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16/02/2020
British National Championships 2020

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British National Championships 2020
Men's Draw
11 - 16 Feb
Nottingham, England

ROUND ONE
  13 FEB
QUARTERS
 14 FEB
SEMIS
15 FEB
FINAL
 16 FEB

[1] Joel Makin (WAL)
11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2 (41m)
[Q] Sam Todd (ENG)

Joel Makin
11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (53m)Alan Clyne
Joel Makin
11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-2 (62m)
Adrian Waller
Joel Makin
12-10, 0-11, 12-10, 14-12 (76m)
James Willstrop
 
[5/8] Alan Clyne (SCO)
11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
[Q] Nick Wall (ENG)
Richie Fallows (ENG)
12-10, 11-6, 11-3 (42m)
[5/8] Tom Richards (ENG)
Richie Fallows
11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6 (66m)
Adrian Waller
[3/4] Adrian Waller (ENG)
11-6, 11-7, 13-11 (41m)
Nathan Lake (ENG)
[3/4] Daryl Selby (ENG)
1-2 ret.
[Q] Oliver Pett (ENG)
Daryl Selby
11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (41m)
George Parker

George Parker
11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 (48m)
James Willstrop
George Parker (ENG)
6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 1-11, 11-8 (58m)
[5/8] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[5/8] Declan James (ENG)
13-11, 11-8, 11-5 (40m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG)
Declan James
11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (43m)
James Willstrop
[Q] Charlie Lee (ENG)
11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (26m)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG)

QUALIFYING


Qualifying finals:
Nick Wall (ENG) bt Tom Walsh (ENG) w/o
Oliver Pett (ENG) bt James Peach (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 (50m)
Sam Todd (ENG) bt Simon Herbert (ENG) 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
Charlie Lee (ENG) bt Joshua Masters (ENG) 16-14, 13-11, 11-6 (50m)

2nd qualifying round:
Nick Wall (ENG) bt Matthew Gregory (ENG) 11-7, 11-3, 11-3
Josh Owen (ENG) bt Ben Hetherington (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 11-8
Ben Smith (ENG) bt Jon Matthews (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-7
Samuel Hay (ENG) bt Tom Walsh (ENG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-2
Oliver Pett (ENG) bt Matthew Bolt (ENG) 11-7, 12-10, 11-3
Lewis Anderson (ENG) bt Muhammed Azhan Khan (ENG) 11-1, 11-5, 11-3
James Peach (ENG) bt Josh Hall (ENG) 11-1, 11-3, 11-5
Connor Sheen (ENG) bt David Allman (ENG) 11-3, 11-8, 11-9
Sam Todd (ENG) bt Finnlay Withington (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-5
Owain Taylor (WAL) bt Robert Thirst (ENG) 11-5, 13-11, 11-1
Simon Herbert (ENG) bt Oscar Khoo (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6
Harry Falconer (ENG) bt Benjamin Boardman (ENG) 11-1, 11-1, 11-1
Charlie Lee (ENG) bt Gbenga Adeyi (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-6
Adam Turner (ENG) bt Ben Sockett (ENG) 11-5, 10-12, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8 (55m)
Mark Fuller (ENG) bt Marcus Connor (ENG) 17-15, 11-6, 11-4
Joshua Masters (ENG) bt Oscar Hill (IOM) 11-3, 11-2, 11-4

1st qualifying round:
Matthew Bolt (ENG) bt Sam Evans (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 12-10
Ben Sockett (ENG) bt Noah Duckworth (ENG) 11-3, 11-2, 11-8

British National Championships 2020
Women's Draw
11 - 16 Feb
Nottingham, England

ROUND ONE
  13 FEB
QUARTERS
 14 FEB
SEMIS
15 FEB
FINAL
 16 FEB

[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (19m)
[Q] Kiera Marshall (ENG)

