9:43 am
17 Jun 2024

Giant-Killer Kemp Wins Wolverhampton Open

7 Sep 2009

England's world No28 Jonathan Kemp continued his irrepressible form at the Wolverhampton Open to clinch the title after upsetting second-seeded compatriot Alister Walker in the final of the $20,000 PSA Tour squash event in its fourth year at Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis & Squash Club in Wolverhampton, England.

The 28-year-old sixth seed, who was born in Wolverhampton, had reached the final against expectations after knocking out top-seeded Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema in the semi-finals.

And in the final, Kemp recorded an emphatic 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 win to clinch the UK's largest club-based squash championship title.

Both finalists, competing in the event as part of their final preparations for the internationalSPORTgroup British Open in Manchester, showed remarkable resilience and powers of endurance after a succession of hard matches in earlier rounds.

The left-hander overcame spirited resistance from Walker, ranked 12 in the world, to the delight of a knowledgeable capacity crowd at the Wolverhampton club.

"That is without question the best I have ever played," said the local favourite. "Alister has beaten me on the last three occasions, so I am really pleased with my win tonight - I am sure we will have a lot of future battles.

"I had to play my very best having had tough matches in every round," added Kemp, now based in Halifax in Yorkshire. "Although the competition for this event is getting stronger each year, I'm already looking forward to coming back to defend my title. I really would like to thank my coaches David Pearson and David Campion; Danny Massaro my psychologist; and Jade Elias my physio; who have been working with me over the summer - clearly to good effect!"

Stephen Russell, the Tournament Director, said: "The crowds this year have been fantastic with more or less a full house from the first qualifying round. I would like to add a thank you to four of the professional competitors who stayed to the end of the week and put on a highly entertaining doubles match before the men's final. Amr Swelim and Campbell Grayson narrowly defeated Simon Rosner and Darren Lewis in a match full of tension and laughter.

"Without the support of our sponsors we cannot stage these events - so very many thanks to Marstons, Warley Carriers, First City Developments, TKBS and Digital HDMI."

Kemp's remarkable success marked his fourth PSA Tour title of the year - achieved in five successive final appearances since March, with title triumphs in the Manitoba Open in Canada, and then the Berkshire Open and Atlanta Open in the USA before his 'hometown' success in Wolverhampton.

[6] Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt [2] Alister Walker (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-9