Defeat at ToC leaves Selby free to defend Edinburgh Open crown
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Senior Reporter
Top seed and defending champion Daryl Selby has given Edinburgh Open organisers a huge boost by confirming his presence at the first and biggest BSPA event of the year later this week.
The 31-year-old Englishman’s appearance at the Edinburgh Sports Club had been thrown into doubt, with the Tournament of Champions final set to coincide with the first round in Scotland.
However, Selby’s quarter-final defeat to world number three Mohamed El Shorbagy on Wednesday night means the world number 10 (pictured below) will now attempt to battle jet lag before opening his Edinburgh Open campaign against Chris Gray or Ross McHoul on Friday afternoon.
World number 21 Adrian Grant, who lost in the semi-final to Tom Richards last year, is seeded to meet his fellow compatriot in the final and will be hoping to notch his second title in just over a month following his victory at the London Open before Christmas.
Home interest comes from Scottish number one and world number 37 Alan Clyne, while 2012 champion Shaun Le Roux and rising English star Joe Lee will also be in action.
The ladies event, which is the only WSA tournament in Scotland, will feature four players who currently occupy the top 50 of the world rankings.
Coline Aumard of France, who rose to a career high 38th in the January world rankings, is seeded first for the $5,000 event and will be gunning for her first title since triumphing at the Alice Springs Open in May.
New Zealand second seed Kylie Lindsay has been earmarked as Aumard’s closest challenger, with the seeded Czech duo of Olga Ertlova and Lucie Fialova also lurking ominously in the middle of the draw.
Tournament Director Simon Boughton said: “Since its inaugural event in 2001, the championship has become a firm fixture on the international squash calendar and the strength of the draw continues to amaze me.
“It is rare to have the squash of this level on our doorstep and anyone with an interest of the game really should think about coming along to have a look. It is also a great chance to see how our top players fare against those at the top of the world game.”
The Championships begin on Thursday 23rd January, concluding with the finals on Sunday 26th January.
Round One – Men’s Draw:
 Daryl Selby (Eng) v Qualifier
Qualifier v Courtney West (Aus)
Steve London (Eng) v Jamie Henderson (Sco)
Qualifier v [5/8] Douglas Kempsell (Sco)
[5/8] Shaun Le Roux (Rsa) v Qualifier
Dominic Hamilton (Eng) v Robert Dadds (Eng)
Phil Nightingale (Eng) v Qualifier
Julian Tomlinson (Eng) v [3/4] Alan Clyne (Sco)
[3/4] Joe Lee (Eng) v Chris Shinnie (Sco)
James Jacobsen (Sco) v David Wardle (Eng)
Matt Sidaway (Eng) v Taminder Gata-Aura (Eng)
Seigo Masuda (Eng) v [5/8] Greg Lobban (Sco)
[5/8] Andy Whipp (Eng) v Qualifier
Tom Chitty (Eng) v Kevin Moran (Sco)
Stuart Crawford (Sco) v Chris van der Salm (Nzl)
Qualifier v  Adrian Grant (Eng)
Round One – Women’s Draw:
 Coline Aumard (Fra) v Victoria Temple-Murray (Eng)
 Birgit Coufal (Aut) v Cyrielle Peltier (Fra)
 Laura Pomportes (Fra) v Qualifier
 Olga Ertlova (Cze) v Qualifier
Thaisa Serafini (Bra) v  Lucie Fialova (Cze)
Qualifier v  Habiba Mohamed (Egy)
Lily Taylor (Eng) v  Maud Duplomb (Fra)
Qualifier v  Kylie Lindsay (Nzl)