British Open 2009

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Manchester 2009
8th-14th September

Mckenzie in Manchester
Darwish Out, Willstrop Through

 . Mens Draw
Men's Qualifying
Women's Draw
Women's Qualifying

 . Ian McKenzie Reports

Semi -finals
Matthew Outlasts Willstrop In Historic Marathon All-English British Open Final 

It took 122 minutes to settle the men's title in the British Open - Manchester 2009, with Nick Matthew finally emerging triumphant after beating England team-mate James Willstrop in the first all-English final of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship in 70 years. 

Both players reached the final at the National Squash Centre in Manchester without dropping a game - and Willstrop, last year's runner-up, took the first game in convincing style.   

But Matthew, the 2006 champion from Sheffield, battled back to take the second.  The next two games were also shared - with Leeds man Willstrop visibly tiring at the end of the fourth as he put three successive balls into the tin.

In the decider - a gladiatorial encounter between two determined Yorkshiremen - Matthew built up a 6-2 lead before Willstrop delighted the packed crowd by coming back to overtake his opponent, eventually reaching match-ball at 10-9. 

But England number one Matthew was not about to throw in the towel.  The Sheffield 29-year-old reclaimed the advantage before going on to clinch the title on his first match-ball, winning 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 12-10 to claim the historic trophy for the second time. 

Earlier, Australia's Rachael Grinham ended the dream run of Irish champion Madeline Perry to win the women's title for a fourth time. 

Perry, the first Northern Irish finalist in the history of the women's event, was unable to reproduce the form which saw her trounce hot favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia, in the quarter-finals. 

Grinham dominated the first two games and held match-ball at 10-6 in the third.  But Perry stepped up a gear and saved four match balls to take the game into a tie-break.   

However, the former world number one from Australia reclaimed the advantage to run out an 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 winner after 39 minutes. 

"I was really focussed today - I couldn't have played any better," said Grinham.   

"It hasn’t really sunk in yet.  At the beginning of the week I was a few points from getting knocked out - I was lucky to get through," added the Queenslander, ranked four in the world. 

"To win the British Open for the fourth time is not easy to do." 

Both players head straight from Manchester to Amsterdam where the Forexx Women's World Open Championship gets underway next week.  

"I have been having a lot of trouble with confidence all week - so having a result like this going into the Worlds next week should give me confidence." 

Perry rued her missed opportunity.  "I'm obviously disappointed - but if you're feeling a bit tired, the worst player in the world to play is Rachael Grinham. 

"I didn't really get into it until the third game," explained the fifth seed from Banbridge, near Belfast. 

Reaching the final was a remarkable achievement for Perry, who sustained a serious brain injury following mysterious fall in Milan just two years ago. 

"That's behind me now.  This week I've played the best squash of my life - I've reached another level. 

"I'd rather not think about what might be in next week's World Open - I could have won the British Open if I'd played as well as I did in the previous two rounds." 

Pictures Courtesy of

Nick Matthew wins the dramatic climax of men’s British Open again James Willstrop

Rachael Grinham slips past Madeline Perry to win the British Open title

James Willstrop hits top form to knock out Amr Shabana and reach his second successive British Open final

Peter Barker beats world no 2 Gregory Gaultier to reach the semis


Former holder Nick Matthew gets off to a great start in this year's event with a convincing win over Chris Simpson

Darwish Out, Willstrop Through
Top seed Karim Darwish bizarrely crashed out of the ISG British Open after rolling onto his ankle against England’s James Willstrop in the second round.

Madeline Perry celebrates her victory over world no 1 Nicol David
British Open
Men's Draw 
10th-14th September 2009
Round One
10 Sept
Round Two
12 Sept
13 Sept
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/7, 11/6, 11/1
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
Karim Darwish
5/11, 4/2 rtd (22m)
James Willstrop
James Willstrop
11/5, 11/6, 12/10 (47m)
Azlan Iskandar
James Willstrop
11-5, 11-6, 11-1 (32m)
Amr Shabana
James Willstrop
8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 12-10 (122m)
Nick Matthew
[10] James Willstrop (Eng)
11/4, 11/5, 11/7 (39m)
[Q] Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
[7] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11/7, 11/2, 11/7 (31m)
 [Q] Martin Knight (Nzl)
Thierry Lincou
11/13, 11/4, 5/11, 14/12, 11/5 (91m)
Azlan Iskandar
[12] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
13/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/4 (58m)
[Q] Yasir Butt (Pak)

