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14/11/2006
WOLVERHAMPTON OPEN
 

Golan & Lengthorn Win Wolverhampton Open Titles

Tournament
Wolverhampton Open Squash Championships,
Wolverhampton, England

Men's final:
[3] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [Q] Lee Drew (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6

Women's final:
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt [1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) 9-5, 3-9, 4-9, 9-6, 9-4 (80m)

Golan & Lengthorn Win Wolverhampton Open Titles
Honours in the inaugural Wolverhampton Open were shared between the host nation and Spain when England's second seed Laura-Jane Lengthorn upset her highest-ranked compatriot Vicky Botwright to lift the women's title and Spaniard Borja Golan ended the courageous run of English qualifier Lee Drew to take the men's crown in the UK’s largest club-based squash event at the Wolverhampton LT&SC in the West Midlands city.

Golan, the third seed from Santiago in Spain, maintained his 100% record in PSA Tour finals in 2006 when he raced to his fourth victory of the year with an 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 victory over Drew, the 30-year-old from Colchester who had battled past three higher-ranked players in Wolverhampton to reach his first Tour final for more than four years.

The 23 year-old Spaniard, whose earlier titles in the year were won in Ireland, Greece and Pakistan, helped add a real international flavour to the event, in which a total of seventeen nationalities had been represented.

Intelligently combining defence with attack to extend the rallies, Golan ultimately proved too consistent for an opponent unable to continue his giant-killing Wolverhampton run.

“My strategy was the same as for the semi-finals,” said Golan, after securing the 14th title of his career, but the first in England.

“Lee had played very well in the tournament and I tried to balance defence with attack to make long rallies. It’s great to play in front of such a knowledgeable crowd and I look forward to coming back next year.”

Laura-Jane Lengthorn produced the biggest win of her career to defeat Lancashire county team-mate and top seed Vicky Botwright, fighting back from 2/1 down to win 9-5, 3-9, 4-9, 9-6, 9-4. It was the 23-year-old from Preston's first victory over the world No5 in five WISPA World Tour meetings.

Both players, competing in Wolverhampton as part of their final preparations for this week's World Open Championship in Belfast, produced their best form in a stunning 80-minute final - with Lengthorn eventually clinching a well-deserved victory by overcoming a determined challenge from her more experienced opponent with greater overall consistency.

“Vicky never gives up and I knew that I would have to be at my best to beat her,” said Lengthorn after celebrating the second WISPA title of her career. “It’s the first time that I have beaten her in a world ranking event and hopefully I can continue this form into the World Open next week.”

Men's semi-finals:
[3] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Scott Handley (ENG) 11-10 (2-0), 8-11, 11-4, 11-8
[Q] Lee Drew (ENG) bt [7] Stacey Ross (ENG) 11-9, 7-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-7

Women's semi-finals:
[1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt [Q] Laura Hill (ENG) 9-0, 10-8, 9-4
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt [3] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) 9-6, 4-9, 9-2, 9-4

Drew Dashes Ross's Hopes In Wolverhampton Open
English qualifier Lee Drew reached his first PSA Tour final for more than four years when he upset seventh-seeded compatriot Stacey Ross in the semi-finals of the inaugural Wolverhampton Open at the Wolverhampton LT&SC in the West Midlands city.

Continuing his giant-killing run in the UK’s largest club-based event, the 30-year-old from Colchester beat his Surrey opponent 11-9, 7-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-7.

"Today was very hard and I had to dig really deep to win," said Drew. "I’m just looking forward to giving it a good go tomorrow. The club has a great feel and atmosphere which really suits my game. My focus tomorrow will again be on enjoying the occasion.”

In the fourth PSA final of his career, Drew will face Borja Golan, the third seed from Spain who defeated England’s unseeded Scott Handley 11-10 (2-0), 8-11, 11-4, 11-8 to reach his fourth World Tour final of the year.

The young Spaniard, who has helped add a real international flavour to the event in which a total of seventeen nationalities have been represented, faced an inspired challenge from his Oxfordshire opponent. Handley played an integral part in the host club winning the 2005 English Premier League title - and received vocal support from a capacity crowd which helped raise his game.

However, after defeating No1 seed Alex Gough in a tough five-game quarter-final, Handley eventually showed signs of fatigue which allowed Golan to become increasingly dominant as the match progressed.

