Peter Nicol (Eng)
bt  John White (Sco)
15-9, 15-8, 15-8 (46m)
 Sarah Fitz-Gerald
(Aus) bt  Tania Bailey (Eng)
9-3, 9-0, 9-0 (34m)
Nicol & Fitz-Gerald Net
Second British Open Titles
England's Peter Nicol and Australia's Sarah Fitz-Gerald,
both top seeds,
claimed their second British Open Squash Championships titles tonight after straight games victories in the finals at the National
Centre in Sportcity, Manchester.
Nicol, who last year switched his international allegiance from Scotland
England, cruised to a 15-9 15-8 15-8 win over Scotland's John White in the
first all-British men's final for more than 60 years. The 46-minute
also marked the 40th PSA Tour title of Nicol's career.
Nottingham-based White, who removed Canada's unofficial favourite Jonathon
Power in a sensational five-game semi-final, attacked solidly throughout
match, striking the ball with ferocious power. But Nicol, 29, from
produced a performance of near-immaculate squash. He was simply too fast
too precise, producing breathtaking retrieving to return so many of
"It's a fantastic feeling to claim another British Open title," said the
champion. "I can't wait to come back to this magnificent venue in the
to go for another gold medal in the Commonwealth Games."
Sarah Fitz-Gerald powered to a second successive British Open title in
dazzling fashion when she outclassed England's Tania Bailey 9-3 9-0 9-0 to
retain the title without conceding a single game.
Australia's world champion took just 34 minutes to overwhelm 22-year-old
Bailey, from Stamford in Lincolnshire - the 15th seed who was appearing in
her first British Open final after recently returning to action following
year out of the game with knee injuries sustained in a car crash.
Bailey made a spirited response to Fitz-Gerald's confident opening surge
pulled back from 5-1 to 5-3, but she failed to win another point as the
number one dominated proceedings.
"I am pleased to have got another British Open out of the way and I am
looking forward to the summer's Commonwealth Games," said the world No1
Melbourne. "Tania is a very good young player and I am sure we will see
more of her at the final stages of main events in the future."
 Peter Nicol (Eng) bt  Thierry Lincou (Fra) 15-6, 15-9, 17-14 50m
 John White (Sco) bt  Jonathon Power (Can) 11-15, 15-13, 15-12, 9-15,
 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Aus) bt  Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) 9-2, 9-4,
 Tania Bailey (Eng) bt  Cassie Campion (Eng) 9-2, 3-9, 9-4,
3-9, 9-7 67m
Power Struck By
White Hot Scot
Whilst both top seeds will contest the men's and women's
finals of the
British Open Squash Championships following tonight's (Sunday) semi-finals
Manchester, their surprise opponents are players who were not expected to
reach the last four. England's world champion and former Scot Peter Nicol
will face Scotland's 6th seed John White in the first all-British men's
for more than 60 years - and Australia's title holder Sarah Fitz-Gerald will
take on England's 15th seed Tania Bailey.
John White, the only player in his second successive men's semi-final, went
one better than last year, spectacularly putting out third seed and
tournament favourite Jonathon Power to reach his first British Open final.
Power let slip a 10-4 lead in the first game as White came back to 11-all,
but the Canadian took the next four points in one hand to go one game up.
The Queensland-born Scot fought back to win the next two games to forge a
lead - and then "fell asleep" in the fourth to let Power level the match.
White raced to a 7-1 lead in the decider, but Power surged back to go 11-8
up. At 13-all, both players crashed to the floor after a clash. White then
struck a low backhand winner to get to matchball, and a stroke then gave him
the match 11-15 15-13 15-12 9-15 15-13 in 100 minutes.
"That's the best I've played for a good few months," said an ecstatic White
after inflicting the first defeat on Power in three tournaments. "Making
final is very special - but doing it by beating Jonathon is even better."
In the other men's semi-final, 1998 champion Nicol beat fourth seed Thierry
Lincou in 50 minutes to reach his fourth final. In the third game, the
determined Frenchman saved three matchballs from 14-11 down, before Nicol
claimed his 15-6 15-9 17-14 victory.
