Kingston and Wimbledon squash star Charles Sharpes targets return to form at Paris Open

Charles Sharpes is in confident mood ahead of his opening match of the Paris Open on Wednesday, despite missing out on the Canary Wharf Classic last week.

The 23-year-old from Kingston heads to the French capital on the back of a disappointing 11-6 11-7 11-7 defeat to South African Shaun Le Roux in the Classic’s qualifying tournament – which took place at his home club in Wimbledon.

Rather than being downbeat about the result though, Sharpes is looking to take the positives from his performance.

“The match against Shaun was quite close in some areas. If I had started better I think I would have caused him some problems,” he said.

“I was slightly disappointed not to do better but Shaun is nearly 30 places ahead of me in the rankings so I can take some positives from the defeat.

“I caused him some problems and played well in patches and I am feeling good going into Paris so I don’t see why it can’t be a good tournament for me.”

The world number 62, who plays for Wimbledon, will be seeded seventh for next week’s tournament meaning he will face a qualifier in his opening game on Wednesday.

Should he come through that encounter he is likely to face Australian world number 59 Steven Finitsis.

The two met last March with Sharpes coming out on top in an epic clash ending 11-13 11-9 11-6 9-11 11-7.

Sharpes believes that experience will stand him in good stead should the two face each other as predicted.

“First I have to get through my opening match but I don’t see why that can’t happen if I get a good draw,” said Sharpes.

“Steve is a few places above me in the rankings but I have never lost to him so if we do meet I have no reason to fear him.”

The Paris Open concludes on Saturday and the tournament presents Sharpes with a genuine chance to move up the world rankings.

He said: “I’m playing quite well and if I improve I will move up the world rankings and the best way to do that is by winning matches.”

Feature image of Charles Sharpes, courtesy of Squashsite, with thanks

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