Sarah-Jane Perry
6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4 (47m)
Julianne Courtice
Sarah-Jane Perry
11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7 (60m)
Millie Tomlinson
Sarah-Jane Perry
11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)
Jasmine Hutton
[5/8] Julianne Courtice (ENG)
12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7 (42m)
Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
14-12, 11-6, 11-7 (34m)
[Q] Alicia Mead (ENG)
 Lucy Turmel
11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 (70m)
Millie Tomlinson
[3/4] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (28m)
Kace Bartley (ENG)
[3/4] Victoria Lust (ENG)
11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (35m)
Alison Thomson (SCO)
Victoria Lust
11-5, 11-1, 13-15, 11-7 (46m)
Emily Whitlock
Emily Whitlock
w/o
Jasmine Hutton
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (30m)
Anna Kimberley (ENG)
[5/8] Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)
[Q] Alice Green (ENG)
Jasmine Hutton
w/o
Alison Waters
[Q] Lily Taylor (ENG)
11-1, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 (27m)
[2] Alison Waters (ENG)

QUALIFYING

Qualifying finals:
Kiera Marshall (ENG) bt Charlotte Jagger (ENG) 10-12, 11-2, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 (49m)
Alicia Mead (ENG) bt Katie Cox (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (17m)
Alice Green (ENG) bt Tayla Mounter (ENG) 11-1, 11-9, 11-1 (14m)
Lily Taylor (ENG) bt Polly Clark (ENG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (22m)

1st qualifying round:
Charlotte Jagger (ENG) bt Peggy Crawford (ENG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-2
Kiera Marshall (ENG) bt Saran Nghiem (ENG) 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-4
Katie Cox (ENG) bt Katie Wells (ENG) 11-6, 14-12, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3
Alicia Mead (ENG) bt Catherine Holland (SCO) 11-6, 11-4, 11-2
Tayla Mounter (ENG) bye
Alice Green (ENG) bye
Polly Clark (ENG) bye
Lily Taylor (ENG) bt Grace Clark (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7

REPORTS

Willstrop and Perry crowned British National champions

England’s James Willstrop and Sarah-Jane Perry captured the AJ Bell British National titles at the University of Nottingham today following two tightly contested finals.

Defending champion Willstrop saved eight game balls to defend his crown in style by stunning favourite Joel Makin to claim a fourth title.

Meanwhile, women’s top seed Sarah-Jane Perry secured her second trophy after squeezing past England’s Jasmine Hutton in straight games.

Second seed Willstrop’s defence was peerless throughout a gripping encounter as he beat Welshman Makin 3-1: 12-10, 0-11, 12-10, 14-12 in 76 minutes.

The World No.18, despite a losing 3-2 head-to-head record against first-time finalist Makin, showed no signs of fatigue at 36 but it was the 25-year-old Welshman who started the brighter of the two.

Makin flew into a 10-4 lead for six game balls, yet somehow in his 11th final, Willstrop reeled off eight straight points to clinch the tie-break in 19 minutes.

Makin then won 11 consecutive points to level and showed his class in the third, coming back from 6-1 down to 8-8 .

However, energy spent in conversation with the officials gave Willstrop some crucial thinking time as he saved a game ball with his signature backhand drop shot before winning another tie-break in 22 minutes.

The heat turned up in the fourth, and a despairing Makin dive at 9-9, prevented a first championship ball for Willstrop only adding to the drama.

Whilst Makin twice extended the match – forcing Willstrop into saving a game ball of his own – the Englishman proved too clinical third time around.

“To sneak in there at the end against one of the top players in world, I’m not sure how I was able to do it really,” said Willstrop.

“The British Nationals has prestige and history. Some of the greats have played it and to play and compete with someone like Joel who’s one of the top players at the moment is great.

“He’s incredibly hard to break down. The bagel in the second sums it up. That’s how hard it is to win a rally. He goes for everything and once I got 6-nil behind it seemed impossible.

“I came back though and it’s great to be able to compete at that level and win. It’s special anytime to win the Nationals but especially against a field like this!”

2015 champion and World No.7 Perry had experience, a higher ranking and a superior head to head over finalist Hutton, ranked 48th in the world who made the final after two straight withdrawals.

Perry’s imposing court presence and calm head on the tight points proved too much for the 2019 British U23 Open winner.

Hutton had a chance at 9-9 to earn a game ball, instead trying too much with a simple shot as Perry took the gift and promptly wrapped up the first game.

Hutton overcame a patchy start to the second to bring it back to 8-8 but Perry bagged two more game balls, the 29-year-old all over the second opportunity for another 11-minute game.

Hutton benefitted from two overrules in her favour in the third to lead 7-6 but three straight points from Perry, swiftly followed by some stunning Hutton winners and then costly errors, summed up the athletic youngster’s final as Perry prevailed in 35 minutes, winning 11-9, 11-9, 11-9.

“I’m really pleased to win a second National title because I’ve been stuck on one for a little while.

“Jasmine played fantastic. She came out with no signs of nerves and played some really fearless squash. She has improved so much in the past six, 12, 18 months.

“She is definitely pushing in that crop of young players trying to challenge the slightly older guard like myself. I am sure she will have many more finals.”

AJ Bell British National Championships 2020 final: results
[2] James Willstrop bt. [1] Joel Makin 12-10, 0-11, 12-10, 14-12 (76m)
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [5/8] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9

England Squash Website Including Masters Results
Willstrop and Makin tee up dream AJ Bell British National final as Perry survives scrape

Defending champion James Willstrop set up a thrilling finale to the AJ Bell British National Championships against favourite Joel Makin as women’s top seed Sarah-Jane Perry escaped another five-game tussle in Nottingham on Saturday.

Second seed Willstrop, who is appearing in his 14th Nationals semi-final, put a stop to unseeded George Parker’s giant-killing run 3-1 (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7) in 48 minutes after Perry took an hour to beat [3/4] Millie Tomlinson 3-2 (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7).

Makin made his first final with a 3-1 defeat of [3/4] Adrian Waller (11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-2) while 5/8 seed Jasmine Hutton advanced without hitting a shot for the second consecutive day after Emily Whitlock withdrew following a foot injury.

Willstrop went on a five-point run at 6-6 in the first game then finished off the second with three unanswered points as his 23-year-old opponent let the crowd know his frustrations.

Parker closed out the third having trailed 7-5 but couldn’t capitalise on a fast start to the fourth as the guile of Willstrop took the 36-year-old into an 11th Nationals final.

“He’s an immense athlete and I enjoyed the match with him today. I love playing in big matches, I’m addicted to the buzz of these matches,” said the former World No.1 after increasing his winning record over Parker to 4-0.

“I hope to put on a good match tomorrow. Joel will be tough to beat at this tournament no question. He’s the form player that’s here,” added the three-time champion, who lost to Makin at the Tournament of Champions last month.

Despite a 3-1 losing record against Waller, Welshman Makin made a rapid start, and a change of strings at 9-7 in front, had no effect on the top seed’s masterful play as he promptly won a thrilling point then closed out the first game 11-7.

A good-natured affair turned tighter and more tense in the second, Waller expertly saving a game ball then pulling through with some exquisite finishes.

Yet it wasn’t to be a first final for Waller as World no.11 Makin cruised home in the third and fourth games.

“James has got through the draw unbelievably well and he’s so accurate as everyone knows. He knows how to win these tournaments and I’m excited to see how I can get on against him,” said Makin, who will try to become the first Welsh male winner against Willstrop.

“It’d be the biggest title I’ve won so far.”

Earlier in the day, Perry built first-game leads of 4-1 and 8-3 before eventually taking it but first-time semi-finalist Tomlinson levelled.

Perry’s anger sparked her into life in the third as she stormed to an 8-1 lead yet the unfancied Tomlinson upped the ante in the fourth to set up a decider.

A more measured and cautious fifth game followed and, locked at five-all, Perry’s fortuitous winner off her frame helped the 29-year-old grab a timely advantage to gain three match balls, a classy winner on her second enough for the victory and a third final berth.

