James Willstrop Sets Up Historic All-English British Open Final
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
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.
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
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
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
"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."
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
"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,
"I was aware that Alison
would come out fast and furious and I had to be up for it and work
"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
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."
Exit In A Day Of British Open Shocks & English Triumphs
A day of high drama in
the quarter-finals of the British Open – Manchester 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
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.
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
"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
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
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
"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
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.
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
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
"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 Open – Manchester 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,"
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
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,
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.
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!"
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 Open – Manchester 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.
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
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
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.
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,
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
"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.
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
Simpson Celebrates British
Open Qualifying Success
Simpson became the only Briton to survive the men's qualifying
finals of the British Open – Manchester 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
"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
"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."
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.
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,
"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!"
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.
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
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."
David Bids To Join Sport's Elite At 2009 British Open
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."