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Kent Open 2023
(Supported by 501 Fun Colin Payne)


$3,000 Men's 501 Fun Colin Payne Kent Open 2023, Tunbridge Wells Squash Club, Tunbridge Wells, England
PSA Challenger Tour 3
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Kent Open 2023
Men's Draw
11 - 14 Jan
Tunbridge Wells, England, $3k

11 Jan
12 Jan
13 Jan
14 Jan

1] Valentin Rapp (GER)
11-1, 11-3, 11-2 (24m)
Dariusz Filipowski (POL)

Valentin Rapp
11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3 (36m)
Alex Smith
Valentin Rapp
10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (51m)
Noah Meredith
Noah Meredith
10-12, 11-6, 11-8,
10-12, 11-5 (67m)
Owain Taylor
Alex Smith (IRL)
9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8 (62m)
[6] Lewis Doughty (ENG)
[8] Noah Meredith (ENG)
11-5, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7 (32m)
Lowie Delbeke (BEL)
Noah Meredith
11-8, 11-4, 3-11, 12-10 (33m)
Temwa Chileshe
[3] Temwa Chileshe (NZL)
11-3, 11-7, 11-2 (25m)
Filip Jarota (POL)
[4] Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 (63m)
Abdelrahman Abdelkhalek (EGY)
Aqeel Rehman
11-9, 11-8, 13-11 (37m)
Perry Malik
Perry Malik
11-5, 11-9, 11-9 (34m)
Owain Taylor
[5] Perry Malik (ENG)
5-11, 11-4, 11-0, 11-8 (26m)
[WC] Bailey Malik (ENG)
Will Salter (ENG)
11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9 (72m)
[7] David Zeman (CZE)
Will Salter
11-7, 11-8, 11-2 (44m)
Owain Taylor
Jonah Bryant (ENG)
11-8, 17-15, 14-12 (54m)
[2] Owain Taylor (WAL)

Kent Open 2023
Women's Draw
11 - 14 Jan
Tunbridge Wells, England, $3k

11 Jan
12 Jan
13 Jan
14 Jan

[1] Torrie Malik (ENG)
10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (32m)
Isabel McCullough (ENG)

Torrie Malik
11-6, 13-11, 11-3 (27m)
Polly Clark
Torrie Malik
11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 13-11 (42m)
Yasshmita Jadishkumar
Torrie Malik
11-3, 11-4, 7-11,
12-10 (35m)
Alison Thomson
[8] Polly Clark (ENG)
11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (15m)
Phoebe Colman (ENG)
[6] Ella Galova (FRA)
11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (18m)
Mariana Ventura Martins (POR)
Ella Galova
11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (23m)
Yasshmita Jadishkumar
[4] Yasshmita Jadishkumar (MAS)
11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (15m)
Juliette Permentier (NED)
[3] Ali Loke (WAL)
6-11, 11-7, 16-18, 11-6, 11-9 (43m)
Sofia Aveiro Pita (POR)
Ali Loke
15-13, 11-9, 11-8 (29m)
Katriona Allen
Ali Loke
11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (20m)
Alison Thomson
[7] Katriona Allen (SCO)
9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (40m)
Sanne Veldkamp (NED)
[5] Alison Thomson (SCO)
11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (36m)
Katie Wells (ENG)
Alison Thomson
8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 (33m)
Élise Romba
Zi Fang Lee (SGP)
11-2, 11-4, 11-8 (22m)
[2] Élise Romba (FRA)

REPORTS                                                                                  Pictures by Artyom Liss



Owain Taylor and Torrie Malik take Kent Open titles

Owain Taylor and Torrie Malik are the 501 Fun Kent Open champions after two high quality finals.

After a week of superb squash featuring players from 16 nations we ended up with two all-British finals in front of a packed gallery at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club.

Home hero Noah Meredith played superbly but was unable to deliver another giant-killing act as Welsh international Taylor controlled the fifth game of a pulsating battle to clinch victory with a scoreline of 10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5.

In a tournament sponsored by Meredith’s Tunbridge Wells team-mate Jonny Powell, owner of 501 Fun, and dedicated to former Kent and England player Colin Payne, Meredith had taken out top seed Valentin Rapp (Germany) and No.3 seed Temwa Chileshe (New Zealand).

But despite Meredith showing plenty of the attacking skills that earned him two enormous victories, Taylor’s solid control gradually wore down his opponent’s resistance.

The two players are separated by more than 100 places in the world rankings, with Taylor at 112 and Meredith 215, but the 21-year-old from Brighton threatened another shock result as he hit back from 10-7 down to win the opening game on a tiebreak.