In the first women's semi-final, Lincolnshire's Tania Bailey registered her
third successive upset when she overpowered third-seeded compatriot Cassie
Campion to reach her maiden British Open final. Tania began in positive
fashion, taking the first game 9-2 but Cassie turned the tables in the
second, playing in a far more positive fashion to win the game 9-3. Tania
came out fighting in the third, stepping up the pace again to win 9-4.
Cassie took the fourth 9-3 but could not maintain her dominance as Tania
raced to a 5-1 lead in the fifth. But Cassie hit back to lead 7-5 before
Tania turned the tables again and won the next four points to claim her
historic 9-2, 3-9, 9-4, 3-9, 9-7 win in 67 minutes.
"I've only ever beaten Cassie when she was really injured - I don't think I
believed I could beat her until yesterday's match (against world No2 Carol
Owens), which gave me lots of confidence," said Bailey afterwards. "I'm
pretty much back to where I was before the lay-off, but I'm a better player
in my head now. I don't care who I play tomorrow - I am just delighted to
Defending champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald, playing in her 16th successive British
Open, cruised to her fifth final when she ended Dutch No1 Vanessa Atkinson's
giant-killing run in a 9-2 9-4 9-5 scoreline in 35 minutes.
 Peter Nicol (Eng) beat 
Chris Walker (Eng) 15-8, 15-11, 15-8 45m
 Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt
Martin Heath (Sco) 15-13, 11-15, 15-7, 15-10 60m
 Jonathon Power (Can) bt
Lee Beachill (Eng) 15-8, 15-10, 15-10 65m
 John White (Sco) bt Alex
Gough (Wal) 15-13, 15-8, 15-9 70m
 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Aus) bt
Jenny Tranfield (Eng) 9-5, 9-1, 9-1 27m
 Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt  Fiona Geaves (Eng) 2-9, 9-4, 9-3, 7-9, 9-1
 Cassie Campion (Eng) bt 
Rachael Grinham (Aus) 9-4, 10-8, 9-4 49m
 Tania Bailey (Eng) bt  Carol Owens (Nzl) 9-2, 9-7, 9-2
Bailey Bounces Out Owens
15th seed Tania Bailey scored the best win of her career when she blasted
New Zealand's world number two Carol Owens off court in just over half an
hour to reach the women's semi-finals of the British Open Squash
Championships in Manchester.
After two rounds in London, the world's longest-established event is now
staging its quarter-finals onwards at the National Squash Centre in
Sportcity, Manchester - the brand new venue which will host the Commonwealth
Games action in July/August this year. An additional note of squash history
was marked by the fact that there was no Australian representation in the
men's quarter-finals for the first time for 40 years.
Bailey, 22, dominated from the start, with Owens always struggling to keep
with the former world junior champion from Lincolnshire. "I think I played
really well," said Bailey after her 9-2 9-7 9-2 win in 33 minutes. "I
hadn't even thought about the next match because Carol is such a fantastic
player, although she made a lot of errors today. This is my best win and my
British Open semi-final."
Bailey meets third-seeded compatriot Cassie Campion in the semi-final to
guarantee an English finalist on Monday. The former world champion from
Norfolk reached her first British Open semi for three years after beating
Australia's Rachael Grinham 9-4 10-8 9-4 in a 49-minute match which included
a courageous fightback from 8-3 down in the second game.
The other women's semi-final will feature Australia's top seed and defending
champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald and 9th seed Vanessa Atkinson, the first Dutch
player ever to reach the last four of the British Open. The favourite swept
aside Dr Jenny Tranfield, the unseeded English player who earlier this year
received a PhD in Sports Psychology, 9-5, 9-1, 9-1 in 27 minutes, while
English-born Atkinson fought back from a game down to upset England's 4th
seed Fiona Geaves 2-9 9-4 9-3 7-9 9-1 in 45 minutes.
