Fightback Takes Clyne Into Kent Open Final
6 Jun 2010
Top seed Alan Clyne fought back from two games down to beat Dutchman Piedro Schweertman in the semi-finals of the Kent Open to claim a place in the climax of the new $10,000 One Star PSA World Tour squash event in Maidstone in the English county of Kent.
The Scottish No1 won 6-11, 11-13, 11-1, 11-8, 12-10 in 69 minutes of high quality squash that delighted a packed gallery at The Mote Squash Club.
The entertainment value served up by both players more than made up for the earlier disappointment of the sudden withdrawal of No3 seed John Rooney, who went down with food poisoning overnight after a family meal in London.
That presented qualifier Jonathan Harford with a walkover into the final and the prospect of picking up some valuable ranking points as the 26-year-old from Birmingham bids to climb back up the PSA world ladder after several months out with a hip injury.
Clyne will obviously be favourite to become the first winner of this inaugural tournament - but Harford was delighted to watch Clyne and Schweertman make such a massive physical investment in the semi-final.
The No6 seed from Amsterdam lost in straight games to Clyne when they met in the recent final of the West of Ireland open. This time he began strongly to take the first game and hit back from 8-4 down to win the second 13-11 on a tiebreak.
However, that phenomenal effort clearly took its toll as the 26-year-old tired in the second game. It looked like Clyne might achieve a rare 11-0 whitewash until the Dutchman scrambled a point on game ball.
If Schweertman was taking a tactical rest it clearly had the desired effect as he opened up an 8-5 lead in the fourth game. He then showed commendable sportsmanship as he called his own shot down just three points away from victory.
Clyne responded in magnificent style, reeling off six points in a row to make the scores level at two games all.
The fifth game was a classic mixture of skill and attrition as both players fought to a standstill. Clyne won the first three points but Schweertman drew level and then moved ahead at 6-5. Clyne then won four points in a row but Schweertman turned the tables to reach match ball at 10-9.
Both players attacked throughout and a succession of devastating winners was matched by some spectacular retrieving.
Staring defeat in the face, Clyne once again showed his phenomenal powers of recovery to force a tiebreak and win the next two points to clinch victory.
The win marks Clyne's second PSA Tour final of the year - and the eighth of the 23-year-old from Edinburgh's career.
Harford is celebrating his sixth career final, but his first since contesting the climax of the Charleston Challenge in the USA in September 2008 - when he lost to Clyne in the pair's only previous Tour clash!