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08/08/2021
British National Championship 2021

LATEST

British National Championship 2021
Men's Draw
03 - 06 Aug
Manchester, England

Final:
[1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [3] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-7, 11-2, 11-1 (40m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Declan James (ENG) 12-10, 13-11, 11-3 (70m)
[3] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt George Parker (ENG) 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 (83m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (45m)
Declan James (ENG) bt [4] Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (73m)
[3] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 11-6, 12-14, 6-11, 12-10, 12-10 (76m)
George Parker (ENG) bt [2] James Willstrop (ENG) 13-11, 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-7 (80m)


1st round:
[1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Rory Stewart (SCO) 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (51m)
Nathan Lake (ENG) bt Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-9, 11-5, 12-10 (35m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Sean Conroy (IRL) 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)
[4] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Sam Todd (ENG) 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 (61m)
[3] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Connor Sheen (ENG) 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 (33m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Emyr Evans (WAL) 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7 (47m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 11-4, 7-11, 11-2, 11-6 (62m)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Miles Jenkins (ENG) 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7 (52m)
 

British National Championship 2021
Women's Draw
03 - 06 Aug
Manchester, England

Final:
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [3] Emily Whitlock (WAL) 7-11, 18-16, 13-11, 11-8 (62m)
Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [2] Tesni Evans (WAL) 14-12, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9 (55m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Rachael Chadwick (ENG) 11-1, 11-6, 11-7 (20m)
[3] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Alicia Mead (ENG) 8-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (37m)
Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [4] Lucy Turmel (ENG) 10-12, 14-12, 11-4, 11-5 (54m)
[2] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (34m)

1st round:
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Jasmin Kalar (ENG) 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (18m)
Rachael Chadwick (ENG) bt Nia Davies (WAL) 11-4, 11-9, 11-2 (20m)
Alicia Mead (ENG) bt Anna Kimberley (ENG) 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 6-4 ret. (43m)
[3] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Margot Prow (ENG) 11-4, 11-1, 11-3 (21m)
[4] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Katie Malliff (ENG) 18-16, 11-8, 11-6 (46m)
Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 13-11, 11-8, 11-4 (41m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Ali Loke (WAL) 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (25m)
[2] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Saran Nghiem (ENG) 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (22m)

REPORTS

Top Seeds Perry and Makin Claim British National Championship Titles

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Welshman Joel Makin were victorious on finals night at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, with the pair claiming the 2021 British National Championships titles.

Perry, the World No.6, defended the British National crown she claimed last year, with her third victory overall in the tournament, six years after she took her first back in 2015.

She came up against the in-form Georgina Kennedy, who was featuring in her first Nationals final, but had lost just one of her last 28 matches on the PSA World Tour, winning five titles in the process.

It was the Harvard-grad that took the first game, which was played at a frenetic pace, and it suited Kennedy, as she won the last few points to secure an 11-9 scoreline and take the lead.

From there, though, Perry’s experience shone through. She moved slightly further up towards the ’T’ and that was key, as she was able to get in front of Kennedy and that saw her hold the advantage. She won the next three games quite comfortably to secure her third Nationals title, putting her alongside Martine Le Moignan, who also won this event three times during her career.

“I had to give myself a team talk every rally today. The one beforehand clearly didn’t give me a kick up the bum enough, she started like a rocket as you’d expect and she caught me out with so many short balls in that first game, where I hit ok shots but she was fearless in attacking it,” the now three-time champion said.

“She’s playing really well, I had to really force myself up the court today and it’s not something I’ve done amazingly well over my whole career but I know it’s better when I do. I felt a bit sluggish and a bit tired today but I knew I had to do that and I’m really pleased I managed to cover the short balls and get on the volley more.

“It’s not too much of a secret that I almost didn’t play this week. I was struggling a bit with a niggle in my knee, not the one that was a problem yesterday, the other one! But it cleared up just in time and it’s a special title, so I really wanted to come and defend it and I’m glad I did. Some of my family have come today, my mum is a little unwell so she couldn’t make it, but my dad, my partner and my god-kids are all here, so they were my coaches in between games. If you add their IQs together then you get about double Rob’s [Owen]!

“Last few points, I was just saying ‘push, push’. If I can inspire any of these kids that are watching, I’ve got to leave everything out there, so that’s what I was thinking about towards the end.”

Kennedy said: “It’s been a really good week for me. Always disappointed to lose but I have to give credit to SJ because she made me really uncomfortable on the court today and I didn’t really have an answer for how she was playing, so it’s thoroughly deserved.

