Matthew Masters Josh to reach semis
By DONNA HELMER
Defending champions Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro have sailed through to the semi-finals of the Dunlop National Squash Championships 2018 following comprehensive 3-0 victories today in Manchester.
Four-time National champion, Massaro looked in fine form to overpower fellow compatriot Emily Whitlock in a repeat of their 2017 semi-final: 11-5, 11-6, 11-6.
“I got myself into a few good leads,” said Massaro afterwards. “Emily came back well several times, but I always seemed to have enough points in hand.”
Meanwhile, nine-time National champion, Matthew closed out the day with a comprehensive 11-7, 11-5, 11-5, victory over 5/8 seed Josh Masters, one of the most attack-minded young players in the game today.
Matthew, the World No. 8 capitalised on some unforced errors in the first then turned on the heat in the second and third to outwit his 22-year-old opponent and win 11-7, 11-5, 11-5.
Matthew, 37 said: “In between games I didn’t feel like I was getting that much of a rhythm.”
“The way Josh plays he breaks the rhythm up and makes you feel like you aren’t settled.”
Three time-world champion, Matthew goes on to meet Chris Simpson who overcame Scot Greg Lobban in three: 11-8, 11-1, 11-6.
Meanwhile, two-time National champion James Willstrop, who is appearing in his 20th Nationals, suffered a shock in his first game against 22-year-old Richie Fallows with the youngster racing to an 11-6 lead.
Willstrop, the World No.16 quickly regained his composure to take the match 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 and advance to his 12th Nationals semi-final.
The former World No.1 goes on to meet 2011 former National champion, Daryl Selby in the semis.
Commenting on their clash, Willstrop said:
“It’s great fun at this point, I love Daryl to bits, so hopefully we’ll just get stuck in and have a great battle on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Selby, the 2011 champion, faced 21-year-old qualifier Emyr Evans in the first of the men’s quarter-finals and came up against a determined opponent.
A couple of shots were all that separated the two in the opening two games but Selby soon upped the ante and closed out the match, winning 11-9, 11-9, 11-8.
Meanwhile, Evans’s sister and five-time Welsh National Champion, Tesni Evans overpowered two-time National champion Jenny Duncalf in three, winning 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.
Evans goes on to meet Massaro, in what will be a repeat of the 2017 PSA World Championships second round which saw Evans oust the former World No.1.
Elsewhere, second seed and 2015 champion Sarah-Jane Perry also advanced to her third Nationals semi-final following a clinical display against Millie Tomlinson.
Perry, the World No. 8 was made to work in the first as Tomlinson utilised many attacking cross courts shots to come back from 5-8 down and draw level at 9-9.
But Perry soon found her form to gain control and take the next two without reply to record an 11-9, 11-2, 11-1 victory, and set up a semi-final clash against four-time National champion Alison Waters.
Waters, meanwhile made light work of 5/8 seed Fiona Moverley requiring just 29 minutes to advance to her 13th British Nationals semi-final.
Watch free live streaming from the quarter-finals onwards on SquashTV and BBC Sport.
For photos, draws and results, visit the official Championships website at www.nationalsquashchampionships.com
Dunlop British National Championship 2018, National Squash Centre, Manchester, England
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) v [5/8] Chris Simpson (Yorks)
 James Willstrop (Yorks) v [3/4] Daryl Selby (Essex)
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt [5/8] Joshua Masters (Kent) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (36m)
[5/8] Chris Simpson (Yorks) bt [3/4] Greg Lobban (Scotland) 11-8, 11-1, 11-6 (35m)
[3/4] Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [Q] Emyr Evans (Wales) 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (38m)
 James Willstrop (Yorks) bt Richie Fallows (Essex) 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (49m)
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) v [3/4] Tesni Evans (Wales)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwicks) v [3/4] Alison Waters (Middx)
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt [5/8] Emily Whitlock (Cheshire) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (27m)
[3/4] Tesni Evans (Wales) bt [5/8] Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (31m)
[3/4] Alison Waters (Middx) bt [5/8] Fiona Moverley (Yorks) 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (29m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwicks) bt [5/8] Millie Tomlinson (Derbyshire) 11-9, 11-2, 11-1 (24m)
Pictures courtesy of England Squash