18th-24th September 2007
National Squash Centre, Manchester
Gaultier & Grinham Win
Dunlop British Open Titles
In a dramatic conclusion to the Dunlop British Open
Squash Championships - Manchester 2007, Gregory Gaultier beat
compatriot Thierry Lincou to become the first Frenchman to
win the men's title - and Australia's Rachael Grinham
saved a match-ball to defeat overwhelming favourite Nicol David
in the longest women's final on record.
After upsetting higher-ranked opponents in the semi-finals at the
National Squash Centre at Sportcity in Manchester,
Gaultier and Lincou met in the first ever all-French final in the
77-year history of the world-renowned championship.
And it was perhaps no surprise when third seed Gaultier, the
24-year-old world No4 from
Aix-en-Provence, took the opening game.
But 31-year-old Lincou, the former world number one from Marseille
who has built up a reputation as a slow starter, fought back in a
dramatic second game to draw level.
Despite spending most of his career as the country's number two,
behind Lincou, Gaultier truly came of age after 63 minutes in
Manchester when he triumphed 11-4, 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-3 to
claim his maiden British Open title.
British was, with the World Open title, a dream of mine - itís my
biggest win ever," said an emotional Gaultier to the official
website said. "This summer Iíve trained with Thierry, Wael (El
Hindi), Renan (Lavigne), and it paid off.
"Iím also happy that Thierry is back at his best, although you
need a winner and a loser, and tonight I was the winner!
"Thierry was a big boost for my career, throughout my whole
career, and Iím grateful for what he brought into my life. Iím
The victory - surprisingly, his first Tour win of the year -
brings Gaultier's career PSA Tour tally to 11 titles.
earlier women's final proved to be one of the most dramatic of
all-time - in which
Malaysia's world number one Nicol David opened up a two-game lead
en-route to an anticipated third successive title.
But third seed Grinham, the 2003 and 2004 champion who had upset
her higher-ranked younger sister Natalie Grinham in the
semi-finals, refused to bow to the dominant Malaysian who had won
their previous 14 meetings since April 2005.
The 30-year-old former world number one from Toowoomba in
Queensland reduced the deficit by winning the third, then saw the
fourth go to eight-all - before David served for championship ball
But the Australian recovered to force the match into a fifth game
decider - and immediately raced to 8-0, and her own first
match-ball. David took a further point - but the rampant
Queenslander was not to be denied her shock victory as she
clinched the title after 87 minutes in a 7-9, 4-9, 9-3, 10-8, 9-1
"Itís the best win I ever had. I already won two titles, but that
was a couple of years ago, and I havenít won any major tournaments
since - and it was looking less and less likely that I would ever
win another one," conceded world No3 Grinham.
"I felt quite focused, but I was a little slow in the beginning,
not as good as yesterday. Then I thought, come on, the pressure
is on her, make her work for it, and I tried to make sure I didn't
give anything away when she was serving.
"Winning the third gave me a lot of confidence, and she was not as
quick as she was at the start.
"I lost a bit of motivation over the last couple of years. I
gradually started losing finals, then semis, then quarters Ė this
year I had a couple of first round losses. I thought 'c'mon, what
are you doing?'
"I know it's a long time since I beat her, I knew I could beat
her, but the way my career was going I knew it had to be soon!
But really, today, it was just unbelievable, it must be my most
satisfying win ever."
The victory marks a notable milestone for Grinham who now boasts
25 WISPA World Tour titles. The success also extends
Grinham's lead over Nicol David as the current WISPA player with
the most Tour titles.
No surprises as Amr Shabana
(above) is seeded number one for this years
Dunlop British Open along with Nicol David (right) for the women's
 Amr Shabana (Egy)
11/7, 11/7, 11/8 (34m)
[Q] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
11-5, 2-11, 11-10
(4-2), 11-3 (56m)
6-11, 11-8, 11-9,
11-9, 5-11, 11-5,
11-4, 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-3 (63m)
 Lee Beachill (Eng)
11/6, 11/4, 11/7 (36m)
[Q] Stacey Ross (Eng)
 Nick Matthew (Eng)
11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (50m)
[Q] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-9, 11-5, 11-4
 Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
12/10, 11/4, 3/11, 11/7 (80m)
Borja Golan (Esp)
11/7, 11/4, 11/8 (30m)
[Q] Jonathan Kemp (Eng)r
11-5, 11-9, 4-11,
11-7, 11-8, 11-3
 Adrian Grant (Eng)
11/13, 11/7, 11/1, 11/8 (60m)
Alister Walker (Eng)
 Wael El Hindi (Egy)
11/9, 10/12, 5/11, 11/7, 11/7
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
Wael El Hindi
9-11, 3-11, 11-9,
11-8, 11-4 (72m)
 Peter Barker (Eng)
11/5, 11/5, 11/6 (22m)
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
 Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
8-11, 11-5, 11-9,
10-11 (0-2), 11-9 (69m)
Alex Gough (Wal)
Ong Beng Hee
11-6, 11-7, 9-11,
Ong Beng Hee
11-8, 11-2, 11-10
5-11, 11-8, 11-4,
 Stewart Boswell (Aus)
11-8, 11-3, 11-9
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
 Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
11-4, 6-11, 7-11,
11-4, 11-8 (70m)
Joey Barrington (Eng)
3-11, 11-3, 11-9,
8-11, 11-9 (60m)
 Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11-7, 11-4, 11-6
Mansoor Zaman (Pak)
 Karim Darwish (Egy)
11-5, 11-9, 11-8 (46m)
Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
11-5, 11-7, 9-11,
6-11, 11-10 (2-0), 6-11, 11-5 (100m)
 James Willstrop (Eng)
11-7, 11-5, 11-4
[Q] John Rooney (Irl)
 Olli Tuominen Fin)
(2-0), 11-5 (34m)
Andy Whipp (Eng)
1-10 (2-0), 11-5,
 David Palmer (Aus)
11-2, 11-8, 11-4
[Q] Julien Balbo (Fra)
 Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
Q Jonathan Kemp Q
11/9, 6/11, 11/6, 11/3 (35m)
Yasir Butt (Pak)
9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 5/11, 11/3 (50m)
Stuart Crawford (Sco)
[5/8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (33m)
Alan Clyne (Sco)
Q Saurav Ghosal Q
11/7, 11/8, 12/10 (55m)
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
11/5, 11/3, 13/11 (55m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
[3/4] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
11/3, 11/5, 11/4 (38m)
Eddie Charlton (Eng)
Q Davide Bianchetti
11/7, 11/4, 11/3 (35m)
Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)
11/9, 15/13, 11/6 (42m)
Tom Hoevenaars (Ned)
Joel Hinds (Eng)
11/7, 11/4, 11/4 (37m)
[5/8] Stacey Ross (Eng)
Q Stacey Ross Q
9/11, 9/11, 11/8, 11/2, 11/7 (63m)
James Snell (Eng)
11/2, 12/10, 11/6 (28m)
Jon Harford (Eng)
David Barnett (Eng)
11/4, 11/8, 11/7 (36m)
Julien Balbo (Fra)
Q Julien Balbo Q
9/11, 11/6, 11/9, 8/11, 11/8 (72m)
Chris Fuller (Eng)
11/6, 11/1, 11/2 (26m)
[5/8] Dylan Bennett (Ned)
Tom Pashley (Eng)
11/6, 11/6, 11/3 (27m)
Simon Rosner (Ger)
11/5, 12/10, 7/11, 11/9 (54m)
Q Daryl Selby Q
Alex Stait (Eng)
11/5, 30 rtd (12m)
[3/4] Daryl Selby (Eng)
Shaun Le Roux (Eng)
10/12, 11/6, 11/4, 7/11, 11/9 (75m)
Bradley Hindle (Aus)
9/11, 13/11, 12/10, 11/8 (58m)
Q John Rooney Q
John Rooney (Irl)
9/11, 11/1, 11/3, 11/4 (43m)
[5/8] Chris Simpson (Eng)
Lewis Walters (Eng)
11/3, 11/9, 11/7 (22m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
Q Farhan Mehboob Q
9/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/5 (43m)
 Bradley Ball (Eng)
Women's Draw $43.5k
 Nicol David (Mas)
9-5, 9-6, 9-4 (42m)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Eng)
9-3, 9-3, 7-9, 2-9, 9-0
9-1, 10-8, 9-3 (41m)
7-9, 4-9, 9-3, 10-8, 9-1 (87m)
 Natalie Grainger (Usa)
9-5, 9-1, 9-1 (28m)
[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)
 Tania Bailey (Eng)
9-4, 3-9, 9-1, 9-2 (50m)
Annelize Naude (Ned)
6-9, 10-8, 9-4, 2-9, 9-0
 Vicky Botwright (Eng)
9-4, 9-5, 9-5 (52m)
Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Alison Waters (Eng)
9-7, 9-3, 9-6 (41m)
 Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
7-9, 9-7, 9-6, 9-0 (75m)
9-3, 10-9, 10-8 (54m)
[Q] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)
9-5, 9-3, 5-9, 9-2 (51m)
 Rachael Grinham (Aus)
[Q] Lauren Briggs (ENG)
9-3, 9-4, 9-5 (48m)
 Madeline Perry (Irl)
9-3, 9-6, 9-7 (54m)Natalie Grinham
[Q] Laura Mylotte (IRL)
9-4, 9-3, 9-4 (24m)
 Natalie Grinham (Aus)
 Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) bt  Sarah Kippax (Eng) 9/0, 9/5, 7/9, 9/6 (54m)
 Joshna Chinappa (Ind) v Laura Mylotte (Irl)
8-10, 9-5, 9-10, 9-6, 9-1
 Lauren Briggs (Eng) v  Aisling Blake (Irl)
9-5, 10-8, 9-1 (64m)
 Isabelle Stoehr (Fra) v Tenille Swartz (Rsa)
9-10, 9-2, 9-0, 9-1 (54m)
Round One, Wed 19th Sep:
 Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) bt Georgina Stoker (Eng) 9/4, 9/3,
 Sarah Kippax (Eng) bt Suzie Pierrepont (Eng) 9/7, 9/7, 9/3 (34m)
Laura Mylotte (Irl) bt  Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
 Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Fiona Moverley (Eng) 9/7, 9/4, 9/1
 Aisling Blake (Irl) bt Kirsty McPhee (Eng) 9/4, 9/6, 9/2
 Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt Emma Chorley (Eng) 9/3, 9/6, 9/3 (31m)
 Becky Botwright (Eng) v Tenille Swartz (Rsa)
2-9, 10-8, 10-8, 9-2 (45m)
 Isabelle Stoehr (Fra) v Laura Hill (Eng) 9-4,
10-8, 3-9, 9-4 (53m)
Dunlop British Open To Climax
In First All-French Final
For the first time in the event's 77-year history, the British
Open Squash Championships will climax in an all-French men's
final, after Gregory Gaultier and Thierry Lincou
both upset higher-ranked opponents in the semi-finals of the
Dunlop-sponsored event at the National Squash Centre at
Sportcity in Manchester.
Malaysia's defending champion Nicol David will contest the
women's final for the third successive year - and will face
Australia's Rachael Grinham in a repeat of the 2006 climax.
Gregory Gaultier, the third seed from
Aix-en-Provence, celebrated his maiden appearance in a British
Open final after defeating Egypt's world number one Amr Shabana,
the top seed, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9 in 61 minutes.
been a kind of a dream of mine, getting to the final of the
British - well, winning the British Open I mean," the delighted
Frenchman said. "I'm very happy with my game, I'm happy to be
back after a bad injury - and tomorrow, I'm not going to give
100%, not 500%, but 1,000%," added the 24-year world number four.
