British Nationals 2009

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Previous Events

2008 2007 2006

. Men's Draw
. Women's Draw

. Previews

. Finals
. Semi Finals
. Quarter Finals (2)
. Quarter Finals (1)
. 2nd Round
. 1st Round
. Previews

Nick Matthew beats Adrian Grant 3-0 to take his second National title

Jenny Duncalf beats England team mate and holder Alison Waters 3-1 to regain her title

Click Pics for Larger View

Nick Matthew forces his way past James Willstrop to reach the final


Pictures Courtesy Of
Steve Line




A terrific finals day at Manchester’s National Squash Centre saw Nick Matthew and Jenny Duncalf (Yorkshire) crowned Champion in the pinnacle domestic event of the squash calendar.

Fourth seed Nick Matthew (Yorkshire) lined up against Adrian Grant (Kent) for what turned out to be a well executed and professional victory. Third seeded Grant had few answers to Matthew’s high energy game and unable to stamp his authority on the match, lost 11/4, 11/3, 11/9 in 38 minutes.

Matthew said, ‘I know Adrian [Grant] well so I knew I couldn’t expect an easy time. I think perhaps he was slightly nervous going into his first final as we have had some far closer games in the past.’

‘I’m sure he will be back competing at the next National’s and will fully expect him to be in the hunt for the title once again.’

In the women’s competition, reigning National Champion Alison Waters was unable to defend her title as top seed, Jenny Duncalf, won a close women’s final. Second seed Waters (Middlesex) took an early lead before ultimately falling 11/13, 11/8, 11/6, 11/6. Duncalf said ‘It’s been a great week and a pleasure to be back here. The event always runs smoothly and all the players really enjoy playing her at the National Squash Centre. Al [Alison Waters] was the deserving winner of this competition last year and I’m really happy to have added to the Nationals title I won in 2007. Hopefully we will have a few more finals together in the next few years.’

‘Despite the fact we are close friends, it isn’t hard to get ourselves fired up for these matches. We have to play everyone on the tour whether we like them or not!’

‘I just hope everyone enjoyed our final as much as I did!’

Elsewhere on finals day, local Manchester hero Yawar Abbas stormed to victory in the Men’s Over 40 Finals, beating his opponent Rick Weatherall (Berkshire), 9/4, 9/3, 9/5 to record back to back victories. Abbas said, ‘I always felt on top and whilst the score line might suggest it was comfortable I knew that one lapse in concentration and it could turn the other way. 

‘It was good out there because I have been playing loads recently and stepped off the gas slightly in the preparation for the Nationals to stay fresh. I’ve got a couple more years in the category and I’ll be happy just to manage to get back out there next year to defend the title.’

In the women’s equivalent, Donna Vardy (Nottinghamshire) was crowned champion after comprehensively defeating Merseyside’s Christine Smylie. Smylie, who struggled to compete with Vardy throughout the game, only managed to pick up two points in a brief 18 minute match. The Men’s Over 35 title was eventually taken by Simon Parke who had a grueling finals match up against Nick Taylor, winning 5/9, 2/9, 9/5, 9/1, 9/2 in 79 minutes.

The event goes from strength to strength and we are already looking forward to next yeat

Nick Matthew battles past Tom Richards to reach the semis

In his last ever tournament an emotional Lee Beachill bows out of the National Championships, losing 3-1 to Tom Richards