“I can’t have any complaints about my week, it’s the first time I’ve played Nationals since 2016 before I went off to Uni, so if you had of told me a few months ago, I would’ve been standing here in the final – I’d have taken that all day long. Thank you to everyone for putting this event on.”

The men’s event was always destined to have a first-time winner etched into its history, as both Joel Makin and Adrian Waller were aiming to win their maiden British Nationals crown.

The Welshman had come through the tournament without dropping a game, while Waller had had to battle his way through two brutal five-gamers to make this stage, against Patrick Rooney and George Parker.

That freshness helped Makin in his bid for the title, and once he had claimed the first game 11-7, it was plain sailing for the World No.10, as he restricted Waller to just three points over the next two games, to complete a dominant and history-making performance.

“The last time I got through to the final it was a tough loss for me. It gave me a lot to go away with and work on, so I wanted to come into this week and put that right. It was before lockdown and COVID, so I had a lot of time to think about it and turn things around. I really wanted to come here, play well and put in a solid and professional performance and 3-0 – I was happy with that for sure,” the Welshman said.

“I like to out-position people, that’s the part of the sport I like. Taking a lot of pace through the middle, volleying and taking early and working people – that’s what I enjoy about it and that’s how I like to play. I got that right this week.

“You could look at last year as being the first final that I’d made, but I wasn’t looking at it like that, I wasn’t happy with it. James [Willstrop] put together a brilliant performance and you have to take that on the chin, he played quality and he exposed some of my qualities but it gave me time to go away and work on it and that’s what you need sometimes.

“It’s exciting having squash back in the UK, especially with a proper crowd and hopefully it grows over the next few weeks. We enjoy it as professional players, it’s been a tough year for everyone and we’ve spent a lot of time in Egypt but we enjoy playing the UK events, so I’m looking forward to it and I should be sharp for next week.”

Waller said: “I’m quite proud with how I battled through this week. The last two matches were really long and really hard, finished late last night, so I’m pretty proud to come through those first three matches but today was probably one match too far and Joel was too strong. Otherwise, happy to be back playing and feeling stronger and just going to try and kick on from here in the next few weeks. Try to work forward from here.”
Kennedy Downs Two-Time Champ Evans To Reach First British Nationals Final

Georgina Kennedy is through to the final of the British National Championships for the first time after she took down two-time champion Tesni Evans in the semi-finals at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, becoming the first woman ranked outside the top 50 to make the final in the tournament’s 46-year history.

The in-form Kennedy has now lost just one of her last 28 matches, having claimed five titles on the PSA Challenger Tour over the course of the last three months, and she has continued that momentum into the British Nationals.

In a battle of playing styles, it was Kennedy that took the first game on a lengthy tie-break 14-12, and she had her chances to double that lead, but Evans fought back, levelling up the match with a tie-break victory of her own.

It was the World No.74, who is playing well above her ranking right now, who came to the fore over the last couple of games, and although Evans saved a couple of match balls, it was the Englishwoman that succeeded, booking her place in the final for the first time.

“I honestly can’t believe it. I came into this tournament with full confidence that I could potentially get to the final but also with full confidence that I could get knocked out in the first round. I just want to say well played to Tesni, she’s had a really tough year with her injuries and stuff, so it’s great to see her playing to a good level again,” Kennedy said.

“The games were so close, they could have gone either way, and I’m literally just risking everything with those shots at the end, they could have gone up or down, so it was just lucky in the end, but I’m so happy to be in the final tomorrow.

“I like to go into a tie-break with the mentality where if they beat you, then fair enough, but don’t go in and lose it for yourself. I try and do that but sometimes make silly decisions. You have to make yourself hard to beat and make every single point really difficult.

“It’s massive having someone to talk to between games and Camps [David Campion] is really helpful calming me down and making sure I stick to the plan. He reminded me not to go for silly shots, which I did, so sorry about that, Camps, but it paid off.

“I just want to see how far I can go and climb up the rankings. I love competing, I love training, and I feel lucky that this is my job. I’m really excited to keep going and seeing what happens.”

Kennedy will play fellow Englishwoman, and reigning British Nationals champion, Sarah-Jane Perry, in the final on Friday evening, after the World No.6 overcame a tough challenge from Welshwoman Emily Whitlock.

The event’s top seed has cruised through her opening two rounds, but came up against Whitlock who was near her best. The Welshwoman took the first game, and had several game balls in both the second and third games, but was unable to capitalise, with Perry taking both, before securing a 3-1 victory to reach her fifth Nationals final.

