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British Grand Prix - Quarter-finals: As It Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction as the 2016 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix quarter-finals take place at Manchester's National Squash Centre.

You can watch the tournament LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local – GMT)
13:00 [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
14:00 [6] James Willstrop (ENG) v [3] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
17:00 [4] Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Richie Fallows (ENG)
18:00 [5] Max Lee (HKG) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)

Gaultier Dispatches Adnan To Reach Semi-finals

World No.3 Gregory Gaultier advanced to the semi-finals of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix after withstanding a spirited challenge from in-form Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan, coming through 3-1 to secure his berth in the last four.

The Frenchman started the match on fire, racing into a 4-0 lead thanks to some fantastic shots before going on to take the first game 11-7 but it was in the second that Adnan upped his game to match Gaultier and threaten an upset.

The World No.29 matched Gaultier’s remarkable accuracy throughout the second game and claimed it 11-9, with a beautifully struck crosscourt nick sealing it on game ball. But ‘The General’ showed his class in the final two games as he raised his own game to dispatch the Malaysian 11-4, 11-1 in just under an hour.

“I’m happy to go through and add another win – to be in a quarter-final of a tournament is normal for me so I hope this builds up my confidence,” said Gaultier.

“I was hitting the ball a bit better yesterday and I felt a bit flat today, maybe because I played at 13:00 and didn’t come down and practise this morning. Tomorrow I’m going to change my routine to try and feel better and more ready.

“I’ve played him [Adnan] a lot so I know his game. He’s a really patient player, he’s improved a lot on his movement and you can see he is much fitter than before. He hits the ball really well and made the game really difficult, when I lost that second game I was up 9-6 it was just a lack of match concentration.

“I came back in the third and fourth because I stuck to my tactics.”

[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-2 (56m)

By Sam Allsop

Willstrop Comes Through Testing Battle With Pilley

Former World No.1 James Willstrop secured a hard earned place in the semi-finals where he will face tournament top seed Gregory Gaultier after edging his way past World No.12 Cameron Pilley in an extremely high quality quarter-final encounter.

The capacity crowd inside the National Squash Centre were treated to some outstanding squash as the duo, two of the tallest players on the PSA World Tour, engaged in a 70-minute battle packed full of outrageous rallies that which saw both players lunging all over the court and left World No.15 Willstrop visibly exhausted at the end.

“It was very tough today, I had to work hard to stop him,” said Willstrop, who won both the third and fourth games 11-9, with his drop shot in particular working to great effect.

“There were very few problems on there between us today – we’re both big guys but we played a really clean game of squash.”

Willstrop will now face Gaultier for a place in the final as the ‘The General’ navigated his way past Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan earlier in the day to set up a highly intriguing and anticipated semi-final.

“I’m excited about tomorrow, It’s a thrill to be playing here in this atmosphere,” he said.

“These are the events and environments that you want to play in and why you play. There’s history between Greg and I so I’ll get my head around it and look forward to tomorrow and try and enjoy it.

“We’ve played each other since the junior opens – so it’ll be good to be playing against him again on a big occasion.”

[6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [3] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9 (71m)

By Sam Allsop

Selby Stops Fallows Charge

World No.16 Daryl Selby eased his way into the semi-finals of this year's tournament with a 3-1 victory over qualifier Richie Fallows, despite at times stuttering against the promising 21-year-old Londoner.

Fallows overcame a gap of 40 places on the World Rankings to upset the odds and knock Tom Richards out in the first round but, ranked 64 places below compatriot Selby, he never really looked like repeating his heroic opening night feats as Selby used his experience and talents to his advantage.

Selby quickly went 1-0 up after a comfortable first game and he managed to double his lead in the second, despite some questionable interventions from the referee that led to an exchange of words, but World No.80 Fallows carried on battling and pulled a game back winning 11-8 in the third by capitalising on some sloppy unforced errors from Selby.

But the fight back would be to no avail as the Selby quickly got back on track to finish the youngster off 11-7 in the fourth.

“You’ve got to credit Richie for fighting so well, he hung in there when I thought he was looking tired,” said Selby.

“When I was 8-6 up in the third I thought I was there to be honest. He played some good rallies, snuck that third game and really dug in. He showed the true fighting spirit, when I was young I used to do exactly the same. You’re not always going to come out on the right side of the result but you have to give 100% on every ball right until the end.

“I played well for the first two and a half games but Richie’s length really improved and he cut off my options my to attack. It was physically hard but he took his opportunities well, he wasn’t fizzing every ball in the front so I still felt strong out there, I’d have liked to have won in three that’s no lie but at least it’s a bit more time on the court.

“We’ve got to support our young players, he’s one of our young prospects and when he plays the game like he did tonight against me there’s plenty of guys ranked higher than him that he can beat.

“It’s nice to be in the semi-final of this tournament, I’ve lost in the quarters in the last few years. Max [Lee] and Nick [Matthew] are going to have a tough match now, whoever wins is going to be tough battle for me tomorrow.

“I look forward to it with it on BT Sport and a big Sunday crowd, win or lose I’m going to enjoy it.”

[4] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Richie Fallows 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7 (56m)

By Sam Allsop

Matthew Thwarts Lee To Set Up All-English Semi

World No.4 Nick Matthew is through to the semi-final of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix after navigating his way past dangerous Hong Kong number one Max Lee.

Matthew came through 3-1 and took the first game with relative comfort, but the victory wasn’t all plain sailing for the English number one with Lee taking the second game and asking questions of the 36-year-old before a series of unforced errors in the third allowed the former World No.1 to get back on top.

From then on Matthew stepped it up a gear to secure the win and set up an interesting semi-final tie with his compatriot Daryl Selby, the World No.16 who has already felled two compatriots on his way to the semi-final in the shape of Josh Masters and Richie Fallows.

“Obviously my game plan didn’t work as well as I’d have liked today,” said Matthew. “In the second game I was sloppy and gave him a bit of a lead so when I tried to get back into it, it was a bit too late.

“He played really well but I felt I gave him a few easy points, I lost my length and he got me on the end of a few points where I couldn’t get him out of his metronome style. But I managed to win the big points at the end of the third and fourth, I played better at the start of those games and imposed myself.

“I had to work hard and play well physically tonight to beat him and solve the problems he imposed on me, and they'll be more of that tomorrow.

“I got a slight knock in my back in the first game so I maybe just lost my focus for three or four minutes, that’s all it takes at times and that game [the second] just drifted away – it was a combination of me losing a slight 5% focus and he got 5% better. That’s something that I’ve worked on in practise to be more severe when I’ve got those leads.

“I know very well what to expect from Daryl, he has a very economical game. If he moves well he tends to play well and he's moving well. So I’ll have to work hard, but I can worry about that conundrum tomorrow night.”

[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [5] Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8 (61m)

By Sam Allsop

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