British Nationals 2009
Men's Draw
First Round
Second Round
[1] James Willstrop (Yorks)
11/5, 11/8, 11/8 (34m)
Robbie Temple (Gloucs)
James Willstrop
11/4, 11/9, 11/5 (31m)
Olivier Pett
James Willstrop
5/11, 11/5, 11/8, 11/4 (56m)
Daryl Selby 
James Willstrop
11/8, 12/10, 11/5 (70m)
Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew
11/4, 11/3, 11/9 (38m)
Adrian Grant
[12] Tim Vail (Sussex)
12/10, 11/1, 11/4 (29m)
[Q] Olivier Pett
[8] Daryl Selby (Essex)
11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (43m)
Alan Clyne (Scotland)
Daryl Selby
11/2, 11/6, 11/8 (38m)
 Ben Ford
[14] Ben Ford (Kent)
11/9, 11/4, 11/9 (36m)
[Q] Peter Creed
[4] Nick Matthew (Yorks)
11/4, 11/8, 11/4 (24m)
Joe Lee (Surrey)
Nick Matthew
8/11, 11/5, 13/11, 11/7 (67m)
Jonathan Kemp
Nick Matthew
12/10, 11/6, 11/6 (39m)
Tom Richards
[10] Jonathan Kemp (Shrops)
11/5, 11/7, 11/4 (26m)
[Q] Lewis Walters
[6] Lee Beachill (Yorks)
11/8, 7/11, 11/3, 11/9 (40m)
[Q] Steve Siveter
Lee Beachill
10/12, 11/6, 11/7, 11/6 (45m)
Tom Richards
[11] Tom Richards (Surrey)
8/11, 11/2, 11/4, 11/2 (44m)
[Q] Neil Cordell
[Q] Jaymie Haycocks
5/11, 11/4, 11/5, 12/10 (52m)
[15] Chris Simpson (Hants)
Chris Simpson
11/9, 9/11, 11/7, 12/10 (72m)
Alister Walker
Alister Walker
11/6, 14/12, 11/7 (78m)
Adrian Grant
Adrian Grant
Peter Barker
[Q] David Barnett
11/5, 12/10, 11/6 (35m)
[5] Alister Walker (Gloucs)
Nick Taylor (Lancs)
11/7, 12/10, 11/13, 5/11, 11/6 (82m)
[16] Steve Meads (Berks)
Steve Meads
11/9, 11/5, 11/9 (44m)
Adrian Grant
Alex Stait (Gloucs)
11/8, 11/3 rtd (19m)
[3] Adrian Grant (Kent)
[Q] Joel Hinds
13/11, 14/12, 11/13, 11/7 (55m)
[9] Chris Ryder (Herts)
Chris Ryder
13/11, 8/11, 11/3, 11/6 (61m)
Joey Barrington
Joey Barrington
11/5, 11/6, 15/13 (67m)
Peter Barker
Peter Billson (Lancs)
11/4, 11/7, 11/5 (26m)
[7] Joey Barrington (Somerset)
Hadrian Stiff (Devon)
11/9, 11/9, 15/13 (44m)
[13] Andy Whipp (Cheshire)
Andy Whipp
11/7, 11/9, 11/3 (32m)
Peter Barker
Scott Handley (Oxon)
11/1, 11/3, 11/4 (26m)
[2] Peter Barker (Essex)





British Nationals
Women's Draw
Round One
[1] Jenny Duncalf (Yorks)
11/5, 11/3, 11/6 (20m)
[Q] Fiona Moverley
Jenny Duncalf
11/7, 11/4, 11/3 (25m)

 Sarah Kippax
Jenny Duncalf
10/12, 11/4, 11/3, 12/10 (49m)
Madeline Perry
Jenny Duncalf
11/13, 11/8, 11/6, 11/6
Alison Waters
[8] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Middx)
11/4, 11/5, 6/11, 11/5 (37m)
Sarah Kippax (Cheshire)
[4] Madeline Perry (Ireland)
11/7, 11/7, 11/3 (26m)
Lauren Siddall (Yorks)
Madeline Perry
7/11, 15/13, 8/11, 11/5, 14/12 (68m)
Vicky Botwright
[5] Vicky Botwright (Lancs)
11/8, 12/10, 11/8 (28m)
Suzie Pierrepont (Sussex)
[Q] Sarah-Jane Perry
11/9, 11/7, 12/10 (21m)
[LL] Lucy Townley
[7] Lauren Briggs (Essex)
Sarah-Jane Perry
11/7, 11/4, 11/3 (25m)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
13/11, 11/2, 3/11, 11/9 (48m)
Alison Waters
[Q] Becky Botwright
11/1, 11/9, 11/5 (23m)
[3] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Lancs)
Emma Beddoes (Warks)
[6] Tania Bailey (Lincs)
Tania Bailey
7/11, 15/13, 8/11, 11/5, 14/12 (68m)
Alison Waters
[Q] Victoria Lust
[2] Alison Waters (Middx)





Semi Finals


National Champion Alison Waters will step out at the British National Squash Championships tomorrow in a bid to defend her domestic title. Playing against top seed Jenny Duncalf, fans watching at the National Squash Championships can expect some thrilling final’s action.