[3] Amr Shabana (Egy)
11/4, 11/4, 11/5 (31m)
Jens Schoor (Ger)

Amr Shabana
7/11, 11/4, 11/5, 11/7 (48m)
Alister Walker

Amr Shabana
11/8, 14/12, 4/11, 19/17 (85m)
David Palmer

[11] Alister Walker (Eng)
11/5, 7/11, 11/6, 9/11, 12/10 (95m)
[Q] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
[5] David Palmer (Aus)
11/6, 11/6, 11/5 (37m)
Tom Richards (Eng)
David Palmer
11/6, 1/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/5 (74m)
Wael El Hindi
[9] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
5/11, 12/10, 11/7, 12/10 (82m)
Joey Barrington (Eng)
Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/1, 9/4 rtd (20m)
[14] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
Daryl Selby
11/8, 11/8, 9/11, 11/8 (78m)
Adrian Grant
Daryl Selby
11/7, 11/5, 118/ (48m)
Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew
11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (48m)
Peter Barker
[Q] Simon Rosner (Ger)
12/10, 12/10, 11/5 (42m)
[8] Adrian Grant (Eng)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
13/11, 11/3, 11/9 (45m)
[15] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
Cameron Pilley
11/3, 11/3, 11/6 (30m)
Nick Matthew
[Q] Chris Simpson (Eng)
12/10, 11/2, 11/5 (42m)
[4] Nick Matthew (Eng)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
11/8, 11/7, 7/11, 5/11, 11/3 (64m)
[16] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Ong Beng Hee
11/7, 11/7, 11/8 (66m)
Peter Barker
Peter Barker
11/7, 7/11, 11/3, 7/11, 11/8 (76m)
Gregory Gaultier
 [Q] Stéphane Galifi (Fra)
11/9, 4/11, 11/5, 11/2 (49m)
[6] Peter Barker (Eng)
[Q] Kashif Shuja (Nzl)
11/7, 13/11, 9/11, 2/11, 11/7 (57m)
[13] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
Kashif Shuja
11/5, 11/7, 11/1 (25m)
Gregory Gaultier
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (39m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)


Men's qualifying finals:
Stephane Galifi (FRA) bt Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) 18-16, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 (74m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9 (78m)
Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Mansoor Zaman (PAK) 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5 (40m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (132m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 2-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (55m)
Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 (71m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Amr Swelim (ITA) 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10 (96m)
Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (48m)

Men's 1st qualifying round:
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Peter Billson (ENG) 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 (34m)
Stephane Galifi (FRA) bt John Rooney (IRL) 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4 (69m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Anthony Graham (ENG) 13-11, 11-5, 11-8 (30m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Julien Balbo (FRA) 11-8, 11-3, 13-11 (49m)
Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (27m)
Mansoor Zaman (PAK) bt Alex Bowden (ENG) 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (25m)
Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 3-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (50m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Tom Pashley (ENG) 3-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (68m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (49m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Rob Sutherland (WAL) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (39m)
Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (31m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Arthur Gaskin (IRL) 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3 (84m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 6-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (60m)
Amr Swelim (ITA) bt Shaun le Roux (ENG) 11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9 (66m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Chris Fuller (ENG) 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7 (58m)
Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 11-9, 13-11, 11-6 (41m)

British Open 2009
's Draw 
11th-14th September 2009

Round One
11 Sept
12 Sept
13 Sept
14 Sept
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/5, 11/4, 11/5 (28m)
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
Nicol David
6/11, 12/14, 15/13, 11/5, 11/9 (76m)
Madeline Perry
Madeline Perry
10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (63m)
Alison Waters
Madeline Perry
11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (39m)
Rachael Grinham
[5] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/9, 11/5, 11/2 (31m)
[Q] Line Hansen (Den)
[3] Alison Waters (Eng)
11/6, 11/9, 11/6 (33m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
Alison Waters
6/11, 11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (31m)
Donna Urquhart
[7] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
11/7, 11/9, 8/11, 7/11, 11/7 (44m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
[8] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
8/11, 11/3, 11/2, 11/8 (36m)
Tania Bailey (Eng)
Vanessa Atkinson
 11/1, 10/12, 11/6, 11/4 (38m)
Jenny Duncalf
Jenny Duncalf
11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 (48m)
Rachael Grinham
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
11/5, 11/7, 6/11, 11/2 (41m)
[4] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Samantha Teran (Mex)
10/12, 7/11, 11/8, 11/4, 11/6 (61m)
[6] Laura Massaro (Eng)
Laura Massaro
5/11, 14/12, 11/7, 11/7 (43m)
Rachael Grinham
[Q] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
9/11, 12/10, 11/5, 4/11, 11/8 (64m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (Aus)

Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)

Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-2 (53m)

Line Hansen (DEN) bt Fiona Moverley (ENG) 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10 (39m)

Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) bt Alana Miller (CAN) 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 (31m)



Semi -finals
James Willstrop Sets Up Historic All-English British Open Final

Yorkshireman James Willstrop crushed Egypt's three-time world champion Amr Shabana in the second semi-final of the British Open - Manchester 2009 at the National Squash Centre to set up the first all-English final of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship for 70 years. 

After a historic day in which three Englishmen competed in the semi-finals for the first time in living memory, Willstrop will face fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew.  The world number four from Sheffield scored a resounding straight games win over his England team-mate Peter Barker to reach the final for the second time in four years. 

Madeline Perry became the first ever Irish player to reach the women's final after beating Londoner Alison Waters.  The world No8 from Belfast, who produced the event's biggest shock when she ousted firm favourite Nicol David, the world number one and defending champion from Malaysia, will now face three-time champion Rachael Grinham, of Australia.  

Since reaching last year's final, where he lost in a dramatic fifth game tie-break, world No9 James Willstrop has undergone ankle surgery and is battling to fight back to the career-best world number two ranking he achieved in December 2005. 

But the 26-year-old from Leeds put in a near-perfect performance to overcome Amr Shabana, a world number one for 33 months, 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 to set up the historic all-Yorkshire final. 

"I've not made it a secret that I am a big fan of Amr's - he is a legend of the game," Willstrop told the packed crowd at Sportcity after his sensational win.  "He is a very difficult player - and to beat him here in Manchester in the British Open is very special. 

"I was very consistent from the start - I started well and this set the tone," added the two-time national champion who lost to Shabana in straight games only eight days ago in the US Open in Chicago. 

"Last week he trounced me - I was half a yard off the pace and he was sublime.  But tonight was one of those performances when I kept consistently tight." 

Lifelong coach Malcolm Willstrop was delighted with his son's performance.  "He played extraordinarily well - but you have to play well to beat the best player in the world on current form." 

England number one Nick Matthew had not dropped a game en-route to the last four - and was in devastating form as he despatched Peter Barker, the world number eight, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in 48 minutes. 

"Even though it was 3/0, I couldn't relax for a moment," said the 26-year-old from Sheffield later.  "The game went according to plan - and it's not often that happens.  It very rarely happens that you win all your matches 3/0 - so I've given myself a real chance for tomorrow." 

Barker, the left-handed Londoner who upset Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, ranked two in the world, in the previous round, was full of praise for his close friend:  "That's the best he's ever played against me.  And when you get beaten by a better player, it's somewhat easier to take. 

"I did everything to win, but it wasn't good enough.  I can't argue with the result." 

Fifth seed Madeline Perry produced the game of her life to beat Nicol David in the women's quarter-finals - and maintained her run in the semis, recovering from a game down to defeat third seed Waters 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 in 63 minutes. 

"I wanted to play well after beating Nicol yesterday - it would have been disappointing to then lose in the semi-finals," said the 32-year-old world No8 from Banbridge, near Belfast. 

"I was aware that Alison would come out fast and furious and I had to be up for it and work hard. 

"Obviously beating the world number one boosts your confidence," added Perry.  "I've beaten a few good players, but not a lot of world number ones! 

"I am very proud of where I come from - so reaching the final of the British Open should put me up there with the best Northern Irish squash players." 

In the other women's semi, Yorkshire's Jenny Duncalf failed to reach the final for the second year in a row.  The world number six from Harrogate went down 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 to Rachael Grinham, the second-seeded Australian who is looking for her fourth title. 

"I'm happy to be in a major final - and the fact that it's the British Open makes it even better," stated the 32-year-old from Queensland who won the title in 2003, 2004 and 2007.  "I felt better about the way I played today - the further I get through the draw, the better I feel.  My accuracy was a lot better.  I can definitely enter the court tomorrow feeling a lot more relaxed." 

