Top seeds waste little time in booking their places in last eight
By SQUASH MAD Reporting team HULL
The world’s two top tanked squash players are through to the quarter finals of the sport’s most historic and prestigious event, the Allam British Open.
Gregory Gaultier and Nicol David who currently sit at the top of their respective world rankings made swift work of their second round matches at Hull’s Sports Arena.
David faced up and coming English star Sarah-Jane Perry in front of the Yorkshire crowd. The Malaysian who has an incredible 73 WSA tour titles to her name has been a formidable force in women’s squash over the past few years.
Despite a close second game which saw Perry have two game balls, the world number one fought back to take the match in 40 minutes.
Afterwards Nicol expressed her delight at competing in such a historic event, “The British Open is like playing in the World Championships, so I’m thrilled to be here playing in it let alone winning it!
“It was a great match and I had to dig deep especially in the second game where I was behind so I’m pleased with the finish.”
Gaultier also won in straight games against the exciting Colombian talent, Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
The Frenchman, who has one British Open title to his name already, said afterwards: “Miguel has improved a lot over the last few years and he came back strong in the match towards the end to make it tough for me,” said Gaultier.
“He never gave up in his first round match, and he came back to win that one, so I’m just pleased to win and I’ll try and refresh myself for tomorrow.
“Shabana has had an unbelievable career and he’s still there at the very top at 34. He beat me in New York earlier this year but I’ll be up for the match tomorrow and I’ll be going out there to get my revenge.”
The pair join five English players, Laura Massaro, Alison Waters, Sarah Kippax, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew in the last 16,
Four-time World Champion Amr Shabana and two-time World Champion Ramy Ashour completed a delightful double for Egypt.
Shabana, who has never won the prestigious ‘Wimbledon of Squash’, was in sublime form as he overcame Frenchman Gregoire Marche 3-1 while defending British Open champion Ashour came through a tough encounter against Dutch national champion Laurens Jan Anjema, also winning 3-1.
The duo’s success means that there will be an Egyptian presence in all four of today’s quarter-finals, as they are joined in the final eight by World No.3 Mohamed Elshorbagy and 19-year-old qualifier Fares Dessouki, who faces the mammoth challenge of taking on English World Champion Nick Matthew.
“It’s been a long season for all of us but I’m just happy to be in these matches and competing and to get through to the quarter-finals,” said 34-year-old Shabana “Hopefully I can just come back tomorrow and produce some more squash like I did today.”
Ashour will have to get the better of England’s James Willstrop, the World No.6, in order to keep his hopes of becoming the first Egyptian in 50 years to successfully defend the British Open crown.
“It’s always good to play in England,” said Ashour. “The crowd here are very knowledgable and they’re getting engaged with all the decisions which makes it exciting, and hopefully I can see more of that this week.
“James is a big guy and I’ve had some great battles with him in the past so it is definitely going to be an interesting match to watch tomorrow.”
Willstrop beat Omar Mossad in a car-crash of a match that had more lets than council estate.
Kiwi Joelle King edged past India’s Joshana Chinappa. After surviving a third game scare, she stormed back to win the fourth game 11-1 in just five minutes to win. The final scoreline read 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-1 in 43 minutes.
Women’s Round Two
 Alison Waters (Eng) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal) 11/7, 11/9, 11/6 (31m)
 Joelle King (Nzl) bt Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 11/6, 11//7, 8/11, 11/1 (43m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt  Camille Serme (Fra) 8/11, 9/11, 11/6, 11/9, 13/11 (62m)
 Nicol David (Mas) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11/6, 13/11, 11/4 (40m)
Men’s Round Two
 Amr Shabana (Egy) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11/5, 9/11, 11/4, 11/6 (55m)
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col) 11/3, 11/7, 11/9 (48m)
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-1 Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) 9-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-4 (51m)
 James Willstrop (Eng) 3-1 Omar Mosaad (Egy) 11-5,13-11,9-11,11-4 (90)