Second seed Waters (Middlesex) took on third seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Lancashire) in the penultimate match of the ladies competition, Waters taking victory 13/11, 11/2, 3/11, 11/9 in 48 minutes. Waters said, ‘It was a tough match and after going 4/0 down in the fourth game I did start to worry that it might go to a fifth; she never gives up! Playing such important matches [semi’s and final’s] back to back is challenging but it’s something that you get used to. I’m glad we didn’t go to a fifth game as hopefully that will have left me with a bit of extra energy for tomorrow!’

‘This is an event that all the English players want to do well in and everyone wants to be able to say that they’re National Champion so it’s really competitive. You know that there are going to be two or three really tough games along the way as the competition is so strong. I will be looking forward to the final.’

Yorkshire’s Jenny Duncalf came through a closely fought semi final tie against Madeline Perry (Ireland). Duncalf managed to hang on in a match that could easily have gone the distance, winning 10/12, 11/4, 11/3, 12/10 and confirming her place in the final of the top domestic event of the season. Duncalf said, ‘The last game was a bit hit and miss for me and having felt really good at the start and I’m happy I was able to close it out. I haven’t played in competition since before Christmas so it is difficult to tell exactly how well you are playing.’

‘It was always going to be a hard match, we have had close ones in the past. I’m just really happy to be in the finals as I lost at the semi final stage last year.’

In the men’s competition reigning Champion, James Willstrop, lined up against fellow Yorkshireman and fourth seed, Nick Matthew. Matthew eventually prevailed in a thrilling match which ended 11/8, 12/10, 11/5 (70m). Matthew said, ‘It felt like a very long 3-0 – I didn’t want to give anything away. I knew that James [Willstrop] was strong enough to come back from 2-0 down as he has before, so I just kept going and tried to nail the door shut. Not being disrespectful to the other athletes but I have been preparing for this match all week.’

‘I’m really looking forward to the finals now. I was in the juniors with Adrian [Grant] and I’d say we are probably about 50/50 in wins so he will definitely believe he can win it.’

Adrian Grant (Kent) will proceed to the men’s final after his semi final opponent, second seed Peter Barker (Yorkshire), withdrew due to illness.


Essex player, Peter Barker, has been forced to withdraw after having progressed through to the National Squash Championships semi final, taking place at the National Squash Centre. Barker, who is suffering from a virus, came through a late Thursday quarter final against Joey Barrington to book his place in today’s semi finals.

Barker, who had been due to play third seed Adrian Grant (Kent) in the 14.00 match, has struggled with the onset of illness since the start of the tournament and has eventually decided to withdraw following medical advice. 

Adrian Grant will now play an exhibition match against Chris Fuller before progressing through to the event finals tomorrow (Sunday 15th) at 17.00.

Today’s other men’s semi final features Yorkshiremen, first seed James Willstrop and fourth seed Nick Matthew. The match will commence at 19.00.

2nd Quarter Finals


The second quarter final session of the National Squash Championships took place this evening at Manchester’s National Squash Centre with men’s top seed, James Willstrop, staking a claim for his third back to back Nationals victory. Willstrop will face fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew in tomorrow’s semi final, the winning player going on to challenge for the final on Sunday 15th February.

Sheffield born Nick Matthew beat Surrey player Tom Richards, 12/10, 11/6, 11/6, to book his place in the semi finals. Matthew Said, ‘It is nice to win 3-0 but it would have been nicer if it was a bit quicker! Tom has really improved a lot recently and all credit to him, he mixed it up and made it hard for me to settle down. It felt a bit like a first round match, not being able to get into a rhythm.’