"Amr and I have a lot of respect for each other, he is really a
great guy, he is such a fair player. I have learnt so much from
him over the years, he is such an example for me and for the
The later men's semi-final produced the dream outcome for French
squash when fourth seed Thierry Lincou repeated his victory over
Australian David Palmer at the same stage of the event last
year - beating the reigning world champion 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7,
also in 61 minutes.
World number three Palmer was clearly struggling with his movement
and took a three-minute injury break midway through the third
"At 8-7 in the second, I pulled a muscle, and the match was over,"
explained 31-year-old Palmer, a three-time winner of the title.
"There was nothing I could do on my right leg, my dominating leg.
We put a cold spray on it, but it didn't make any difference."
Lincou, who is celebrating his second successive appearance in the
final, sympathised with his opponent: "I'm happy to win of
course, but I'm unhappy for David, I've just come out of a long
injury, I know what it is and what you feel. We are both 31, and
I know that the road doesn't stop there, for either of us -
there's still plenty of time left.
"I find I'm playing better as the tournament is unfolding, because
I'm getting more and more relaxed as the match goes on," added the
former world number one from Marseille.
"When I heard the result on Greg's match, I sent him a text to
tell him how happy I was, how this victory confirmed his
ascendancy over Shabana, and how delighted I was that he was in
the final. As for tomorrow, we'll see. The moment is magic, and
one must appreciate it as such.
"With two Frenchmen in the final of the British,
France is already a winner!"
Home interest in the 2007 British Open evaporated when
England number one Tania Bailey went down 9-1, 10-8, 9-3 in
41 minutes to Nicol David - the dominant Malaysian who is now in
her 17th WISPA World Tour final in a row since
"A three-nil scoreline doesn't show what a good game we played,"
agreed David, who this month celebrated her 17th month
at the top of the world rankings - thus becoming the fourth
longest standing women's world number one of all-time!
"From our last few matches she got the hang of what to do, and I
had to work hard in every rally. It was a tough match, and I'm
glad I pulled through.
"It was a great experience winning my first British Open title in
Manchester two years ago on this court. I hope I can do it again
tomorrow and I hope everyone that's been giving me such great
support comes back too!"
The other women's semi-final produced the 16th
international meeting between Australian sisters Rachael
Grinham and Natalie Grinham - and the second successive
win for older sibling Rachael after three losses already this
But Natalie, the record three-time Commonwealth Games gold
medallist who is based in the
Netherlands, was clearly still suffering with the Achilles injury
which has minimised her preparation for the event.
"It was crucial to win the second, from 8/5 up," said third seed
Rachael after her 9-3, 10-9, 10-8 upset over her second-seeded
sister. "I knew it would be a boost for me, and for her it would
have meant she had to come back and win three games. I know she's
still not fully fit, just like when we played in
"It would be awesome to get a third title, it's one of the most
important in the game and having two is already a great
achievement for me. I haven't had a good couple of years, haven't
won many tournaments lately, so it would be great to do it now,"
added Rachael, the British Open champion in 2003 and 2004.
As Bailey Leads
Lone Home British Open Challenge
England's defending champion Nick Matthew crashed out of
the Dunlop British Open Squash Championships - Manchester 2007,
leaving Tania Bailey to lead a sole English
challenge into the semi-finals of the world-renowned event at the
at Sportcity in
It was a quarter-final day of high drama on the all-glass court
which staged the Commonwealth Games action five years ago.
All the top four seeds in both events survived - but only after
lengthy battles, the last of which took 100 minutes and finished
well after midnight!
Matthew, the sixth seed from Sheffield, faced top seed Amr
Shabana - the Egyptian who has topped the world rankings for
18 months since April last year. The 27-year-old Yorkshireman,
who last year became the first Englishman for 67 years to win the
sport's longest-established trophy, took the opening game - but
Shabana fought back to take the match 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 in 69
"From when I
won my British Open title, I'm definitely a better player,"
Matthew said afterwards. "The third game was crucial - but at
nine-all I put a lob out of court, and I can't say that I missed
my chance, that I lost the match there, but it was such an
opportunity, and after that, coming back from 2/1 was a different
"I just need to get better at what I'm good at, and add new
dimensions to my game, to be able to challenge consistently for
Shabana, now in his second British Open semi-final, was full of
praise for his opponent: "Nick is an incredible player - I just
beat him only 3/2 here in the Super Series Finals, so I knew that
it was going to be so close. He has improved a lot, there is much
more variation in his game, and having won the British Open gave
him a lot of confidence.
"It's so different to have the crowd by you, and the English
players, you can feel, they really love and are ready to play when
they have the crowd by their side."
The 28-year-old from
Cairo will now face Gregory Gaultier, the third-seeded
Frenchman who beat England's surprise quarter-finalist Peter
Barker, the No12 seed, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 in 48 minutes.
There is also French interest in the other men's semi-final where
fourth seed Thierry Lincou takes on
Australia's three-time champion David Palmer, the No2 seed.
Lincou, runner-up last year, took out another surprise
Malaysia's 16th seed Ong Beng Hee who upset
eighth-seeded Australian Stewart Boswell in the previous
round. The Frenchman won 11-8, 11-2, 11-10 (2-0) in 61 minutes.
But the clash which kept the audience in their seats till after
midnight was the longest of the tournament - in which Palmer
avenged his loss to James Willstrop in the Prince
English Grand Prix final earlier this month to beat the
England number one 11-10 (2-0), 6-11, 11-10 (2-0), 6-11, 11-5 in
"I gave it everything I had - when I play a match like that, I
can't complain. I thought it was a very good game of squash,"
explained a dejected Willstrop afterwards. "Of course I'm
extremely disappointed; I wanted to win that tournament
"To his credit, he played a top fifth game, and made it hard for
me. I just couldn't keep it up with it really. He had a great
3-0 kick-start, and that's not a big help to find yourself down
after all the work I had done for the whole of the match," added
the 24-year-old Yorkshireman.
