James Willstrop and Wales’ Tesni Evans prevailed on finals day at the AJ
Bell British National Squash Championships in Nottingham today after
overcoming England’s Daryl Selby and Emily Whitlock respectively to lift
the prestigious titles.
Yorkshire’s James Willstrop held off a stern challenge from second seed
Daryl Selby to claim his third championship title with a 11-5, 7-11,
11-5, 11-7 victory.
The 35-year-old opened the scoring with a stunning pick-up at the front
to win a mammoth opening point, Selby responding in fine fashion moments
later with a shot through his legs which brought the admiration of crowd
and opponent alike.
The pair traded points up to 5-5 in the opening game, Willstrop
eventually closing it out to take the lead in the match with an 11-5
World No. 1 Willstrop seized control of the second game, racing into a
6-0 lead but Selby fought back with the grit and determination which had
characterised his tournament.
He levelled at 7-7 and took the momentum to level the match with his
first game ball and an 11-7 win.
The third game was closely fought and tense, until a let decision in
Willstrop’s favour at 7-5 up seemed to swing the momentum his way.
He reclaimed the lead in the match with an 11-5 win, again seizing the
initiative with his first game ball.
Selby had pulled up in pain at the end of the third game but his
belligerence showed no sign of waning, both players having to earn every
point in a fourth game of true quality.
It was anybody’s game with Willstrop 7-6 up and grinding his way towards
victory, but the mutual respect between the players was clear even with
the stakes at their highest.
Willstrop’s quality and experience shone through winning with his second
match ball, the watching crowd having been treated to a true exhibition
of a final.
lovely,” said Harrogate-based Willstrop.
“To achieve a big title like that with so many big players is fantastic.
My body got through it.
“It’s a huge title and a very special thing to be able to achieve, so
I’m very, very happy.
“In a sport like squash, it’s not an easy sport to keep playing when
you’re old, and historically speaking we are old squash players.”
Defending champion Tesni Evans retained her crown with a dominant
straight-games victory over fourth seed Emily Whitlock.
seed Evans became the first Welsh player to win the tournament in 2018
and never looked like relinquishing her title this time around, winning
11-3, 11-6, 11-5 in 31 minutes.
There was a distinctly Welsh feel to the final as Evans beat the Colwyn
Bay-based Whitlock, who was appearing in her first final.
Evans was the early aggressor in the match and took the first game in
After Whitlock had brought an early deficit back to 3-3, Evans forced
the issue and took the lead with eight consecutive points, winning the
opening game 11-3.
Whitlock had shocked the number two seed Alison Waters in the
semi-finals but she was powerless to resist on this occasion as Evans
stretched her points streak to 14, storming into a 6-0 lead in the
The underdog rallied and levelled at 6-6 but Evans regained her touch
and took firm control of the match, taking the second game with her
first game ball in an 11-6 win.
The final game had a more back-and-forth feel to it as Whitlock fought
tooth and nail, but Evans’ quality showed as she forced her way through
to an 11-5 win.
pretty special,” said Cardiff-born Evans, now based in Rhyl.
“It makes it even more special that I can defend it and take it back to
Wales, that makes it even better.
“Last year was amazing to win it and I definitely didn’t think I’d be
standing here after winning it again.
“I tried to play as fast as I could and take the ball as early as I
could and I think it maybe took her a little bit by surprise.
“I’m just happy with how I played because I can’t play much better than
that, it was perfect.”
Tesni Evans fastened her grip on a consecutive British Nationals title
today after overcoming Laura Massaro on the penultimate day of the AJ
Bell British National Squash Championships in Nottingham.
The defending champion, seeded third resisted a dominant start from top
seed Massaro and set up a final showdown against England’s  Emily
The 26-year-old bounced back from an early scare inflicted by the
English stalwart to close out proceedings in emphatic fashion at 8-11,
11-1, 11-7, 11-8 in a match which lasted 50 minutes – despite nearly
losing her nerve at 4-8 down in the fourth.
Speaking after the match, Evans said: "Laura is one of the toughest
players you can meet, it's always a right battle and today was no
"At 4-8 in the fourth, I was thinking about the fifth, but managed to
"I'm just happy to be in the final and looking forward to another great
defied her seeding to oust second seed Alison Waters from the
competition as the 25-year-old completed a 3-1 victory over her
compatriot lasting 46 minutes.
Whitlock enjoyed the brighter start, mounting an 11-8 lead to take the
first game, before Waters resisted a brief fight back at 7-2 up to claim
But the Cheshire hitter – who’s ranked 20 in the world – took control in
the third, quashing Waters 11-3, before closing out the fourth in
impressive style at 11-2.