‘I’m happy with my form so far and having moved around the courts until now, will feel more comfortable playing again on the glass tomorrow. It takes a game to get used to a court so I’m expecting things to go well in the semi’s.’

‘Playing matches in quick succession isn’t really a problem for me, we get used to the schedules. I had a massage yesterday which isn’t ideal for today’s match but was necessary with such a packed week. Hopefully it will pay off tomorrow.’

In the ladies competition third seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Lancashire) progressed after a brief encounter with the last remaining unseeded player, Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwickshire). Lengthorn-Massaro, who took three straight games 11/5, 11/7, 11/5, said, ‘I’m feeling great and have been playing really well recently. I’ve had some good results in the last couple of months and got in some good preparation over Christmas.’

‘I like playing in Manchester as it means I can get back to Preston really easily and don’t need to stay over when I train. The National Squash Centre is practically my home club I have played on the glass court so many times!’

In the next round I’ll be up against Alison [Waters] or Tania [Bailey] who are both top players. Recently I had a 3-2 win against Tania but lost by the same to Alison so either way I’m sure it will be a tight game.

Defending Champion and second seed Alison Waters (Middlesex) took on Lincolnshire’s Tania Bailey in the other ladies quarter final. Waters ultimately getting the better of her opponent in a grueling 11/9, 6/11, 11/8, 5/11, 11/8  65 minute match.

Rugby League’s Andy Lynch (Bradford Bulls), a keen squash player and Pontefract Squash Club member, was down at the National Squash Centre to follow the pinnacle domestic event of the season. He said, ‘It’s quite amazing to see the game being played at the top level and having never been to an elite squash event, I hadn’t expected the speed and accuracy that they play at.’

‘I would have loved to see Lee Beachill playing in his last World Tour event earlier in the week but at least I will get a chance to see James [Willstrop] later on tonight. Just watching him warm up is unbelievable.’

James Willstrop lined up against eighth seed Daryl Selby (Essex) in the day’s late game, Willstrop ultimately taking the victory 3-1 in 56 minutes.

1st Quarter Finals


In the first of two National Squash Championships quarter final days, an exciting evening session saw women’s favorite Jenny Duncalf proceed to the semi finals. The event, which runs until February 15th, is the pinnacle domestic event in the squash calendar and fans watching from Manchester’s National Squash Centre will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow.

In the first match of the evening glass court sessions, Jenny Duncalf (Yorkshire) swept aside Cheshire opponent Sarah Kippax in three straight games 11/7, 11/4, 11/3. Duncalf said, ‘I feel in good form despite not having played competitively since before Christmas. All the girls seem to be doing well at the moment so there are going to be some tough games.’

‘There are some top players in this tournament, Alison [Waters] is number six in the world as well as being defending champion. We haven’t played in a while but last time out I won. We’re best friends and are very used to playing over the years so any potential match up would be fine.’

In the other ladies quarter final match local hero Vicky Botwright (Lancashire) took on Ireland’s top female player, Madeline Perry. A tightly fought tie in which both players gave everything, eventually went the way of Perry 7/11, 15/13, 8/11, 11/5, 14/12 in 68 minutes.

Perry said, ‘I enjoyed the match. We haven’t played for a couple of years and have always had some good, long matches in the past.’

‘After the first game I was getting a bit down and I wasn’t able to relax. It was only at the end of the second when I started to play my own game and felt a lot better.’

‘Thankfully I have a day off before my semi final against Jenny [Duncalf]! After that match it will be nice to have some time to prepare.’

In the men’s competition Adrian Grant (Kent) came through a potentially tricky tie against fifth seed Alister Walker (Gloucestershire) 11/6, 14/12, 11/7 in 78 Minutes. Third seeded Grant was in control for large periods of the match and ultimately took victory following a close second game which was briefly stopped for blood injury.