Duncalf was devastated by the loss:  "It was a wasted opportunity - with Nicol out, it opened up the draw.  I was edgy the whole time, I just wasn't timing it right and miss-hit everything.   

"I'm disappointed that I just didn't play well - but she played a good game."

Champions Exit In A Day Of British Open Shocks & English Triumphs

A day of high drama in the quarter-finals of the British OpenManchester 2009 not only resulted in the demise of both champions, but also a breakthrough win by sixth seed Peter Barker which puts three Englishmen into the semi-finals for the first time in the professional era. 

In a clash at the National Squash Centre in Manchester described by Tournament Presenter Robert Edwards as the 'match of the tournament', three-time world champion Amr Shabana and four-time British Open winner David Palmer - ranked  three and six, respectively, in the world - battled for 86 minutes before Egyptian Shabana emerged the 11-8, 14-12, 4-11, 19-17 winner. 

"There wasn't much in it - he just played better at the end than I did," said Palmer, the 33-year-old title-holder from Australia who was making his 13th successive appearance in the event.  "It's still nice that I can play with these top four guys.  I don't think I could have done much more." 

But later came the most unexpected result when Nicol David, the Malaysian super star who this month began her fourth successive year as world number one, crashed out of the women's championship after squandering three match balls in the third game. 

Ireland's Madeline Perry, the fifth seed who had lost her previous 14 meetings with the three-time British Open champion, played the game of her life to win 6-11, 12-14, 15-13, 11-5, 11-9 in 76 minutes. 

"I can't believe I just beat the world number one," said an ecstatic Perry, from Banbridge, near Belfast, afterwards.  "I normally struggle to get a game off Nicol." 

The win came from a stunning cross court nick shot after David served to try and save her third match-ball. 

"That's definitely my best ever win," added Perry, the 32-year-old world No8.   "I've changed my game since I last played her - and did a lot of work on my movement over the summer." 

But, otherwise, the day belonged to the hosts - with two English players through to the women's semi-finals for the first time since 2002, and a trio of Englishmen making the last four of the men's championship for the first time in living memory.  

A major upset by Londoner Peter Barker ensured that an Englishman will be in Monday's final of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship.

In a career-first victory over the Frenchman, sixth seed Barker beat world No2 and former champion Gregory Gaultier 11-7, 7-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8 to reach the semi-finals for the first time. 

"I've had a terrible record against Greg, so I'm over the moon to have beaten him - especially here in the British Open," said Barker.  "I'm going to enjoy today before preparing myself for tomorrow. 

"I've been training really hard over the summer - endless bikes and swims for up to three sessions a day," explained the left-hander.  "So much so, that I was looking forward to the start of the season so that I could stop training! 

"Greg is a class act.  But I needed to get myself fitter so that I could deal with his pace.  In fact, I thought to myself as I went on court - 'I doubt he's done as done as much training as I have'!" 

The 25-year-old world No8 will now meet England team-mate Nick Matthew after the fourth seed from Sheffield ended the giant-killing run of compatriot Daryl Selby. 

The unseeded 26-year-old from Essex had reached the last eight after taking out two world top 16-ranked opponents - but world No5 Matthew was too strong, winning 11-7, 11-5, 11-8. 

"I'm delighted to be playing Pete tomorrow," said Matthew, who in 2006 became the first home-grown winner of the title for 67 years.  "We're sharing a room together here - I must pop something into his glass of water tonight!" 

In the final match of the day, Yorkshire's former world number two James Willstrop, the tenth seed, claimed his place in the semis with an 11-5, 11-6, 12-10 victory over Malaysia's 12th seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar

Willstrop, the 26-year-old from Leeds who was runner-up last year, reached the last eight after a shock win over Egypt's world number one Karim Darwish in the previous round. 

"Everybody keeps on about how good the Egyptians are - but now we've got five English players into tomorrow's semis," said a delighted Willstrop after his win. 

Third seed Alison Waters and fourth seed Jenny Duncalf will provide the domestic interest in the women's semi-finals. 

Duncalf, from Harrogate in Yorkshire, went one step closer to reaching the final for the second year in a row after beating eighth seed Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion from the Netherlands, 11-1, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4. 

"You can never underestimate Vanessa - after all, she has been a world champion and world number one," said the 26-year-old world No6.  "She's got great racket skills.