The result signals Whitlock’s best ever run in the competition, having
bettered her semi-final finish in 2017 when she lost to Laura Massaro.
a day when both of the top two female seeds were sent crashing out of
the tournament – the men’s draw favoured a different narrative – with
both James Willstrop  and Daryl Selby  setting up a repeat of last
year’s semi-final, where Willstrop prevailed.
But their latest chapter en route to sealing a spot in the last round of
the tournament couldn’t have been scripted any more different.
champion Willstrop fought back from a game down to overpower Scotland’s
 Greg Lobban 9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 in just under an hour to reach
his tenth national final.
It means the Pontefract player will have the chance to claim his third
tournament title – having come up short on six previous occasions as a
finalist – the most recent against former England No.1 Nick Matthew last
"Greg played really well in the first two," said Willstrop. "I couldn't
break him down and he stopped me from getting chances to attack. It
opened up later and I managed to get myself in front, but I had to stay
with it in that period and stay alert to the end.
"It's a big title to win, so to have another chance, and to be playing
well at this crucial time of the season is a bonus. Daryl has had a hard
route through but he's always a tough opponent and I'm sure we'll both
be giving everything we have tomorrow."
Second seed Daryl Selby, however, endured a third successive five-game
slog in as many days after being forced to come from behind to oust
Adrian Waller  and rack up a total of 262 minutes – or over four and
half hours – of on-court action in the competition so far.
Selby slipped to 8-11, 6-11 early on, but capitalised on a wave of
momentum after claiming the third 11-7.
It heralded another memorable comeback for the 2011 champion, who went
on to clinch the remaining two games 11-5, 11-6 in an entertaining 77
Speaking after coming through another intense battle, Selby said: "I’m
very happy to get through, it's not been an easy route!
"Adrian outplayed me in the first two, I managed to see a few cracks in
the third and rolled with the momentum.”
second day of the AJ Bell British National Squash Championships in
Nottingham saw Scotland’s Greg Lobban overpower England’s Richie Fallows
in straight games and become the first Scot since John White in 2007 to
reach the last four of the prestigious tournament.
It took Lobban 49 minutes to overcome Fallows 11-5, 13-11, 12-10 and set
up a semi-final showdown against top seed James Willstrop.
Lobban said: “Richie’s really strong, I’ve played him a few times now. I
had a game plan and I’m pleased I executed it. To reach the semis for
the first time feels great. The Nationals is such a prestigious event
and one I’d love to win.”
the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, cruised through to the
semi-finals after overpowering compatriot [5/8] Nathan Lake in straight
games: 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (30m)
Meanwhile, second seed Daryl Selby survived a second successive
marathon, grinding out a five-game victory over [5/8] Chris Simpson
after an intense 98 minutes on court.
The 2011 champion was pushed all the way by compatriot Simpson in
dramatic style - levelling after 80 minutes in the nail-biting encounter
to come through 7-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8.
Speaking after the match, Selby said: "Today I actually played very
well. Simpo is very tenacious and an unbelievable retriever, he’s class.
He doesn’t give an inch and therefore I didn’t give an inch.
"That’s what I live for, that type of battle, that gets me going and I
hope you guys enjoyed it.”
Selby will lock horns with [5/8] Adrian Waller who produced the day’s
only seeding upset by overcoming [3/4] Tom Richards 11-4, 7-11, 17-15
"It was a tight match, the first two games went one apiece quite
evenly,” said Waller.
"The third game took the wind out of both of us but winning it gave me
more confidence going into the fourth. Really pleased to win and get
through to the semis."
In the women’s draw, defending champion Tesni Evans remains on course
for a consecutive national crown after overcoming [5/8] Julianne
Courtice 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 and set up an intriguing semi-final
encounter with England’s Laura Massaro.
overcame a stern test from compatriot [5/8] Millie Tomlinson winning
6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (52m) to seal her last four spot.
Meanwhile, second seed and four-time champion Alison Waters dispatched
fellow compatriot [5/8] Fiona Moverley in three to set up a last-four
showdown with [3/4] Emily Whitlock, who enjoyed a straight games victory
over Kace Bartley in under half an hour.
Daryl Selby survived an epic scare in the first round of the AJ Bell
British National Squash Championships, fighting from 2-0 down to
overcome Scotland’s Rory Stewart: 9-11, 12-14, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8.