1999 champion Jonathon Power was the first to book himself into the men's
semi-finals. Known for his incredible racket skills and inventive nature,
Power also revealed a new maturity and stability to his game as he stormed
to a 15-8 15-10 15-10 victory over England's unseeded British national
champion Lee Beachill in 65 minutes. "Beachill did not play badly,"
said a British Open spokesman. "Power was simply immaculate, his court
coverage incredible and his retrieving simply phenomenal."
Power now faces Scotland's hard-hitting 6th seed
John White, who ended Welshman Alex Gough's impressive 2002 British Open run
in 70 minutes in a
15-13 15-8 15-9 scoreline.
Another second round hero bowed out on the new all-glass Manchester court
when Scotland's unseeded Martin Heath fell to France's fourth seed Thierry
Lincou in four games. The French ace screamed with delight as he capped a
fine recovery in the fourth game to win 15-13 11-15 15-7 15-10 in 60 minutes
to reach his first British Open semi-final.
Lincou will meet top seed Peter Nicol, the 1998 champion and top seed, who
put out fellow left-hander and English compatriot Chris Walker, runner-up
last year, 15-8 15-11 15-8 in 45 minutes. It was 34-year-old Walker's 13th
appearance in a British Open since 1987.
Unseeded Welshman Alex Gough pulled off the biggest upset
on the second day of action in the British Open Squash Championships when
he dismissed Australia's defending champion David Palmer, the second seed,
15-13 8-15 15-8 15-9 in a 110-minute battle at Lambs Club in London.
The welsh wizardry came just 24 hours after Gough's
compatriot David Evans, the 2000 champion, crashed out at the first
hurdle. While Gough's court coverage was superb, Palmer occasionally
looked laboured in his movement. He was slow moving back out of the
front corners and Gough ran into him three times in the fourth game, first
of all giving him a dead leg and then hitting him again in the same place
a few minutes later. The pain forced Palmer's voice to rise a few octaves
as he complained about the contact, but the referee told the Australian
that "he was a bit static". The Welshman's controlled,
intelligent squash was rewarded with a place in the quarter-finals in
Manchester on Saturday.
Gough, who explained that he had been feeling much
better recently after suffering from back spasms in recent months, now
meets Scotland's 6th seed John White, who demolished Englishman Mark
Chaloner 15-7 15-10 15-10 in a dazzling 43-minute display of attacking
In-form Scot Martin Heath also removed one of the
event's fancied players, Australia's 5th seed Stewart Boswell. Heath
raced to a 2-0 lead, but surrendered the third tamely, and fell 9-5 and
7-11 behind in the fourth. From there on though, the flying Scot didn't
drop another point, going on to win 15-11 15-9 4-15 15-11 in 86 minutes.
"I was a bit fortunate in the fourth that Stewart hit a few tins from
winning positions, but I could tell he was tiring and thought 'just hang
Unseeded Englishman Lee Beachill, who two months ago
became the first man ever to retain the British National title, unseated
Malaysia's 7th seed Ong Beng Hee 15-11 15-12 15-13 in 68 minutes.
The Yorkshireman goes on to meet 1999 champion Jonathon Power, the third
seed from Canada who needed 84 minutes to quash Australia's Paul Price
15-8 15-13 17-15.
England's 15th seed Tania Bailey, still fighting
back to full fitness following a knee injury, led the upsets in the
women's event with a 55-minute dismissal of compatriot Linda Charman-Smith.
The 5th seed from Sussex took a two-game lead, but Bailey fought back to
take the third, before the pair collided at 3-0 in the fourth.
Charman-Smith failed to respond to physio treatment after an hour, and
conceded the match to her opponent. Perhaps the biggest shock in the
women's draw was the demise of England's Natalie Pohrer, the US-based
former world No4 whose rapid return to form after a six-month layoff
included winning last month's Hurghada International in Egypt after
successive victories over the world numbers 2 and 4.
