Saturday, May 18, 2024

ESR: Willstrop Whipps Andy into shape


James Willstrop in action

British National Squash Championships News

RESULTS: British National Championship, Manchester, England

Men’s 2nd round:
[1] James Willstrop (Yorks) bt [12] Andy Whipp (Cheshire) 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (24m)
[6] Chris Ryder (Herts) bt [16] Anthony Graham (Glos) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (47m)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) bt [9] Robbie Temple (Glos) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (48m)
[14] Eddie Charlton (Notts) bt [5] Tom Richards (Surrey) w/o
[8] Adrian Waller (Herts) bt [10] Joe Lee (Surrey) 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (58m)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [11] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) 11-9, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8 (54m)
[7] Chris Simpson (Hants) bt [13] Charles Sharpes (Surrey) 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 (51m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt [15] Jaymie Haycocks (Shropshire) 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (46m)

Women’s 1st round:
[Q] Laura Hill (Derbyshire) bt [1] Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) w/o
[7] Lauren Briggs (Essex) bt [Q] Julianne Courtice (Glos) 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (23m)
[4] Sarah Kippax (Cheshire) bt Lisa Aitken (Scotland) 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 (30m)
[8] Alison Waters (Middx) bt [Q] Kirsty McPhee (Yorks) 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (18m)
[6] Victoria Lust (Beds) bt Deon Saffery (Wales) 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt [Q] Amina Helal (Lancs) 11-3, 11-5, 11-2 (18m)
[5] Emma Beddoes (Warwicks) bt Tesni Evans (Wales) 11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 13-11 (57m)
[2] Madeline Perry (Ireland) bt Lauren Selby (Essex) 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (21m)

Willstrop Whipps Andy Into Shape In Manchester

Top-seeded Yorkshireman James Willstrop brushed aside career-long Cheshire rival Andy Whipp in just 24 minutes in today’s second round of the British National Squash Championships to celebrate his tenth successive quarter-final appearance in the premier domestic event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

Bidding to win the title for a third time since 2007, the world No2 from Leeds defeated Manchester-based Whipp 11-4, 11-3, 11-9.

It was a blow for the 30-year-old local hero who stated 24 hours earlier that he was “desperate to get into the quarter-finals one year”.

The pair met countless times as juniors, including in the British Junior U19 National Championship final.

“It’s ridiculous how many times we’ve played each other – but it’s the first time for a while,” said Willstrop.

“I had to raise my game a notch as Andy’s a good player. I did what I had to do. I expect he was a bit jaded after the long match he had yesterday.”

“It’ll be good to get on the glass court tomorrow – but it’s not that new anymore, and it’s had a lot of squash played on it now. But I’ll give it the respect it deserves,” concluded Willstrop.

Whipp was not only battling a considerably higher-ranked opponent, but a much taller one too.

“Those courts are so difficult to play on,” said the disappointed former world No64. “The only way you can get the ball to the back of the court is to hit it gently and high – but he’s so tall!”

Willstrop will now take on sixth seed Chris Ryder, the former world university champion from Leamington Spa who beat Gloucestershire’s Anthony Graham 11-5, 11-6, 11-4.

Londoner Adrian Grant, the 2009 runner-up, made up for the disappointment of a second round exit last year by reaching the quarter-finals for the eighth time after defeating fellow left-hander Robbie Temple, the ninth seed from Gloucestershire, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 in 48 minutes.

“Everybody knows that these courts are very lively and bouncy – so you’ve actually got to play better squash on them to beat your opponents,” said the 31-year-old world No17. “My main focus was to hit the four corners well – nothing in the middle.

“It’s one of the best venues we play in, with a special atmosphere – and it’s a strong event, just like a PSA tournament.

“But without doubt, I want to win this title.”

Grant will play Eddie Charlton, the 14th seed from Nottingham who earned his maiden appearance in the event’s last eight after opponent Tom Richards, the fifth seed from Surrey, was forced to withdraw with a foot injury.

Guernsey-born Chris Simpson earned his second successive quarter-final berth with a hard-fought 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 victory over 20-year-old Charles Sharpes.

“I felt I had him doing a lot more work than I did,” explained the Harrogate-based No7 seed later. “I had to contain him.

“I’m pleased to be in my second quarter-final. I had a bit of a poor spell in September and October but I’ve been really happy with my form since then and have had some good wins.

“Harrogate is attracting more and more players and there’s a good atmosphere there – my coach David Pearson seems to have got a new lease of life and it’s showing in his players.”

Title-holder Daryl Selby was taken to four games by Joel Hinds before beating the 11th seed from Derbyshire 11-9, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8. The world No12 from Brentwood will now take on tall Hertfordshire opponent Adrian Waller – who celebrated his first appearance in the last eight after beating Surrey’s Joe Lee 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8.

In the last match of the day world number one Nick Matthew found himself a game down against Shropshire’s Jaymie Haycocks, but pulled through to win 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4.

“I thought I played well, especially in the first,” said Haycocks, from Telford. “But then he stepped it up a bit and was a lot more clinical when I gave him anything loose.

“I opened up the court a bit too much and wasn’t as patient as I’d been in the early part of the match and as soon as he got confident it became very tough.

“It’s the first time I’ve played him and I’m happy with how I played – maybe a little disappointed that I made it too easy for him in patches but I thoroughly enjoyed it,” added the Birmingham-based 28-year-old.

Laura Massaro, who became Lancashire’s first winner of the women’s title last year, eased into the quarter-finals of the other event after beating county colleague Amina Helal 11-3, 11-5, 11-2.

“It’s nice to get the tournament underway – and I’m really happy to get a good first win,” said 28-year-old Massaro. “Amina and I played a lot as juniors but we haven’t played for ages.

“The start of last year gave me a lot of confidence, first beating Nicol David for the first time, then coming here and winning the title. It gave me belief in myself – and going from ten in the world in January to three in December was unbelievable. It boosted my confidence and made me realise that I can get to semi-finals and finals.

“This year I’m going to do my best to defend the title – but there are tough opponents ahead and no easy matches – everybody is training hard. But then again here is no reason why I can’t do it again,” concluded the Lancashire lass.

The event suffered another disappointment later in the day when Yorkshire favourite Jenny Duncalf announced that she would be unable to take any further part due to a groin injury sustained while warming up for the match.

Laura Hill, a Derbyshire fire-fighter for the past 12 years, will now take up the quarter-final berth where she will meetLauren Briggs, the No7 seed who despatched Gloucester qualifier Julianne Courtice 11-7, 11-2, 11-5.

Men’s quarter-final line-up:
[1] James Willstrop (Yorks) v [6] Chris Ryder (Herts)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) v [14] Eddie Charlton (Notts)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) v [8] Adrian Waller (Herts)
[2] Nick Matthew (Yorks) v [7] Chris Simpson (Hants)

Women’s quarter-final line-up:
[Q] Laura Hill (Derbyshire) v [7] Lauren Briggs (Essex)
[4] Sarah Kippax (Cheshire) v [8] Alison Waters (Middx)
[3] Laura Massaro (Lancs) v [6] Victoria Lust (Beds)
[2] Madeline Perry (Ireland) v [5] Emma Beddoes (Warwicks)


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