The pair fought it out on court for a gruelling 87 minutes which saw
2011 champion Selby hold his nerve at 4-9 down in the fourth to book a
quarter-final tie against England’s Chris Simpson [5/8].
after the intense encounter, Selby hailed Stewart as a “dangerous
player” but admitted he was pleased with the grit and determination he
showed en route to clinching a victory which early on, looked seemingly
Tom Richards (Eng) [3/4] also needed five games to see off Patrick
Rooney (Eng) after storming back from a two-game deficit to claim a
7-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 triumph and set up a last-eight clash with
Adrian Waller [5/8].
But there was no early scare for top seed James Willstrop who made quick
work of dispatching fellow Englishman Harry Falconer, with the
Commonwealth Games gold medalist cruising to a straight game victory in
just 22 minutes to set up a quarter-final with Nathan Lake (Eng) [5/8].
“If it’s any consolation to Harry, that’s about as good as a 20 minutes
of squash as I’ve ever put together, everything was working – even the
lucky shots,” said Willstrop after the game.
Meanwhile, Greg Lobban [5/8] remains the only non-Englishman left in the
draw, who will face Richie Fallows (Eng) – the only unseeded player to
remain in the men’s competition.
The opening day of the women’s draw saw no major upsets as top seed and
seven-time finalist Laura Massaro once again underlined her dominance on
home turf to book her place in the last eight, overcoming a valiant
effort from Scotland’s Alison Thomson with an 11-5 11-8 11-4 victory.
The four-time champion will face England’s Millie Tomlinson [5/8] in
Speaking after the match, Massaro said: “I’m pretty happy with my
performance overall and I’ll try and build on that tomorrow.
“It was my first competitive match on that court so it was great to get
a win under my belt.
“I really want to do well here this year here – I’m going to give it
everything I’ve got.”
Welshwoman Tesni Evans [3/4] remains on course to defend her British
Nationals crown after reaching the quarter-finals with a comprehensive
victory over English qualifier Alicia Mead – winning 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 in
just 23 minutes.
The result means Evans – who last year became the first Welsh champion
in the tournament’s history – could meet Massaro in a repeat of last
But first Evans will lock horns with France’s Juliette Courtice [5/8] in
the last eight, while second seed Alison Waters (Eng) overcame a feisty
challenge from Scotland’s Georgia Adderley 11-5 11-7 11-4 to face Fiona
Moverley (Eng) [5/8].
Elsewhere in the draw, Kace Bartley overpowered English youngster Lucy
Turmel [5/8] in a high-scoring 12-14, 16-14, 11-9, 11-4 encounter to fix
a quarter-final tie with Emily Whitlock (Eng) [5/8].
Top seed and former national champion Sarah-Jane Perry has withdrawn
from next week’s AJ Bell British National Squash Championships following
a long-standing injury.
Perry's withdrawal means Laura Massaro becomes top seed with Alison
Waters moving to number two seed, setting up the prospect of a
mouth-watering final between the four-time champions. Julianne Courtice
moves up as 5/8 seed and Kace Bartley is granted a main draw berth.
Sarah-Jane said: “Whilst my recovery is going well, it was always going
to be tight on time to be match fit. Unfortunately, I’m not quite where
I would want to be so won’t be able to play. However, I am expecting to
be fit for the World Champs onwards and look forward to being back next
Revised main draw -  Laura Massaro (Eng) v Alison Thomson (Sco)
[5/8] Millie Tomlinson (Eng) v Qualifier
[5/8] Julianne Courtice (Eng) v Sarah Campion (Eng)
[3/4] Victoria Lust (Eng) v Qualifier
[3/4] Tesni Evans (Wal) v Qualifier
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (Eng) v Kace Bartley (Eng)
[5/8] Fiona Moverley (Eng) v Lucy Turmel (Eng)
 Alison Waters (Eng) v Qualifier
Commonwealth Games gold medallist James Willstrop and former national
champion Daryl Selby, ranked 16 and 17 in the world respectively are
seeded to meet in the final of the AJ Bell British National Squash
Championships 2019 in Nottingham after the men’s draw was released
Former World.No.1 and two-time champion Willstrop kicks off his campaign
against a qualifier, with a potential semi-final clash against local
favourite Declan James, the World No.20. Willstrop will first have to
overcome the powerful George Parker in the quarter-finals whilst James
will need to navigate past Scottish number one Greg Lobban.
25-year-old James will be looking to replicate his performance at the
season-opening Squash de Nantes, which saw him sensationally edge top
seed Willstrop in a five-game final.
On the opposite side of the draw, 2011 champion Selby gets his
tournament under way against a qualifier and is predicted to meet
Guernsey's Chris Simpson in the quarters before going head-to-head with
long-time rival and friend Tom Richards, seeded 3/4 in the semis.
