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Simon Herbert

Tortola Classic Preview: Herbert Aiming Towards Top 100

The second tournament to take place on the Challenger Tour this week will be the Carey Olsen Tortola Classic, which will be held at the Tortola Sports Club in the British Virgin Islands from Tuesday, June 21 to Saturday, June 25.

The Challenger 10 level event will be the first to be held on the British Virgin Islands since 2019 on Tour, and will feature some of the world’s top 100 who will be aiming to take home the title come Saturday evening.

USA’s Christopher Gordon will be the top seed for the tournament, but Canadian No.1 David Baillargeon will actually be the highest ranked player in the draw, with the World No.61 as one of the favourites to become the champion. USA’s Spencer Lovejoy and Hungarian No.1 Balazs Farkas will make up the rest of the top four seeds.

World No.113 Simon Herbert will be one of three Englishman in the 24-strong draw, and will be the No.5 seed for the Challenger 10 level competition. We spoke to the 20-year-old prior to the event, and he believes he is in the best form of his life right now.

“I currently feel that I’m certainly playing some of the best squash I have ever played. I still have some things to focus on but I feel fitter and stronger,” the Englishman explained.

“Having had a good few weeks off between tournaments after Manchester Open, I have really been able to focus on key things in my game and adjust and improve my performance. 

“After putting my focus and time into my weaker areas, and improving myself; I expect my game play to have improved and hopefully it will show. I’m confident I can push the top seeds, if not beat them. If I’m not able to perform to my full potential, I would be quite disappointed.”

At World No.113, Herbert is close to breaking into the world’s top 100 for the first time in his career, and he believes that good performances over the next few months can help him achieve that goal.

“This is a great opportunity to get good results in one or more of these tournaments. I’m confident I will perform well in BVI, and this will give me a boost in the right direction for the following tournaments. I can see myself breaking top 100 after these events,” he said.

“Consistency is really important to break these ranking barriers. Top 100 takes one good season. I have come up the rankings from being in the 330’s in August last year, to now being at 113. I feel these big jumps coming. I’ve set myself targets and goals, and aspire to reach them soon.”

Jonah Bryant and Adam Murrills will be the other two Englishman alongside Herbert in the draw, with nine home hopes in action. Luca Reich, Dion Anselm, Percy Rhoden, Jonathan Addo, Stuart Yau, Oliver Henderson, Eddie Brockbank, Daniel Henderson and Tom Chapman will all be representing the British Virgin Islands this week.

The event takes place from Tuesday, June 21 to Saturday, June 25 at the Tortola Sports Club in the British Virgin Islands. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

First Round Draw: Carey Olsen Tortola Classic
[1] Christopher Gordon (USA) – [Bye]
[WC] Stuart Rau (IVB) v [9/16] Liam Marrison (CAN)
[9/16] Joeri Hapers (BEL) v [WC] Percy Rhoden (IVB)
[8] Connor Turk (CAN) – [Bye]
[7] Christopher Binnie (JAM) – [Bye]
[WC] Jonathan Addo (IVB) v [9/16] Adam Murrills (ENG)
[9/16] Santiago Orozco (COL) v [WC] Oliver Henderson (IVB)
[4] Balasz Farkas (HUN) – [Bye]
[3] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) – [Bye]
[WC] Eddie Brockbank (IVB) v [9/16] Luca Reich (IVB)
[9/16] Mahmoud Abouelleil (EGY) v [WC] Dion Anselm (IVB)
[6] Andrew Douglas (USA) – [Bye]
[5] Simon Herbert (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Danny Henderson (IVB) v [9/16] Jonah Bryant (ENG)
[9/16] Petr Nohel (CZE) v [WC] Rory Thornton (IVB)
[2] David Baillargeon (CAN) – [Bye]

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