National champion James Willstrop was forced to retire from the
tournament in today’s quarter-finals after he was unable to recover from
The former World No.1 fought valiantly to take 5/8 seed Joe Lee to a
fifth game but came back on court only to shake Lee’s hand and announce
he would play no further part in the Manchester tournament.
World No.45 Lee, 27, of Surrey, raced into the lead in the first game,
eventually winning 11/7. Willstrop then took the next two games, with
the final score 11/7, 6/11, 9/11, 11/7. Lee advances to his first
Nationals semi-final where he will meet his friend and former junior
rival Adrian Waller [5/8], of Middlesex.
Lee was delighted to reach the last four but did give credit to
Willstrop. He said: “I noticed he wasn’t quite right from the word go
because I went a few points up early on, normally James has a massive
emphasis on starting well. Understandably, when you’re a bit under the
weather it doesn’t happen like that and he got into it as the match went
on. I could see he was taking longer between points [towards the end of
the match], there had been some punishing rallies.”
Willstrop said he had been suffering from flu all week but had recovered
enough to step on court on Wednesday and progress through his first
round tie against Mark Fuller on Thursday.
The other semi-final will be played out between eight-time champion Nick
Matthew  and Declan James [5/8]. Both had straight forward routes
through the semi-finals, as Matthew, who is pursuing a record ninth
title at the championships, beat unseeded Jaymie Haycocks 11/7, 11/2,
11/6 in 34 minutes. Meanwhile, James’ opponent Tom Richards [3/4] also
conceded his match after sustaining an injury in the second game and
falling 2-0 down, 11/7, 11/6.
World No.5 Laura Massaro, the favourite to win the women’s title,
survived an early scare against Fiona Moverley [5/8] to win 9/11, 11/7,
11/1, 11/3 after 32 minutes. She faces World No.15 Emily Whitlock [3/4]
in the first women’s semi-final. Former world champion Massaro said:
“She came out firing and I thought ‘Wow’, I just had to dig in and start
getting the ball back as best I could.”
Sarah-Jane Perry [3/4] set to play four-time National champion Alison
Waters  in the other tie, who both overcame five-game matches against
Victoria Lust [5/8] and Tesni Evans [5/8] respectively. World No.8 Perry
defeated Lust 13/11, 6/11, 8/11, 11/3, 11/8 in 54 minutes, while Waters
needed 75 minutes to knock out Welsh No.1 Evans 12/10, 9/11, 13/11,
5/11, 11/9 in a pulsating afternoon of women’s squash.
Tournament favourites Nick
Matthew and Laura Massaro cruised through their first round matches as
they began their quest to defend their Nationals titles.
Matthew overcame qualifier Ashley Davies while Massaro comfortably
dispatched Deon Saffery at the National Squash Championships in
Thursday brought the first glimpse into the main hall and the
specially-assembled, all-glass show court, with three-time champion
Massaro first to take to the court. She required just 24 minutes to beat
Saffery, of Wales, 11/2, 11/6, 11/3.
Alison Waters , who has four Nationals titles to her name, Sarah-Jane
Perry and Emily Whitlock [3/4] all also advanced to the quarter finals
with ease but two-time tournament winner Jenny Duncalf [5/8] was taken
to a fifth in her match against World No.35 Millie Tomlinson, emerging
victorious after 62 minutes, 11/8, 7/11, 11/5, 6/11, 11/7.
Jenny commented, "That was a bit of a scrap. We play different games,
Millie plays a lot of length and I like to go short more, so finding the
right balance between attack and defence is tricky, and I was maybe
trying to force it too much at times.”
Meanwhile, Nick Matthew is on the hunt for a record ninth title at the
competition, sponsored by Blowers Jewellers. His opponent Ashley Davies,
of Derbyshire, came through a five-game thriller against England Squash
Academy player George Parker on Wednesday evening. World No.4 Matthew
only required three to seal the first round tie, winning 11/7, 11/2,
11/7 in 37 minutes. Yorkshire’s James Willstrop  also advanced to the
quarter finals, beating qualifier Mark Fuller, of Nottinghamshire, 11/5,
11/8, 11/5 in 31 minutes.
The day’s main upset came between 5/8 seed Ben Coleman and Jaymie
Haycocks, of Warwickshire, with the unseeded player needing 49 minutes
to claim a 7/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/3 victory and reach the quarter-finals
for the first time in 13 attempts.
