Suttton International : Jan the champ

Sutton Coldfield International 2019 : FINAL
[1] Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) 3-0 Sam Todd (Eng) 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (41m)

A fitting finale to an incredible week of squash at the club. The show court was absolutely packed for this match and a real sense of expectation in the build-up. Spectators saving their seats up to 45 minutes before the start of the match.

The first game was a quality affair, Jan setting up camp high up the court looking to force the pace with Sam hitting good lines to make it difficult for the Belgian. A very tight first game going the way of the 2nd seed.

The second game was dominated by Jan, Sam looking as though the effects of the week were starting to catch up with him despite some long, high quality rallies.

Jan stormed to an 8-3 lead in the third and the match looked as good as over, Sam then finding the energy for a final stand and a way back to 7-9 before finally relenting to give Jan victory and an unbelievable fourth title in five attempts.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make the event a success and in particular our title sponsors Aston and Fincher who have been supporting the tournament from day one.

Chris Hall


Sam Todd 3-0 Ammar Altamimi

A superb performance from Sam, belying his young age. Ammar playing his usually attacking game which played into the Yorkshiremans’s hands who countered superbly, finding particular success with the trickle boast from the front left.

The first two games were even to five all before a combination of winners from Sam and mistakes from the Kuwaiti proved the difference. Where Ammar was so good yesterday with his high-risk play, he produced a higher error count this evening, no doubt due to the pressure he was under as the ball kept coming back from the fluid junior.

The third was one way traffic with the resistance broken and confidence flying for from the youngster as he showed an impressive array of winners, including a rolling nick off the boast to finish.

Jan Van Den Herrewegen 3-0 Abhay Singh 

A repeat of last year’s semi-final where Abhay performed superbly to inflict Jan’s only defeat to date at this event.

Jan’s intentions were clear from the outset as he set a blistering pace and looked to volley as much as possible. He showed a great variety from the middle taking the ball in well on the volley drop and boast, Abhay struggling to match the pace and looking slightly leggy from yesterday’s efforts.

The second looked like following a similar pattern with the Belgian quickly establishing a 5-1 lead. A combination of errors and some much better movement and tighter play from Abhay saw the Pontefract based player comeback and hold a game ball which Jan saved, before taking the game 12-10.

The efforts of the second game clearly had an effect on the 7th seed, as he quickly found himself 8-1 down after some intense pressure from his opponent. A series of quickfire winners helped him stem the tide but Jan always had a cushion.

Quarters :

Ammar Altamimi 3-0 Chris Hall

The end of the road for the local favourite as our top seed edged three close games. Chris held noticeable leads in the first and third but Ammar played some of his best squash from this point to take the games, attacking particularly well from deep.

Sam Todd 3-1 Stuart Macgregor

Some breath-taking shot making and retrieving on display, Sam just showing the greater variety in the first two and using his deception to good effect. He appeared to be tiring slightly in the third and Stuart got himself back in the match with some good play. Both players slowed slightly in the fourth and again it was Sam’s hold and options that proved the difference.

Abhay Singh 3-2 Robert Downer

This was the evenings marathon match with some long patient rallies broken up by periods of more explosive front court action. The first two games were very even but Robert just able to up the pace at the right times and was good value for his lead. Abhay wasn’t about to give in and showed great spirit to turn things around with some fantastic squash over the next three games, all of which were still closely matched.

Jan Van Den Herrewegen 3-1 Mike Harris 
A very entertaining match with Mike throwing everything he could at Jan but the Belgian soaking up the pressure well and responding with attacks of his own. Mike clipped the top of the tin with a chance to take the match to a fourth game but overall Jan deserved his victory.

Round Two

Ammar Altamimi 3-2 Miles Jenkins
The top seed took a two-game lead with the more positive play before Miles changed tactics to good effect with a more attacking style to draw level. Ammar managing to regroup and come through a close match

Chris Hall 3-0 Roshan Bharos
Cheered on by the home crowd Chris was able to use home court advantage to good effect with some effective attacking play. It was never comfortable though and Roshan was very much in the match throughout.

Stuart Macgregor 3-2 James Peach
A very good match which seemed over at 2-1 to Stuart, especially with James having a tough match in the legs from round 1. However, James tightened up to force a decider but Stuart was able to pull away again in the fifth.

Sam Todd 3-2 Rory Stewart
We witnessed a real turnaround in this one with the betting money definitely on Rory at two games up but the young Yorkshireman showed impressive resolve and no shortage of quality to fight his way back and take an impressive scalp.

Robert Downer 3-0 Harry Falconer 
Robert taking full advantage of a slightly below par Harry who retired in the third game. The Nottingham based played not allowing his opponent into the game at all with some dominating play.

Abhay Singh 3-1 Elliot Morris Devred
This match was always going to be a cracker with Abhay reaching last year’s final and Elliott in good form. Every game was really well contested and a couple certainly could have swung the other way.

Mike Harris 3-0 Israr Ahmed
Mike always had his nose in front despite some very good attacking play from Israr.

Jan Van Den Herrewegen 3-0 Mark Fuller 
A ruthless performance from out three-time champion, not allowing Mark to settle at all. Jan certainly looking focused.

Round One:

Sam Todd 3-1 Muhammad Farhan
Muhammad showed some nice attacking play to take the second but Sam being more solid overall and in relative control throughout.

Elliott Morris- Devred 3-0 Edwin Clain
Closer rallies than the scores suggest here, but Elliott showing confidence after his victory in Italy last week to have the attacking edge.

Chris Hall 3-0 Vini Rodrigues
Backed by the home crowd, the club coach controlled the first two games and came back in the third despite Vini showing some better play and holding a 5-0 lead.

Harry Falconer 3-2 Lewis Anderson 
This was the match of the evening with the fast-improving Lewis pushing Harry all the way. Some really good squash being played and unfortunate that there had to be a loser.

Miles Jenkins 3-1 Jack Turney 
A very close opening two games with the ever-improving Jack pulling pack from 5-10 to take the second. Very competitive after this but Miles always slightly in control.

Mike Harris 3-2 Nick Mulvey
An exciting and sometimes very attacking match between these two good friends which had several twists and turns. Harris getting the edge to take a comfortable fifth.

Mark Fuller 3-2 Julian Tomlinson
A real battle of attrition which saw both players doing their share of work. Fuller having control of slightly more of the rallies but Julian showing incredible athleticism to force a decider.

James Peach 3-1Josh Owen 
The crowd were certainly behind Josh for this match and it really could have gone either way. Both playing some really good stuff and demonstrating great court coverage. James taking an important third game.