 "I felt I played well today and am improving all the time.  This week I'll be trying to close the gap the gap behind Nicol David, the world number one." 

Duncalf will face three-time champion Rachael Grinham, the second seed from Australia who recovered from a game down to beat Lancashire's Laura Massaro 5-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-7. 

Alison Waters claimed her first appearance in a British Open semi-final after beating Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart 6-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7.  The former British National champion will now meet Madeline Perry for a place in the final.

Selby Sets Up English British Open Semi-Finalist

Essex outsider Daryl Selby made sure of English representation in Sunday's semi-finals of the British OpenManchester 2009 when he upset fellow countryman Adrian Grant, the No8 seed, in the second round of the men's event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

For the first time since 2001, four Englishmen will line up in Saturday's quarter-finals of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship.

"I'm ecstatic to get to the quarters of the British for the first time," said 26-year-old Selby, from Essex, after the shock 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 victory over the world No11 in 78 minutes.  "Hopefully, this will be my breakthrough."

Selby will now face fellow Englishman Nick Matthew, the former champion from Sheffield who is the fourth seed.  "That match will be massive - he's the England number one and a previous winner.  It's going to be tough," said Selby. 

Matthew, playing in the event for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery, crushed Cameron Pilley, a 6' 3" Australian, 11-3, 11-3, 11-6. 

"I tried to attack from the word go," explained Matthew, who boasts a career-high world No5 ranking.  "I was trying to get him to move that big frame around the court." 

Earlier in the day, Londoner Peter Barker battled through to the quarter-finals for the third year in a row after beating top-ranked Malaysian Ong Beng Hee 11-7, 11-7, 11-8. 

"Beng Hee's a good friend and a gentleman - so I knew it would be straight," said sixth seed Barker, the world No8.  "But I wanted to win in straight games to conserve myself for Greg (Gaultier) - and, even though it was hard, I'm glad I achieved that. 

"I've worked hard this summer.  I feel I turned the corner this season by starting to believe in myself a bit more.  My goal for the season is to challenge for every tournament I play." 

The final match of the day produced a shock upset when top seed Karim Darwish, the world number one from Egypt, cruised to a comfortable first-game win against James Willstrop - then badly twisted his ankle midway through the second game against the tenth-seeded Yorkshireman. 

After a three-minute injury break, the 28-year-old from Cairo returned to the court - but almost immediately held his hand up to concede the match - giving an unexpected quarter-final berth to last year's beaten finalist Willstrop.

"It's the biggest nightmare for a professional sportsman," said Willstrop when interviewed after the 22-minute match.  "I've been there," added the 26-year-old former world number two from Leeds who underwent ankle surgery in April and is playing his fourth tournament since making his comeback in July. 

For a place in the semi-final, Willstrop will meet No13 seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar.  The Malaysian caused the second upset of the day when he beat two-time runner-up Thierry Lincou, the No7 seed from France, 11-13, 11-4, 5-11, 14-12, 11-5 in a 91-minute marathon. 

It was a shock exit for former world champion Lincou who beat Iskandar in last year's quarter-finals, and was suffering his first second round defeat in the championships since 2000. 

There will be home interest in all but one of the quarter-finals in the women's event.  Yorkshire's Jenny Duncalf, runner-up last year, defeated local hero Sarah Kippax, a qualifier from Cheshire, 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-2.   

The fourth seed from Harrogate will now meet eighth seed Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion from the Netherlands who beat Lincolnshire's Tania Bailey 8-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8. 

Bailey, a former world No4 from Stamford, is making a quicker-than-expected return to competition after undergoing knee surgery in April.  "I really enjoyed that," said Bailey after the match.  "A couple of months ago I wouldn't have imagined this. The British Open wasn't even on my radar - I was told I could be back by November if I was lucky. 

"But everything progressed better than I could have hoped even though getting back with commitment was tough." 

"Physically the match was hard but my hip was totally fine. But I knew it would be tough as I only stepped on court again three weeks ago.  Now I can't wait for the Worlds as it is another bonus!" 

Lancashire's Laura Massaro recovered from two games down to come through her first round encounter - beating rising Mexican star Samantha Teran 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.  The No6 seed takes on second seed Rachael Grinham for a place in the semi-finals. 

But the former champion from Australia was stretched to the limit before overcoming English qualifier Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8 in 64 minutes - the longest women's match of the day. 

