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Mohamed ElShorbagy (right) during his first round clash with Fares Dessouky (left)

British Open - Day Two: As It Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction as the prestigious Allam British Open – the oldest and most established tournament on the PSA World Tour – continues into the second day in Hull.

Home hopes such as Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro will be in action, while World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy continues his attempts to lift a third successive British Open crown against Daryl Selby.

The Women’s defending champion, Nour El Sherbini, will also compete on day two and she takes on Hong Kong’s Annie Au for a place in the last eight.

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

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT)
12:00 [13] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [8] Alison Waters (ENG)
13:00 [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Paul Coll (NZL)
14:00 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [10] Annie Au (HKG)
15:00 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v [7] Ali Farag (EGY)
17:00 [5] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Mayar Hany (EGY)
18:00 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
19:00 [12] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
20:00 Simon Rösner (GER) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)

Whitlock Stuns Waters To Reach First World Series Quarters

Emily Whitlock caused yet another upset at this year’s Allam British Open by comprehensively beating fellow Englishwoman Alison Waters in straight games to record an impressive victory in round two and reach the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time in her career.

The World No.15 came quickest out of the blocks and never really slowed down – even in her post-match interview – as she triumphed 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 in just over 30 minutes, showing an impressive range of shots throughout as she forced the experienced Waters to chase the ball into all four corners of the court.

During the last game almost every point she won was followed by a cry of ‘Come on!’ and it was evident how much the victory meant to her.

“I just didn’t think I’d win, I’m pretty chuffed about it,” said Whitlock.

“I’ve beaten Alison once before in practise but it’s never the same, tournament wins are just amazing. And winning 3-0 is just a joke as I’ve never won a first round match here – so to win two matches is just a bonus, its been a good week!

“I’m not sure if this is the same court we use for British Nationals but it’s pretty similar, it’s lively and generally not too hard to hit the ball through the middle of the court and it suited me pretty well.

“I’ll be staying here to watch it [Nour El Sherbini vs Annie Au], I’ve told my parents to bugger off because we are staying quite far away in the countryside. Their priority is letting the dogs out because we’ve been gone for two hours.”

[13] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)

By Sam Allsop

Momen Shows Impressive Mental Strength To Down Coll

Tarek Momen displayed a new level of mental fortitude as he withstood attack after attack from the physically impressive Paul Coll to defeat the New Zealander in straight games and record a highly impressive second round victory at the 2017 British Open.

Momen lost out to Coll in their last meeting – the final of December's St George Open – but looked to be an altogether more complete player on court today as he paired his audacious shot making with a steely determination that enabled him to come through 11-6, 11-9, 20-18 – making fewer errors and looking more focused that in recent months.

After Momen took the first game in fairly straightforward fashion the second saw momentum turned upside down as Coll stormed out to a 6-0 lead before a lapse of concentration – a trait normally attributed to Momen – allowed the Egyptian to find a way back into proceedings.

And Momen made the most of the opening, coming back to level at 7-7 before taking it 11-9 to set up what was to be a mammoth third game that saw the pair trade points tit-for-tat in the early goings as Coll seeked to gain an edge and use his physical strength to turn the tide.

A series of long and testing rallies appeared to take the sting out of Momen's movement but after going game ball down he found a second wind, rallying himself again and using a new found mental strength to rise to the challenge and come back at Coll time and time again.

After levelling at 11-11 the duo fought tooth and nail all the way to 18-18, when it was Momen who edged the vital exchanges to seal the victory and move into the quarter-finals where either Nick Matthew or Simon Rösner will await.

“I didn’t think it was going to end, but I’ve had experience with those types of games against Paul,” said Momen.

“I knew what to expect and it was very important I won the third. Paul has been a rising star on the PSA World Tour and he’s become the person to beat because he’s physically unbelievable. He’s so fit, his reach is ridiculous he gets to every ball and now he has a really good touch to the front corners and a very good basic game.

“So you have to play really, really well to beat him. I was pleased with how I played throughout the whole match.

“[On Matthew vs Rosner] Every player in the top 20 is hard to crack, obviously they’re a bit different, they’re not as fast as these guys but have so much experience and skills on the court. It will be a difficult game but I am looking forward to it.”

[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 20-18 (62m)

El Sherbini Reaches Last Eight at Au’s Expense

World No.1 and defending champion Nour El Sherbini cruised through to the quarter-finals of the 2017 Allam British Open with a comfortable straight games victory over Hong Kong’s Annie Au.

World No.12 Au had no reply to El Sherbini’s dominance as the 21-year-old displayed an impressive array of long and short shots, which cut out the tireless work of a determined Au.

