World number one Nicol David avenged
her title loss last year by beating England's defending
champion Laura Massaro in today's final of the
Women's Allam British Open Squash Championship to win
the historic Women's Squash Association (WSA) World
Series Platinum title at the Sports Arena in
Hull for the fifth time since 2005.
World No2 Massaro took a tight first game
11-8 before the Malaysian (pictured above in the final)
stormed back to take the next three games 11-5, 11-7, 11-8
in 64 minutes to win the 74th WSA World Tour title of
"To win the British Open means the world,"
the delighted 30-year-old from Penang told the crowd: "Laura
played a great match today and I really had to dig deep to
win this title back.
"I was playing for my life out there. It felt
great to come out on the winning end knowing that all the
hard work that you put in does pay off.
"Dr Allam (pictured above with David,
centre, and Massaro) has brought the prestige back to
the British Open and it's been fantastic. Raising the prize
money for the women has been tremendous for the tour. We
need more people like Dr Allam involved in the sport,"
The Malaysian's coach Liz Irving, a
former world No2 from Australia, summed up the significance
of the win to her Twitter followers later: "I am so humbled
by the integrity of Nicol. Her drive, her work ethic. She
worked hard for this title! A real inspiration!"
Despite the loss, Massaro remained upbeat: "I
can honestly say I gave it my all today, so overall I'm
pretty pleased. I knew today would bring out Nicol's best
level, I hoped it would. You want to play players at the top
of her game and my main goal was to play my best.
wanted to come off today knowing where I stand, whether I
deserve to be anywhere near her in the rankings or not,"
continued the 30-year-old from Preston. "I'm not far away at
all, we were both at our best.
"I gave it everything that I had so I can't
be too disappointed with the result. Even though I've lost
it will give me a lot of confidence going into the next
"It's a goal to be number one in the world,
but she's a brilliant player. I'm going to have a little
break next week as it's my only chance before the
Commonwealth Games. I've got a lot of doubles practise
coming up and I'm really looking forward to the Games,"
conclude the England No1.
Nicol David & Laura Massaro Set Up British
Open Final Rematch
England's defending champion Laura Massaro
and Malaysian Nicol David will contest the final of
the Allam British Open Squash Championship for the
second year in a row after the world's top two players came
through four-game semi-finals today in the Women's Squash
Association (WSA) World Series Platinum event in Hull.
World No2 Massaro, the reigning world
champion, beat Egyptian Raneem El Welily 6-11, 11-8,
11-4, 11-7 in 44 minutes in front of a packed and partisan
crowd at the Hull Sports Arena to notch up the 30th
WSA World Tour final appearance of her career.
The 30-year-old from Preston (pictured
above with El Welily) will be hoping for a repeat of
last year's climax where she became the first English woman
in 22 years to win the historic title.
"Defending the title means a huge amount,"
said Massaro after her impressive win over the player one
place below her in the WSA World Rankings. "To win it once
is a big honour but to do it two years in a row would be
"I've made my seeded position now so I can
finally play with a bit of pressure off. The crowd were
fantastic today and will hopefully be just as loud tomorrow.
"There's always pressure going into a final,
especially when you're a defending champion. Playing Nicol
there won't be pressure because she's world number one but
it just comes down to playing my game plan as well as I can
on each day," added the Lancashire lass.
David, a four-time winner of the title,
overcame determined Londoner Alison Waters by a
similar scoreline to deny the hosts a first all-English
final for 23 years.
"Alison was really fired up in the first
game, I knew I had to be that intense from the beginning and
I just hung in there and stayed that way throughout the
match," said David after her 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 win.
The mighty Malaysian (pictured above with
Waters) will now be competing in her 93rd final on the
"It's a repeat of the final last year, but I
don't think we'll be doing anything differently we're just
going to be playing our best squash in the final of the
British Open and you should expect a really good battle,"
continued the 30-year-old from Penang.
"The British Open to me is very prestigious,
it's like winning the World title. It has so much history
behind it and just knowing that you're part of it makes a
difference when you're out there on court playing squash in
front of a great crowd."
Massaro & Waters On Course For Home British Open Final
Defending champion Laura Massaro and world No6 Alison
Waters are on course to meet in an all-English final of the Allam British
Open Squash Championship - the first for 23 years - after prevailing in the
quarter-finals of the Women's Squash Association (WSA) World Series Platinum
event at the Sports Arena in Hull.