The victorious Palmer explained his determination to win: "I
said recently that there was one more British Open Championship in
me, and I hope this is the one: that's why I tried so hard
In the women's event, fourth seed Tania Bailey faced
England team-mate Vicky Botwright - the sixth seed from
Manchester who views the NSC as her 'home club'. Bailey came back
from a game down to win 6-9, 10-8, 9-4, 2-9, 9-0 in 69 minutes.
"We were both hitting the ball well and it was really hot on
there, we were both picking stuff up really well," said Bailey.
"It was nip and tuck all the way in the first three, then Vicky
played really well in the fourth Ė I don't think I did anything
wrong, she just played better than me.
"I never really felt in control, but I really wanted to win -
winning this title would be the best thing I can do, so I came out
in the fifth determined to play my game and fortunately it all
went well for me," added the 27-year-old from Stamford in
Lincolnshire who was runner-up in 2002.
Bailey will face top seed Nicol David - but the world
number one from
Malaysia who is bidding for a third successive title was taken the
full distance by Natalie Grainger, the fifth seed from
Washington DC who is making the first appearance in the city of
her birth since becoming a US citizen earlier this year.
David took the first two games, but Grainger struck back to draw
level before the favourite upped her game to win 9-3, 9-3, 7-9,
2-9, 9-0 in 53 minutes.
"I felt good in the first two games and went for it right from the
start, but then she started going for her shots and hit some
really good winners," said the 24-year-old from Penang.
"This event on its own is the highlight of the year, along with
the worlds; you just have to give it your all however you feel and
Grainger made no secret of her disappointment at losing -
especially to 9-0 in the fifth game: "But I'm glad I finally
managed to impose myself on her. In the fourth I could feel it,
the aura had gone!"
The other women's semi-final will provide the latest chapter in
the sibling rivalry between Australian sisters Natalie Grinham,
the No2 seed, and Rachael Grinham, the third seed.
Natalie, the younger, and runner-up in 2005, defeated Ireland's
No7 seed Madeline Perry 9-3, 9-6, 9-7 in 54 minutes, while
Rachael, runner-up last year, outlasted Dutch number one
Vanessa Atkinson, the eighth seed, 7-9, 9-7, 9-6, 9-0
in 75 minutes.
At 8-3 to Grinham in the third game, an accidental clash resulted
in Atkinson taking more than an hour-long break to treat a cut to
her racket hand.
"I was just panicking in the break," admitted Grinham senior
afterwards. "Vanessa is playing very well at the moment; your
best chance is to wear her down, which I'd started to do in the
third. The last thing you want is a break where she can come back
out fresh again.
"I totally expected her to come out attacking when we started
again; she had nothing to lose and knew it would be mentally
devastating for me if I'd lost that game from 8-3 up."
Barker Battles Into
British Open Quarters
Essex's Peter Barker ensured that there will be English
interest in all but one of the quarter-finals in the Dunlop
British Open Squash Championships - Manchester 2007 after
pulling off an impressive upset over No7 seed Wael El Hindi
in the second round of the world-renowned event at the National
Squash Centre at Sportcity in
The 23-year-old left-hander dropped the first two games against El
Hindi. But 12th seed Barker, who had never before
beaten the Egyptian, fought back to take the match 9-11, 3-11,
11-9, 11-8, 11-4 in 72 minutes to earn a place in the event's last
eight for the first time.
"I took my time to get into each game, but I was particularly
disappointed with the second," Barker commented. "You can't give
him anything on his forehand, he just flattens it, so I started to
play everything on my forehand, his backhand, and it worked.
"It was a tough match - but I'm absolutely delighted."
Barker will now face Gregory Gaultier, the third seed from
France who was taken to four games by Barker's
England team-mate Adrian Grant before winning 11-5, 11-9,
4-11, 11-8 in 69 minutes.
Defending champion Nick Matthew comfortably made it through
to his third successive quarter-final with an 11-9, 11-5, 11-4
defeat of Malaysia's 14th seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar.
"I was really wary of Azlan, he's one of the fittest players on
the tour and he's had a few good scalps Ė including me Ė recently,
so I'm very happy to get off three-nil," said the 27-year-old from
Sheffield who last year became the first Englishman for 67 years
to win the sport's longest-established trophy,
"He also beat me 3/0 the next tournament after I won the British
last year, so I was never going to take anything for granted!"
Matthew now faces his toughest test - against top seed Amr
Shabana, the world number one from
Egypt. The stylish left-hander defeated England's former world
number one Lee Beachill 11-5, 2-11, 11-10 (4-2), 11-3.
Fifth seed James Willstrop became the last Englishman to
win a place in the quarter-finals after beating
Egypt's Karim Darwish 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9.
An all-English quarter-final clash will guarantee domestic
interest in the last four in the women's event.
England number one Tania Bailey needed four games to quash
Dutch opponent Annelize Naude 9-4, 3-9, 9-1, 9-2 - and will
now face England team-mate Vicky Botwright.
Botwright, the sixth seed from
Manchester playing in front of a home crowd, despatched another
England team-mate Jenny Duncalf 9-4, 9-5, 9-5.
Top seed Nicol David, the defending champion from
Malaysia bidding to win her third successive crown, took 42
minutes to overcome England's unseeded Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
9-5, 9-6, 9-4. The in-form world number one will now take on
USA's Manchester-born Natalie Grainger, the fifth seed.
Grainger, runner-up in 2004, is making the first appearance in the
city of her birth since becoming a
US citizen in February, then winning the Pan American Games
gold medal for her new country in July. Grainger dismissed New
Zealand qualifier Jaclyn Hawkes 9-5, 9-1, 9-1 in 28
"I've been to the final before, it would be great to go one better
and stand on that podium," said the former world number one from
Champion Matthew Eases Into
British Open Second
England's Nick Matthew
successfully began the defence of his men's title in the Dunlop
British Open Squash Championships - Manchester 2007 with a
straight games win over compatriot Daryl Selby in the first
round of the world-famous event at the National Squash Centre
at Sportcity in
The 27-year-old from Sheffield, who last year became the first
Englishman for 67 years to win the sport's longest-established
trophy, took 50 minutes on the NSC all-glass court to quash his
Essex opponent 11-5, 11-7, 11-8.
to get the first one under my belt. Whatever form you're in
coming into the tournament, you feel like you're into it after
that," the sixth-seeded title holder said.
"If I can put it all together, I definitely have a chance to
retain the title. I'm fitter and stronger than I was last year,
but then so is everyone else."
Matthew will now face Malaysia's 14th seed Mohd
Azlan Iskandar who battled for 80 minutes to overcome
top-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan 11-10 (2-0), 11-4, 3-11,
A dramatic upset looked on the cards when
England's unseeded Joey Barrington took a two-games-to-one
lead over No11 seed Mohammed Abbas. The Egyptian fought
back to level the match against the son of illustrious six times
British Open champion Jonah Barrington - then played a
series of stunning shots in a fightback in the decider to win
11-4, 6-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 70 minutes.
Favourite Amr Shabana, the Egyptian world number one who
has yet to win a British Open crown, despatched Italian qualifier
Davide Bianchetti 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, and will now face
England's former world number one Lee Beachill - the tenth
seed who beat compatriot Stacey Ross, a qualifier from
Surrey, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4.
Australia's three-time champion David Palmer made a
convincing start to his 11th British Open campaign with
an 11-2, 11-8, 11-4 win over French qualifier Julien Balbo.
The Belgium-based second seed will now take on
Finland's Olli Tuominen for a place in the quarter-finals.
added further English interest in the other main event after
beating the Irish number two Aisling Blake 9-5, 10-8, 9-1
in the qualifying finals of the women's championship. The
Essex was then drawn to face Irish number one Madeline Perry,
the No7 seed, in the first round.
Meanwhile, Irish number three Laura Mylotte capitalised on
her walkover in the first qualifying round by battling to an 8-10,
9-5, 9-10, 9-6, 9-1 win over India's Joshna Chinappa. In
her British Open debut, the 32-year-old from Galway will meet
Australia's No2 seed Natalie Grinham.
Qualifying Trio Boosts English Hopes In British
A trio of Englishmen - Jonathan Kemp, Stacey Ross and
Daryl Selby - boosted domestic chances of success in the
Dunlop British Open Squash Championships - Manchester 2007
after coming through the men's qualifying finals of the
world-famous event at the National Squash Centre at
Sportcity in Manchester.
Back on the circuit after knee surgery in the summer, Kemp
Pakistan's Yasir Butt 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4. The
26-year-old Shropshire lad from Telford now faces top Frenchman
Gregory Gaultier, the No3 seed, in the first round.
Ross became the oldest player to qualify after recovering from two
games down to beat compatriot Jonathan Harford 9-11, 9-11,
11-8, 11-2, 11-7 in 62 minutes. The 33-year-old from Surrey will
face another Englishman Lee Beachill, the tenth seed from
Yorkshire, in a bid to reach the second round for
the first time.
Daryl Selby has earned his first appearance in the main draw of
the British Open at this third attempt: The 24-year-old from
Essex needed 54 minutes to overcome Germany's 2006 European Junior
Champion Simon Rosner 11-5, 11-10 (2-0), 7-11, 11-9 - and
will now face England's defending champion Nick Matthew in
his event debut.
led a good day for the Irish when he defeated Australian
Bradley Hindle 4-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-10 (2-0), 11-8 in 57
minutes. In his first appearance in the main draw, the
27-year-old from Galway - ranked 99 in the world - will take on
top Englishman James Willstrop, the 24-year-old
Yorkshireman who last week won the Prince English Grand Prix
Italian Davide Bianchetti and Frenchman Julien Balbo
also survived the qualifying finals - but received the toughest
rewards: World No33 Bianchetti, the highest-ranked qualifier,
will face favourite Amr Shabana, the world No1 from Egypt -
while 28-year-old Balbo will meet Australia's second seed David
Palmer, a three-time winner of the prestigious title.
Qualifying in the women's event also got underway at Sportcity.
English hopes will rely on
Cheshire's Sarah Kippax and Essex's Lauren Briggs.
Kippax defeated compatriot Suzie Pierrepont 9-5, 9-7, 9-3
and will now face New Zealand's Jaclyn Hawkes for a place
in the main draw.
England's Emma Chorley 9-3, 9-6, 9-3 and now meets
Aisling Blake in the qualifying finals.
Blake joined Laura Mylotte in providing a 100% success rate
for Irish players at the National Squash Centre. The Dublin-born
26-year-old from Sligo beat
England's Kirsty McPhee 9-4, 9-6, 9-2, while Mylotte, the
32-year-old world No47 from Galway, was handed a walkover by
England's Dominique Lloyd-Walter after the world No22 from
Harrow failed to recover from a twisted ankle earlier in the week.
