Defending Champions Secure Quarter Final Spots

Reigning British Open champions world no.1 Nicol David and world no.2 Nick Matthew were in action today (Wednesday 22 May) in front of a lively crowd at the KC Stadium, Hull.

The women were also welcomed to the stadium for the first time as their second round got underway at the 2013 Allam British Open.

There were no problems for either David or Matthew as they stormed through their second round matches stamping their authority on the tournament.

England’s top seeded player won 11/6, 11/3, 11/4 in a masterful display of squash that lasted just 38 minutes.
The victory takes the Yorkshireman one step closer to winning his second consecutive British Open title and fourth in total. He will next play in the quarter finals of the tournament on Friday.

Matthew dominated from the start, never allowing his opponent to settle into his game.

His aggressive approach forced Anjema into making a series of errors from which the Dutchman could not recover.
Speaking after the second round match, Matthew said the win had bolstered his confidence as he hadn’t been playing too well recently.

He said: “There’s not been too much pressure on me this week, people have been talking about the other players who have been in better form than me.

“But as long as I can keep performing like that then hopefully I won’t be far off again this year.”

Matthew will face Egyptian Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals after he beat Daryl Selby in this evening’s final match.

Malaysian squash sensation Nicol David was equally clinical in her match against England’s Sarah Kippax.

The world no.1 was straight out of the blocks in the opening match sweeping Sarah aside 11/2.  However the unseeded English woman fought back well in the second and was unlucky to go down 14/12.  Kippax even had game ball at 11/10 but was unable to convert and David took full advantage to keep the momentum into the third and book her quarter final place where she’ll meet today’s earlier winner Joelle King.

A smiling David told the crowd she was excited to be here and playing for the first time in a football stadium.

“All the players are excited to be here, Sarah had home crowd advantage and she was feeding off the crowd so I had to make sure I took that second game off her. Every round is tough, the level just goes up and up,” she added.
Australia's Kasey Brown clawed back a two game deficit to stop the in-form Sarah-Jane Perry.

England's up and coming star looked like she was going to despatch yet another seed after yesterday’s win against Low Wee Wern as she went two games up but Brown had other ideas. 

The Australian bounced back to turn the match around to 2-2.  It was too close to call in the fifth and as the pressure mounted the rallies became more frantic, it was quite fitting that the match should end on a tie-break with Kasey Brown sneaking a 12/10 win to secure the match.

I've never played in a stadium before and it's fantastic, I love the name of it! The crowd was brilliant fantastic to see so many children here.”

Previous British Open champion Gregory Gaultier recorded a victory against Indian number one Saurav Ghosal in the first men’s match of the day.

It wasn’t completely straight forward for the 30-year-old Frenchman who was up against the renowned speed and agility of the Kolkata born player.  There were some entertaining rallies for the lively crowd with plenty of retrieval and both players looking to take the ball in short.

A thankful Greg said afterwards, “Playing Saurav in those conditions is a real nightmare, with his touch, he keeps retrieving everything, and made it difficult for me to get to the front corners.”

Gaultier will now face a surprise quarter finalist after an upset in the last men’s match of the afternoon session saw last year’s semi-finalist Peter Barker have his British Open dreams dashed by Egyptian Tarek Momen.
The pair were facing each other for the first time and that perhaps explains why Momen raced into a 6-1 lead within the opening five minutes taking the Englishman by surprise.

Barker managed to get a hold on the game and work his way back into the match trying to extend the rallies and keep the ball away from Momen’s dangerous volley.

With Barker leading 1-0 after the first game the Egyptian who had previously never been past the first round of the British Open started to be more adventurous with his shot choice and it paid off.

Speaking after his 3-1 victory the twenty-five year old said he was “over the moon” with the win.

“At crucial times I played well, my shots that usually go into the tin worked!” exclaimed Momen.

What looked like a whitewash victory for world number four women’s seed Alison Waters turned into a protracted battle after a strong mid-match fight back from Australia’s Rachael Grinham.

But the plucky Aussie had different ideas and launched a valiant fight back to take the match into a deciding fifth game.

Waters regained her focus and brought Grinham’s hopes crashing down as the Brit took the game 11-4 and the match 3-2, in 42 minutes.

After the match Waters said: “The British Open is the one everyone wants to win, playing at home is always extra special.”
Men’s and Women’s Round Two Matches
[12] Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 8/11, 9/11, 12/10, 11/7, 12/10 (61m)
[4] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) bt Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 11/8, 11/13, 11/7, 11/0 (61m)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng) bt [16] Rachael Grinham (Aus) 11/2, 11/4, 8/11, 7/11, 11/4 (42m)
Tarek Momen (Egy) bt [7] Peter Barker (Eng) 9/11, 11/4, 11/6, 11/9 (43m)
[6] Joelle King (Nzl) bt [13] Annie Au (Hkg) 11/5, 11/7, 11/5 (27m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) 11/6, 11/3, 11/4 (38m)
[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt Sarah Kippax (Eng) 11/2, 14/12, 11/2 (35m)
[5] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Daryl Selby (Eng) 11/9, 11/5, 11/6 (33m)
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