“I was really pleased to stay strong at the end of the fifth. I’ve been there lots of times but even at the end Millie was playing some amazing shots,” said Perry.

Perry extended her head-to-head record against Tomlinson to 11-0 with the win, having previously beaten her Derbyshire opponent at the 2015 Nationals when she went on to claim her sole British title.

“I hope I can raise my level a bit in the final. I’ve had extra build up because I didn’t get to play last year because I was still injured so I haven’t played it for a couple of years.

“You want to look back on your career and be able to say ‘I won a few National titles’. I’ve been stuck on one for quite a few years now so I’ll be gunning for whoever I’ve got to play.”

Women’s 5/8 duo Whitlock and Hutton were deprived of a first meeting after the former went to hospital for an x-ray on her foot, handing the 20-year-old Hutton another walkover victory after second seed Alison Waters withdrew yesterday.

Watch live action from the quarter-finals from 12pm on englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account). For tickets visit iSQUASHstore.com. Follow the coverage on the official website and Twitter
 
Giant-killer Parker stuns Selby
to advance to semi-finals


Unseeded Englishman George Parker continued his giant-killing run as he followed up a first round upset with a quarter-final victory over former champion [3/4] Daryl Selby in straight games to advance to his first semi-final at the AJ Bell British National Championships in Nottingham.

Essex’s Selby, 37, returned to the court following an eye injury he sustained during round one but proved no match for Parker, the World Number 53 from Leicester, who claimed his first win over Selby after five defeats winning 11-6, 11-9, 11-5.

“I'm just enjoying the tournament, no pressure, no ranking points so I can relax my head and let my arm go which is what I did today,” said 23-year-old Parker.

Commenting on Parker’s performance, Selby said; “I wasn't good enough today irrelevant of what happened yesterday. George played too well. I'm not disappointed with that. I gave everything and chased everything down but I just wasn't good enough.”

Meanwhile, in the women’s draw, 2019 runner-up Emily Whitlock, seeded 5/8, got the better of 3/4 seed Victoria Lust 3-1 in a gripping clash.

Whitlock raced to a 2-0 start before Lust fought back to claim a tight third 15-13, saving two match balls before Whitlock bounced back to take the fourth, requiring only one match ball to reach her third semi-final, winning 11-5, 11-1, 13-15, 11-7.

"Vicky's a good player, she gets physical and makes it difficult the whole time. I'm delighted to get through,” said Whitlock.

Defending champion James Willstrop, who is appearing in his 22nd consecutive British Nationals, outclassed Nottingham’s [5/8] Declan James in straight games, winning 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 in 43 minutes.

"If you've seen Declan's performances at the World Teams, you'll know they were inspiring, so I knew what I was likely to be up against today,” said Willstrop, the former World No.1 from Yorkshire.

"I didn't know what was in store, but I'm happy to have played well and really pleased to be playing in the semi-finals tomorrow."

Meanwhile, World No. 20 and 3/4 seed Adrian Waller remained composed against giant-killer Richie Fallows to seal a 3-1 victory and tee up a meeting with top seed Joel Makin who saw off nine-time Scottish champion and 5/8 seed Alan Clyne 3-1: 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5.

Fallows saved two match balls in the third game, and despite an energetic start to the fourth as he threatened to run away with the game, Waller used all of his experience to take the last nine points of the match to reach his fourth semi-final winning: 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6.

Women’s top seed Sarah-Jane Perry required 47 minutes and five games to dispatch 5/8 seed Julianne Courtice. Perry’s clean winning record against Courtice looked to be under threat after she trailed 2-1 but in a high-quality affair with neither player making many errors, the World No.7 came through 6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4.

Women’s 3/4 seed Millie Tomlinson advanced to her first semi-final by edging [5/8] Lucy Turmel in a gripping 70-minute encounter that went the distance.