Taylor dominated the second and won the crucial third game after being 6-4 down.

Meredith started the fourth game in positive fashion to lead 4-1 and after a titanic tussle he won another tiebreak to take the match into a fifth game.

This time there was to be no fairytale finale as Taylor controlled proceedings with some precision squash to win it 11-5.

Afterwards, Taylor said: “It was a tough match which I feel like I was in control of for the majority. I was disappointed not to take the first after getting to 10-7 up, but credit to Noah – he played some good squash to level it and then take the game.

“I always knew that I had put more work into him than he had to me though in that first game so I was confident if I kept up that style of play and stuck to my game plan then it would work eventually!

“Luckily I was right and the next two games I felt like I controlled and managed to get through whilst still making Noah do most of the work.

“I wasn’t expecting him to come back so strong in the fourth and that took me by surprise. I didn’t think he had it in his legs to be honest but coupled with a few errors at key points from me and some great retrieval from him he managed to just sneak it again.

“I knew going into the fifth if I could get a two-point lead early on then I could maintain control of the game and continue to play the way I wanted. This came true and I managed to slowly increase the point gap towards the end of the game, setting myself up with all those match balls. Once you’re at that point you’re always confident in yourself to close it out.

“Overall I was really happy with how I played, and stuck to my game plan despite dropping those two tight games in tie breaks. Having come out of 2022, a year full of mental and physical struggles for me, I’m glad to start 2023 on the right path to being a great year for my squash!” 

The women’s final was a triumph for top seed Torrie Malik’s hard-hitting style against Scotland’s Alison Thomson.

Torrie Malik with Kent Open sponsor Jonny Powell of 501 Fun

Malik powered through the first two games but Thomson hit back in the third with some intelligently structured rallies that moved her opponent around the court.

Thomson threatened to take the match to a fifth game as she held game ball at 10-9 but Malik finished strongly to win it 12-10 to take the title.

Thomson said: “I was very pleased to reach my first PSA final after coming back from injury but Torrie played very well.”

Malik added: “It’s lovely to win in a club that feels like home. It’s not far from where we live and I want to thank the crowd for supporting me all week.”

 Semi Finals


Giant-killer Noah Meredith downs top seed Valentin Rapp to reach Kent Open final

Alan Thatcher Introduces the players in the Pre-match build-up

Royal Tunbridge Wells has a new Squash King after Noah Meredith toppled top seed Valentin Rapp to reach the final of the Colin Payne Kent Open, sponsored by 501 Fun.

Meredith, the 21-year-old from Brighton who plays number for the Tunbridge Wells team, played brilliantly to win 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 in 51 minutes of hugely entertaining squash.

The packed gallery roared with delight as No.8 seed Meredith, ranked 215 in the world, continued the attacking form that produced a similarly stunning win the night before against New Zealand’s No.3 seed Temwa Chileshe.

The opening game was even all the way through until Rapp, ranked 117, pushed through from 6-7 down to win on a tiebreak.

The players were evenly matched, with some brilliantly skilful exchanges at the front of the court.

Meredith conjured up a sustained spell of magical squash in the second game to win five consecutive points to lead 8-3. Rapp fought back but Meredith hit a stylish winner to take the game.

With his confidence sky high, Meredith dominated the third and fourth games as the winners flowed from his racket, winning each one 11-5.

He said: “Valentin is such a good player but I was very pleased with how I played tonight. I was focused and more patient than usual.

“Winning the second game was very important. I could hear Valentin breathing harder and that was a sign for me to prolong the rallies, which is not my normal game!”

Noah Meredith celebrates victory over Valentin Rapp

Meredith faces No.2 seed Owain Taylor in the final and he will be aiming to achieve another upset having beaten the Welshman last time they played in the Ostrava Open in Czech Republic last year.

Taylor overpowered No.5 seed Perry Malik in the other semi-final, winning an ill-tempered match 11-5, 11-7, 11-9.

Malik’s sister, top seed Torrie, squeezed through to the women’s final, beating Malaysia’s No.4 seed Yasshmita Jadishkumar on a fifth game tiebreak.

Malik started strongly, winning the first two games, but she lost concentration as her opponent began to dominate.

Jadishkumar wasted two match balls in the fifth as Malik won the final three points to triumph 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 13-11.

Malik meets Scotland’s Alison Thomson in the final. Thomson, who took out No.2 seed Elise Romba in the quarter-finals, has looked stronger every day this week.

Against No.3 seed Ali Loke of Wales she won a tough opening game after being 6-3 down, and then powered through the next two to win 11-9, 11-2, 11-2.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.