Vanessa Atkinson, the 9th seed from the Netherlands,
recovered brilliantly from 6-0 down to take the first game, but "went
to sleep" in the second. The pattern repeated itself, with Atkinson
going 2-1 up, Pohrer levelling, but it was Atkinson who stayed the pace
the better to claim a magnificent 9-6 2-9 9-3 4-9 9-5 victory in 57
minutes. "That's by far and away my best win," said the
delighted Newcastle-born victor afterwards. "When I beat Cassie
two years ago she was injured, and I've never even got close to Natalie
Men's Second Round:
 Peter Nicol (Eng) bt Paul Johnson (Eng) 15-8, 15-11,
 Chris Walker (Eng) bt [Q] Peter Genever (Eng) 7-15, 17-15,
15-10, 13-15, 15-14 114m
 Thierry Lincou bt Omar Elborolossy (Egy) 13-15, 15-9, 15-9,
Martin Heath (Sco)  bt Stewart Boswell (Aus) 15-11, 15-9,
4-15, 15-11 86m
Lee Beachill (Eng) bt  Ong Beng Hee (Mas) 15-11, 15-12,
 Jonathon Power (Can) bt Paul Price (Aus) 15-8, 15-13,
 John White (Sco) bt Mark Chaloner (Eng) 15-7, 15-10,
Alex Gough (Wal) bt  David Palmer (Aus) 15-13, 8-15, 15-8,
Women's Second Round:
 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Aus) bt  Rebecca Macree (Eng) 9-3,
9-0, 9-2 30m.
Jenny Tranfield (Eng) bt Sharon Wee (Mas) 9-0, 9-4, 5-9,
 Fiona Geaves (Eng) bt  Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) 9-0, 9-6,
 Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt  Natalie Pohrer (Eng) 9-6,
2-9, 9-3, 4-9, 9-5 57m
 Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt  Natalie Grinham (Aus) 9-7,
9-2, 10-8 50m
 Cassie Campion (Eng) bt  Vicky Botwright (Eng) 9-2,
9-7, 10-8 39m
 Tania Bailey (Eng) bt  Linda Charman-Smith (Eng) 6-9, 8-10, 9-3,
3-0 ret 55m
 Carol Owens (Aus) bt  Nicol David (Mas) 9-4, 9-0, 9-10,
Former Champion Evans
In Early British Open Upset
Welshman David Evans, the 2000 champion, became the
first major upset on the opening day of the British Open Squash
Championships when he crashed out in straight games to English qualifier
Peter Genever at Lambs Club in London.
One of a record four former champions in the men's
event, Evans went down 15-9 15-10 15-9 in 61 minutes. "Peter played
well," said Evans afterwards. "I wasn't moving too well, but
that's no excuse. He was dominating the rallies and I was going for things
I shouldn't have," said the 27-year-old from Pontypool who has been
troubled with an Achilles injury over recent months. Genever, from Sussex,
now faces last year's surprise finalist Chris Walker in the second round.
Englishman Walker, the 8th seed and at 34 the oldest
player on the PSA Tour, dismissed qualifier Nick Matthew, also from
England, 15-7 8-15 15-5 15-11 in 67 minutes. Another all-English
second round clash will take place between left-handers Paul Johnson and
top seed Peter Nicol. Johnson clinched his surprise place after only
17 minutes when higher-ranked compatriot Del Harris retired after losing
the first game, suffering from food poisoning.
By contrast, Nicol had a narrow escape against French
qualifier Renan Lavigne. It took the world champion and 1998 British
Open champion 86 minutes to overcome the 27-year-old from Paris 12-15
15-11 15-4 11-15 15-8 in the final match of the day.