The Derbyshire player prevailed 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 to go one better than her last-eight finishes from the previous two years, the 27-year-old battling back from 5-2 down in the decider to seal it on her fifth match ball.

"Relieved is the right word! Playing at home in Nottingham should be an advantage, even though I'm not keen on glass courts, but it's great having friends and family here,” said Tomlinson.

"I'm playing SJ next who also had a tough five-setter - I hope she's as tired and stressed out from it as I am!"

5/8 seed Jasmine Hutton moved into her first semi-final after second seed Alison Waters withdrew due to an ankle injury she sustained on Thursday.

Watch live action from the quarter-finals from 12pm on englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account). For tickets visit iSQUASHstore.com. Follow the coverage on the official website and Twitter
 
Top seeds advance to AJ Bell British National quarter-finals in Nottingham

The opening day of action at the AJ Bell British National Championships in Nottingham saw top seeds Joel Makin and Sarah-Jane Perry book their place in the men’s and women’s quarter-finals whilst Scotland No.1 Greg Lobban fell to defeat at the hands of Englishman George Parker.

In the first upset of the day, Parker took nearly an hour to stun [5/8] Greg Lobban 3-2 (6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 1-11, 11-8) to set up a date with Daryl Selby on Valentine’s Day.

Then in the evening session, England’s Richie Fallows got the better of compatriot and 5/8 seed Tom Richards 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 in 42 minutes.

His prize is a last-eight clash with World No.20 Adrian Waller, a 3-0 victor over fellow Englishman Nathan Lake.

Elsewhere at Nottingham Squash Rackets Club, World No.25 and 3/4 seed Selby was awarded a 3-0 victory against qualifier Olli Pett, whose trickshot caught Selby in the eye at 2-1 in the first game, resulting in Selby being ushered off for medical attention.

Women’s top seed Perry made light work of qualifier Kiera Marshall - who was making her Nationals debut - racing to a straight games victory in just 19 minutes.

“I knew she'd be nervous, I remember my first Nationals,” said Perry after her 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 victory.

“She played well, but I haven't played on this court and we have a tough schedule coming up so I need to get as sharp and as efficient as possible.”

Men’s top seed Joel Makin – the sole Welsh player in either draw after defending women’s champion Tesni Evans withdrew – brought his savvy best to the court as he overcame a third game scare to beat 16-year-old English talent Sam Todd 3-1: 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2.

“Sam was attacking freely and hitting some good winners, so I’m happy to get through that one,” said Makin, the World No.11.

“If I play like I can, I should get through the rounds, so I don't really think about being top seed.”

Makin’s Friday opponent will be Scottish 5/8 seed Alan Clyne, who kept his country’s flag flying with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of qualifier Nick Wall.

Second seed and four-time champion Alison Waters survived a second-game blip against qualifier Lily Taylor to win 3-1 (11-1, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4) while men’s second seed, defending champion James Willstrop, set up a quarter-final with World No.21 Declan James after his 3-0 defeat of qualifier Charlie Lee.

“I felt good on there, I may need to step it up against the big guns but I'm pleased to be winning and healthy,” said Willstrop, a three-time British National champion.

Nottingham 5/8 seed Declan James raced out the blocks against Patrick Rooney but had to face two opening game balls en route to a 3-0 triumph (13-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Women’s 5/8 seed Julianne Courtice survived a gripping first encounter of the day against fellow Englishwoman Rachael Chadwick 3-1 (12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7) to face Perry on Friday.

In the first match of the evening session - another all-English duel - [5/8] Jasmine Hutton lost the second game to qualifier Alice Green but prevailed 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) to set up a battle with Waters.

Elsewhere [3/4] Millie Tomlinson saw off Kace Bartley 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 in 28 minutes to set up a quarter-final clash with [5/8] Lucy Turmel, who beat qualifier Alicia Mead 3-0, while [3/4] Victoria Lust was a late 3-1 winner over Scotland’s Alison Thomson to next face [5/8] Emily Whitlock, a 3-0 victor over Anna Kimberley.