"The match was very hard from the first point until the last,” said the Spaniard, now celebrating the 15th Tour final of his career. “Scott is a very attacking player and I had to be very alert. I tried to balance defence with attack to make long rallies, and tomorrow I think I need to play a very similar game. I’m confident in my fitness and I don’t mind if it is a long match.”

Top English seeds Vicky Botwright and Laura-Jane Lengthorn were both made to battle to reach the women's final, with tough wins over Laura Hill and Shelley Kitchen, respectively.

Botwright, England’s highest ranked women’s squash player who is competing in the event as part of her final preparations for next week's World Open Championships in Belfast, was made to fight against Derbyshire qualifier Laura Hill, before registering a 45-minute 9-0 10-8 9-4 victory.

“I’ve never played Laura before and the way that she has played this week, she is playing to at least world top 20 standard,” said the top-seeded world No5 from Manchester . “The second game was particularly tough. I had to work really hard and I’m just so pleased to have made it to the final.”

Lengthorn, the second seed, also found the going tough against a determined Shelley Kitchen of New Zealand, who captured the second game before eventually losing 9-6 4-9 9-2 9-4 to her 23-year-old opponent from Preston in Lancashire

"The pace that Shelley plays at is just astonishing and it can get on top of you if you are not careful,” said Lengthorn. “I’m now looking forward to playing Vicky in tomorrow's final and hopefully I can raise my game even further.”

Men's quarter-finals:
Scott Handley (ENG) bt [1] Alex Gough (WAL) 7-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-7, 7-11, 11-5
[3] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [8] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5
[7] Stacey Ross (ENG) bt [4] Simon Parke (ENG) 11-7, 11-10 (2-0), 5-11, 11-7
[Q] Lee Drew (ENG) bt [Q] Jonathan Harford (ENG) 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2

Women's quarter-finals:
[1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt [7] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 9-0, 9-5, 9-2
[Q] Laura Hill (ENG) bt [6] Rebecca Botwright (ENG) 9-3, 9-4, 9-5
[3] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 9-1, 9-3, 9-3
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt [5] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 9-7, 5-9, 9-4, 9-6

Gough Shocked As Handley Reaches Wolverhampton Open Semis
A battle between two players who led the host club to victory in the Premier Squash League last year produced a major shock in the men's quarter-finals of the inaugural Wolverhampton Open when unseeded Scott Handley upset top-seeded Welshman Alex Gough at the Wolverhampton LT&SC in the West Midlands city.

Both players received vocal support from a capacity crowd before Handley’s superior fitness eventually proved decisive as he claimed his 7-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 victory over the British Open Over-35 champion - and a place in the semi-finals of the UK’s biggest club-based squash championships.

Handley, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, will now take on Spain's third seed Borja Golan who fought back from a game down to beat Indian champion Saurav Ghosal, the No8 seed based in Leeds, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5.

Former British National Champion Simon Parke also suffered a shock quarter-final defeat - to compatriot Stacey Ross in what was to be his last competitive appearance in the UK before retiring from the international circuit.

Parke, the No4 seed, was unable to recapture the same level of consistency of his first round match against an inspired opponent who hit eight outright winners in the final game of his 11-7, 11-10 (2-0), 5-11, 11-7 victory.

“I felt strong today,” said seventh seed Ross after his 66-minute win. “My shots went in well and it’s really pleasing to get a win because he has so much experience. It’s only our second match since juniors and I wasn’t aware that this would be his last UK event, but I won’t let that burst my bubble.”

Qualifier Lee Drew, who yesterday claimed the scalp of local favourite and second seed Jonathan Kemp, continued his rich vein of form with an impressive 11-6 7-11 11-8 11-2 win over Jonathan Harford.

“I’m very pleased with how far I have come in the tournament,” said Drew, who now faces Ross. “The club has a great ‘homely’ feel and I think that that has really suited my game. Tomorrow will be a tough match and my focus will be on enjoying the occasion.”

England qualifier Laura Hill maintained her giant-killing run in the women's event with a shock 9-3, 9-4, 9-5 victory over sixth-seeded compatriot Rebecca Botwright. The Derbyshire fire-fighter will now take on Rebecca's older sister Vicky Botwright, the top seed who cruised into the women's semi-finals with a confident 9-0 9-5 9-2 win over English opponent Sarah Kippax.

