8:04 am
17 Jun 2024

Kennedy & Makin Mark Manchester Open British Double

27 May 2024

England's Georgina Kennedy and Welshman Joel Makin have been crowned the Manchester Open 2024 champions after overcoming Nour El Tayeb and Greg Lobban, respectively, in the finals of the PSA World Tour Silver event at the National Squash Centre.

World No.7 Kennedy, who was the No.2 seed in the women's event, put in a superb display to defeat top seed El Tayeb by an 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-1 scoreline after 48 minutes of action.

Cheered on by a fervent home crowd, the 27-year-old from Kent played with her trademark athleticism and intensity right from the offset, pushing her opponent to all four corners of the court with some accurate lines, before using her short game to great effect.

After picking up her second title of the 2023/24 season, Kennedy said: "It's amazing! I'm so happy right now and to play Nour in a final it is something you dream of growing up.

"I heard Laura [Massaro] say that she's been on Tour for 17 years, and what she's achieved is amazing. To play her in the final is an honour and to scalp her is a proud achievement of mine. She's incredible and all respect to her.

"I say it every time but everything I do I owe to my coach Ben [Ford]. It's not been easy and there's a lot of stuff that goes on outside the squash court and he's stuck by me - he's like family to me. Thank you to everyone and I'm really happy."

Meanwhile, the men's final saw an all-British affair between Welsh and Scottish No.1s Joel Makin and Greg Lobban, with the former coming out on top to lift the second Manchester Open title of his career.

No.2 seed Makin, who has been near-faultless all week long, continued his impressive form to claim his first title of the 2023/24 season, completing an 11-5, 13-11, 12-10 victory in just under an hour of play on the all-glass court.

"I thought I played the big points well today," Makin said after the match. "In the second game there were a few tight exchanges and I came out on top. Fair play to Greg - he's playing a good level now and looks like he's loving his squash.

"It's great to have some Welsh support here," he added. "I do feel like I'm playing at home, to be honest. I've played for years here and this is my fifth Manchester Open. I've always had a good record here - I'm not sure why but I always enjoy it. It's been good fun and thanks to everyone for coming down this week, it's been busy crowds all week and they've been getting behind the players. I've had a great time."

The next stop on the PSA World Tour will be the Platinum-level British Open 2024, which will take place between June 2-9 at The Rep Theatre in Birmingham. The event will be shown live on SQUASHTV.