"I feel absolutely great about my performance but feel so frustrated as I am waiting for the big win to come along and this could have been the opportunity," said a despondent Lloyd-Walter, from Guildford.

Daryl Delivers Bumper England Day At British Open

Essex's Daryl Selby helped to deliver a bumper day for England in the opening round of the British OpenManchester 2009 where six home players claimed places in the last sixteen of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship at the National Squash Centre.

Selby claimed a place in the second round against expectation, scoring one of the day's two upsets.  The world No21 romped to an 11-1, 9-4 lead against Aamir Atlas Khan when the 14th seed from Pakistan, ranked seven places higher, pulled up injured and conceded the match.

The 26-year-old from Witham, who made his England debut in May, has enjoyed a rapid rise up the world rankings this year - coming from outside the top 30 in January to a career-high 21 this month.

Selby, who has never before progressed beyond the first round, will now face England team-mate Adrian Grant for a place in the quarter-finals.

London-born left-hander Grant, the No8 seed, began his 2009 campaign against qualifier Simon Rosner - and beat the top-ranked German 12-10, 12-10, 11-5.

"This is by far the biggest and most prestigious tournament there is - and the fact that all the top players are here speaks for itself," said the 28-year-old who broke into the world's top ten last month.  I'd be speechless if I won it."

Londoner Peter Barker, also a left-hander, was the first through on the state-of-the-art all-glass court.  The sixth seed took four games to overcome French qualifier Stephane Galifi 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 11-2 

"Stephane was higher-ranked some time back, then took a couple of years off - so I knew he was one of the worst qualifiers to get.  I was a bit edgy in the first two games, and he took advantage.

"Towards the back end of last season, I proved I can beat those above me on a one-off basis," explained the 25-year-old world No8.  "Now I've got to keep improving and do it back-to-back."

England's British Open hopes are being led by fourth seed Nick Matthew.  The world No5 from Sheffield, who made history in 2006 by becoming the first home winner of the title for 67 years, breezed past fellow countryman Chris Simpson, a qualifier from Guernsey, 12-10, 11-2, 11-5. 

"We've got a good bunch of up-and-coming players pushing us hard - and Chris is one of them.  Every single rally I had to push hard - all credit to him," said the fourth seed who now meets Australian Cameron Pilley.

Yorkshire-based Alister Walker and James Willstrop rounded off the day with contrasting journeys into the second round.  Walker, the No11 seed from Gloucestershire, was stretched to a fifth game tie-break before celebrating an 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 win over French qualifier Renan Lavigne in 95 minutes.

Tenth seed James Willstrop, the former world number two from Leeds who is making a successful comeback after ankle surgery in April, took just 39 minutes to overcome New Zealand qualifier Campbell Grayson 11-4, 11-5, 11-7.

It was a case of seventh-time-lucky for Cheshire's Sarah Kippax in the qualifying finals of the women's event at The Northern.  After six previously unsuccessful attempts since 2002, the Chester-born 26-year-old will compete in tomorrow's main draw for the first time.

World No24 Kippax resisted a fightback by Aisling Blake to beat the Irish opponent ranked just three places lower 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-2 in 53 minutes. 

"The last time we played, she won 3/1, so I was pleased with that - especially as she is playing so well," said the now Halifax-based player.  "It feels great to be playing in the event this year - it's almost like a local tournament for me.  This is a great start to the new season."

Kippax will face fellow countrywoman Jenny Duncalf, the fourth seed from Harrogate who reached the final last year. 

Harrow-born Dominique Lloyd-Walter also enjoyed qualifying success.  The world No19 and highest-ranked player in the women's qualifying competition despatched Canadian Alana Miller 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 and will now meet Australia's former champion Rachael Grinham, the No2 seed, in the first round.

Simpson Celebrates British Open Qualifying Success

Guernsey's Chris Simpson became the only Briton to survive the men's qualifying finals of the British OpenManchester 2009 when he beat South African Stephen Coppinger at the Northern Club in Manchester to earn a place in the main draw of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship.

Three years after making his debut in the event with a wildcard, Simpson is delighted to mark his return to the British Open.  But the Harrogate-based 22-year-old, who boasts a career-high world No38 ranking, had to overcome a scratchy first game before beating world No57 Coppinger 2-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 in 55 minutes.