Fifth seed Waters reached her third semi-final in four years
after upsetting No4 seed Joelle King 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1 in 46 minutes
- avenging a straight games defeat to the New Zealander in last year's US
"The semi-finals of the British Open is a big occasion, I'm
really pleased to be there and I'm looking forward to it," said the 30-year-old
Londoner (pictured above with King). "It's great to be playing a
tournament in Britain in front of a home crowd."
Waters now faces world No1 and tournament favourite Nicol
David, the four-time champion from Malaysia who is aiming to regain the
title after losing out to Massaro last year.
David beat career-long Egyptian rival Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-7, 12-10, 11-4 and told the crowd afterwards: "I played much better today.
Kawy is such a crafty player, I was really pleased to come through it and take
"I'm through to another semi-final but it never gets boring, it
just gets better. Everything counts, I'm so pleased to be here at the British
Open in Hull again with a great crowd and it's nice to have such a knowledgeable
Earlier title-holder Massaro swept into her third successive semi
after beating England team-mate Sarah Kippax.
The world No2 from Preston was tested by the Halifax-based player
who was making her first ever British Open quarter final appearance. However,
reigning world champion Massaro was able to draw on her experience and come out
the stronger at the end of each game.
"It was tough going into the quarter final against an England
team-mate and someone I've known for years and years," said Massaro (pictured
above with Kippax) after her 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 victory.
"On paper I was a heavy favourite so that is sometimes difficult
to handle. I'm pleased to come through - she's had a couple of giant killings!
"After I won the event last year, it was a bit of a surprise. It
took me a while to get my head round it and realise that everyone was still
gunning for me. I feel really good to be in the next round.
"The legacy work they do here and at our British Nationals is
massive and it helps get more kids playing squash and introduce them into the
game. It's such a great way to get kids involved.
"The coverage I've had from the World Championships has helped
get me a good reception wherever I go and I'm really enjoying it. It was nice to
see them getting behind everyone and great to see a full side wall!"
Massaro will face third seed Raneem El Welily after the
world No3 from Egypt defeated seventh-seeded Malaysian Low Wee Wern 11-5,
Commenting on her upcoming match, the Lancastrian added: "She's
phenomenal with the racket and I'll have to be on my game plan 100%. We've
played in the last three events and I'll have to be fully focused."
Malaysia's top seed Nicol David moved a step closer towards a
seventh final appearance in eight years when she beat rising England
star Sarah-Jane Perry in straight games in today's second
round of the Allam British Open Squash Championship, the
Women's Squash Association (WSA) World Series Platinum event at
the Sports Arena in Hull.
The formidable 30-year-old from Penang - who already boasts 73 WSA
World Tour titles, including four British Open crowns - is eager to
make up for last year's shock final defeat by English rival Laura
"The British Open is like playing in the World Championships, so I'm
thrilled to be here playing in it," said David (pictured above
with Perry) after her 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 win in 40 minutes.
"It was a great match and I had to dig deep especially in the second
game where I was behind so I'm pleased with the finish."
David now faces 11th seed Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 28-year-old
Egyptian with whom she has enjoyed a 17-year rivalry since the pair
contested the British Junior U14 Open final in January 1997.
World No13 Kawy pulled off a notable upset over sixth seed
Camille Serme, beating the world No5 from France for the first
time in over three years 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 13-11 in 62
There was home success in an earlier second round clash when
Londoner Alison Waters, the No5 seed, beat Welsh qualifier
Tesni Evans 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.
Evans, the 21-year-old world No32 from Rhyl, had claimed her maiden
appearance in the event's last 16 after a stunning upset over
highly-rated Indian star Dipika Pallikal, ranked 10 in the
"After that first round win, I knew I couldn't take her lightly,"
said world No6 Waters, the reigning and four-time British National
champion (pictured above with Evans).
"This is a very special tournament - I remember going to see it when
I was about ten. I would really like to get my hands on the trophy.
"I've always done well in the Nationals - so it would be nice now to
get this international title."
Waters will now face fourth seed Joelle King for a place in
the semi-finals. New Zealander King took four games to see off
unseeded Indian Joshana Chinappa 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-1.
Massaro & Kippax Set Up English British Open Quarter-Final
Home interest in the women's semi-finals of the Allam British
Open Squash Championship is already assured after No2 seed Laura Massaro,
the defending champion from Preston, and Cheshire's unseeded Sarah Kippax
today came through contrasting second round matches in the Women's Squash
Association (WSA) World Series Platinum event at The Sports Arena in
Massaro cruised to an 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 win over Annie Au,
the No9 seed from Hong Kong to whom she had lost three times in their previous
"To say I'm chuffed to get through is an understatement," said
the 30-year-old (pictured above with Au) who made history in March by
becoming the first Englishwoman to hold both the World and British Open titles
simultaneously. "Although I can get quite fiery, I was even more fired up
tonight. I really wanted to win and I had to be at the top of my game as Annie
is such a talented player.