"I just had to battle my way into the match, trying to break him out of
his rhythm, and thankfully I managed to get back into it.” Haycocks
said. “I knew he'd been out for a while so I tried to make it hard and
it paid off. Really pleased to be through to the quarters for the first
A final between two of the most exciting veterans in the game remained
on course in the men’s over-45s after seven-time masters champion and
former over-35s British Open winner Nick Taylor  and former World
No.2 Peter Marshall both advanced through to the quarter finals on
Friday. They will be joined by England Squash’s Senior National Coach
The men’s over-40s draw went according to seed with Peter O’Hara  and
Daniel Massaro  both safely into the next round.
Meanwhile, top seed Yawar Abbas, of Durham and Cleveland, made it
through to the quarter final of the over-50s while there were no upsets
in the over-35s or over-70s.
Number two seed Mandy Akin, of Kent, required just 21 minutes to book
her place in the quarter finals of the women’s over-50s draw with a
15/1, 15/11, 15/4 win against Bev Vatcher, of Dorset.
Mark Woodliffe , of Gloucestershire, will play Neil Harrison [5/8],
of Durham and Cleveland, after beating Mark Taylor, of Avon, 11/4,
14/12, 11/3 in the over-55s.
Rustom Bativala, of Warwickshire, the favourite for the men‘s over-60s
title, came through a major scare in the second round. After five games
– and 59 minutes – he eventually beat Brian Duke, of Durham and
Cleveland, with a nervy finish to the fifth and final game. The final
score was 13/15, 15/9, 12/15, 15/11, 17/15. Bativala now faces David
Clarke, of Surrey, in the quarter finals.
And there were no surprises in the over-65s draw either, with John Rae
, of Scotland, and second seed Ian Graham , of Sussex, both
After two days of intense
qualification action, the main draw for the 2017 Nationals has been
finalised, with players securing their spot to compete alongside the
biggest names in British squash for the coveted titles.
No major upsets were recorded in the first two days as the final touches
were put on the all-glass show court in Manchester, with England No.1
Laura Massaro the first due to grace the court at 12pm on Thursday.
Eight-time winner Nick Matthew will also begin his quest for a ninth
title, the remaining masters events due to begin at the National Squash
But attention in the first two days has been firmly on those
lesser-known and younger players fighting for their chance to take on
the big guns in the main draw.
Those in attendance who stayed until Wednesday evening were treated to
an enthralling, five-game match on the venue’s other all-glass court
between Ashley Davies of Derbyshire and England Squash Academy player
George Parker of Leicestershire. Parker twice fought back from a game
down to take the match to a decider but Davies was composed enough to
take the match 11/5, 8/11, 13/11, 10/12, 11/5 in 65 minutes.
Scot Rory Stewart, Patrick Rooney of Merseyside, and Nottinghamshire’s
Mark Fuller also advanced to the main draw. Davies’ win earned him a
first round tie against top seed Matthew, while Rooney faces Scottish
No.1 Alan Clyne [3/4], Stewart is due to play 5/8 seed Joe Lee, of
Surrey, and Fuller goes up against two-time winner James Willstrop, of
Kace Bartley, Victoria Temple-Murray, Lily Taylor and Julianne Courtice
claimed places in the main tournament. Taylor, of Leicestershire, will
face Fiona Moverley [5/8] while Temple-Murray, of Devon, takes on World
No.15 Emily Whitlock [3/4] and Courtice, of Gloucestershire, plays World
No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry [3/4]. Surrey’s Bartley has earned a first round
match with second seed and four-time champion Alison Waters.
Some of the competition’s older contingent began their tournament
campaigns on Wednesday, with action in the men’s over-50’s, 55’s, 60’s,
65’s and 70’s.
Top seed Mark Woodliffe, of Gloucestershire came through his first test
in the over-55s, beating Keith Haddock, of Merseyside, 11/4, 11/4, 11/8
in just 19 minutes.
Yarwar Abbas , of Durham and Cleveland, will face Jamie Maddox in the
first round after Maddox, of Lancashire, defeated John Valentine, also
of Lancashire, in just 17 minutes – 11/7, 11/3, 11/2.
While Rustom Batilava , of Warwickshire, and Stuart Hardy , of
Middlesex, both advanced to the second round of the over-60s. And the
only slight upset in the over-65s came from Alan Hendry, of Merseyside,
who defeated Mark Thompson [9/16], of Yorkshire, 15/7, 15/10, 15/13 in
The only preliminary match in the over-70s was played out between Alan
Whittow, of Buckinghamshire, and Thomas Elves, of Durham and Cleveland,
with Elves progressing after a 15/12, 15/7, 15/3 victory in 24 minutes.
Masters Results in association with Squash Info
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