Quarter Finals


Home hero Noah Meredith stuns No.3 seed Temwa Chileshe to reach Kent Open semi-finals

Home hero Noah Meredith sprang a huge surprise by ousting No.3 seed Temwa Chileshe to reach the semi-finals of the Colin Payne Kent Open sponsored by 501 Fun.

Meredith, the 21-year-old from Brighton who plays No.1 for tournament host club Tunbridge Wells, produced a sparkling display of skilful, attacking squash to win 11-8, 11-4, 3-11, 12-10.

Noah Meredith clinches victory over Temwa Chileshe

Cheered on by a packed gallery, Meredith fought back from 8-5 down in the first game to win six points in a row with a mixture of deadly accurate drops and volleys.

He dominated the second game with a sustained spell of positive play but later admitted that he tried to force the pace in the third game only to lose it quickly after a flurry of errors.

New Zealander Chileshe, who has moved to the UK to be coached by three-times world champion Nick Matthew, powered through that third game and seemed to be gaining the ascendancy.

Chileshe looked set to take the match to a decider as he edged ahead in the fourth and he was first to game ball at 10-8. However, Meredith finished strongly to win the final four points to book his place in the semi-finals against top seed Valentin Rapp from Germany.

Afterwards, Meredith revealed: “My coach Ben Hutton used to call me ‘Hollywood’ because I was always looking to finish rallies as quickly as possible.

“But I have been able to play a lot more PSA tournaments this season thanks to the generous support of some of the members here at Tunbridge Wells.

“I had a good spell of results followed by a bit of a lull, but this season a few things have clicked into place mentally and I have been playing more patiently and waiting for the opportunity to go for the winner.

“Those tactics paid off for me tonight and I was really pleased with how I recovered after making so many errors in the third game.

“I was trying to force the issue and look for the win rather than build the rally to create the opening.

“It’s been great to have the home crowd cheering me on but I want to thank Temwa for such a clean and fair game.”

Number one seed Rapp dropped a game against 19-year-old Irishman Alex Smith before wrapping up a 3-1 win in 36 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, Perry Malik made it a great night for Sussex by beating No.4 seed Aqeel Rehman in three close games.

The vastly experienced Rehman hoped his short game would win it for him but the mobile Malik produced some outstanding retrieving matched by some high quality attacking shots of his own.

No.5 seed Malik made a powerful start to the opening game, quickly building up a 7-1 lead, and withstood a late surge from Rehman to win it 11-9.

He led 4-1 in the second before Rehman turned the tables to move ahead at 6-5, only for Malik to win five points in a row to reach game ball. Again, he survived a late flurry from the 16-times Austrian national champion before winning 11-8.

Rehman led 6-3 in the third and held game ball at 10-9 but Malik dug deep to win 13-11 to reach the semi-finals against No.2 seed Owain Taylor.

The Welshman wore down the resistance of England’s Will Salter to win 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 in 44 minutes and looks a solid contender for the title after two wins in straight games.

In the women’s competition, Scotland’s Alison Thomson hit back after losing the opening game to take out No.2 seed Elise Romba of France, winning 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 in 33 minutes.

Thomson improved as the match went on and dominated the second and third games. She built a strong lead in the fourth but Romba hit back to draw level at 7-7. Thomson reeled off three points in a row to hold match ball and she survived a late fightback from her opponent to seal a victory that takes her into the last four against Ali Loke of Wales.

Loke won three very close games against Scotland’s Katriona Allen, who held game ball at 12-11 in the first game before Loke took control to win 15-13, 11-9, 11-8.

Torrie Malik and Polly Clark

In the top half of the draw, number one seed Torrie Malik completed a Sussex hat-trick by beating Polly Clark in straight games, but Malik looked far from comfortable for the majority of the first two games before winning 11-6, 13-11, 11-3.

Malik’s semi-final opponent will be Malaysia’s impressive No.4 seed Yasshmita Jadishkumar, who won in straight games against French opponent Ella Galova.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.

Round 1


Alex Smith and Will Salter battle back to knock out seeds on day one of the Colin Payne Kent Open

Ireland’s Alex Smith and England’s Will Salter produced storming comeback wins against seeded opponents to win through to the quarter-finals of the Colin Payne Kent Open sponsored by 501 Fun at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club.

The 19-year-old Dubliner Smith trailed by two games to No.6 seed Lewis Doughty before raising his game to power home 9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8.

Smith said: “The first two games didn’t go well but in the third I started hitting my targets and things picked up from there.”Doughty appeared to have the upper hand in multiple rallies in the final two games but Smith’s phenomenal retrieving, coupled with accurate hitting while under pressure, saw him win through to a last-eight clash with top seed Valentin Rapp of Germany, who eased past Poland’s Dariusz Filipowski in straight games.