“I don’t feel like I played my best squash but some of that is credit to Emily for playing squash and not letting me get away with anything that wasn’t really good,” Perry said.

“She played some great stuff and I said that to her at the end. I’m just pleased to get through really, and we’ll see if I improve tomorrow.”

Men’s top seed Joel Makin is through to a second consecutive British National Championships final after he got the better of England’s Declan James in an attritional, 70-minute battle.

The World No.10, who lost out to England’s James Willstrop in the final of the 2020 edition, will contest the final for a second time, thanks to putting work into the legs of James over the course of their lengthy three-game affair.

It took an hour for the first two games, as Makin continued to lengthen rallies, and it paid off for him in the end, after winning both on tie-breaks. He then won the third game 11-3 to secure his place in the final, where he will aim to become the first Welshman to win the title.

“30-minute games are perfect. He was getting in front of me and hitting his kills, and I had to get my width because he’s so big through the middle. The middle of the second game was messy… but you’ve got to adapt to that, find a way around him, and use that to your advantage, and that’s what I started to do at the start of the third,” he explained.

“I always want to back myself as soon as it goes long. It’s something that has to be there because if your squash isn’t working then that has to be there to fall back on. It wasn’t at the start of the match, but you’ve got hit your spots around the back and work your way into it.”

The ‘Golden Tiger’ will face No.3 seed Adrian Waller in the men’s final on Friday evening, after the Englishman defeated compatriot George Parker in the semi-finals in a well-fought five-game battle the end the evening’s action.

Both men had come through epic battles in the quarter-finals, with Waller getting the better of Patrick Rooney, while Parker took out defending champion James Willstrop make the last four.

The World No.21 held the lead twice in the match, after winning both the first and third games, but twice Parker fought back into it, levelling up the contest. Waller was able to run clear in the fifth game, and he had six match balls. The man from Leicester saved five of them, but Waller held on to take the last of them, booking his place in his first final at the British Nationals.

“I think the first half of that game [the fifth], George started really slowly and gave me some errors,” said Waller.

“When he changed his game and stepped back into the pace that we were playing in the first couple of games, it caught me off guard, and it took me a long time reset, if at all. I was so close to the finish line, but he completely changed his game, so I’m just glad to get off really.

“Joel is a really good player, he’s very strong, very fit, and he hits nice, clean lines. I’m going to have to match that, today’s match wasn’t the best from me and George, we were both a little off the pace, so I’m going to need to step it up tomorrow and find more quality, otherwise Joel will be all over it.”

The semi-finals of the 2021 British National Championships take place tomorrow (Thursday, August 5) with play starting at 17:30 (GMT+1). Action from the glass court inside Manchester’s National Squash Centre will be broadcast live on

SQUASHTV (to users with a free digital subscription), the England Squash and PSA World Tour Facebook pages, as well as englandsquash.tv.

For updates on the British National Squash Championships, please visit the official tournament website or follow England Squash on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
 

Parker Takes Out Defending Champion Willstrop To Reach British National Championships Semi-Finals

George Parker ended James Willstrop’s British National Championships title defence after beating the former World No.1 in the quarter-finals of this year’s event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

Parker, who lost to Willstrop in the last four in 2020, got revenge for that defeat, but he had to work hard for it, as he saw the event’s top seed come back from two games down to send the match into a deciding game, in the final contest of the evening’s action.

The man from Leicester, ranked twenty places below Willstrop, went out to a commanding two-game lead in their quarter-final clash, but the 37-year-old fought his way back into the contest, even saving match balls in the fourth to tie the match at two games apiece.

Parker flew out of the blocks in the deciding game, winning the first ten points to put himself on the brink of a second consecutive semi-final at this event. Willstrop saved seven match balls, but the World No.39 eventually got over the line, taking the win to move into the last four after 80 minutes.

“With James, it’s difficult because his squash is always so good,” Parker said.

“You have to be moving so well from the start. I started warming up from around 6pm because I got here early and it was on late. I felt a bit sluggish, but when I got into the game I thought it was probably 50/50 all the way through.

“We were both playing attacking squash and it was quite short and sharp. As it went on I started to break him down physically, but I always had it in the back of my mind that he was never going to go away. He’s so tough and I had a bit of doubt in my mind from losing the fourth when I was up and it was getting edgy in the end.

