The 2016 Allam British Open sees the prestigious ‘Wimbledon of
Squash’ take place at the Airco Arena, Hull between Monday March 21
– Sunday March 27 in what is the first time the World Series
tournament has been held over the Easter weekend since 1996.
The oldest and most established tournament on the PSA World Tour
calendar, the British Open’s first designated Men’s winner was
Englishman Charles Read in 1929, who was appointed champion based on
previous results before he lost in the first final the year after to
Don Butcher in a two-legged affair at the Queen’s Club and the
Conservative Club, both in London.
This was back when the British Open was held under a challenge
format where the title holder would be challenged by another player
who would be either the professional or amateur squash champion.
A Women’s amateur event began in 1922 with a ‘round-robin’ format
and saw Joyce Cave take the inaugural crown with a victory over
sister Nancy Cave in the final.
The tournament went through an eight-year hiatus after the outbreak
of World War II and it adopted the more familiar ‘knockout’ format
which modern fans are familiar with in 1948.
The Men’s British Open trophy has been lifted by a number of the
sport’s greatest ever players with Jahangir Khan (10), Geoff Hunt
(8), Hashim Khan (7), Jansher Khan (6) and the legendary Jonah
Barrington (6) being the most regular winners of the event over the
next 50 years.
During this period, the Women’s event was dominated by players from
Australia that started with Heather McKay in 1962 with the first of
16 consecutive titles before New Zealander Susan Devoy won it in
The tournament has been nomadic throughout its history and has taken
place at a number of different venues, including a 10-year stint at
the Wembley Conference Centre in London, first in 1980 and then
between 1984-1994. The hallowed National Squash Centre in Manchester
has hosted the event on four occasions since then before sponsorship
issues resulted in a two-year hiatus in 2010 and 2011.
The 02 arena was the venue for the distinguished tournament the year
after that before it made its home in Hull, first at the KC Stadium
and now at the Airco Arena where it will be held for the third
World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy is the Men’s defending champion after
claiming his first British Open title last year, defeating 2014
winner Gregory Gaultier in a brutal final to emulate his coach, the
aforementioned Barrington. Meanwhile, Camille Serme made history in
the Women’s event after her victory over current World No.1 Laura
Massaro saw her become the first Frenchwoman ever to lift the