8:33 am
14 Apr 2024

Daryl Delivers Bumper England Day At British Open

10 Sep 2009

Essex's Daryl Selby helped to deliver a bumper day for England in today's opening round of the internationalSPORTgroup British Open in Manchester where six home players claimed places in the last sixteen of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship at the National Squash Centre.

Selby claimed a place in the second round against expectation, scoring one of the day's two upsets. The world No21 romped to an 11-1, 9-4 lead against Aamir Atlas Khan when the 14th seed from Pakistan, ranked seven places higher, pulled up injured and conceded the match.

The 26-year-old from Witham, who made his England debut in May, has enjoyed a rapid rise up the world rankings this year - coming from outside the top 30 in January to a career-high 21 this month.

Selby, who has never before progressed beyond the first round, will now face England team-mate Adrian Grant for a place in the quarter-finals.

London-born left-hander Grant, the No8 seed, began his 2009 campaign against qualifier Simon Rosner - and beat the top-ranked German 12-10, 12-10, 11-5.

"This is by far the biggest and most prestigious tournament there is - and the fact that all the top players are here speaks for itself," said the 28-year-old who broke into the world's top ten last month. I'd be speechless if I won it."

Londoner Peter Barker, also a left-hander, was the first through on the state-of-the-art all-glass court. The sixth seed took four games to overcome French qualifier Stephane Galifi 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 11-2.

"Stephane was higher-ranked some time back, then took a couple of years off - so I knew he was one of the worst qualifiers to get. I was a bit edgy in the first two games, and he took advantage.

"Towards the back end of last season, I proved I can beat those above me on a one-off basis," explained the 25-year-old world No8. "Now I've got to keep improving and do it back-to-back."

England's British Open hopes are being led by fourth seed Nick Matthew. The world No5 from Sheffield, who made history in 2006 by becoming the first home winner of the title for 67 years, breezed past fellow countryman Chris Simpson, a qualifier from Guernsey, 12-10, 11-2, 11-5.

"We've got a good bunch of up-and-coming players pushing us hard - and Chris is one of them. Every single rally I had to push hard - all credit to him," said the fourth seed who now meets Australian Cameron Pilley.

Yorkshire-based Alister Walker and James Willstrop rounded off the day with contrasting journeys into the second round. Walker, the No11 seed from Gloucestershire, was stretched to a fifth game tie-break before celebrating an 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 win over French qualifier Renan Lavigne in 95 minutes.

Tenth seed James Willstrop, the former world number two from Leeds who is making a successful comeback after ankle surgery in April, took just 39 minutes to overcome New Zealand qualifier Campbell Grayson 11-4, 11-5, 11-7.

It was a case of seventh-time-lucky for Cheshire's Sarah Kippax in the qualifying finals of the women's event at The Northern. After six previously unsuccessful attempts since 2002, the Chester-born 26-year-old will compete in tomorrow's main draw for the first time.

World No24 Kippax resisted a fightback by Aisling Blake to beat the Irish opponent ranked just three places lower 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-2 in 53 minutes.

"The last time we played, she won 3/1, so I was pleased with that - especially as she is playing so well," said the now Halifax-based player. "It feels great to be playing in the event this year - it's almost like a local tournament for me. This is a great start to the new season."

Kippax will face fellow countrywoman Jenny Duncalf, the fourth seed from Harrogate who reached the final last year.

Harrow-born Dominique Lloyd-Walter also enjoyed qualifying success. The world No19 and highest-ranked player in the women's qualifying competition despatched Canadian Alana Miller 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 and will now meet Australia's former champion Rachael Grinham, the No2 seed, in the first round.

RESULTS: internationalSPORTgroup British Open Squash Championships, Manchester

Men's 1st round:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 (27m)
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (39m)
[7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [Q] Martin Knight (NZL) 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (30m)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Yasir Butt (PAK) 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4 (58m)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (32m)
[11] Alister Walker (ENG) bt [Q] Renan Lavigne (FRA) 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 (95m)
[5] David Palmer (AUS) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Joey Barrington (ENG) 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10 (82m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [14] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-1, 9-4 ret. (20m)
[8] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Simon Rosner (GER) 12-10, 12-10, 11-5 (42m)
[15] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 13-11, 11-3, 11-9 (45m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 12-10, 11-2, 11-5 (41m)
[16] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Davide Bianchetti (ITA) 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-3 (64m)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Stephane Galifi (FRA) 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 11-2 (49m)
[Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt [13] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 2-11, 11-7 (57m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (38m)

Women's qualifying finals:
Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-2 (53m)
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Fiona Moverley (ENG) 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10 (39m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) bt Alana Miller (CAN) 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 (31m)