Top seed Chris Simpson faces French qualifier Antoine-Camille Perucci in the first round of the SE Leisure Kent Open after some brutal qualifying battles at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone.
Perucci overcame Nottingham’s Chris Fuller after a remarkable opening game lasting 24 minutes. Fuller wasted five match balls before Perucci clinched the tiebreak 18-16. The 21-year-old Frenchman, who lives in Corsica, dominated the rest of the match and punished Fuller with some clever and accurate drop shots.
Fuller’s brother Mark also came unstuck after a physical encounter with Nottingham team-mate Declan James, the British and European Under-19 champion. James triumphed in straight games after a hard-hitting 49-minute encounter to claim a first round clash with No.2 seed Henrik Mustonen of Finland.
Pakistan’s Adil Maqbool ended the giant-killing run of The Mote’s 16-year-old James Evans, who had outplayed the experienced Rory Pennell the day before. Maqbool triumphed in straight games but was very complimentary about his young opponent’s ability and court coverage.
Kent No.1 Steven London faces a third French player in the draw, Julien Balbo, after powering past Alex Preston in 22 minutes.
Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi, who won the Isport Colwyn Bay event last week, beating Balbo in the final, meets Birmingham-based Jaymie Haycocks in the first round.
Hungarian No.3 seed Mark Krajcsak faces Zimbabwe-born Englishman Anthony Graham, while No.4 seed Kristian Frost from Denmark plays wild card Robbie Downer, from Portsmouth.
SE Leisure Kent Open, The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent
PSA World Tour Satellite 10. Qualifying Finals:
Antoine-Camille Petrucci (France) beat Chris Fuller (Eng) 18-16, 11-6, 11-1 (45 mins)
Steven London (Eng) beat Alex Preston (Eng) 11-4, 11-1, 11-6 (22 mins)
Adil Maqbool (Pak) beat James Evans (Eng) 11-7 11-4 11-9 (27 mins)
Declan James (Eng) bt Mark Fuller (Eng) 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (49 mins)
SE Leisure Kent Open First Round:
(1) Chris Simpson (Eng) v (Q) Antoine-Camille Perucci (Fra)
Alex Phillips (Eng) v Elvinn Keo (Mas)
Lucas Serme (Fra) v (Q) Adil Maqbool (Pak)
(4) Kristian Frost (Den) v Robert Downer (Eng)
(3) Mark Krajcsak (Hun) v Anthony Graham (Eng)
Karim Ali Fathi (Egypt) v Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
Julien Balbo (Fra) v (Q) Steven London (Eng)
(2) Henrik Mustonen (Fin) v (Q) Declan James (Eng)
Full coverage: www.squashsite.co.uk/2009/kentopen2012.htm