“I needed that and I think if he won that last point it would have gone to a tie-break because he is so tough mentally. I struggled a bit during the lockdown, we were playing in Egypt a lot and I was losing the first round every time. It knocks your confidence every time because you’re not playing for six weeks off the back of a bad loss and all you’re thinking about is how you played last time.

“In the past few weeks I did quite well at the Worlds and I’m playing more. I’m doing exhibitions with Joel [Makin] and I feel more confident and match sharp. It’s nice to get to the semi-finals two years in a row because it’s nice to play home players on home soil.”

Parker will now play No.3 seed Adrian Waller in the semi-finals, after Waller came through a five-game contest against Patrick Rooney. The other semi-final will see top seed Joel Makin take on Declan James, after the Englishman knocked out No.4 seed Greg Lobban in the quarter-finals.

In the women’s event, World No.74 Georgina Kennedy continued her amazing form as she recorded a 3-1 victory over compatriot Lucy Turmel to gate-crash the semi-finals at the British Nationals Championships at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

Kennedy, who has won five out of her last six events on the Challenger Tour and is making her first appearance at the British National Championships since 2016, came up against the tournament’s No.4 seed, Lucy Turmel, in the quarter-finals on Wednesday evening.

Turmel took the lead after winning a tense first game 12-10 and she then had her chance to go two games ahead, but Kennedy was able to fight back and take it 14-12. The Harvard graduate was able to maintain the momentum and secure victory over the next two games, allowing Turmel just nine points, as she booked her place in the semi-finals of the British Nationals for the first time.

“That match was tough. Lucy was giving me nothing today. I had to fight so hard for every single point and I really struggled today. Well done to her, that could have gone either way and that second game was crucial. I feel lucky to be standing here, it could have been either one of us,” Kennedy said.

“Going 2-0 down would have been a challenge. The first two games were very physical and I felt in the third that I started to get on top of her a bit more. And in the first two she had me all over the shop, I was so lucky to win that.

“If I had gone 2-0 down it would have been a completely different story. I felt like I had to speed things up a bit and the pace I was playing in the first two games was just too comfortable for her. She’s so accurate, and I could barely get it off the wall most of the time.”

She will now face World No.11, and two-time British Nationals Champion, Tesni Evans, in the last four, after the Welshwoman defeated England’s Jasmine Hutton, last year’s runner-up, in straight games.

Top seed and reigning champion Sarah-Jane Perry will face 2019 runner-up Emily Whitlock in the other women's semi-final after the pair came through their last eight clashes against England’s Rachael Chadwick and Alicia Mead.

The semi-finals of the 2021 British National Championships take place tomorrow (Thursday, August 5) with play starting at 17:30 (GMT+1). Action from the glass court inside Manchester’s National Squash Centre will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (to users with a free digital subscription), the England Squash and PSA World Tour Facebook pages, as well as englandsquash.tv.

For updates on the British National Squash Championships, please visit the official tournament website or follow England Squash on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets are available for purchase here.

Defending Champions Advance On Opening Day Of British National Championships

Defending British Nationals champions Sarah-Jane Perry and James Willstrop are through to the quarter-finals of this year’s event, after both taking wins on the opening day at Manchester’s National Squash Centre.

The English duo both came through their first round contests on Tuesday to book their last eight spots, defeating England’s Jasmin Kalar and Miles Jenkins, respectively, on the glass court.

Perry, a two-time British Nationals champion, having won the event in 2015 and 2020, needed just 18 minutes to win her opening match in Manchester, getting the better of World No.219 Jasmin Kalar.

The World No.6, who defeated England’s Jasmine Hutton in the final of this event last year, will now face another compatriot, in Rachael Chadwick, in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

“I am one of the more experienced players in the draw,” said Perry following her win.

“I have to try and use that to my advantage in every round. There’s a lot of players nipping at the heels of the more experienced players, which is good for British squash. I’ve just got to try and keep them all at bay, we’ve not actually played before, but I’ve seen her name in a few tournaments recently and she has been doing alright in those. I didn’t want to come out here and not give her respect, because she definitely deserves that. I thought she did well and took the game to me – I love to see that in the younger players.

“I think one of the parts of that experience is playing on glass courts and it can be a daunting thing to walk on here. I think for those younger players they seem to have that sorted, they’re a step ahead of where I was.”

Four-time British Nationals champion James Willstrop was the only member of the top two seeds to drop a game in his opening contest of the week, as he fought from behind to defeat compatriot Miles Jenkins to advance to the last eight.

