Simpson & Kemp Boost Home Interest In British Open
14 May 2012
Chris Simpson and Jonathan Kemp will boost home interest in the Allam British Open after surviving the qualifying finals of the fourth PSA World Series squash event of the year which gets underway at the O2 Piazza in the O2 Arena in London today.
In two of only three qualifying finals at St George's Hill club in Weybridge which were resolved in straight games, Simpson beat Australian contender Zac Alexander 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 and Kemp overcame fellow English left-hander Robbie Temple 11-8, 11-7, 13-11.
Harrogate-based Simpson, the world No45 from Guernsey, will line up against Botswana's Alister Walker in the main draw at the O2 Piazza, while Kemp - the 31-year-old world No40 who first attempted to qualify for a place in the British Open back in 2000 and is now making his fifth appearance in the main draw - will face Colombia's sole entry Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
A pair of Frenchmen survived the two longest battles at St George's Hill: Mathieu Castagnet twice came from behind to overcome Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 in 112 minutes and - in the final match of the day - Gregoire Marche beat Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 in exactly 100 minutes.
World No48 Marche, the lowest-ranked qualifier, will meet Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the eighth seed, while Castagnet, also based n Aix-en-Provence, will face Egypt's Mohamed El Shorbagy, the No7 seed.
Mohamed's younger brother Marwan El Shorbagy became the only Egyptian to qualify after surviving a tough 59-minute battle with fellow countryman Mohamed Abouelghar 13-11, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9.
The 18-year-old from Alexandria - the only teenager competing in the main draw - will now meet Indian number one Saurav Ghosal.
Alan Clyne became Scotland's sole entry in the main draw after defeating India's Siddharth Suchde 11-6, 11-5, 11-7. The 25-year-old world No28 from Edinburgh now faces South African Stephen Coppinger.
Max Lee became the only Hong Kong player in the main draw after beating Egypt's Amr Khaled Khalifa 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 13-11. The 24-year-old's reward is a clash with third seed Nick Matthew, the title-holder from Sheffield who is bidding to become the first Englishman in the history of the event to win the title a third time.
Ryan Cuskelly doubled Australian interest in the event after beating Kuwait's Abdullah Al Muzayen 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7. The New York-based 24-year-old meets sixth-seeded Londoner Peter Barker in the first round.
Updated 1st round draw:
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
Alister Walker (BOT) v [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG)
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) v Tarek Momen (EGY)
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Borja Golan (ESP)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Max Lee (HKG)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Q] Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Official event website: www.britishopensquash.net
For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (38m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (56m)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 13-11 (43m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 13-11, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 (59m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 (112m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 13-11 (67m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (67m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 (100m)