"In the first game, I didn't think I was even going to get a point," admitted Simpson.  "He's a massive guy and so unorthodox - I simply couldn't read him in the first game.

"But after that, I settled down and managed to compose myself - and from then on I was always in front."

Simpson was surprised to find himself the lone Englishman to make the main draw through the qualifiers.  "The standard is so high here - there could easily have been five of us through yesterday and Chris (Ryder) and Robbie (Temple) went close today," added the proud Guernsey man.

Ryder, from Leamington Spa, battled for 71 minutes before going down 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 to Pakistan's Yasir Butt, while Temple was unable to extend his opening game advantage against Renan Lavigne.  The higher-ranked Frenchman eventually prevailed 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5.

"I should have been 2/0 up - I was 7-3 up in the second - but my lack of match fitness let me down," said Temple, the world No80 from Gloucester who is suffering with an ankle ligament injury.  "Renan stepped up the pace, and I couldn't live with it."

Yorkshire's Fiona Moverley produced the only upset in the first round of the women's qualifiers event when she celebrated the best win of her career by beating India's world No35 Joshna Chinappa 12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 in 36 minutes.

"She's the highest-ranked player I've ever beaten," said the 22-year-old from Hull, ranked 16 places lower.

"I've only played her once before and she beat me comfortably.  But I'm a lot fitter now and I felt a lot more confident that she'd make the errors before I did," said the British Under-23 champion.  "I thought I had every chance of getting a result - but I didn't underestimate her."

Moverley will now play Line Hansen, the world No26 from Denmark who beat England's Nottingham-based Emma Beddoes.  "I've got the confidence now, and have got nothing to lose," added the Humberside star.  "I'm going to go out and enjoy myself, and will try not to give her too much respect."

Moverley will be joined in Thursday's qualifying finals by compatriots Dominique Lloyd-Walter and Sarah Kippax.  Lloyd-Walter, the world No19 and highest-ranked player in the women's qualifying competition, survived an all-English clash with Rebecca Botwright, beating her Manchester-based opponent - ranked 156 in the world - 4-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.

"I've worked hard over the summer and was really looking forward to the match with Becky," said the 28-year-old from Guildford.  "I knew she'd been training hard and I never thought it would be easy."

Lloyd-Walter will face Canada's Alana Miller for a place in the first round.  "To make the main draw would be fantastic," said the Middlesex player.

Miller took just 11 minutes to earn her place in the qualifying finals when Yorkshire's Lauren Siddall crashed out, lunging to take a ball and pulling a muscle in her upper right leg.  The 24-year-old from Pontefract, ranked 39 in the world, was a game and 0-7 down to the Canadian, ranked 41 in the world, when she was forced to withdraw. 

"I'm really disappointed - this is a big event," said Siddall.  "But I didn't want to make it worse - particularly with the Worlds later in the month."

Siddall was a late entry to the qualifying draw after the withdrawals of a few higher-ranked players.  "I was really lucky getting in, but my luck ran out today!"

Cheshire's Sarah Kippax won her first round match in the women's qualifiers, beating New Zealand's Kylie Lindsay 11-8, 11-4, 11-9.  The Halifax-based world No24 is now just one win away from making the main draw of the British Open for the first time at her seventh attempt.

"The British Open is one of the biggest events on the Tour and I would love to qualify," said 26-year-old Kippax.  "It would be lovely to play on the all-glass court at the National Squash Centre - but I don't want to hype it up."

English Trio Earn Places In British Open Qualifying Finals

Three Englishmen battled through to the qualifying finals of the British Open Manchester 2009 after success in the first qualifying round of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship at the Northern Club in Manchester.

Gloucester's Robbie Temple was first through after his 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7 victory over fellow countryman Chris Fuller. 

"I really struggled with my game and was lucky to come through," admitted the 23-year-old.  Temple suffered an ankle ligament injury ten weeks ago and has been undergoing an intensive programme of physiotherapy treatment since.

"I've only played a few games since the layoff - and was lucky to qualify for the World Open," explained the London-based left-hander.  "But I had to stop playing midway through my first match in last week's Wolverhampton Open."

Temple, ranked 80 in the world, plays Frenchman Renan Lavigne, the world No36, for the chance to make the main draw for the first time. 

"I hope I'll relax a bit more and express myself a bit better than I did today," added Temple.

