R1: Rafi wobbles from leading positions against WC Charlie

[WC] Charlie Lee (ENG) 3-0 Raphael Kandra (GER)  11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (43m)

The German won’t be happy with his match. He won’t be happy with the second part of 2022 and 2023 probably. Have a look at the great listing from Squashinfo: in green seeding achievement, in orange, not achieved.

As too often as he confesses it himself, he is in control of the matches only to lose the lead he has created and loses matches he seemed able to win. Like today:

up 6/0 in the first game, a contact between Rafi’s racket and Charlie’s forehead. A little break to stop the bleeding, not long about 5m I would say. And that’s it for the German. From 8/2 up, he won’t be able to stop Charlie’s superb sharp and crispy attacks, 10/8 – that’s 8 points, and will close the 19m opener in 19m (with the injury break).

In the second, good reaction from Rafi, 3/0. But 6 points in a row for the Home favourite, 6/3. 6/6. And despite a few errors, the English puts his nose ahead, 8/6, 10/7, 11/8 in 10m. The crowd is not unhappy, needless to say.

Very hard for Rafi in the third, the head is gone, 4 errors in 6 points, down 5/1, 6/2. A good ‘pride push’ from the Paderdon man, but despite some great and intense rallies, the young Englishman is cruising ahead, 9/4, 10/6, 11/7 in 11m last game.


“It was good after the first six points. My best win, highest profile win. It is just a nice reward for working hard, it was enjoyable, a good performance.

“It is not easy trying to ignore everyone before the match. It is not often you get so many people you love all in one place, but it is nice to perform well in front of everyone. Hopefully, I can talk to everyone, but it is really nice to perform in front of everyone. I haven’t done it before when I had the opportunity.

“I have been working hard on my mental side. It is something that I have always wanted to improve, and I am well aware there is no… Often people think you go and see an expert and there is something you do in between points, but it is really just trying to implement things into everyday life and I have been doing that with the help of a few people in my team.”