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Top seed Charlie Lee forced to miss squash's Colin Payne Kent Open at Tunbridge Wells through illness

By Craig Tucker

The Colin Payne Kent Open has a new venue after leaving The Mote for Tunbridge Wells Squash Club.

This year’s tournament starts on Thursday but has already lost the top seed after Charlie Lee pulled out through illness.

The Surrey player is suffering from post-viral fatigue and has admitted defeat in his attempts to play, having been troubled since late October.

Top seed Charlie Lee has withdrawn from the Colin Payne Kent Open Picture: Unsquashable
Top seed Charlie Lee has withdrawn from the Colin Payne Kent Open Picture: Unsquashable

Portuguese player Rui Soares has been promoted to No.1 seed, with Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Belgium) at No.2, Leonel Cardenas (Mexico) at No.3 and Stuart Macgregor (England) at No.4.

There will be keen interest in the performance of Yorkshire’s Nick Wall in the first round.

The 18-year-old left-hander from Sheffield played his last match as a junior by finishing runner-up to Egypt’s Mostafa Asal in the Dunlop British Junior Open Under-19 final in Birmingham on Sunday.

Wall faces a tough assignment against the experienced No.5 seed Mark Fuller from Nottingham.

Wall is among a group of talented young English players being mentored by three-times world champion Nick Matthew, who has twice been victorious on visits to Kent when the tournament began life as the Maidstone Open.

Eight first-round matches will be played across two courts, starting at 1pm, followed by the quarter-finals at 6pm.

Semi-finals take place at 7pm on Friday, with the final at 6pm on Saturday.

Draw (seeds in brackets): (2) Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) v Nick Mulvey (Eng), (7) Ben Coates (Eng) v Rohan Toole (Aus), (5) Mark Fuller (Eng) v Nick Wall (Eng), (4) Stuart Macgregor (Eng) v Ben Ford (Eng), (3) Leonel Cardenas (Mex) v Charlie Cowie (Eng), (8) Connor Sheen (Eng) v Viktor Byrtus (Cze), (7) Miles Jenkins (Eng) v Harry Falconer (Eng), (1) Rui Soares (Por) v Mike Harris (Eng).

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