“I got off to a good start which helped and I’m pleased to have got Sarah off 3-0," said the Manchester-based world No5. Botwright senior is England ’s highest ranked women’s squash player who is competing in the event as part of her final preparations for next week's World Open Championship in Belfast .

“I’ve never played Laura before, certainly not since juniors, and hopefully she won’t take two Botwright scalps,” added the 29-year-old favourite.

Third seed Shelley Kitchen, from New Zealand, was in equally impressive form against Emma Beddoes, dropping just seven points in her 9-1 9-3 9-3 win over the English qualifier from Warwick,

Kitchen’s semi-final opponent will be Laura-Jane Lengthorn, the second seed from Lancashire who looked less convincing against New Zealand’s fifth seed Jaclyn Hawkes during a laboured 9-7, 5-9, 9-4, 9-6 58-minute victory.

Men's semi-final line-up:
Scott Handley (ENG) v [3] Borja Golan (ESP)
[Q] Lee Drew (ENG) v [7] Stacey Ross (ENG)

Women's semi-final line-up:
[1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) v [Q] Laura Hill (ENG)
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) v [3] Shelley Kitchen (NZL)

Men's 1st round:
[1] Alex Gough (WAL) bt Kashif Shuja (NZL) 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9
Scott Handley (ENG) bt [6] Amr Mansi (EGY) 6-11, 11-8, 11-10 (2-0), 11-6
[3] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-10 (2-0), 9-11, 11-4, 11-10 (2-0)
[8] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Simon Rosner (GER) 8-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 8-11, 11-4
[7] Stacey Ross (ENG) bt Alex Stait (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 11-5
[4] Simon Parke (ENG) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 10-11 (1-3), 11-4, 11-7, 11-9
[Q] Jonathan Harford (ENG) bt [5] Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) 11-2, 11-6, 11-8
[Q] Lee Drew (ENG) bt [2] Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 11-8, 9-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-8

Women's 1st round:
[1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt Jenna Gates (ENG) 9-1, 6-0 ret.
[7] Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt [Q] Lauren Siddall (ENG) 5-9, 9-2, 9-6, 9-7
[Q] Laura Hill (ENG) bt [4] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) 9-6, 9-5, 9-0
[6] Rebecca Botwright (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 9-6, 9-4, 6-9, 9-5
[Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt [8] Orla Noom (NED) 10-8, 9-1, 9-3
[3] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt Manuela Manetta (ITA) 10-8, 9-0, 9-5
[5] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 9-1, 9-4, 9-6
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt [Q] Vicky Hynes (ENG) 9-1, 9-3, 9-2

English Qualifiers Excel In Wolverhampton Open

English qualifiers excelled in the first rounds of both the men's and women's events in the inaugural Wolverhampton Open – already ensuring domestic presence in both finals of the UK ’s biggest club-based squash championships at Wolverhampton LT&SC in the West Midlands city.

Essex's Lee Drew claimed the biggest scalp in the men's event, taking out local star Jonathon Kemp, the No2 seed who was born in Wolverhampton and regularly trains at Wolverhampton ’s premier tennis and squash club. Qualifier Drew, from Colchester , defeated the world No26 11-8, 9-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-8 to claim an unexpected quarter-final berth.

The 30-year-old will face fellow qualifier and compatriot Jonathan Harford, a 23-year-old making a belated start to his professional career having recently finished studies at nearby Birmingham University . Harford, now based in Leeds, defeated India ’s fifth seed Ritwik Bhattacharya 11-2, 11-6, 11-8.

Former British champion Simon Parke, who is making his last competitive appearance in the UK before retiring from the international circuit, produced a typically dogged performance to outlast Guernsey 's British Junior Champion Chris Simpson 10-11 (1-3), 11-4, 11-7, 11-9.

Simpson, who had reached the first round via an arduous qualifying competition, attacked his experienced opponent with forceful drives and volleys to capture the opening game. Fourth seed Parke countered with breathtaking retrieval to force a 2/1 lead, but found himself trailing 4-7 in the fourth game before he was again able to slow the pace and run-down his opponent's attempted front court winners to record a deserved 90-minute victory.