Grant said, ‘I have prepared well for this tournament and feel good on court. The Nationals is one of my top goals and I’d love to win it. I think it will be all about who prepares best and then with a little bit of luck out there we will have the champion.’

‘You can’t choose who you draw but they are all top, top players so any match is going to be tough. I don’t think there is another country with such strength in depth, it’s really like an international tournament with the quality we have.’

The last match of the evening sees Somerset’s number seven seed, Joey Barrington, take on second seed Peter Barker (Essex).

2nd Round


With both men’s and women’s competition now working through their main draw, the National Squash Championships saw some first class action in Manchester today. In what will be a memorable match for many attending squash fans, former World Number 1, Lee Beachill, played his last game following his retirement from the World Squash Tour.

Beachill (Yorkshire), who was seeded sixth in the event, ultimately was unable to answer the questions asked by Surrey’s eleventh seeded Tom Richards, falling 10/12, 11/6, 11/7, 11/6 in 45 minutes. Richards, gracious in victory, said, ‘You can see why he was world number one. He would step the pace up for one or two rallies and it was just awesome, and his deception on some of those drops had me going every way but the right way.’

In the ladies competition top seed Jenny Duncalf comfortably saw off her first challenger in fellow Yorkshire player Fiona Moverley, 11/5, 11/3, 11/6 (20m). Reigning Champion Alison Waters (Middlesex) will be in action tonight against Bedfordshire qualifier Victoria Lust and will hope to stake her claim for back to back titles with a dominant performance.

In one of the upsets of the tournament so far, Becky Botwright pulled off a remarkable victory, downing fellow Lancaster player, Laura Lenthorn-Massaro 11/1, 11/9, 11/5 (23m). Becky’s victory against the tournament third seed sees both of the Botwright sisters progress to the second round, a potential clash not possible until the event final.

 1st Round


After day one in the men’s main draw, 15 of the 16 seeded players progress through to the second round at Manchester’s National Squash Centre. Reigning National Champion James Willstrop, saw off early competition whilst former World Number 1, Lee Beachill, started his final tournament with a win having recently announced his retirement from the World Squash Tour.

The National Championships, which run between February 10th – 15th, have so far gone the way of the rankings with just Tim Vail (Sussex) of the 16 ranked men not progressing through his first round tie. Top seed, James Willstrop (Yorkshire), overcame Gloucestershire’s Robbie Temple to secure himself a second round tie against qualifier Olivier Pett of Sussex.

Willstrop said, ‘Coming in as the current Champion isn’t something I really think about, I have had the pressure of playing as top seed before and I think it is part and parcel of the game. Squash is pressure in itself and in every match you want to push yourself whatever the expectations.’

‘Being in the same half of the draw as my local players Nick [Matthew] and Lee [Beachill] isn’t a huge surprise. They are top players and we always have to push ourselves and each other when we play. No match is easy and the rivalry on court is the same throughout the game, whether it be amongst the Egyptian players, the French players or the British players that know each other very well. We have a job to do on court and when the match is over it’s totally different.’

‘I think the record entry this year is great for the event, great for the sport and is testament to the event’s prestige. I don’t think it will make the tournament any more competitive as every player gives their all at the National’s.’

Fellow Yorkshireman and Sixth seed Lee Beachill, who plays his last World Tour event due to a chronic knee injury, showed great composure against qualifier Stepher Siveter (Merseyside). Recording his victory in 4 games.

Beachill said, ‘The Nationals have always been a particularly special event throughout my career, it’s where it all started for me.’

‘Being in a position where I wasn’t comfortable with the level I was competing at meant I eventually had to make a decision as to when and where to finish. Just playing now is quite emotional for me and it isn’t the perfect situation as I am unable to train with my injury.’

‘It would be great to line up against Nick Matthew on the show court in the quarter finals but I have a tough match against Tom Richards to come through before that tomorrow. With the lack of preparation I have been able to put in for the event, unfortunately it is unknown territory for me and I’m just hoping that I can play to a standard I am happy with.’

