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14 Apr 2024

Selby Sets Up English British Open Semi-Finalist

12 Sep 2009

Essex outsider Daryl Selby made sure of English representation in Sunday's semi-finals of the internationalSPORTgroup British Open in Manchester when he upset fellow countryman Adrian Grant, the No8 seed, in Friday's second round of the men's event at the National Squash Centre.

For the first time since 2001, four Englishmen will line up in Saturday's quarter-finals of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship.

"I'm ecstatic to get to the quarters of the British for the first time," said 26-year-old Selby, from Essex, after the shock 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 victory over the world No11 in 78 minutes. "Hopefully, this will be my breakthrough."

Selby will now face fellow Englishman Nick Matthew, the former champion from Sheffield who is the fourth seed. "That match will be massive - he's the England number one and a previous winner. It's going to be tough," said Selby.

Matthew, playing in the event for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery, crushed Cameron Pilley, a 6' 3" Australian, 11-3, 11-3, 11-6.

"I tried to attack from the word go," explained Matthew, who boasts a career-high world No5 ranking. "I was trying to get him to move that big frame around the court."

Earlier in the day, Londoner Peter Barker battled through to the quarter-finals for the third year in a row after beating top-ranked Malaysian Ong Beng Hee 11-7, 11-7, 11-8.

"Beng Hee's a good friend and a gentleman - so I knew it would be straight," said sixth seed Barker, the world No8. "But I wanted to win in straight games to conserve myself for Greg (Gaultier) - and, even though it was hard, I'm glad I achieved that.

"I've worked hard this summer. I feel I turned the corner this season by starting to believe in myself a bit more. My goal for the season is to challenge for every tournament I play."

The final match of the day produced a shock upset when top seed Karim Darwish, the world number one from Egypt, cruised to a comfortable first-game win against James Willstrop - then badly twisted his ankle midway through the second game against the tenth-seeded Yorkshireman.

After a three-minute injury break, the 28-year-old from Cairo returned to the court - but almost immediately held his hand up to concede the match - giving an unexpected quarter-final berth to last year's beaten finalist Willstrop.

"It's the biggest nightmare for a professional sportsman," said Willstrop when interviewed after the 22-minute match. "I've been there," added the 26-year-old former world number two from Leeds who underwent ankle surgery in April and is playing his fourth tournament since making his comeback in July.

For a place in the semi-final, Willstrop will meet No13 seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar. The Malaysian caused the second upset of the day when he beat two-time runner-up Thierry Lincou, the No7 seed from France, 11-13, 11-4, 5-11, 14-12, 11-5 in a 91-minute marathon.

It was a shock exit for former world champion Lincou who beat Iskandar in last year's quarter-finals, and was suffering his first second round defeat in the championships since 2000.

There will be home interest in all but one of the quarter-finals in the women's event. Yorkshire's Jenny Duncalf, runner-up last year, defeated local hero Sarah Kippax, a qualifier from Cheshire, 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-2.

The fourth seed from Harrogate will now meet eighth seed Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion from the Netherlands who beat Lincolnshire's Tania Bailey 8-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8.

Bailey, a former world No4 from Stamford, is making a quicker-than-expected return to competition after undergoing knee surgery in April. "I really enjoyed that," said Bailey after the match. "A couple of months ago I wouldn't have imagined this. The British Open wasn't even on my radar - I was told I could be back by November if I was lucky.

"But everything progressed better than I could have hoped even though getting back with commitment was tough."

"Physically the match was hard but my hip was totally fine. But I knew it would be tough as I only stepped on court again three weeks ago. Now I can't wait for the Worlds as it is another bonus!"

Lancashire's Laura Massaro recovered from two games down to come through her first round encounter - beating rising Mexican star Samantha Teran 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6. The No6 seed takes on second seed Rachael Grinham for a place in the semi-finals.

But the former champion from Australia was stretched to the limit before overcoming English qualifier Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8 in 64 minutes - the longest women's match of the day.

"I feel absolutely great about my performance but feel so frustrated as I am waiting for the big win to come along and this could have been the opportunity," said a despondent Lloyd-Walter, from Guildford.

RESULTS: internationalSPORTgroup British Open Squash Championships, Manchester

Men's 2nd round:
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Karim Darwish (EGY) 5-11, 4-2 ret. (22m)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) 11-13, 11-4, 5-11, 14-12, 11-5 (91m)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [11] Alister Walker (ENG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (48m)
[5] David Palmer (AUS) bt [9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) 11-6, 1-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (74m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [8] Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 (78m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [15] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [16] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (66m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-5, 11-7, 11-1 (25m)

Women's 1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Lauren Briggs (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (28m)
[5] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Line Hansen (DEN) 11-9, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [7] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7 (44m)
[8] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt Tania Bailey (ENG) 8-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 (36m)
[4] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-2 (41m)
[6] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (61m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8 (64m)