Qualifying round takes place between 12th and 13th February at
Nottingham Squash Rackets Club (NSRC) with Patrick Rooney, Robert
Downer, Mark Fuller and Rory Stewart favourites to claim the last four
places in the main draw. Round one commences on Thursday 14th February
at NSRC and the University of Nottingham.
AJ Bell British National Squash Championships 2019: Men’s First Round  James Willstrop (ENG) v Qualifier
 George Parker (ENG) v Nathan Lake (ENG)
 Greg Lobban (Sco) v Qualifier
 Declan James (ENG) v Richie Fallows (ENG)
 Tom Richards (ENG) v Charlie Lee (ENG)
 Adrian Waller (ENG) v Qualifier
 Chris Simpson (ENG) v Josh Masters (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Qualifier
Games Silver medallist Sarah-Jane Perry and former World No.1 Laura
Massaro are seeded to meet in the final of the AJ Bell British
National Squash Championships 2019 in Nottingham next week.
Perry and Massaro seeded one and two respectively met in the final
of the 2015 championships which saw Perry emerge victorious as she
completed a third five-game thriller in a row, taking out the
reigning and previous champions in consecutive matches. Massaro
avenged that defeat in the 2017 final to claim her fourth National
World No.6 Perry will face a qualifier in round one, with a
potential semi-final meeting against four-time National champion
Alison Waters, in what would be a repeat of last year’s semi in
which Waters prevailed, avenging her 2015 last four defeat.
On the opposite side of the draw, former World Champion Massaro will
begin her campaign against a qualifier, and if all goes to seeding,
will face defending champion Tesni Evans in a semi-final showdown –
a repeat of last year which saw the Welsh No.1 triumph in straight
Also competing are Emily Whitlock and Millie Tomlinson, predicted to
meet Waters and Massaro respectively in the quarter-finals.
Qualifying round take place between 12th and 13th February at
Nottingham Squash Rackets Club with round one commencing on Thursday
14th February at the qualification venue and the University of
Nottingham. Tickets to the Nationals can be booked via
iSPORTstore.com and start from as little as £10.
AJ Bell British National Squash Championships: Women's 1st Round
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Qualifier
Lucy Turmel (ENG) v  Fiona Moverley (ENG)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) v Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Qualifier v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Tesni Evans (Wal) v Qualifier
Sarah Campion (ENG) v  Victoria Lust (ENG)
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Qualifier
Alison Thomson (Sco) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry will headline a mouth-watering women’s draw
after the seeds were announced today for the AJ Bell British National
Squash Championships 2019.
In what promises to be one of the most hotly contested championships in
recent years, four former British National champions currently ranked
inside the World’s top ten will battle it out for the prestigious
women’s title at Nottingham Squash Rackets Club and the University of
Nottingham from 14-17 February.
Top seed Perry, the 2015 champion will be looking to continue her fine
form after successfully defending her title at the NetSuite Open in
September against current World Champion Raneem El Welily and edging
World No.2 Nour El Sherbini in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open.
Perry, however has been unable to compete in January due to a
long-standing elbow injury which has required treatment.
Joining the England No.1 are four-time National champions  Laura
Massaro and [3/4] Alison Waters ranked 7 and 9 in the world
Looking to defend her crown is Welsh No.1 [3/4] Tesni Evans whose
record-breaking 2018 saw the 26-year-old become the first Welsh player
ever to win the Nationals and break into the World’s top ten rankings.
Hot on their heels and all capable of causing an upset is a quartet of
young English players seeded [5/8] including World No.21 Emily Whitlock
who lifted the biggest title of her career in September at the NASH Cup.
Likely to cause a serious upset is World No.25 Millie Tomlinson, the
current European champion who overpowered eight-time World Champion
Nicol David in November’s Hong Kong Open.
Joining Whitlock and Tomlinson is World No.15 Victoria Lust who will be
striving to advance into her first final after reach the semis in 2015.
Similarly, World No.26 Fiona Moverley will be eager to advance to the
last four after bowing out in the quarter-finals for the last four
The women's qualifying event will take place on 12th and 13th February
at Nottingham Squash Rackets Club with the top four advancing to the
AJ Bell British National Squash Championships 2019 – Women’s Entry
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Laura Massaro (ENG)
[3/4] Alison Waters (ENG)
[3/4] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[5/8] Victoria Lust (ENG)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[5/8] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[5/8] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[9/12] Julianne Courtice (ENG)
[9/12] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
[9/12] Alison Thompson (SCO)
[9/12] Sarah Campion (ENG)