Watch live action from the quarter-finals from 12pm on englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account). For tickets visit iSQUASHstore.com. Follow the coverage on the official website and Twitter

UNSQUASHABLE is delighted to advise that the AJ Bell British National Squash Championships will be streamed live on www.unsquashable.tv from the 13th to 16th February – no subscription required.

Defending Champion James Willstrop & British No.1 Joel Makin head a stellar men’s line-up at this year’s championships which will also include fellow UNSQUASHABLE players George Parker, Josh Masters, Patrick Rooney & Connor Sheen.

Thursday 13th February: Men’s & Women’s 1st Round
View online from 12:00 (GMT): www.unsquashable.tv

Friday 14th February: Men’s & Women’s Quarter-Finals
View online from 12:00 (GMT): www.unsquashable.tv

Saturday 15th February: Men’s & Women’s Semi-Finals
View online from 13:00 (GMT): www.unsquashable.tv

 Sunday 16th February: Men’s & Women’s Finals
View online from 15:00 (GMT): www.unsquashable.tv

Defending champion Evans pulls out of British Nationals

Defending champion and second seed Tesni Evans has withdrawn from the AJ Bell British National Championships in Nottingham next week due to injury.

The two-time British National champion who hails from Wales sustained an ankle injury at the Tournament of Champions in New York last month and had hoped to defend her British National crown for the second consecutive year at the University of Nottingham Sport.

The World No.9 said: “I’m really gutted to have to pull out of the Nationals and not be able to defend my title this year.

“The Nationals is always one of my favourite events to play in so I’m really disappointed but I’m working hard to be back as soon as possible!”

Her withdrawal means that four-time champion Alison Waters moves to number two seed, Millie Tomlinson to 3/4 seed, Jasmine Hutton to 5/8 and that Kace Bartley is granted a main draw berth.

Follow live action from the tournament from 13-16 February via englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account). For tickets visit iSQUASHstore.com

Revised main draw - AJ Bell British National Championships 2020: Women’s Round One
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) v Qualifier
[5/8] Julianne Courtice (Eng) v Rachael Chadwick (Eng)
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (Eng) v Qualifier
[3/4] Millie Tomlinson (Eng) v Kace Bartley (Eng)
[3/4] Victoria Lust (Eng) v Alison Thomson (Sco)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (Eng) v Anna Kimberley (Eng)
[5/8] Jasmine Hutton (Eng) v Qualifier
[2] Alison Waters (Eng) v Qualifier

 
Nottingham’s James targets maiden AJ Bell British National title
By Daniel Rees

Nottingham-based squash star Declan James says he’s relishing the opportunity to contest the AJ Bell British National Championships in his hometown next week following a two-year absence from the competition.

Next week sees the UK’s finest squash players descend on the University of Nottingham Sport and Nottingham Squash Rackets Club to compete for the British National crown, one of the most prestigious titles on the British circuit.

James, who trains at Nottingham Squash Rackets Club, is seeded to reach the last eight and has the capability to go all the way having reached the last four in 2017 when he was also a 5/8 seed.

“Hopefully the crowd will be on my side and we’ll have lots of people down there supporting me. That can be enough to win these matches especially if it starts getting close,” he says.
The 27-year-old who currently sits 21st in the world rankings believes this year’s competition is as open as it’s ever been.

“It’s going to be the most competitive Nationals for a long time. There’s a whole host of players that can state their case for winning.”

The England No.4 faces a tough opening encounter against Merseyside's Patrick Rooney, with the winner likely to face defending champion James Willstop in the quarter-finals.

Despite enduring a troublesome start to the season, James heads into the competition high on confidence, having helped England take silver at the WSF Men's World Team Championships in December and surpassing his seeding at the Tournament of Champions, where he reached the third round.

Coincidentally, his first PSA World Tour title came in Nottingham and he has highlighted the British Nationals as a huge opportunity to add to his medal collection.

