former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf claimed her first victory at the
prestigious Allam British Open since 2013 as she upset World Junior
Champion Rowan Elaraby at the Allam Sport Centre in Hull to keep
retirement at bay for another day at least.
Duncalf, a 2008 runner-up at the sportís longest-running tournament,
announced earlier this month that she will retire after the British
Open and the World No.62 came into her match with World No.29
Elaraby having lost to the 18-year-old at the El Gouna International
However, 36-year-old Duncalf rolled back the years as she put in a
highly-composed display and limited Elarabyís attacking abilities to
claim an 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10 victory which will pit her against
World No.1 Raneem El Welily in tomorrowís second round, in what will
potentially be her final match as a professional squash player.
ďI didnít expect to be stood here as the winner, which probably
helped because I just wanted to put in a decent performance in my
last tournament," said Duncalf afterwards.
"I thought it was going to be my last match, Rowan is such a good
little player and I have been on the end of defeats to her a couple
of times. I love playing in England, but to be honest I actually
have a shocking record in Hull, so I was a bit apprehensive that
this was my last tournament.
"To be able to play another match is all Iíve ever wanted, and these
past few years Iíve just wanted to play as many matches as I can.
Itís so nice to be able to play in front of my family.Ē
conqueror in the 2008 final - five-time winner Nicol David - is also
due to retire at the end of this tournament, and she booked her
place in round two of the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament after
beating Hong Kongís Ho Tze-Lok 11-7, 11-5, 13-11 in 32 minutes.
David, 35, will take on World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the last 32. The
Malaysian is 9-1 up on their head-to-head record, but El Tayeb won
their last match at the 2018 Saudi Masters.
ďI just had to do what I do best and keep digging in and Iím really
please to win 3-0," David said.
"I was happy to just get on court and play in front of a crowd. Itís
my last tournament and itís really special for it to be at the
British Open, Iím just going to try and absorb everything that comes
my way and savour the moments."
local favourite Fiona Moverley did call time on her professional
career after falling to Malaysiaís Low Wee Wern in straight games.
The 32-year-old from Hull - who is currently in the midst of
training to join the fire service - made her PSA debut in 2005 and
won eight titles on the tour, but was unable to prevent Low from
claiming her first win at the tournament since 2014.
Moverley said: ďBeing here every year has been great, the tournament
has been held in Hull every year since I came back so that has been
special being the local player.
"Playing for England has been exciting and one I wont forget. The
whole experience has been something special, travelling the world
and doing something I love."
Wildcard Jasmine Hutton - the World No.77 from Brighton - claimed
the biggest win of her career as she scalped World No.30 Hollie
Naughton on the traditional plaster courts located at the same
the menís draw, both of the wildcards earned their spots in the
second round as Manchester-based Patrick Rooney and Birminghamís
Joshua Masters upset Malaysiaís Eain Yow Ng and Hong Kongís Tsz Fung
World No.95 Rooney bridged a 59-place gap in the PSA World Rankings
to overcome Ng 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 and claim his first ever win at the
ďI didnít expect to win, but I just tried to take all the pressure
off myself and just play the best I could against Yow, who Iíve
known for ages," Rooney said.
"Iíve never beaten him before, and I knew it was going to be tough
because he has loads of skill and is so quick."
Meanwhile, World No.55 Masters will appear in the second round here
for the first time after beating World No.28 Yip by an 11-8, 11-9,
The 24-year-old will take on Egyptís Fares Dessouky in round two.
beaten him before and so that gave me a lot of confidence,Ē said
ďI knew exactly how to beat him and although at times I sometimes
went away from that game plan, I was pleased to get over the line."
Former World No.1 James Willstrop also earned his second round spot
courtesy of a 3-0 win over Indiaís Ramit Tandon, while England No.3
Daryl Selby beat close friend and compatriot Ben Coleman in four
games to earn his place in the last 32.
Second round action continues tomorrow, when Englandís former World
Champion Laura Massaro begins her final PSA tournament, while
reigning champions Nour El Sherbini and Miguel Rodriguez kickstart
their title defences.
