Essex wild card lands top seed in AJ Bell British Grand Prix first round
By Squash Mad Reporter
England’s European junior champion Richie Fallows has been drawn against top seed Gregory Gaultier in the first round of the AJ Bell Grand Prix in Manchester.
English duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby, the World No.8 and No.11, face dangerous first round encounters against Chris Simpson and Mathieu Castagnet, respectively, while three-time World Champion Nick Matthew, winner of the British Grand Prix in 2006 and 2012, will begin his campaign against a qualifier.
Matthew is seeded to meet the winner of the Selby-Castagnet encounter in the quarter-finals with a potential re-match with Frenchman Gaultier, the man he beat to the 2013 World Championship crown, likely to await in the semi-final stage. Gaultier will open his campaign against wild card Fallows.
World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy from Egypt, runner-up in last week’s World Championship final in Qatar, is seeded to meet fellow countryman Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals with the winner likely to face Borja Golan, Adrian Waller or Miguel Angel Rodriguez, who all feature prominently on the same half of the draw.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the British Grand Prix this year as it will be my first ever time competing in that event,” said Elshorbagy.
“I’m excited to compete and I have heard a lot of good things about the tournament from other players. There’s a very strong line-up with the likes of Greg and Nick so it’s going to be an exciting competition.
“The 2013 PSA World Championship in Manchester was an amazing event and I’m sure we will be involved in a similar type of event this year so I’m very excited about it,” added the 23-year-old.
The 34-year-old Matthew said: “Manchester is the home of squash in England and the English players all have a lot of experience playing in the city with national squads so we will have no excuse not to be on top of our game.
“My wife has also pencilled in to bring our new arrival along to the event which will be the first time she’s seen her day play, which will be a nice moment for us, so I’m definitely looking forward to the competition.”
AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix – Manchester 2014: First Round Draw:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Peter Barker (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[Qualifier] v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Qualifier] v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
Tickets for the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix – Manchester 2014 can now be booked online at www.isportstore.com or by telephone on 0844 8797 949.
Picture by KIM ROBERTS