“The Nationals are one of those tournaments that you aspire to win in your career. It’s one of those career goals that if you’re able to tick off, it’s something you’re going to remember for a long time. That’s definitely what I’m aiming for.”

With the championships relocating to the East Midlands last year, James sees it as the perfect chance for the city to revive its rich history in the sport.

“Going back, you’ve had players like Peter Marshall, Simon Parke and John White all basing themselves in Nottingham. It’s always been a bit of a hub for the professional players, and in terms of the University of Nottingham, it’s one of the best in the country and has a strong sports pedigree.

“The university has invested so much into the new facility and apportioned a lot of it to squash courts which shows that Nottingham has that character in terms of its sporting history and background.”

James, who will often take a walk in the nearby Wallaton Park to mentally reset on rest days, comes into these championships with the intention of following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors.

“I’ve turned my bad form around,” he says. “It’s all about momentum.”

Follow live action from the tournament from 13-16 February via englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account). For tickets visit iSQUASHstore.com
 
Makin and Willstrop predicted to contest blockbuster British Nationals final

Top seed Joel Makin and defending champion James Willstrop are seeded to meet in the final of the AJ Bell British National Championships in Nottingham from 13-16th February after the men’s draw was released yesterday.

Welsh No.1 Makin and former World No.1 Willstrop met just two weeks ago at the Tournament of Champions in New York, where Makin prevailed in a match lasting over an hour.

Three-time champion Willstrop, 36, will be appearing in his 22nd consecutive championships, while this year marks the third time 25-year-old Makin will compete.

In the top half of the draw, Makin is seeded to face World No.19 Adrian Waller in the semis. Should that transpire, Makin is set for a stern test with Waller prevailing in three of their previous four encounters, most recently at the WSF Men’s World Team Championships in December.

World No.18 Willstrop, seeded two, is predicted to face 3/4 seed Daryl Selby in the semi-finals in what would be a repeat of last year's final in which Willstrop triumphed.

To view the draw, visit the official website at www.nationalsquashchampionships.com  Follow live action from the tournament from 13-16 February via englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account)
Perry and Evans seeded to meet in AJ Bell British National final in Nottingham

Top seed Sarah-Jane Perry and defending champion Tesni Evans are seeded to contest the final of the AJ Bell British National Squash Championships in Nottingham next month after the women’s draw was released today.

The tournament, which take places at the University of Nottingham Sport and Nottingham Squash Rackets Club between 11th and 16th February features a strong female line-up battling for the prestigious title, including four-time champion Alison Waters and last year’s runner-up Emily Whitlock.

Perry and Evans, the World No.8 and 9 respectively have never met in the British Nationals before, with second seed Evans of Wales having a strong record against the England No.1 on the PSA World Tour, prevailing in four out of their last five encounters.

Perry, the 2015 champion, is seeded to meet former World No.3 Waters, a ten-time finalist in the semi-finals.

On the opposite of the draw is two-time defending champion Evans who is scheduled to meet 3/4 seed Victoria Lust in the last four.

Meanwhile, a quartet of English stars, Emily Whitlock, Millie Tomlinson, Julianne Courtice and Lucy Turmel are seeded to reach the quarter-finals.

Qualifying will see 18 players compete for the four qualifier spots on 11th and 12th Feb at Nottingham Squash Rackets Club.

AJ Bell British National Championships 2020: Women’s Round 1
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) v Qualifier
[5/8] Julianne Courtice (Eng) v Rachael Chadwick (Eng)
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (Eng) v Qualifier
[3/4] Alison Waters (Eng) v Jasmine Hutton (Eng)
[3/4] Victoria Lust (Eng) v Alison Thomson (Sco)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (Eng) v Anna Kimberley (Eng)
[5/8] Millie Tomlinson (Eng) v Qualifier
[2] Tesni Evans (Wal) v Qualifier

To view the draw, visit the official website at www.nationalsquashchampionships.com  Follow live action from the tournament from 13-16 February via englandsquash.tv (requires free England Squash website account)


 

 

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