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19 May 2024

Lee Laps Up Late Grand Prix Call

19 Sep 2012

Offered a place in the qualifying draw of the Springfield Solutions British Grand Prix just hours before the beginning of play, England's Joe Lee took full advantage of the opportunity of making the main draw of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event by upsetting Scotland's Alan Clyne in a five-game thriller at the Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis & Squash Club in Wolverhampton.

The London-born 22-year-old was called up as a late replacement for Borja Golan, the Spaniard who was promoted into the main draw following the withdrawal of Egypt's former world No1 Karim Darwish.

Clyne, the world No30 from Edinburgh, recovered from two games down to force the match into a decider - but Lee, ranked 26 places lower, regained the upper hand to close out the match 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8 after 94 minutes - the longest match of the day.

Lee's shock victory will guarantee two additional English places in the main draw - as he faces fellow countryman Chris Simpson in one of today's qualifying finals, while another pits Adrian Waller against former Wolverhampton-based Chris Ryder.

Channel-Islander Simpson, ranked 38 in the world, also survived marathon opener, overcoming India's Siddharth Suchde 11-6, 5-11, 12-10, 14-12 in 84 minutes.

Waller also recorded a notable upset by defeating Max Lee, the Hong Kong number one ranked 16 places higher, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10 in 75 minutes.

Ryder, the club's 32-year-old former pro, was coming back from illness - but fought back from 2/1 down to beat fellow local Jaymie Haycocks 11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8 in 74 minutes.

France's Mathieu Castagnet, ranked 37 in the world, proved too strong for Darren Lewis, beating the Wolverhampton club coach 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 in 40 minutes - which according to Lewis "felt more like two hours". Lewis, who retired from the PSA World Tour several years ago, had the support of a very vocal Wolverhampton crowd which carried him through the early stages of each of the three games.

In the only qualifying final without domestic interest, Castagnet will face world No26 Marwan El Shorbagy. The Egyptian teenager recovered from two games down to beat Frenchman Gregoire Marche 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 in 70 minutes.

England's Jonathan Kemp proved too strong for fellow countryman Ollie Holland, beating the 18-year-old from Nottingham 12-10, 11-9, 11-3.

Left-hander Kemp, the Wolverhampton-born world No28, now takes on India's Saurav Ghosal. UK-based Ghosal, ranked 23 in the world, received a bye in the first round after the late withdrawal of Egypt's four-time world champion Amr Shabana, which led to German Simon Rosner's elevation to the main draw.

Qualifying finals line-up:
Adrian Waller (ENG) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Joe Lee (ENG) v Chris Simpson (ENG)

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1st qualifying round:
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10 (75m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8 (74m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Darren Lewis (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (40m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (70m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bye
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Ollie Holland (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-3 (35m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-6, 5-11, 12-10, 14-12 (84m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8 (94m)