Salter faces No.2 seed Owain Taylor after fighting back from 7-3 down in the fifth to beat No.7 seed David Zeman of the Czech Republic.

It was a high quality match throughout, with the lead seesawing from game to game. Zeman roared through the fourth, dropping only three points, and seemed to have the upper hand in the fifth before Salter tightened up to win 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9 in 72 minutes, the longest match of a busy day in front of a packed gallery at the Tunbridge Wells club.

Welsh international Taylor produced a solid display to halt the hopes of Jonah Bryant, who finished runner-up in Sunday’s British Junior Open Under-19 final.

Bryant squandered an 8-5 lead in the opening game and the second was a brutal affair before Taylor won a long tiebreak. The third was almost as long but Taylor finished strongly in each game to win 11-8, 17-15, 14-12 in 54 minutes.

Local hero Noah Meredith, the Tunbridge Wells No.1, played superbly to beat Lowie Delbeke of Belgium 11-5, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7.

His reward is a quarter-final tie against No.3 seed Temwa Chileshe of New Zealand, who produced a consistently accurate display of powerful squash to beat Filip Jarota of Poland 11-3, 11-7, 11-2.

No.4 seed Aqeel Rehman scrapped his way through a fractious encounter with Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelkhalek before winning 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5. The Austrian No.1 now meets England’s Perry Malik, who beat his younger brother Bailey Malik 5-11, 11-4, 11-0, 11-8.

Their sister, women’s top seed Torrie Malik, was made to work hard by Kent’s rapidly improving Isabel McCullough before winning in four games. She now meets No.8 seed Polly Clark, who overcame Phoebe Colman, one of the junior coaches at Tunbridge Wells, in 15 minutes.

Ella Galova (France) and Yasshmita Jadishkumar (Malaysia) meet in the quarter-finals after enjoying similarly rapid results against Mariana Ventura Martins (Portugal) and Juliette Permentier (Netherlands).

In the bottom half of the draw, Scots Alison Thomson and Katriona Allen, seeded five and seven, both looked in strong form as they battled past Katie Wells (England) and Sanne Veldkamp (Netherlands) respectively.

Thomson meets France’s No.2 seed Elise Romba, who beat Leia Lee Zi Fang of Singapore in straight games. Allen tackles No.3 seed Ali Loke of Wales, who was taken the distance by Portugal’s Sofia Pita before winning 6-11, 11-7, 16-18, 11-6, 11-9.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.


The sole event on the Challenger Tour this week is the 501 Fun Colin Payne Kent Open, which begins on Wednesday, January 11 in Tunbridge Wells, England.

The Challenger 3 level competition features strong men’s and women’s draws and is dedicated to former Tunbridge Wells No.1 Colin Payne, a former professional player and England Masters National Champion, who died in tragic circumstances in 2016.

England’s Torrie Malik is the top seed for the women’s event. She was runner-up to Japanese No.1 Satomi Watanabe in last year’s final, and she will be aiming to go one better this week.

The Malik Family (Bailey, Torrie & Perry) will compete for honours in Kent
The Malik Family (Bailey, Torrie & Perry) will compete for honours in Kent

Following the Englishwoman is France’s Elise Romba, who will be the No.2 seed. Welshwoman Ali Loke and Malaysia’s Yasshmita Jadishkumar will make up the rest of the top four seeds. Two Scots, in Alison Thomson and Katriona Allen, along with France’s Ella Galova and England’s Polly Clark will also be seeded.

Three more English women will be in action in the 16-strong women’s draw. Katie Wells, Phoebe Colman and Isabel McCullough, who will take on top seed Malik in the opening round, will all feature.

Germany’s Valentin Rapp is the men’s top seed, with Welshman Owain Taylor, New Zealand’s Temwa Chileshe and Aqeel Rehman, the Austrian No.1, making up the rest of the top four.

England’s Perry Malik will be aiming to follow in older brother Curtis’ footsteps, after the now-World No.61 won last year’s event. He will take on younger brother Bailey, who will be the tournament’s wildcard.

Meanwhile, Tunbridge Wells first team star Noah Meredith will be the No.8 seed, while British Junior Open finalist Jonah Bryant will also be among those featuring. Will Salter and Lewis Doughty will be the other English players in action.

The Kent Open is sponsored by Tunbridge Wells first teamer Jonny Powell, whose 501 Fun company is transforming the hospitality industry by using technology to update traditional pub games like darts and shuffleboard in a fast-growing sector known as competitive socialising.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.

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