BritOpen Update: Simpson Secures Second Round Spot
World No.22 Chris Simpson sealed his place in the second round of the Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament for the first time since 2013 with an extremely hard-fought victory over Egypt’s Zahed Mohamed in Hull.
The lead changed hands multiple times throughout a gladiatorial 84-minute battle with Simpson seeing one-game advantages being extinguished on two occasions. Simpson dug in though and finally managed to overcome his opponent in the fifth to complete a superb 11-5, 12-14, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 triumph.
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“It was a really, really tough match,” said Simpson.
“I felt pretty comfortable in the first game and a half. After that though he stopped me from playing my game and I never felt comfortable again in the match. I’m really happy to win because I don’t think I was necessarily the better player out there on court.
“It was just a lot of determination and willpower that managed to get me through – and a lot of running!”
Simpson had the better in the early exchanges of a gruelling opening game which featured an incredible 80-shot plus rally that Simpson took, giving him the impetus to push on and take the lead.
Mohamed fought back though and kept his head after some punishing drives from his opponent to level things up courtesy of a dramatic 14-12 tie-break which yielded a deafening roar of delight from the 23-year-old. However, errors soon started to creep into the Egyptian World No.29’s game as he clipped the tin with a series of attempted drop shots, allowing Simpson to overturn Mohamed’s strong start in the third to restore his one-game lead.
Another fightback from Mohamed then ensued in the fourth with the qualifier pegging Simpson back yet again but an impressive display of resilience from Simpson resulted in the man from Guernsey taking a high-octane fifth game to set up a second round showdown with Germany’s Simon Rösner who defeated Max Lee.
Result – First Round: Men’s Allam British Open 2016
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-2: 11-5, 12-14, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 (84m)
Watch live action from the Allam British Open on SQUASHTV. It is also shown in Europe on Eurosport Player. Click here to find out more.