11:13 am
23 Jun 2024

Clyne Clinches Maiden Manchester Quarter-Final

9 Feb 2011

Scot Alan Clyne produced the biggest upset in today's second round of the British National Squash Championships when he beat fourth-seeded Englishman Adrian Grant in straight games at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The world No 47 from Edinburgh defeated Grant, a gold medallist in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 to celebrate the best win of his career.

"It was the first time we'd played - which was perhaps an advantage, as some people think I'm unorthodox," explained the delighted 24-year-old on the eve of his first appearance in the quarter-finals.

"Though I've probably watched him play more than he's watched me.

"I was trying to keep a higher pace - and I think that helped my cause.

"Rankings-wise, this is the best win of my career," added Clyne after his victory over the former world No9 from London.

"I've played a lot of tournaments recently, so I've been away from my training base. But I've been getting a lot of matches, which has done me a lot of good."

Clyne now faces Surrey's Tom Richards, the sixth seed ranked 31 in the world. "He beat me the last time we played, so I hope I'll get him back."

Lancashire's Laura Massaro comfortably cleared her first hurdle in the women's event, beating Sussex qualifier Rachel Willmott in straight games in just 18 minutes.

It was the Preston squash star's first appearance on home soil since winning her biggest title on the international circuit last week in Cleveland, Ohio - where she not only beat England team-mate Jenny Duncalf, the world No2, for the first time in five years, but went on to record a first ever win over Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who had been undefeated since November 2009.

Massaro, the third seed, carried on where she left off in the USA - despatching Willmott 11-3, 11-1, 11-4 to earn a quarter-final clash with unseeded Welsh player Deon Saffery.

"It's always good to get the first match out of the way," said the 27-year-old world No9 who is bidding to become the first Lancashire player to win the women's title in the event's 36-year history.

"I felt good on there - you never know how you're going to be until you actually get into a match situation," Massaro added. "I hadn't played Rachel for a while, but she's improved a lot.

"Like me, Deon is coming off the back of a WISPA tournament win in the US. She's playing well so it should be a good match."

Saffery, winner of last week's Delaware State Open, caused the only upset in the women's championship. The Yorkshire-based Welsh champion beat Lauren Selby, the No8 seed from Essex, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4.

"It's nice to be back playing my squash again, not hacking it about," said Barry-born Saffery, ranked 114 in the world. "Winning in Delaware was good - I'm feeling good, and just hope my legs hold up as I only got home last night."

There was double local disappointment in the men's event when Adam Murrills and Andy Whipp fell in the second round. Murrills, a 20-year-old qualifier from Cheshire, faced the toughest opponent on earth - and went down in straight games to Sheffield's world number one and world champion Nick Matthew.

Manchester-based Whipp, who was aiming for a first ever appearance in the quarter-finals, lost out to Hertfordshire's Chris Ryder 11-4, 11-8, 11-1.

"He tried to earn every point - he's got a good attitude and has good potential to improve," said Matthew of his young opponent.

Murrills was delighted with his progress in the event: "I think I did myself justice - it was great to play him in a match situation," said the Bowdon squash club player. "But it was so hard to work him out of position - he's really imposing. I kept getting myself stuck behind him. But it was a great experience," Murrills added.

Ryder felt he had the edge on Whipp throughout the match: "Containment was the key - he likes to attack at a hundred miles an hour and I had to stop him doing that."

The 30-year-old from Leamington Spa immediately spent an hour practising on the centre's all-glass showcourt, on which he will face Essex's third seed Daryl Selby.

"It's my first quarter-final and my first time on this glass court," Ryder added. "I feel I have been making steady improvement over the past 15 years - and, even though I'm now 30, I feel I'm playing my best squash. Certainly this is my best season."

Men's 2nd round:
[1] Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt [Q] Adam Murrills (Cheshire) 11-4, 11-4, 11-0 (30m)
[8] Chris Simpson (Hants) bt [12] Laurence Delasaux (Yorks) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (41m)
[10] Alan Clyne (Scotland) bt [4] Adrian Grant (Kent) 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 (41m)
[6] Tom Richards (Surrey) bt [14] Eddie Charlton (Notts) 13-15, 11-1, 11-2, 11-5 (45m)
[7] Chris Ryder (Herts) bt [15] Andy Whipp (Cheshire) 11-4, 11-8, 11-1 (35m)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [11] Joe Lee (Surrey) 14-12, 11-9, 11-9 (44m)
[5] Jonathan Kemp (Shropshire) bt [13] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) 11-8, 14-12, 12-10 (41m)
[2] James Willstrop (Yorks) bt [9] Adrian Waller (Herts) 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (27m)

Women's 1st round:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwicks) 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4 (28m)
[5] Emma Beddoes (Warwicks) bt Emily Whitlock (Cheshire) 13-15, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)
[4] Sarah Kippax (Cheshire) bt [Q] Lisa Aitken (Scotland) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (34m)
[7] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Middx) bt [Q] Fiona Moverley (Yorks) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (20m)
Deon Saffery (Wales) bt [8] Lauren Selby (Essex) 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (27m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt [Q] Rachel Willmott (Sussex) 11-3, 11-1, 11-4 (18m)
[6] Victoria Lust (Beds) bt Kirsty McPhee (Yorks) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)
[2] Madeline Perry (Ireland) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (Wales) 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (25m)