Reigning champion David Palmer began the defence of his
British Open title with an emphatic straight games victory over Finland's
Olli Tuominen. The powerful Australian looked entirely comfortable
as he won 15-13 15-12 15-11 in 67 minutes. Palmer, the No2 seed,
said afterwards: "It was a nice hard game and I was pleased to
get on and off court in three games rather than let it drag on
Palmer now meets Welsh champion Alex Gough, who beat
former Irish champion Derek Ryan 3-0. Australia's Sarah Fitz-Gerald, top
seed and defending champion in the women's event, marked her return to the
circuit after a month's layoff following a calf injury with an emphatic
9-1 9-2 9-0 victory over Scottish qualifier Wendy Maitland in 20
At the other end of the draw, arch rival Carol Owens,
Fitz-Gerald's second-seeded former compatriot now playing in New Zealand
colours, took two fewer minutes crushing Ireland's Madeline Perry 9-1 9-1
Men's First Round:
 Peter Nicol (Eng) bt [Q] Renan Lavigne (Fra) 12-15, 15-11, 15-4,
11-15, 15-8 86m
Paul Johnson (Eng) bt Del Harris (Eng) 15-8, rtd 17m
 Chris Walker (Eng) bt [Q] Nick Matthew (Eng) 15-7, 8-15, 15-5,
[Q] Peter Genever (Eng) bt David Evans (Wal) 15-9, 15-10, 15-9
 Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt Karim Darwish (Egy) 11-15, 15-6, 15-11,
Omar Elborolossy (Egy) bt Anthony Ricketts (Aus) 16-17, 17-15, 17-16,
 Stewart Boswell (Aus) bt Joseph Kneipp (Aus) 10-15, 15-10, 15-4,
16-17, 15-10 97m
Martin Heath (Sco) bt Graham Ryding (Can) 15-13, 15-12, 15-7
Lee Beachill (Eng) bt Tommy Berden (Ned) 15-10, 15-10, 15-8
 Ong Beng Hee (Mas) bt [Q] Jean-Michel Arcucci (Fra) 15-17,
15-10, 15-9, 15-13 85m
Paul Price (Aus) bt [Q] Nick Taylor (Eng) 16-17, 15-10, 15-9, 15-4
 Jonathon Power (Can) bt [Q] Mohammed Abbas (Egy) 15-12, 15-2, 15-7 40m
Mark Chaloner (Eng) bt [Q] Wael El Hindi (Egy) 15-8, 14-17, 15-12, 8-1 rtd
 John White (Sco) bt Simon Parke (Eng) 15-13, 15-11, 9-15, 15-9
Alex Gough (Wal) bt [Q] Derek Ryan (Irl) 15-6, 15-13, 15-4 49m
 David Palmer (Aus) bt Olli Tuominen (Fin) 15-13, 15-12,
Women's First Round:
 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Aus) bt [Q] Wendy Maitland (Sco) 9-1, 9-2,
 Rebecca Macree (Eng) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 9-7, 6-9, 9-2,
[Q] Sharon Wee (Mas) w/o v  Stephanie Brind (Eng) withdrawn
Jenny Tranfield (Eng) bt [Q] Louise Crome (Nzl) 9-7, 9-7,
 Fiona Geaves (Eng) v Rebecca Chui (Hkg) 9-5, 9-0, 9-5 32m
 Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) bt Maha Zein (Egy) 9-3, 9-5, 9-4
 Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt Liz Irving (Aus) 9-1, 9-0, 9-4 23m
 Natalie Pohrer (Eng) bt Ellen Petersen (Den) 9-1, 9-0,
 Natalie Grinham (Aus) bt [Q] Farrah Sterne (Rsa) 7-9, 2-9, 9-1,
 Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [Q] Kate Allison (Eng) 9-3, 9-2,
 Vicky Botwright (Eng) bt [Q] Laura Lengthorn (Eng) 9-0, 9-5,
 Cassie Campion (Eng) v [Q] Engy Kheirallah (Egy) 9-0, 9-0,
 Tania Bailey (Eng) bt Senga Macfie (Sco) 9-4, 9-6, 9-6
 Linda Charman-Smith (Eng) bt [Q] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 9-2, 9-0,
 Nicol David (Mas) bt Pamela Nimmo (Sco) 9-7, 9-5, 9-4 40m
 Carol Owens (Nzl) bt Madeline Perry (Irl) 9-1, 9-1, 9-0