Parke, 34, from Leeds, will now go on to face England 's Stacey Ross for a place in the semi-finals. Ross, the No7 seed from Surrey , enjoyed a straightforward 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 win over Gloucestershire's Alex Stait.

Simon Rosner, from Germany, who also claimed his place in the main draw via the qualification competition, failed to progress to the quarter-finals after losing 8-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 8-11, 11-4 to eighth seed Saurav Ghosal of India.

The Wolverhampton club's resident professional Chris Ryder, the championship’s wild card, was unable to break down the solid consistency of third seed Borja Golan – the Spaniard eventually winning 11-10 (2-0), 9-11, 11-4, 11-10 (2-0).

Unseeded Englishman Scott Handley caused a notable upset in the top half of the draw, beating Egypt's sixth seed Amr Mansi 6-11, 11-8, 11-10 (2-0), 11-6. The 31-year-old from Oxfordshire will now face top seed Alex Gough of Wales , who defeated stylish New Zealander Kashif Shuja 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9.

Local star Emma Beddoes was one of two qualifiers to cause upsets in the women's event. The 21-year-old former British Junior champion from nearby Warwick beat Orla Noom, the No8 seed from the Netherlands , 10-8, 9-1, 9-3.

Beddoes goes on to face third seed Shelley Kitchen, of New Zealand, who overcame sporadic resistance from Italy’s Manuela Manetta during her 10-8, 9-0, 9-5 victory.

Derbyshire qualifier Laura Hill, a part-time squash player and full-time fire-fighter from Duffield, showed off her fighting qualities on the Wolverhampton courts with a 9-6, 9-5, 9-0 victory over England's fourth seed Dominique Lloyd-Walter, the world No18 from Harrow.

Hill now takes on England 's Rebecca Botwright, the sixth seed from Manchester who beat Denmark 's Line Hansen 9-6, 9-4, 6-9, 9-5.

Botwright is one match away from a possible first-time Tour clash on home soil with older sister Vicky Botwright. Vicky, the event favourite and England ’s highest-ranked woman, secured her place in the quarter-finals with a confident performance over Jenna Gates, leading 9-1, 6-0 when her young opponent retired with a back injury.

The top seed from Manchester , who has enjoyed her most successful year on the Women’s World Tour, culminating in her reaching a career-high No5 world ranking, is competing in the Wolverhampton Open as part of her final preparations for the World Open Championships in Belfast next week.

The 29-year-old will now face Sarah Kippax, recent winner of the Pepsi Enschede Open in the Netherlands , who defeated qualifier Lauren Siddall 5-9, 9-2, 9-6, 9-7.

Second seed Laura Lengthorn, from Preston, was equally impressive during her 9-1, 9-3, 9-2 win over Birmingham qualifier Vicky Hynes.

In a disappointing final appearance before appearing in next week's World Open in her home country, Ireland 's Aisling Blake failed to make it to the last eight. The 25-year-old from Sligo – who has been drawn to meet compatriot Madeline Perry in the first round in Belfast – lost out to New Zealand 's No5 seed Jaclyn Hawkes 9-1, 9-4, 9-6.

Men's quarter-final line-up:
[1] Alex Gough (WAL) v Scott Handley (ENG)
[3] Borja Golan (ESP) v [8] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[4] Simon Parke (ENG) v [7] Stacey Ross (ENG)
[Q] Lee Drew (ENG) v [Q] Jonathan Harford (ENG)

Women's quarter-final line-up:
[1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) v [7] Sarah Kippax (ENG)
[Q] Laura Hill (ENG) v [6] Rebecca Botwright (ENG)
[3] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) v [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG)
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) v [5] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)

Men's qualifying finals:
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-8, 11-3, 11-1
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Andrew Whipp (ENG) 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-0, 8-11, 11-10 (2-0)
Lee Drew (ENG) bt Laurence Delasaux (ENG) 11-7, 11-10 (2-0), 11-6
Jonathan Harford (ENG) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (ZIM) 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3

Women's qualifying finals:
Laura Hill (ENG) bt Kirsty McPhee (ENG) 9-4, 9-5, 10-8
Vicky Hynes (ENG) bt Emma Chorley (ENG) 10-9, 9-2, 6-9, 9-7
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Lotte Eriksen (NOR) 9-1, 9-3, 9-0
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt Deon Saffery (ENG) 9-0, 9-0, 9-1

Simpson Leads English Charge Into Wolverhampton Open Draw
England’s British Junior Champion Chris Simpson continued his fine run of form at the inaugural Wolverhampton Open, leading seven compatriots through to the main draw of the UK’s biggest club-based squash championships with an enthralling 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-0, 8-11, 11-10 (2-0) win over fellow Englishman Andrew Whipp.