Former World University champion Chris Ryder, from Leamington Spa, took 84 minutes to overcome Arthur Gaskin, eventually beating the Irishman 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3.

"I was a bit lethargic, to be honest - I don't know why," said Ryder later.  "Arthur is really improving - he didn't used to give me a hard time but now gets closer and closer.  He's one to watch!"

Ryder - who gave up coaching in Wolverhampton to concentrate on the PSA World Tour, and reached the final of the Black Sea Open in Ukraine last month - will now face Pakistan's Yasir Butt.   

"I've not played him before - but he's got some shots on him, so I'm looking forward to it.  I've grown up on courts like these at the Northern, so it should suit me."

Guernsey star Chris Simpson avenged his recent loss to Rob Sutherland by convincingly beating the Welshman 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 in 39 minutes.

"I'm really happy with that," said the Harrogate-based 22-year-old who lost 11-8 in the fifth to Sutherland in Sweden in February.

"I felt then that I'd been drawn into a traditional game - up and down the side walls - which is more his game than mine," explained the proud Guernsey man later.

"That's why I'm so pleased with the way I played today - I had a game plan and stuck to it, playing a much more attacking game."

Next up for Simpson, who boasts a career-high world No38 ranking, is South African Stephen Coppinger, ranked 19 places lower.   "We've trained together lots of times, but never played each other on the Tour before - so I'm looking forward to it."

It was a massively dejected Eddie Charlton that came off court after failing to exploit a two-game advantage over a player ranked more than 60 places higher in the world.  The world No118 also led 4-1 in the third game, but New Zealander Martin Knight regrouped to claim an unlikely 6-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 victory in exactly one hour.

"He was all over me in the first two games," conceded Knight, ranked 51 in the world.  The Kiwi has just moved to Cardiff where he is now coached by Welsh national coach Chris Robertson.

"Chris gave me some good advice after the second game, and that lifted my game," said Knight.  "Let's say it was all down to Welsh inspiration."

Charlton could not explain his demise:  "Physically I felt absolutely fine - but all credit to him for coming back.  I just hit a wall in the fourth, and then too many tins in the fifth. 

"It was another 'could-have-been-a-good-result' for me," added the 21-year-old.  "I'm due a good win."

Nicol David Bids To Join Sport's Elite At 2009 British Open

World number one Nicol David is expected to reach her fifth successive women's final in the British Open Squash Championships – and is seeded to join a distinguished cast of players who have won the title four times in the historic event which was first played at Queen's Club in London in 1922.

The $53,500 Women's International Squash Players' Association World Tour Gold event will take place at the National Squash Centre and The Northern Club in Manchester, from 11-14 September, following two days of qualifying.

Nicol David is drawn to meet former world number one Vanessa Atkinson, of the Netherlands, in the first round.  The Malaysian, who began her fourth year as world number one this month, is one of two three-time British Open champions in the high quality field in Manchester. 

Third seed Rachael Grinham, the former world champion from Australia who claimed the British Open trophy in 2003, 2004 and 2007, faces a qualifier in the opening round.

Like Grinham, US star Natalie Grainger will be making her 13th successive appearance in the championship since 1997.  The No2 seed is expected to reach the final for the first time since 2004, and begins her 2009 campaign against a qualifier.

British interest in the event will be led by Alison Waters, the in-form 25-year-old from London who reached the final of the Malaysian Open earlier this month.  Seeded four, Waters faces New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes in the first round.

But England team-mate Jenny Duncalf will be hoping to repeat her British Open success of last year:  the 26-year-old from Harrogate reached the final for the first time – as fifth seed – and has the same seeding this year. 

But the world No6 has a tough early encounter – against fellow countrywoman Tania Bailey, the former world No4 and 2002 runner-up who will be making her WISPA Tour comeback in Manchester after undergoing knee surgery in April.

"Nicol David’s quest to reach her fifth successive final will hopefully provide additional interest in this year's women’s championship," said Event Director Paul Walters.  "However, what is equally significant is that no fewer than thirteen countries will be represented in the women’s main draw and qualification.  Not only does this demonstrate the increasing popularity of squash around the globe, but it is a major boost for the event’s diverse range of partners and sponsors, which include Manchester City Council, England Squash & Racketball, HEAD Sport, Michael Spiers Jewellers, Imperial Consultants, ASB Squash Courts and ROWE Motor Oil."


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