"It's really great to play in front of a home crowd as they
really get behind you. Of course I'd like to win another one but I'm taking each
round as it comes," added world No2 Massaro.
The title-holder will line up against England team-mate Kippax in
Friday's quarter-finals. The Halifax-based 31-year-old maintained her 100%
career record against Guyana star Nicolette Fernandes - but her sixth
successive win since March 2004 was the first to go the full distance, with
Kippax finally emerging victorious 15-17, 11-7, 13-15, 11-3, 12-10 after 84
"It was a long one!" conceded Kippax (pictured above)
after reaching the British Open quarter-finals for the first time at her tenth
attempt. "The first game seemed to go on forever but it was a truly great match.
It's my first ever quarter final in the event, so I'm thrilled.
"It's even nicer to play well in your home country. My sister and
dad are both here as well as my husband so I'm just pleased to do well in front
of them too."
Kippax later told her Twitter followers: "I'm incredibly
privileged to have been involved in one heck of a battle vs @NicoletteGuyana
(complete warrior) on an amazing stage @BOSquash."
WSA President Kasey Brown was denied a second successive
quarter-final berth after losing to Egypt's No3 seed Raneem El Welily.
The world No3 from Cairo was in blistering form as she despatched Australian
Brown, the 14th seed, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 to make the last eight for the third year
in a row.
The fairy-tale run of England's unseeded Emma Beddoes also
came to an end today - but the gutsy 28-year-old, who ousted Egypt's world No7
Nour El Sherbini in the biggest upset of the first round, staged a mighty
come-back from two games down to level the match against seventh seed Low Wee
But the Malaysian held her nerve to regain control in the
decider, ultimately closing out the match 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-9 in 76
minutes to move into her first quarter-final.
Britons Lead The Way On Opening Day Of British Open Upsets
Britons led a widespread cull of seeds in today's opening day of
main draw action in the Women's Allam British Open Squash
Championship, the Women's Squash Association (WSA) World
Series Platinum event at the University of Hull Sports and
Fitness Centre in Hull.
England's unseeded Emma Beddoes kicked off the upsets, taking
out Egypt's 13th seed Nour El Sherbini 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9
in 50 minutes to claim a first appearance in the second round of the
historic championship at her seventh attempt.
was teenager El Sherbini who made headlines at this year's WSA
World Championship after ousting seven-time champion and world
No1 Nicol David en-route to the final - a run which led the
18-year-old from Alexandria to leap to No7 in the latest world
"I'm a bit shocked to be honest - in a good way though, of course,"
said Beddoes, the 28-year-old world No20 from Leeds. "I knew it'd
been playing well - getting to the quarter finals in Texas gave me
lots of confidence - so I guess the pressure was on her coming into
the match. I just played my game and I'm delighted to win!
"The Worlds and the British Open are the two major events that
everyone wants to win, so I obviously wanted to do well but I hadn't
put any expectations on myself as I knew I had a tough draw."
short time later Beddoes was joined in the last 16 by compatriot
Sarah Kippax, the world No22 from Halifax who fought back from
2/1 down to see off 10th seed Jenny Duncalf, also from
Yorkshire, 11-6, 2-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-8 in 57 minutes.
the end of the day, qualifier Tesni Evans ensured Welsh
interest in the second round for the first time in more than two
decades when she upset India's No12 seed Dipika Pallikal, the
world No10, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 4-11, 13-11 in 65 minutes.
The 21-year-old from Rhyl, ranked 32 in the world, now faces British
champion Alison Waters, the No5 seed from London, ranked 26
will also be celebrating an unexpected maiden appearance in the
second round after dismissing former finalist Madeline Perry,
the No8 seed from Ireland, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4.
"It was clear Madeline wasn't quite right," conceded the Guyana
star, who will now line up against Kippax. "It's hard to keep your
focus but I thought I did that well. She has been one of the most
consistent players for so long so she's always dangerous even when
she isn't 100%.
"Sarah and I practice all the time so I'm just going to go on and
enjoy it," added the 30-year-old world No19. "I'm enjoying my squash
at the moment and that's helping me play well."
of the event's greatest stars also bowed out unexpectedly. Four-time
champion Rachael Grinham, the 15th seed from Australia, twice
led unseeded Joshana Chinappa. But the world No21 from India
held her nerve to win 7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6 to secure a first
time in the last 16.
