Both Robert Thirst and Sam Henden, have recently travelled to a number of PSA tournaments. At these tournaments, prize money and most importantly world rankings points are on offer. Due to the calibre of these tournaments they attract highly ranked players, not just from England but abroad as well.
Early in the summer both players travelled to the Cambridge Open, a PSA 1k. Robert and Sam both suffered frustrating first round losses. Robert losing to Josh Atwell and Sam Henden losing to Chris Longman. Both players played well but felt they could have done better.
Later in the summer both players were off again, this time to play in the Thanet Open, a PSA 3k, in Kent. As the prize money was larger for this event, bigger names and higher ranked players were in the draw. Players such as Ben Coleman, world ranked 54 and Richie Fallows world ranked 58 were noticeable names.
Sam and Robert both suffered first round loses again, but put in promising performances against strong opposition. Sam was drawn against Rob Downer in the first round. Rob has reached a highest world ranking of 120, and is currently ranked 182 in the world. A tough opponent but Sam gave a great showing of himself being in control of a number of rallies and sticking with Rob till the later stages of each game. Robert also had a tough opponent in the first round, coming up against ¾ seed Joe Green. Joe has a highest world ranking of 105 and is currently ranked 114 in the world. Robert took the lead in each game, but Joe came through strongly during the mid part of each game to push on and take a 3-0 win.
These tournaments are not only for players looking to play on the PSA word tour. Many of the smaller PSA tournaments will be organised with a graded tournament alongside them, so club players can enter and also have competitive matches in a draw more suited to their level.
During August Robert travelled to the National Closed Satellite in Kent, unfortunately Sam could not make this tournament. Robert lost in the qualifying finals 3-1 to Gary Nisbet, 12-10 in the fourth. A great performance from Robert to push an experienced player to four games. This meant that Sam had picked up world ranking points from two tournaments over the summer and Robert had picked up points from three.
Sam is currently Ranked 502 in the world and Robert 489. With both players highest world ranking being 479 (August 2017). The aim for both players is to continue training, improving and making it further through PSA tournaments to gain more ranking points, pushing them higher in the rankings as a result.
A Great Achievement from both players!