The 19-year-old former European Junior Champion from Guernsey , who signed-off a highly successful junior career in February when he retained the Men's Under 19 title at the British Junior Championships, lost a highly competitive first game in a tie-break, before bouncing back in emphatic style.

After breaking his opponent's rhythm with subtle changes of pace and cleverly disguised drops shots to take a seemingly unassailable 2/1 lead, Simpson fell heavily in the opening rally of the fourth game, and despite competing for every ball was unable to regain the same level of composure and ascendancy. Whipp, 25, from Cheshire , capitalised upon his opponent's more cautious movement to draw level at two games all, and even served for the match before Simpson eventually combined breathtaking retrieval and audacious attack to close-out the match.

“It feels great to have qualified for the main draw having gone to five against such an experienced player,” said Simpson. “I fell awkwardly at the beginning of the fourth, but was determined to push-on, particularly after playing so well in the second and third games,” added the Yorkshire-based teenager who will now take on veteran Yorkshire player Simon Parke, a former British National champion

Germany's reigning European Junior Champion Simon Rosner recorded a comfortable 11-8, 11-3, 11-1 win over Australian Scott Arnold to become the only non-English player to qualify. Meanwhile Jonathan Harford, from Leeds, defeated Jesse Engelbrecht of Zimbabwe 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3, and Essex's Lee Drew brushed aside fellow Englishman Laurence Delasaux 11-7, 11-10 (2-0), 11-6 to claim the other men's qualifying slots.

All four women’s qualifying places in the inaugural Wolverhampton Open were secured by English players. Birmingham's Vicky Hynes, making her competitive return to the Women’s World Tour having recently given birth to her first child, defeated compatriot Emma Chorley 10-9, 9-2, 6-9, 9-7 to reach her first WISPA first round since November 2004.

Local interest was boosted further by the straight games triumph over Norway 's Lotte Eriksen by Warwick 's Emma Beddoes. The 21-year-old former British Junior champion beat the Norwegian 9-1, 9-3, 9-0 – while Derbyshire's Laura Hill triumphed over the highest-ranked qualifying finalist Kirsty McPhee 9-4, 9-5, 10-8.

The all-Yorkshire clash between Lauren Siddall and Deon Saffery ended quickly when Siddall, 22, from Pontefract, crushed her opponent for the loss of just a single point.

Updated Men's 1st round draw:
[1] Alex Gough (WAL) v Kashif Shuja (NZL)
[6] Amr Mansi (EGY) v Scott Handley (ENG)
[3] Borja Golan (ESP) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
[8] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Simon Rosner (GER)
[7] Stacey Ross (ENG) v Alex Stait (ENG)
[4] Simon Parke (ENG) v [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG)
[5] Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) v [Q] Jonathan Harford (ENG)
[2] Jonathan Kemp (ENG) v [Q] Lee Drew (ENG)

Updated Women's 1st round draw:
[1] Vicky Botwright (ENG) v Jenna Gates (ENG)
[7] Sarah Kippax (ENG) v [Q] Lauren Siddall (ENG)
[4] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) v [Q] Laura Hill (ENG)
[6] Rebecca Botwright (ENG) v Line Hansen (DEN)
[8] Orla Noom (NED) v [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG)
[3] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) v Manuela Manetta (ITA)
[5] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v Aisling Blake (IRL)
[2] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) v [Q] Vicky Hynes (ENG)

Men's 1st qualifying round:
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Richard Birks (ENG) 11-5, 11-1, 11-5
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Rob Sutherland (WAL) 11-7, 5-2 ret.
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Chris Tasker-Grindley (ENG) 11-9, 11-7, 11-10 (2-0)
Andrew Whipp (ENG) bt Sam Miller (ENG) 4-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5
Laurence Delasaux (ENG) bt Darren Lewis (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
Lee Drew (ENG) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 10-11 (0-2), 11-4, 11-2, 11-10 (4-2)
Jonathan Harford (ENG) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6
Jesse Engelbrecht (ZIM) bt Chris Truswell (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-7

