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17 Jun 2024

Ryder Romps Into ROWE British Grand Prix Qualifying Finals

17 Sep 2011

Local hero Chris Ryder led a trio of Englishmen through to the qualifying finals of the ROWE British Grand Prix after despatching fellow countryman Andrew Birks in straight games in the first qualifying round of the PSA World Series squash event at the Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis & Squash Club in Wolverhampton.

Ryder, the club's former pro now based in Leamington Spa, defeated Shropshire lad Birks - ranked over 200 places lower - 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 in 40 minutes.

"My new coach has worked on making me much more aggressive on court, hitting the ball much harder than I used to, as well as improving my fitness," said the 31-year-old world No38 afterwards.

Ryder, hoping to make his second successive appearance in the ROWE British Grand Prix - which gets underway at the National Squash Centre in Manchester on Monday - will now face Henrik Mustonen in the qualifying finals. The Finn needed just 23 minutes to see off beat Englishman Oliver Mapp 11-2, 11-2, 11-4.

Londoner Robbie Temple survived an all-English clash with Ben Ford, recovering from a game down to beat the experienced 36-year-old from Kent 7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 in 58 minutes.

The Gloucester-born 25-year-old will now face Egyptian sensation Marwan El Shorbagy. The 18-year-old world junior champion from Alexandria, who is coached by British legend Jonah Barrington, produced one of the biggest upsets of the day when he beat Jonah's higher-ranked son Joey Barrington - a regular training partner - 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 in 44 minutes.

But an earlier major shock resulted in unexpected home interest in the final qualifying round when Anthony Graham defeated Frenchman Julien Balbo, who is ranked seventy places higher in the world rankings.

Both the first and second games went to 10-all and could have gone either way - and were shared - but at one-all and 7-7 in the third, the in-form Graham, playing tight accurate squash, forced a frustrated Balbo into making too many errors, eventually closing out the game 11-9.

But, after staging a significant comeback in the fourth, Gloucestershire-based Graham ran out a 10-12, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 winner after 69 minutes.

"My aim this year was to beat a top sixty ranked player," said Graham - who narrowly missed his aim by two ranking places!

The Zimbabwe-born 21-year-old - ranked 126 in the world - now takes on South Africa's world No34 Stephen Coppinger, a 15-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7 winner over New Zealander Campbell Grayson.

Qualifying finals line-up:
Simon Rosner (GER) v Siddharth Suchde (IND)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Mohammed Abbas (EGY)
Chris Ryder (ENG) v Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) v Robbie Temple (ENG)
Anthony Graham (ENG) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Tarek Momen (EGY) v Alan Clyne (SCO)

1st qualifying round:
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Richard Birks (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (31m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Declan James (ENG) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (43m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Rafael Alarcon (BRA) 11-8, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3 (48m)
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (39m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Andrew Birks (ENG) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (40m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Oliver Mapp (ENG) 11-2, 11-2, 11-4 (23m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 13-11, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10 (65m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (35m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 (79m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-9, 13-11, 2-11, 11-5 (64m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 (58m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Joey Barrington (ENG) 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 (44m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 15-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7 (65m)
Anthony Graham (ENG) bt Julien Balbo (FRA) 10-12, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 (69m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Oliver Holland (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Darren Lewis (ENG) 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 (26m)