on ten occasions and, during the year of his death, he won the British Over-50s Championship.

Payne owned the Ripples chain of bathroom stores in Tunbridge Wells, Reigate and Brighton.

His long-time friend Ben Ford, who is club coach at Bexley, has been awarded the Wild Card in the draw and faces No.3 seed Jan Van Den Herrewegen, the Belgian number one, in the first round.

A doubles competition for the Colin Payne Shield will take place on the Saturday.

Sponsor Jonny Powell, Business Development Director of the Kent-based Select Gaming company, played alongside Payne in the Tunbridge Wells first team.

Jonny said: “I am delighted that the Kent Open has a new home at Tunbridge Wells. We are relocating to my home-town and also honouring the memory of one of Kent’s finest players. I am sure that Colin’s many friends in the game will want to visit the tournament to pay their respects and enjoy some great squash.

No. 1 Seed – Charlie Lee

Date of Birth: 13/05/1998
Height: 182cm (5’11”)
Coach: Rob Owen, Danny Lee
County: Surrey
Turned Pro: 2017
Highest World Ranking: 82 June 2018

We are delighted to be welcoming 20 yr old Charlie Lee as our No. 1 seed.

Charlie has a highest ranking of 82 in the world and is a former England U19, U17 and U15 champion!


First Round Draw (seeding number in brackets):

(1) Charlie Lee (Eng) v Nick Mulvey (Eng)
(7) Ben Coates (Eng) v Roman Allinckx (Sui)
(6) Mark Fuller (Eng) v Nick Wall (Eng)
(3) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) v Ben Ford (Eng, wild card).
(4) Leonel Cardenas (Mex) v Connor Sheen (Eng)
(5) Stuart Macgregor (Eng) v Viktor Byrtus (Cze)
(8) Miles Jenkins (Eng) v Harry Falconer (Eng)
(2) Rui Soares (Por) v TBA

Thursday January 10: Kent Open First Round starts at 1pm. Junior Coaching Clinic 4.30pm. Kent Open Quarter-Finals begin at 6pm.
Friday January 11: Lightning Round begins at 6pm. Kent Open Semi-Finals at 7pm and 8pm.
Saturday January 12: Coaching Clinics with the pros from 10am to 1pm. Doubles 1pm to 4.30pm.
Women’s Challenge at 5pm.
Colin Payne Kent Open Final: 6pm (followed by presentations and tournament party)

Kent Open founder Alan Thatcher, who has been involved in several high-profile tournaments, including the British Open, US Open and Canary Wharf Classic, will be masterminding operations. – A former doubles partner of Colin Payne at Maidstone, he said: “The tournament will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a new home venue after nine successful years at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone. “The growth of the Kent Open is due to the support of our sponsors, and Select Gaming have been involved every year since we started.

Tournament organiser Alan Thatcher hands over the Kent Open Trophies to Tunbridge Wells Squash Club chairman Mark Groves-Gidney

“It is hugely rewarding when you see young players go on to achieve great things in their careers. England’s Declan James and our reigning Kent Open champion Joel Makin (from Wales) are prime examples. …Pics from his win over Josh Masters >>

“Joel is in great form and has recently beaten the world champion, Mohamed ElShorbagy of Egypt, and Declan, another frequent visitor earlier in his career, is now at an all-time high of 16 in the world rankings. This makes him the new England number one, following in the footsteps of squash legends Nick Matthew and James Willstrop.

“It’s a pleasure watching guys like these compete in the Kent Open and it’s wonderful to see their hard work and dedication paying off.”

Tunbridge Wells Squash Club chairman Mark Groves-Gidney added: “We strive to be one of Kent’s premier clubs so we are delighted to be hosting this prestigious tournament: it will be great for our members and all the sporting enthusiasts of Tunbridge Wells for us to hold the Kent Open.

“It is wonderful for Jonny Powell to bring this tournament ‘back home’ and we are very fortunate to have Alan Thatcher take care of the event. Tunbridge Wells Squash and Rackets Club is pleased to financially support this event and we acknowledge the gracious support of our sponsors including The Spa Hotel.

The Wells Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic will also be delivering support to the players and G Collins and Sons jewelers will finance a Ladies professional challenge match during the tournament”.


This year we are proud to announce the inclusion of an
exhibition match between Elise Lazarus and Gina Kennedy on Sunday before the men’s final.

Gina Kennedy (L) with Amelia Henley

Gina Kennedy (Left) with Amelia Henley



Joel Makin (Wales) beat Josh Masters (England) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (37 mins)


Tom Ford (England) beat Joel Makin (Wales) 8-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9 (83 minutes)


Charles Sharpes (England) beat (Q) George Parker (England) 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10 (74 mins)


Jonathan Kemp (England) beat Steve Finitsis (Australia) 13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 (60 minutes)


Jonathan Kemp (England) beat Adrian Waller (England) 11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 (48 minutes)


Chris Simpson (England) beat Karim Ali Fathi (Egypt) 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (45 minutes)


Chris Ryder (England) beat Max Lee (Hong Kong) 11-9, 16-18, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4 (121 minutes)


Alan Clyne (Scotland) beat Jonathan Harford (England) 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (35 minutes)


The Mote Classic Invitation Tournament:

Chris Ryder (England) beat Aaron Frankcomb (Australia) 11-13, 13-11, 11-2, 11-6 (82 minutes)

Kent Open Squash Tournament
2019 Sponsors

Kent Open Squash Tournament
2019 Sponsors