The match lasted just 25 minutes as El Sherbini raced into a 2-0 lead, despite a mini-comeback from Au late in the second, but the number one seed finished off the match with consummate ease by powering to victory in the third game.

The Egyptian goes on to face England’s Emily Whitlock – who scalped former World No.3 Alison Waters – and will no doubt be looking to upset the home crowd as she bids to continue her march towards a second successive British Open crown.

“It doesn’t always look as comfortable from outside the court, but I feel like I was playing well,” said El Sherbini, who last year became the first female Egyptian to lift the iconic title.

“I was ahead of her the whole match and that’s given me the win in the end. Maybe in the middle I lost some concentration, when I have a big lead then I’d lose a few points, but I played better than yesterday [against Line Hansen] so that’s good for me.

“I didn’t watch it [Whitlock’s match with Waters] but I was surprised that she won, that is a good win for her and it’s the first time she’s got past the second round and she definitely deserved it.

“We grew up together in the juniors, but we never played each other, I think we’ve only played once on the PSA World Tour about four years ago. It’s weird that we never practise or trained together so I’m excited for the match.

“I’m doing my best [to retain the British Open Title], I’m just focusing on every match and once I finish it, I go through it step by step. I think that’s better for me, I want to win this title as I haven’t won a title so far this year, so I am going to do my best.”
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [10] Annie Au 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)

By Sam Allsop

Farag Takes Out Yip to Progress

Egypt’s World No.8 Ali Farag moved into the quarter-final stage of the sport’s oldest tournament for the second year in a row after he overcame Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip by a 3-0 margin.

Farag, whose 2016 British Open campaign was halted by compatriot Ramy Ashour, narrowly had the better of the opening game after a series of unforced errors from Yip at the front of the court towards the end of the game proved to be the World No.33’s undoing, with Farag taking it 11-8.

A one-sided second game went the way of Farag for the loss of just two points, before he let a 7-1 lead slip in the third to hand Yip a lifeline, with the man from Hong Kong raising his game to level the scores at 9-9.

It was in vein though as Farag redoubled his efforts, and he closed it out by a two-point cushion to wrap up an 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 victory.

Farag could come face-to-face with World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy – who takes on England’s Daryl Selby in round two – in the last eight for the first time since their feisty encounter at the same stage of November’s PSA Men’s World Championship.

“He didn’t go down without a fight, especially in the first, I think he was dominating most of it,” Farag said.

“I’m just very happy to win, I think a shift of momentum could have happened if he’d have won that first game. He definitely played the better squash, but I just stayed with him and thankfully squeezed three errors out of him in the last few points so the first game made a big difference.

“He is very hard to read, most of the Asian players move very well and it’s hard to get them out of phase, they have good rhythmic movement. He also moves the ball around very well, he holds the ball from everywhere, the front and the back, so I could never really settle on the ’T’ which made it difficult for me throughout the match.

“Every tournament I come to I try to win it, there isn’t a reason to come if I don’t want to win it. Obviously, I take it match by match, game by game and point by point. I put my best into every point as if it was the last point of the match and hopefully it will pay off.

“I have loved it here since I was very young. I know it is cliché, but the British Open is the most prestigious tournament. It’s a dream for anyone to play in it. I managed to reach the quarter-finals in my first ever year last year and hopefully this time I can go further.”

[7] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (30m)

Massaro Sweeps Through to Quarter-Finals After Win Over Hany

2013 British Open champion Laura Massaro booked her place in the quarter-finals of the sport’s longest-running tournament for an eighth successive year after beating 20-year-old qualifier Mayar Hany in straight games in round two.

World No.33 Hany went into the match full of confidence after upsetting the odds in the opening round by knocking out World No.11 Joelle King, and the Egyptian started brightly as she quickly established a 4-1 lead.

But she wasn’t ahead for long, with World No.5 Massaro finding her rhythm and taking the first in the process, before blitzing into a 10-0 lead in the second, eventually winning it 11-1.

Hany battled well in third and threatened to mount a comeback, but made a few too many errors to prevent Massaro from wrapping up the win in three games.

“She came out quite attacking and it took me a few rallies to calm things down a little bit,” said Massaro.

“I needed to get some longer rallies into the game, she gave me a few errors to help me get momentum in the first. In the second I just tried to get on the volley, take the ball early and just keep the pace really high.

“I was breathing heavy at the end, so she must have been. She didn’t come off court after the second, so I thought she was going to be firing on all cylinders, and fair play to her she changed the plan a little bit.