Fortunes For Locals In British Open Qualifiers
five Englishmen survived the first day of men's qualifying action in the
Dunlop British Open Squash Championships - Manchester 2007, and two
did so after receiving byes when three players failed to make the deadline
after being held up in traffic on the way to the National Squash Centre
at Sportcity in
Experienced Surrey player Stacey Ross, looking to make his third
appearance in the world-famous event, eased to an 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 victory
over compatriot Joel Hinds - while Gloucestershire's Leeds-based
Jonathan Harford despatched fellow Englishman James Snell 11-2,
11-10 (2-0), 11-6. The pair will now meet in the qualifying finals to
guarantee one further Englishman in the main draw.
first winner of the day was Dylan Bennett, of the Netherlands, who
beat 'local' Chris Fuller - immediately followed by the quickest
win of the day for Daryl Selby after fellow Englishman Alex
Stait decided, after three points of the second game, that the bug he
started suffering from the previous evening had taken too much out of him!
John Rooney claimed the only upset of the day when he recovered
from a game down to beat England's former European Junior champion
Chris Simpson 9-11, 11-1, 11-3, 11-4.
Galway, will now face Australian Bradley Hindle in a
bid to make his British Open debut. Hindle survived the longest match of
the day, beating England's Shaun le Roux 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-4,
7-11, 11-9 in 75 minutes in a match that was fiercely contested from start
was disappointment for the two English players that battled through five
rounds of the pre-qualifying tournament to win places in the qualifying
draw. Eddie Charlton went down 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 to
Davide Bianchetti, while James Snell lost out to
Top Squash Stars In
Manchester For Dunlop British Open
England's Nick Matthew and Malaysia's Nicol David
will be in Manchester next week to defend their titles in the
Dunlop British Open Squash Championships - Manchester 2007 at
the National Squash Centre at Sportcity, from 20-24
Boasting the highest prize fund for six years, the 'Wimbledon of
Squash' has attracted star-studded fields - led by Egypt's world
number one Amr Shabana in the men's
PSA Tour Super Series Silver
championship, and world number one Nicol David who will be
seeking her third successive title in the women's
WISPA World Tour Gold
The Dunlop British Open - Manchester 2007 will also feature the
sport's most successful annual Masters Championships, comprising
13 age-group events from Over-35 to Over-70.
Sixth-seeded Yorkshireman Nick Matthew stunned the squash
world last year in
Nottingham when he stormed through the top-class men's field to
win the title against the odds. The 27-year-old from Sheffield
became the first home-grown winner of the world's most prestigious
event for 67 years!
Again the sixth seed in
Manchester, Matthew will face a qualifier in the opening round
before a likely quarter-final clash with favourite Amr Shabana,
the 28-year-old from Cairo looking to win the crown for the first
Australia's David Palmer will be making his 11th
appearance in the event since 1997. Seeded two, the 31-year-old
from New South Wales will be aiming to win the title for a fourth
time, after triumphs in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
Women's favourite Nicol David is enjoying a rich vein of
form. Since winning the British Open in 2005, the 24-year-old
Penang has competed in 19 WISPA World Tour events - reaching the
finals on all but one occasion!
David, who celebrated her 17th month as world number
one this month, takes on England's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
in the first round - and is expected to go on to face long-time
rival Natalie Grinham, the world No2 from Australia, in the
final. But the draw suggests that Grinham may first have to
overcome older sister Rachael Grinham in the semi-finals -
reversing the outcome of the siblings' last meeting in the
Dutch Open earlier this month.
Domestic interest in the women's event is led by
Lincolnshire's world No4
who faces Dutch opponent Annelize Naude in the first round.
Gough (Wales) bt [5/8] David Heath (Scotland) 9-2, 9-0,
Frankland (Scotland) bt [5/8] Jamie Goodrich (Norfolk) 9-3, 10-8, 9-5
Marshall (Notts) bt [5/8] Nick Wall (Yorks) 9-1, 9-2,
Taylor (Lancs) bt [5/8] Kevin White (Derbyshire) 9-4,
9-5, 9-0 (33m)
Gough (Wales) bt [3/4] Neil Frankland (Scotland) 9-2, 9-2,