Play starts at 12:00 (GMT+1) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV
(rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the
official Facebook page of the PSA
World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).
of next weekís Allam British Open, Colombiaís Miguel Rodriguez says
that he is heading to Hull with the aim of retaining the title he
won in stunning fashion 12 months ago.
The 2019 edition of the British Open will be held at the University
of Hullís new sports complex between May 20-26, and Rodriguez has
fond memories of the city after beating World No.2 Mohamed
ElShorbagy at the Airco Arena last May to etch his name onto the
In doing so, Rodriguez became the first South American ever to win a
PSA World Tour Platinum title and the first unseeded player in the
modern era to capture the British Open trophy - accolades that seem
all the more impressive given his relative lack of training partners
in Colombia when compared to a number of his contemporaries.
"Itís something that is going to be in my mind forever," said
Rodriguez, the 33-year-old from Bogota.
"Becoming a legend at the British Open is something that is
difficult to describe. Being in the history books of this tournament
is amazing, Iím going to remember this tournament forever.
"I think that moment when I won that match with Mohamed was my
career highlight. There were so many years of training, playing,
travelling, and it paid off.
really wanted to win a Platinum event, but I never thought I was
going to win the British Open. That was a great gift because when I
was a kid I was just thinking about being top 20 and maybe top 10 in
the world, but I never thought I would win the British Open because
it was maybe too far for me.
"Especially because I come from South America where I donít have the
same competition and tournaments [than others]. You can consider
this tournament as the ĎWimbledon of Squashí. Thereís so much
history behind this tournament, and I was very proud to win it last
year, it was the first major event in my career."
Last yearís British Open win saw Rodriguez qualify for the PSA World
Tour Finals and, after a below-par season which has seen him fail to
make it past the quarter-final stages of any of his tournaments this
season, the World No.7 will require similar heroics to qualify for
the season-ending event in Cairo next month.
However, Rodriguez has proven himself as one of the most resilient
players on the tour and has fought back from injury, illness and a
world ranking which dropped as low as No.25 in May 2017 to become a
real force at the sportís major tournaments once again.
Now armed with the experience of claiming silverware on the biggest
stage, Rodriguez insists that he has what it takes to defend his
"The passion and the love that I have for this sport is huge, and it
motivates me," he said.
"I still think that I can play for many years, and I think that I
can win many tournaments. Itís like a little piece of a big cake
that Iíve already tasted, now I know how it feels when you win a big
tournament, especially beating the World No.1 in the final.
"Iím going to face this tournament with great motivation, this year
the competition is even harder because most of the players know that
they are capable of winning it.
"Itís a great opportunity for me and a great chance. Iím excited
knowing that Iím the defending champion, I know thereís going to be
a lot of pressure, but I want to play, I want to be fit and healthy
and the other things will come.
"Iím pretty sure that I can do the same thing as last year, Iím
looking forward to playing this event, and I would love to be the
British Open champion again."
Rodriguez is seeded sixth for this yearís tournament and has been
drawn on the same side of the draw as ElShorbagy, with the pair
seeded to lock horns once again in the quarter-finals.
Also involved in the menís draw are the likes of World No.1 Ali
Farag, World No.5 Simon RŲsner and Englandís former World No.1 James
The womenís draw is headed up by World No.1 Raneem El Welily as she
looks to go one better than last yearís runner-up finish to fellow
Egyptian Nour El Sherbini.
Former champions Camille Serme, Laura Massaro and Nicol David are
also involved, with the latter two making the final appearances of
their illustrious careers as both are set to retire at the end of
A prize purse of $324,000 is split evenly between the menís and
womenís draws, while matches from the glass court will be shown live
on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the
official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour
(excluding Europe and Japan. The semi-finals and finals will be
shown live by broadcasters such as BT Sport, Fox Sports Australia,
Astro and more.
Stay up to date with action from the 2019 Allam British Open by
following the tournament on
Twitter, or visit the