Fourth seed Nick Matthew started his campaign with a powerful victory against Surrey’s Joe Lee. Lee was brushed aside in three games as Matthew stated his intentions to the rest of the field recording scores 11/4, 11/8, 11/4 in just 24 minutes.

Matthew said, ‘I don’t want to get ahead of myself and obviously I need to take each game as it comes but there are a few players who could win here and I’d like to think that I’m one of them.’

‘I’ve come here in good form after beating [World Number 1] Ramy Ashour in New York recently but I have a tough tie in Jonathan Kemp who is capable of beating any of the top 10. I’ll focus on that match and hope to progress through to the final stages.’

‘I like playing in Manchester and am used to training here so it is comfortable for me. I’m based in Sheffield so it’s not too far from home.’

In the ladies competition, four players joined the tournament main draw as the hotly contested qualifying finals were decided. Lancashire’s Becky Botwright joined her sister, Vicky, in the first round after recording an impressive 11/8, 11/7, 11/8 (27m) win over Somerset’s Emma Chorley.

The other ladies lining up as successful qualifiers are Victoria Lust, Sarah-Jane Perry and Lucy Townley. 


The British National Squash Championships have had a record breaking year for player entries resulting in one of the most competitive draws in the events history. The championships, which will take place at Sportcity’s state of the art National Squash Centre in Manchester from February 8th to 15th, has attracted 398 entries, including defending champions James Willstrop and Alison Waters who will compete alongside the largest entries in the Masters championships, comprising 13 age-group events from O35 to O70.

Manchester City Council Events Manager and reigning National Over 40 Men’s champion Yawar Abbas, said, “It is great to be defending the title here in Manchester and hopefully the local crowd will give me a real boost. Obviously coming back this year as champion will be a slightly different experience but I will look forward to this great event and hope to put in another good performance.”



Nick Matthew will head into next month’s British National Squash Championships, to be staged at the National Squash Centre at Sportcity, Manchester, England from the 8th to 15th February, full of confidence after beating reigning World Champion Ramy Ashour and Nationals No.1 seed James Willstrop on his way to the final of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York this week.

Victory over Ashour, who was crowned World Champion last October in Manchester, was Matthew’s biggest success since making his come back late last year from a serious shoulder injury. The 28 year-old overcame his Egyptian rival with a stunning 3-1 semi-final victory in just 61 minutes, having defeated compatriot James Willstrop in four games in the quarter-finals.

The wins sent Matthew through to the first major World Tour final of the year where he faced France’s Gregory Gaultier who eventually won a tight and thrilling final 62-minute four game final. Progress through to his second Tournament of Champions final will have given the Englishman a timely confidence booster as he looks to regain his National title.

Since winning the National crown three year’s ago Matthew has not been able to compete in the event due to an unfortunate run of injuries but is now relishing the chance to head to Manchester and can be guaranteed to make a tough-minded challenge for the men’s title.

Matthew said, “I’m delighted to have reached the final of such a prestigious tournament and played such good squash this week. There was a time after the surgery that my shoulder was so weak that I wondered if I’d even get back on a squash court.

“I’ve worked extremely hard to get my fitness back and I'm pleased with the progress that I have made as well as my form. It’s a great achievement to have reached the final and a real confidence booster to do it against such a high class field and beat players like Ramy and James.

“The Nationals is one of my favourite tournaments and it’s been incredibly frustrating having to sit it out for the last few years, but I now can’t wait to get to Manchester. We’ve got a great group of players in Britain at the moment so it’s going to be very tough trying to win back the title and I will give it my best shot.”

Matthew has been seeded 4 and faces a potential quarter-final clash against three-time former champion Lee Beachill. No.1 seed James Willstrop in his half of the draw and could potentially meet the Matthew, the 2006 champion, in the semi-finals.

The pinnacle of the domestic season, The British National Squash Championships will be staged at the National Squash Centre, starting at noon on Sunday 8th Feb running through to Sunday 15th. Entry is free for the first two days, and tickets are on sale for Tuesday through to the finals on Sunday.