In-form Sharpes targets British Open place
Charles Sharpes wants to end his best season to date by reaching next week’s British Open Squash Championships.
The 20-year-old, who trains at Wimbledon Racquets Club, has soared to a career-high 76 in the world rankings after impressive performances on the Professional Squash Association tour in the past six weeks.
The British Open at London’s O2 Arena would be the icing on the cake but first Sharpes must come through a tough qualifying tournament at St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club in Weybridge this weekend.
“It would be amazing to be there,” he said.
“It is the first time they have had the British Open for a while and, being from London, it is extra special they are holding it at the O2.
“It would be great to get through but I have to win two matches to qualify and those competing at St George’s will mostly be ranked between 25 and 60 in the world so it will be difficult.
“But I have beaten a few players who have better rankings than me recently so there’s no reason why I cannot to do it again.
“I play for the team at St George’s in the Premier Squash League so I know it quite well and hopefully, I will get the crowd on my side.”
Since the Canary Wharf Classic in March, where Sharpes bowed out at the qualifying round, he has beaten a number of players ranked higher than him in tournaments in Canada, America and Switzerland.
His best result came in the $15,000 PSA World Tour Challenger 15 tournament in Sudbury, Canada, where he beat world number 29 Shahier Razik 3-0 on his way to the semi-finals.
“I have been really busy of late but had some good results in tournaments,” he added.
“The Challenger 15 was my best on the PTA tour so far and included my biggest win, which I was really happy with.
“Razik has been around for years and is a seasoned professional so to beat him 3-0 I was really happy with my performance.
“It was good for my ranking as well and going from 88 to 76 is a big jump for me, especially at this stage as when you are in the top 100 you normally only go up in little stages.
“It has been a good season for me, especially the second half.”