Taylor (Lancs) bt [3/4] Peter Marshall (Notts) 9-2,
8-10, 9-4, 9-3 (57m)
Taylor (Lancs) bt  Alex Gough (Wales) 9-4,
10-8, 9-5 (70m)
Buit (NED) bt Laurent Combaluzier (FRA) 9-1, 9-0,
Jonathan Clark (Cheshire) bt Stefan Grasnick (GER) 9-4,
9-0, 9-1 (27m)
Gunter (Middx) bt [5/8] Frank Ellis (Avon) 9-2,
10-8, 9-3 (44m)
Johnson (SWE) bt [5/8] Stephen McLoughlin (Hants) 9-3, 9-1, 9-3 (32m)
Buit (NED) bt [3/4] Jonathan Clark (Cheshire) 7-9, 9-2,
9-1, 9-1 (48m)
Johnson (SWE) bt [3/4] Peter Gunter (Middx) 9-1, 6-9, 9-2,
3-9, 9-0 (74m)
Buit (NED) bt  Fredrik Johnson (SWE) 9-3, 9-0,
Whitlock (Devon) bt [5/8] Ian Bradburn (Lancs) 9-4, 9-0,
Pearman (Surrey) bt [9/16] Robert Hickling (Dorset) 9-4, 6-9, 9-2,
4-9, 9-6 (64m)
Martin Greenslade (Dorset) bt [9/16] Paul Smith (Devon) 9-7, 9-1,
Woodliffe (Glos) bt [5/8] Chris Harland (Yorks) 9-3, 9-2,
Whitlock (Devon) bt [3/4] Greg Pearman (Surrey) 9-5, 9-0, 9-5
Woodliffe (Glos) bt [5/8] Martin Greenslade (Dorset) 9-1, 9-0,
Whitlock (Devon) bt  Mark Woodliffe (Glos) 9-7, 9-0,
Alexander (Suffolk) bt [9/16] Doug Waller (Cheshire) 10-8, 9-2,
Sarwar (Warwicks) bt [5/8] Mark Cowley (Middx) 8-10, 9-4,
9-3, 9-7 (43m)
Duleep Adhihetty (Middx) bt [5/8] Edward Razzano (RSA) 9-7, 9-2, 9-0
Upton (Lancs) bt [9/16] Michael Riley (USA) 9-2, 9-3,
Alexander (Suffolk) bt [3/4] Mo Sarwar (Warwicks) 9-8, 9-4, 9-1
Duleep Adhihetty (Middx) bt  Peter Upton (Lancs) 9-6,
10-8, 9-6 (32m)
Alexander (Suffolk) bt [3/4] Duleep Adhihetty (Middx) 9-2, 9-7, 4-9,
Ronnie Bell (Cumbria) bt  Keith Jones (Berks) 7-9,
9-3, 9-1, 9-4 (32m)
Nightingale (Derbyshire) bt [3/4] Abbas Kaoud (EGY) 9-3, 9-5, 9-4
Parke (Yorks) bt [3/4] Howard Cherlin (Middx) 9-2, 9-0,
Chris Grainger (RSA) bt [5/8] Bob Robinson (Yorks) 3-9, 4-9,
9-6, 9-7, 9-7 (55m)
Ronnie Bell (Cumbria) bt [5/8] Neil Nightingale (Derbyshire) 9-5, 5-9,
8-10, 9-2, 9-2 (40m)
Parke (Yorks) bt [9/16] Chris Grainger (RSA) 9-0,
9-5, 9-0 (23m)
Parke (Yorks) bt [5/8] Ronnie Bell (Cumbria) 9-3,
9-3, 9-5 (28m)
Ayton (Sussex) bt [5/8] Nick Topman (Glos) 9-3, 9-6,
Martin Pearse (Norfolk) bt Alistair McMeckan (Scotland) 9-0, 9-3,
Trevor Wilkinson (Surrey) bt [3/4] Chris Ansell (Berks) 8-10,
9-7, 9-1, 7-9, 10-9 (60m)
Smith (Northumbria) bt [5/8] Barry Featherstone (Hants) 5-9, 9-7, 9-4,
Ayton (Sussex) bt [3/4] Martin Pearse (Norfolk) 7-9, 9-1,
9-0, 9-4 (29m)
Trevor Wilkinson (Surrey) bt  John Smith (Northumbria) 2-9, 9-2,
7-9, 9-6, 9-5 (34m)
Ayton (Sussex) bt [5/8] Trevor Wilkinson (Surrey) 9-5, 9-5,
Wright (Leics) bt Len Williamson (Yorks) 9-1, 9-5,
Froggitt (Herts) bt [5/8] Roy Bradley (Worcs) 4-9, 9-7,
9-10, 9-4, 10-8 (62m)
Stahl (Surrey) bt [3/4] Mo Khalifa (Middx) 9-5,
10-9, 9-7 (27m)
Clemson (Yorks) bt [5/8] John Shaw (D & C) 9-7, 9-3,
Froggitt (Herts) bt  Adrian Wright (Leics) 8-10,
9-7, 10-8, 9-5 (43m)
Clemson (Yorks) bt [5/8] Chris Stahl (Surrey) 6-9,
9-6, 10-8, 9-6 (35m)
Clemson (Yorks) bt [3/4] Len Froggitt (Herts) 3-9,
8-10, 10-8, 9-0, 9-5 (40m)
Kirton (Surrey) bt Douglas Alderton (Cumbria) 9-0,
9-2, 9-1 (13m)
Malcolm Gilham (Suffolk) bt Mike Parr (Lancs) 9-0,
9-4, 9-4 (25m)
Anthony Seare (Sussex) bt Ken Barrett (Kent) 9-0,
9-4, 9-2 (15m)
Kinder (Hants) bt Malcolm McArthur (D & C) 9-4, 9-2,
Kirton (Surrey) bt [3/4] Malcolm Gilham (Suffolk) 9-1,
9-1, 4-9, 10-9 (43m)
Kinder (Hants) bt [3/4] Anthony Seare (Sussex) 9-5, 9-2,
Kirton (Surrey) bt  Lance Kinder (Hants) 9-4,
9-7, 9-2 (26m)
Fitz-Gerald (AUS) bt Cristina di Sacco (ITA) 9-0, 9-1,
Macfie (Scotland) bt Bea de Dreu-Spitse (NED) 10-8, 9-2, 7-9,
Hambides (CYP) bt [3/4] Denise Sommers (NED) 9-5, 10-8,
Walker (Yorks) bt Jo Brown (Middx) w/o
Fitz-Gerald (AUS) bt [3/4] Helen Macfie (Scotland) 9-1, 9-2, 9-1
Walker (Yorks) bt Vaso Hambides (CYP) 6-9, 9-3,
9-5, 9-2 (31m)
Fitz-Gerald (AUS) bt  Claire Walker (Yorks) 9-3, 9-0,
Pierce (USA) bt Samantha Willis (Northants) 2-9,
9-5, 9-0, 6-9, 9-0 (41m)
Caroline Coyle (Ireland) bt [5/8] Jo Cooper (Leics) 6-9,
7-9, 9-2, 9-6, 9-3 (51m)
Winder (Cumbria) bt [3/4] Fran Wallis (Lincs) 9-3, 2-9,
3-9, 9-4, 9-3 (48m)
Hambides (CYP) bt  Bea de Dreu-Spitse (NED) 8-10, 6-9,
9-3, 9-4, 10-8 (49m)
Pierce (USA) bt [3/4] Caroline Coyle (Ireland) 7-9,
9-0, 9-3, 9-1 (41m)
Winder (Cumbria) bt Vaso Hambides (CYP) 9-7, 10-9, 6-9,
Pierce (USA) bt [5/8] Linda Winder (Cumbria) 9-4, 9-0,
Victoria King (Middx) bt [5/8] Susan Pynegar (Notts) 9-3,
9-5, 9-5 (29m)
Heather Tweedle (Merseyside) bt [5/8] Carin Clonda (EST) 5-9, 9-5,
9-5, 2-9, 9-7 (50m)
Tamsin Bennett (Surrey) bt Kim Ricks (Surrey) 9-2,
9-0, 9-2 (20m)
Sturgess (Derbyshire) bt [5/8] Jill Campion (Middx) 9-0, 9-10,
9-6, 9-3 (25m)
