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Raneem El Welily and Jenny Duncalf

British Open - