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19 Jun 2024

Selby Secures Second Round Slot In Manchester World Championship

13 Oct 2008

Unseeded Englishman Daryl Selby delighted local crowds at the National Squash Centre in Manchester when he upset Finland's world No15 Olli Tuominen in today's first round of the Hi-Tec World Open Squash Championships at Sportcity.

The world's leading players from more than 30 countries are competing in the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships - Manchester 2008, the first ever joint staging of the Men's World Open and Women's World Open in the UK.

Selby, the world No36 from Essex, battled for 50 minutes to flay the Flying Finn 11-8, 11-3, 11-4.

"That was one of my best wins ever - I'm ecstatic! Olli's a fantastic player who's been up there with the world's best for a number of years," said the 25-year-old from Witham. "I knew I had the chance to beat him, but I had to play out of my skin to do it.

"It's nice to play in front of a home crowd. This is a fantastic event and I really want to do well here."

Yorkshireman James Willstrop, the world No3, led a group of 10 of Britons through to the second round. The 25-year-old England number one, in his sixth successive appearance in the event, beat compatriot Ben Ford, a 33-year-old qualifier making his maiden appearance, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5.

Willstrop's England team-mates internationals Nick Matthew and Peter Barker claimed early victories on the day's schedule - and later Lee Beachill, the fourth member of the squad which lifted the world team crown last year, also cruised into the second day after beating fellow countryman Robbie Temple, a qualifier, 11-6, 11-3, 11-1.

Nick Matthew, the world No7 from Sheffield, had the honour of competing in the opening match of the championships on the spectacular all-glass show court. The former British Open champion, playing on home soil for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery in January, eased to an 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 victory over Pakistan qualifier Shahid Zaman.

"I'm relaxed and relieved," said Matthew after beating the former world No14. "I didn't really feel comfortable out there - I was a bit edgy. But it's nice to get that one under the belt - particularly against Shahid. No-one hits a squash ball better than he does."

Peter Barker, the world No11 from London who arrived in Manchester fresh from two major Tour wins in the USA last month, despatched Mexican number one Eric Galvez 11-4, 11-5, 11-1.

"I'm pleased with the way I played - I managed to contain him in the back of the court - he's so dangerous at the front," said the 25-year-old. "I'm in good shape physically - and having a couple of wins behind you gives you a lot of confidence. But I'm really enjoying life at the moment - and that's transferring into my squash. You could say that I'm a really happy bunny!

"Obviously it's great having home advantage. This is the tournament that everybody's peaking for - so there should be no excuses this week. Everybody wants to do well but only one player can win it. But there'll be a few upsets as there's a lot of pressure. I'll play Joey (Barrington) tomorrow and that's all I want to think about," added Barker.

Joey Barrington, son of former great Jonah Barrington, winner of a then record six British Open titles more than three decades ago, battled for 100 minutes to beat Australian Aaron Frankcomb 11-3, 11-3, 12-10. The victory in the longest match of the day marks Barrington junior's first World Open win at his fourth attempt.

But it was another Jonah Barrington protégé that caused the first upset in the men's event when Egyptian qualifier Mohamed El Shorbagy beat experienced Frenchman Renan Lavigne in five games. The 17-year-old pupil at Millfield School in Somerset - where he is coached by Barrington senior - twice came from behind to win 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 and claim an unexpected place in the second round.

A further notable upset came towards the end of the day when Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira, a Mexican qualifier making his World Open debut, twice rescued game deficits to beat experienced Egyptian Mohammed Abbas 11-13, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9 in 75 minutes.

"This is probably one of the best wins of my career - and what makes it even better is that this is the World Open, and my first one," exclaimed the 25-year-old from Mexico City.

"Abbas was in the top 10 - he's got a lot of experience. But today, I felt strong and fit. He moved me a lot, send me at the front, at the back, but I was still moving well. Now, I'm really looking forward to my next match."

Event favourite Amr Shabana overcame a shaky start to beat German qualifier Simon Rosner 6-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5. The defending champion from Egypt will now face Spanish number one Borja Golan for a place in the last sixteen.

The world number one's highly-rated compatriot Ramy Ashour also recorded a straightforward first round win. The 21-year-old from Cairo, who missed the 2007 event because of injury, despatched French qualifier Yann Perrin 11-5, 11-6, 12-10.

"I really want to win the World Open - but more important to me is to reach the end of the tournament injury-free," said the exuberant fourth seed. "All I can remember is that when I was last in England, I suffered with injury at the British Open in Liverpool.

"I felt I was young and invincible - and could win everything - but realised that I was abusing my body," explained Ashour. "So when I landed in England a few days ago, I said to myself, 'please let me be OK this time'.

"But this event is fantastic - it's so well organised. Yesterday's qualifying finals were amazing - people were killing themselves to get into the first round. But now I need to think about my brother - I just hope Hisham wins his first match!"

Ashour senior later joined Ramy in the second round after beating England's Chris Ryder 11-9, 11-8, 11-5.

Second seed Gregory Gaultier, leading a record six-strong team of Frenchmen in the event, had to work hard to beat Switzerland's former European Junior champion Nicolas Mueller 11-6, 12-10, 11-9.

Ranked 150 in the world, Muller was the lowest-ranked player to qualify - becoming the first Swiss man for five years to compete in the first round.

"It's the first time I have played him - and he played very well," said Gaultier, the world No2. "I was surprised - he gave me a good game, which was what I wanted. He wasn't at all shy!

"I like it here - I like the court and have good memories. It's a good vibe for me.

"The organisation is good - if all other tournaments were run like this, it would be good for the sport," added the five times European champion from Aix-en-Provence. "It's what we need if we want to be an Olympic sport."

In one of the last matches of the day, Mohd Azlan Iskandar became the highest seed to fall when he was beaten by New Zealander Kashif Shuja. The unseeded Kiwi fought back from two games down to topple the 11th seed from Malaysia 12-14, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 in 59 minutes.

It was a case of 'sixth time lucky' for event Ambassador Sarah Kippax in the qualifying finals of the women's championship when she beat fellow Englishwoman Laura Hill 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 to claim her maiden place in the event's first round.

"I think I've got used to her game now," said Chester-born Kippax. "We've played so many times already this year - and I've adjusted my game to suit.

"I'm delighted to qualify for the World Open main draw for the first time - I've been in qualifying five times before and never made it, so it's great to get there at last. It's extra special as it's in Manchester, with all the build-up."

Earlier, Manchester City Council Head of Leisure Eamonn O'Rourke welcomed the crowds in the centre at the official Opening Ceremony. "This is Manchester's sixth world championships this year and we're delighted to be hosting the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships."

In highlighting the significance of Squash in the city, O'Rourke pointed out that "there are 6,000 kids who are part of the Manchester Squash Development Programme."

After reigning world champions Amr Shabana and Rachael Grinham, of Australia, handed over the official World Squash Federation flag to England captains Lee Beachill and Vicky Botwright, England Squash Chairman Zena Wooldridge declared the championships open.