Women's 1st qualifying round:
Kirsty McPhee (ENG) bt Cristina di Sacco (ITA) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0
Laura Hill (ENG) bt Charlotte Delsinne (FRA) 9-0, 9-0, 9-2
Vicky Hynes (ENG) bt Susannah King (ENG) 9-2, 9-2, 9-5
Emma Chorley (ENG) bt Adel Weir (RSA) 9-0, 9-10, 9-5, 6-9, 10-8
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Carrie Hastings (ENG) 9-6, 9-0, 9-6
Lotte Eriksen (NOR) bt Milja Dorenbos (NED) 9-5, 9-4, 3-9, 9-4
Deon Saffery (ENG) bt Leonie Holt (ENG) 9-1, 10-8, 9-2
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt Anna-Carin Forstadius (SWE) 9-3, 9-1, 9-5

England Players To The Fore In Wolverhampton Qualifiers
All but four of the players who will contest the men's and women's qualifying finals in the inaugural Wolverhampton Open Squash Championships at the Wolverhampton LT&SC in the English West Midlands city of Wolverhampton are from the host nation.

Chris Simpson, the 2005 European Junior Champion who signed-off a highly successful junior career in February when he retained the Men's Under 19 title at the British Junior Championships, put in a polished performance to beat compatriot Chris Tasker-Grindley 11-9 11-7 11-10 (2-0).

The 19-year-old who represented Guernsey in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne after making his Commonwealth debut four years earlier in Manchester, will now play Cheshire's Andrew Whipp, who defeated fellow Englishman Sam Miller 4-11 11-3 11-4 11-5.

Other English players to reach the final qualification round in the biggest club-based squash championships in the UK were 2004 European Junior Champion Laurence Delasaux, the Yorkshireman who triumphed over Darren Lewis 11-5 11-6 11-3, and Essex's Lee Drew, who needed over an hour to overcome Frenchman Matthew Castagnet 10-11(0-2) 11-4 11-2 11-10(4-2).

Reigning European Junior Champion Simon Rosner, from Germany, recorded a comfortable 11-5 11-1 11-5 win over Richard Birks of England, whilst Jesse Engelbrecht of Zimbabwe triumphed over Chris Truswell 11-5 11-3 11-7 to earn his place in the last eight of the qualifying tournament.

Lotte Eriksen is the only non-English player fighting for a qualifying place in the women's draw. The 19-year-old from Stavanger in Norway, who recently moved to Sweden to train with national coach John Milton, beat Dutch player Milja Dorenbos 9-5, 9-4, 3-9, 9-4 – and will now face England's Emma Beddoes for a place in the first round.

Beddoes, a former British Junior Champion from nearby Warwick, beat Cambridgeshire's Carrie Hastings 9-6, 9-0, 9-6.

Birmingham-based Vicky Hynes, making her competitive return to the Women’s World Tour having recently given birth to her first child, defeated compatriot Susannah King 9-2 9-2 9-5, whilst Deon Saffery, Laura Hill, Kirsty McPhee and Lauren Siddall all completed straight game victories over Leonie Holt, Charlotte Delsinne, Christina Di Sacco and Anna-Carin Forstadius, respectively.

Emma Chorley, from Bridgwater in Somerset, was taken to five games by South African Adel Weir before eventually winning 9-0 9-10 9-5 6-9 10-8.

Men's qualifying finals line-up:
Simon Rosner (GER) v Scott Arnold (AUS)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v Andrew Whipp (ENG)
Lee Drew (ENG) v Laurence Delasaux (ENG)
Jesse Engelbrecht (ZIM) v Jonathan Harford (ENG)

Women's qualifying finals line-up:
Kirsty McPhee (ENG) v Laura Hill (ENG)
Vicky Hynes (ENG) v Emma Chorley (ENG)
Lotte Eriksen (NOR) v Emma Beddoes (ENG)
Lauren Siddall (ENG) v Deon Saffery (ENG)