Wildcard Lee Gatecrashes Optasia L16 After Day One Upset
22 Mar 2023
English wildcard Charlie Lee recorded a superb victory on day one of the Optasia Championship in London when he overturned a 38-place ranking gap to defeat Germany's Raphael Kandra to move into his first PSA World Tour Gold event second round.
After a poor start, the world No.58 managed to shake away the nerves about performing in front of many friends and family and started to string together solid, positive rallies to ask serious questions of the German. Lee clawed back a 7-1 deficit in game one to take the game 11-9 and carry that momentum into the following two games.
"It was good after the first six points. My best win, highest profile win. It is just a nice reward for working hard, it was enjoyable, a good performance," explained Lee later.
"It is not easy trying to ignore everyone before [the match]. It is not often you get so many people you love all in one place but it is nice to perform well in front of everyone. Hopefully I can talk to everyone, but it is really nice to perform in front of everyone. I haven't done it before when I have had the opportunities," added the son of tournament organiser Danny Lee, the former world No.30.
"I have been working hard on it [mental side]. It is something that I have always wanted to improve, and I am well aware there is no... Often people think, you go and see an expert and there is something you do in between points, but it is really just trying to implement things into everyday life and I have been doing that with the help of a few people in my team."
Aside from Lee, the only other upset of the day came from Malaysia's Eain Yow Ng, who beat England's Patrick Rooney to join the other higher-ranked players in the second round of the event at The Wimbledon Club.