Victoria King (Middx) bt [3/4] Heather Tweedle (Merseyside) 9-7,
9-7, 9-7 (23m)
Tamsin Bennett (Surrey) bt  Lesley Sturgess (Derbyshire) 9-0, 9-7,
9-10, 4-9, 9-0 (42m)
Victoria King (Middx) bt [3/4] Tamsin Bennett (Surrey) 4-9,
2-9, 9-7, 9-1, 9-2 (45m)
Miller (AUS) bt [5/8] Elke Rubsam (Herts) 9-0,
9-4, 9-0 (19m)
Hume (Kent) bt [3/4] Carolyn Roylance (Lincs) 9-2, 9-4, 9-3
Gardner (D & C) bt [5/8] Sue Vine (Essex) 9-3, 9-1,
Field (Yorks) bt [5/8] Ann Windle (Middx) 9-1,
9-0, 9-0 (18m)
Miller (AUS) bt [5/8] Karen Hume (Kent) 9-5,
9-5, 9-10, 9-1 (46m)
Field (Yorks) bt [3/4] Jacky Gardner (D & C) 9-5,
9-1, 10-8 (32m)
Field (Yorks) bt  Jan Miller (AUS)
9-5, 9-0 ret. (8m)
Bryars (FRA) bt Loretto Blackwood (Ireland) 9-2,
9-5, 9-4 (18m)
Dryhurst (Worcs) bt Danielle Maffre (FRA) 9-0,
9-2, 9-2 (15m)
Grainger (RSA) bt Claire Bryars (FRA) 9-7,
9-4, 4-9, 9-6 (39m)
Dryhurst (Worcs) bt  Jean Grainger (RSA) 9-5,
9-3, 9-0 (18m)
Overwhelming English Success
Dunlop British Open Masters In Manchester
English players claimed ten out of the 13 Masters squash titles in the
Dunlop British Open - Manchester 2007 at the National Squash Centre
in Manchester this week.
The success of the
pioneering partnership between internationalSPORTgroup and
England Squash led to a massive 50% increase in entries to the Masters
events over the past two years.
Almost 300 players
competed in the 13 events, from the Over-35 Championships for men and
women to the Over-70 Championship for men, at the seven-court venue which
hosted the squash action in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
"The sheer number of
players meant that we had to utilise extra courts at Manchester Northern
on the first day of Masters' action," said England Squash Competition &
Events Manager Chris Nutley. "All other matches were played at the
The popular Men's
Over-35 event provided an unexpected 36th birthday present for
Nick Taylor, the Manchester-based second seed who upset defending
champion Alex Gough, the world No21 from Wales; 9-4, 10-8, 9-5 in
the 70-minute final on the all-glass court.
In the Women's
Over-35 event, Australia's record five-time world champion
the reigning World O35 Masters champion, claimed her third
successive title after beating England's British National Over-35 champion
Claire Walker, from Yorkshire, 9-3, 9-0, 9-3 in the final.
In the only final
which did not include domestic interest, former Dutch champion Lucas
Buit, who only recently celebrated his 40th birthday, beat
Sweden's 2004 champion Fredrik Johnson 9-3, 9-0, 9-3 in the Men's
Whitlock, last year's Over-40 champion now making his first appearance
in the next age-group, defeated defending champion Mark Woodliffe,
from Gloucestershire, 9-7, 9-0, 9-4 in the Men's Over-45 final.
Peter Alexander, from Suffolk, secured his third title in a row with a
9-2, 9-7, 4-9, 9-7 victory over last year's runner-up Duleep Adhihetty,
from Middlesex, in the Men's Over-50 final.
Parke - the Czech Republic-based father of former world No4 Simon
Parke - scored his first British Open Masters success when he beat
Cumbria's Ronnie Bell 9-3, 9-3, 9-5 in the men's Over-55 final.
The British National
champion in 1975, Sussex's Philip Ayton clinched the National
Over-60 title for the first time at the beginning of this year - then
added the Over-60 British Open crown when he beat Surrey's Trevor
Wilkinson 9-5, 9-5, 9-0 in the final in Manchester.
Clemson made his debut on the Masters' podium when he beat
Hertfordshire opponent Len Froggitt 3-9, 8-10, 10-8, 9-0, 9-5 in
the Men's Over-65 final.
Two years after
picking up the Over-65 trophy, Surrey's Pat Kirton stepped up to
the most senior category to win the Men's Over-70 title after beating
fellow veteran Lance Kinder, from Hampshire, 9-4, 9-7, 9-2 in the
There was USA
success in the Women's Over-40 event where Ellie Pierce defeated
Cumbria's Linda Winder 9-4, 9-0, 9-3.
An all-English final
in the Women's Over-45 event produced a dramatic victory for Victoria
King after the Middlesex player fought back from two games down to
beat Surrey's Tamsin Bennett 4-9, 2-9, 9-7, 9-1, 9-2.
There was a
disappointing upset in the climax of the Women's Over-50 event when
Yorkshire's second seed Julie Field emerged triumphant after just
eight minutes after top-seeded Australian Jan Miller retired
injured with the score at 9-5, 9-0.
Bett Dryhurst secured the most senior women's trophy when she beat
South African Jean Grainger, mother of US star Natalie Grainger,
the reigning Pan American Games champion, 9-5, 9-3, 9-0 in the Women's