Capital squash player Doug Kempsell was as brutally honest as ever after narrowly missing out on his third PSA title in three months in the Cronimet Open final in Skelleftea, Sweden.
The No.2 seed won back-to-back tournaments in France and Germany shortly before Christmas, and the 23-year-old looked more than capable of adding to his collection when he stormed through to the Cronimet final without dropping a single game.
His opponent, sixth seed Mohammad Al Sarraj, was a familiar one after Kempsell beat the Jordanian teenager in the Berlin final in December. Al Sarraj had stunned top seed Joe Green and third seed Auguste Dussourd on his way to Sunday’s final, and he twice came from behind to edge a 74-minute thriller 6-11, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8, 11-5.
A foot injury dating back to last month seemed to hamper Kempsell’s mobility in the closing stages, and he admitted: “That was one of the least enjoyable squash matches I’ve ever played. My foot is in pieces and my mind is even worse. I came here to get some results, and at least I won three matches and reached the final.”
Kempsell’s other small consolation is that he is likely to climb back into the world’s top 100 in next week’s updated PSA rankings.