“She started staying in the rallies with me a little bit longer. It’s what you’d expect when you’ve beaten someone 11-1, they aren’t just going to keep doing the same thing. I was proud of myself for coming through that in the end.

“It’s really nice to play in front of a home crowd, it really does pick you up. We get that against us everywhere we play in the world, so it’s nice to have that on our side and hopefully the crowd can really get into the quarter-finals.”

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-9 (29m)

ElShorbagy Resists Selby Threat to Reach Quarter-Finals

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his efforts to add a third British Open title to his collection after he halted Englishman Daryl Selby – avenging his first round defeat to the 34-year-old in December’s Channel VAS Championship.

A patient, composed display from Selby saw him repel ElShorbagy’s attempts to ramp up the pace, and the World No.15 held two game balls in the opener after a couple of cross court nick attempts from the Egyptian landed on the top of the tin.

But ElShorbagy, who beat compatriot Ramy Ashour in last year’s final, came out on top of some high-quality exchanges at the back end of game one, with some chest-thumping bravado helping him to take four straight points to go ahead.

That seemed to wake the 26-year-old up and he soon doubled his lead for the loss of four points, before Selby finally found a foothold in the match once more to go 3-0 up in the third.

But ElShorbagy moved back up through the gears as the momentum swung back in his favour and he took the match 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 in 37 minutes to reach the last eight.

“That’s the hunger I used to have when I was climbing up the rankings,” said ElShorbagy.

“When I got to No.1, I wanted to win everything, which I haven’t, so I am still hungry. I was pumping myself after every point, I wasn’t angry with anyone else just myself, I told Daryl it wasn’t about him, it was me. I was happy to see him playing well, that’s nice for him.

“I played the way I love to play, aggressive, hard, patient and varying the shots when I needed to. I’m just really happy I did everything I needed to do today.

“Everything went perfectly for me, I’m just really happy, it felt more like me, like the way I used to play. I play hard and aggressive, a lot of people misunderstand that and they think that is not a nice way to play the game, but that’s the way I am and the way I play.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (37m)

El Welily Moves Past Chinappa

Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily earned her place in the last eight courtesy of a win in three games against Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa.

The pair traded points in a series of short rallies, with El Welily having the better in all three games as she hit some sumptuous winners to claim her fifth win in six matches against Chinappa – whose sole victory came in a first round upset in the 2015 Qatar Classic.

El Welily is now three wins away from claiming a share of the lucrative $150,000 prize purse, which is equal to that on offer in the Men’s event for the first time in the tournament’s distinguished history.

El Welily praised the move to parity, saying: “Equal prize money is great for the sport. This is one of the few sports to do that and I’m proud to be part of such a great organisation.

“As a female player, I couldn’t be more pleased. 

“I'm in a place where I think so much about my game and I've been talking a lot lately with my coaches and have had a lot to work on.

“That’s helped me mentally and it keeps me motivated to try and apply what I've been working on instead of just walking onto court and then starting to think about my game.”

[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [12] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (27m)

Matthew Sees Off Rösner

Anyone who chose to watch England versus Germany in the football missed England versus Germany on the squash court as Nick Matthew and Simon Rösner went head-to-head in the second round of the Allam British Open – with Matthew taking it in four.

The match was a great exhibition for the sport, with both players showcasing some incredible technical and physical attributes throughout all four games.

World No.5 Matthew took the opening two games and had to put every ounce he had into it to stay ahead of an impressive Rösner, the 29-year-old German who managed to take the third as he continued to push Matthew all the way.

But a few errors at key times cost Rösner and he really struggled to get a foothold at any point in the fourth, with Matthew taking advantage and finishing him off in style to complete an 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3 triumph to set up a meeting with Tarek Momen.

“I was prepared to work really hard against Simon, the last couple of times against him it’s been a tough four or five game match,” said Matthew.

“I would have signed for that at the start definitely. In the second and the fourth I got ahead a bit so I was happy with that. I got the balance right with neutralising him and also attacking at the same time, it was only in the third that he got ahead a little bit so I was pleased with that.

“He is incredibly strong, he’s pushing to qualify for Dubai all the time, he’s in the top ten and always capable of beating any of the top players, in the second round that was a real tough match so happy to get the win.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could win it but that’s a hell of a long way off, I haven’t won a tournament of this level for quite a while now but it’s fun to be playing well and feeling like I’m in there.

“Everyone I play is going to be a tough match and I’m looking forward to playing Tarek, he’s a different style player to Simon’s power. Tarek has the speed and the touch so it will be different challenge, but I’ve got a day and a half to prepare for it and a chance to recover.”

[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3 (62m)

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