The event's top two seeds comfortably overcame their initial hurdles
as they began their bid to meet in Sunday's final. Top seed Nicol
David defeated Egyptian qualifier Heba El Torky 11-8,
12-10, 11-8, while England's defending champion Laura Massaro
(right), the No2 seed, despatched Joey Chan of Hong Kong 11-3, 11-4,
11-7 in just 26 minutes.
Saffery & Evans Produce Historic Welsh Double In Hull
There will be double Welsh interest in the main draw
of the Women's British Open Squash Championship for the first
time this millennium after Deon Saffery and Tesni Evans
both survived today's qualifying finals of the 2014 Allam-sponsored
event at the University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre in
produced the day's biggest upset, fighting back from two games down
to beat Ireland's world No31 Aisling Blake 8-11, 8-11, 11-4,
11-3, 11-9 in 51 minutes.
Welsh champion Saffery, ranked 52 in the world and
the lowest-ranked player to make the main draw, is rewarded with a
first round meeting with Omneya Abdel Kawy, the No11 seed
21-year-old Tesni Evans will also be
celebrating her maiden appearance in the historic championship's
main draw after defeating 30-year-old New Zealander Kylie Lindsay
11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-4.
Evans, ranked 32 in the world, will line up against
Indian number one Dipika Pallikal, the world No10.
A pair of Egyptians also prevailed in the qualifiers:
16-year-old Nouran Ahmed Gohar was successful at her first
attempt, beating Japan's 24-year-old Misaki Kobayashi 11-8,
4-11, 11-5, 11-6 - while Heba El Torky earned her second
appearance in the first round after surviving the day's longest
The 23-year-old from Alexandria fought for 95 minutes
to overcome Mexico's former world No11 Samantha Teran 11-8,
12-14, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11. El Torky will now line up against
favourite Nicol David, the world No1 from Malaysia bidding to
win the title for a fifth time.
There were additional qualifying wins by Australian
Donna Urquhart, Canadian Samantha Cornett, Malaysian
Delia Arnold and Siyoli Waters of South Africa.
The world's top two women squash players are expected to go head-to-head
in the final of the Allam British Open for the second year in a
row when the 2014 edition of the sport's most historic championship
reaches its climax at the Sports Arena in Hull next
Massaro, the world No2 from Preston, upset the form book 12 months ago
in Humberside when she beat defending and four-time champion Nicol
David to become England's first winner of the title for 22 years.
Malaysian David has dominated the women's game for the past eight years,
this month celebrating her 94th successive month as world number one
since August 2006.
Massaro went on to strengthen her claim as the 30-year-old from Penang's
biggest threat when she won the Women's Squash Association's World
Championship in David's home town in March to bring the sport's
premier trophy back to England after a 15-year absence.
"The British will be really special this year," said Massaro, bidding to
become the first home player to defend the title since 1959. "Returning
as defending champion will be a nice feeling.
"I've tried to keep my training the same as it has been for the last few
events," added the 30-year-old. "No need to change a formula that has
"However, I am fully aware of how hard it is to win the British Open
once - let alone twice - so I will take it round by round and see how it
goes. If I am lucky enough to win the title again it will be a
career-high for me for sure."
David admits to working harder this year to reclaim the title, which is
in its third year of title-sponsorship by Hull-based Allam Marine,
founded by Egyptian Dr Allam.
"The players and myself especially are glad that we can compete in the
prestigious British Open annually again with the support of Dr Allam
seeing this through these three years while having us back in Hull,"
said the top-seeded Malaysian. "He has even raised the prize money for
the Women's event too.
"This has given me more of a reason to work harder for this year and I
am already looking forward to starting off the tournament.
"Just to be part of the British Open is a privilege for me," added
David. "It'll be such a bonus if everything falls into place coming into
this week competing with top class squash players to take this title.
"Winning my first British Open in 2005 was such a battle at every round
and once I won that title, it hit me just how significant it was being a
British Open champion.
"It spurred me on to keep winning more since that very moment - an
experience that is difficult to describe but an unforgettable one."
David will face a qualifier in the opening round while, for the second
year in a row, Massaro will begin her campaign against Joey Chan
of Hong Kong.
The WSA World Series Platinum championship gets underway at the
University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre on Tuesday (13 May)
before moving to The Sports Arena in Hull from the second round,
through to the final on Sunday (18 May).