Willstrop, who won the event in 2007, 2008, 2019 and 2020, lost the first game 11-8, but battled back to take the next three, booking his place in the quarter-finals where he will face George Parker on Wednesday evening.

“He’s been playing for a month in a lot of tournaments, he’s really sharp at the moment and I haven’t had as many match sharpeners as he has, so I was mentally ready for it but he didn’t give me any chances,” said Willstrop afterwards.

“We just had to keep rallying down the backhand side, not the most entertaining maybe but the accuracy was great down the left wall. I just couldn’t find the chances to get in, I wanted to but I couldn’t get there and it was credit to the build-up and length play of him, he made it very tough.

“There was a lot of good changes of pace and things, but it was down the left wall and sometimes you have to stick with it and things start to happen in the middle of games. I’ve done it enough times and I know how these things pan out, so I use my experience to try and help that along.

“It the young players’ time very soon, maybe even now. I’ve just been lucky with COVID keeping the old dogs in it, that’s probably favoured us because the young guys haven’t had chance to build up the points. I’ll take it and if I can keep playing like that against someone of that calibre then I’ll take it.”

Men’s top seed Joel Makin produced a Makin-like performance to get the better of Scotland’s Rory Stewart, with their three-game battle lasting over 50 minutes, as the Welshman made the mach attritional from the get-go.

The World No.10 made the final of the tournament last year, where he lost out to reigning champion James Willstrop in a high-quality four-game battle. He will be hoping to go one better this time round, and he started in the perfect fashion.

Compatriot, and two-time champion Tesni Evans, who won the event in 2018 and 2019, also safely made her way into the quarter-finals, thanks to a convincing performance against England’s Saran Nghiem, who was making her debut at the British National Championships.

The young Englishwoman had only played eight matches on the PSA World Tour prior to this tournament in Manchester, and Evans used her greater experience to take a 3-0 victory over the 17-year-old. She will now face last year’s runner-up Jasmine Hutton in the last eight.

Hutton got the better of Wales’ Ali Loke to make it into the quarter-finals, and elsewhere, there were wins for No.3 seed Emily Whitlock and No.4 seed Lucy Turmel, along with Georgina Kennedy, who continued her great form with a victory over Scotland’s Lisa Aitken.
All the action from the British National Squash Championships will be shown live on SQUASHTV (to users with a free digital subscription), the England Squash and PSA World Tour Facebook pages, as well as englandsquash.tv.

For updates on the British National Squash Championships, please visit the official tournament website or follow England Squash on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets are available for purchase here.

Preview

Perry and Makin Named Top Seeds for 2021 British National Squash Championships

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Welshman Joel Makin have been seeded first for the 2021 British National Squash Championships which will take place at Manchester’s National Squash Centre between Tuesday August 3 - Friday August 6.

The British National Squash Championships feature a 16-man and 16-woman draw consisting of 15 of the highest-ranked British player in addition to one wildcard.
Kenilworth-based Perry, a two-time British Nationals champion after wins in 2015 and 2020, will take on fellow Englishwoman Jasmin Kalar in round one and is expected to play Wales’ Tesni Evans in the final.

Evans, the World No.10 from St Asaph, will play England’s Saran Nghiem on the opening day. Evans could play 2020 runner-up Jasmine Hutton in the quarter-finals, before she is predicted to clash with four-time winner Alison Waters in the semis. Perry, meanwhile, has the likes of Rachael Chadwick and Emily Whitlock on her side of the draw.

In the men’s draw, 2020 runner-up Makin and reigning champion James Willstrop are seeded to meet in a repeat of last year’s final, which Willstrop won to collect a fourth British Nationals trophy.

Makin is vying to become the first Welshman ever to get his hands on the coveted trophy, but must first get past a round one encounter with Scotland’s Rory Stewart as well as predicted matches against England’s Nathan Lake and Scotland’s Greg Lobban in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

Willstrop, meanwhile, will line up against fellow Englishman Miles Jenkins in the opening round and the former World No.1 will look forward to further matches against the likes of George Parker and Adrian Waller as he bids to reach a 12th British Nationals final.

All the action from the British National Squash Championships will be shown live on SQUASHTV (to users with a free digital subscription), the England Squash and PSA World Tour Facebook pages, as well as englandsquash.tv.

For updates on the British National Squash Championships, please visit the official tournament website or follow England Squash on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets are available for purchase here.

 

Visit the official website of the PSA World Tour or follow the event on  Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube and TikTok.