Friday, December 1, 2023

Pete was ready to walk out on British Open

Peter Barker, the world No.7, has revealed that he would have quit this year’s British Open mid-match had he been told his wife was going into labour, writes Rod Gilmour.

Barker lost to Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the second round at the KC Stadium in May, which was notable for the Englishman smashing his racket on the back of his legs.

But Barker did have a valid excuse for his performance and early exit at the sport’s oldest tournament.

“My wife, Alex, was due to have our first baby that week,” said Barker. “If you’re not taking it seriously then you are going to get beaten, which is what happened. I came home and our son, William, was born a day later.”

Some things are clearly more important than thrashing a ball against a wall and in Hull, Barker gave his phone to his coach, Chris Robertson, to monitor proceedings.

“If it went off at any point in the match then I would have gone home there and then,” Barker revealed. “I did the best I could but the British Open wasn’t the best experience for me, so I will be trying to make amends next week.”

By that he means the World Championships in Manchester and Barker hopes to put last season behind him where he struggled with three injuries.

He added: “I really want to try and beat my world No.5 high. To kick off the season by winning two tournaments after having a baby was a great relief – you never know how you are going to play.

“I’m not going to be playing for ever so every time I go on court I want to be the best prepared. People who know me know I play my best squash when I’m enjoying it, not when I’m stressed out.”


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