Monday, July 15, 2024

Scots reach first round in Manchester

Stand-in Greg Lobban lands main draw meeting with England number one Nick Matthew
By Squash Mad Reporter

Greg Lobban receives his trophy from Nick Matthew
Greg Lobban receives his trophy from Nick Matthew

Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban, the Scottish national No.1 and No.2 respectively, successfully came through qualification to book their berths in the first round of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix which gets underway at the National Squash Centre in Manchester tomorrow, Friday November 5.

AJ Bell GP LogoClyne, the 28-year-old World No.38, booked his place in the main draw with impressive consecutive 3-0 victories over Alex Noakes and Henrik Mustonen while Lobban, the 22-year-old World No.63 and a last minute call-up to the competition, finds himself in the main draw fortuitously after both Tom Richards and Shaun Le Roux picked up injuries ruling them out of competition.

Clyne will now face Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the first round while Lobban will take on three-time World Champion and Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner Nick Matthew in an intriguing encounter.

Just a few days ago, Matthew presented Lobban with the Steel City Open trophy after the young Scot won the inaugural PSA tournament at Matthew’s home club, Hallamshire in Sheffield.

Elsewhere Mexican Cesar Salazar saw off Frenchman Lucas Serme 3-1 to book his place against World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in round one while Egyptian Mezan Hesham beat Finnish No.1 Olli Tuominen and will now face Mathieu Castagnet. 

Results – AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix (Qualifying Finals):

[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [1] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 12-10 (45m)
[5] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [4] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)
[7] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1: 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 (60m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [8] Shaun Le Roux (RSA) – walkover

First Round Draw – Friday November 5:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [5] Peter Barker (ENG)
[6] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Fares Dessouki (EGY)
[Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) v [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[4] Borja Golan (ESP) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) v [7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)

The AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix is set to see the world’s very best players take to the court this
December in Manchester at the National Squash Centre, in what will certainly be a fiercely contested

This week, 50 local school children have been demonstrating the same level of passion by taking part
in a three-day competition on the very same courts at Sportcity.

Four local schools (Wright Robinson, Manchester Communications Academy, Abraham Moss High
School and East Manchester Academy) competed for the chance to win tickets to the main event.

Students from all the competing schools take part in weekly coaching sessions at either Sportcity or
Abraham Moss Leisure Centre. The contest has given the children the chance to demonstrate what
they’ve learnt and show off their finely tuned racket skills. Each school entered teams consisting of
pupils from years 8-10, with many of the players having only taken up the game this year.

The school competition forms part of Manchester City Council’s squash development programme,
which aims to involve as many people in the sport as possible and provide access to modern
facilities. Currently more than 130 children a week play at the National Squash Centre.

Young players from The Manchester Squash Academy will also have the honour of being kit carriers
for the players during the tournament in recognition of their commitment and passion for the sport.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: ”As
the home of England Squash and Racketball we’re extremely proud to be hosting the AJ Bell British
Squash Grand Prix.

“I am certain the competition will not only be entertaining but will also inspire local residents to give the
sport a go themselves. The fact so many school children are getting involved demonstrates the type
of legacy hosting high-profile sporting events can have and that our world-class facilities are not just
for elite athletes but for everyone.”



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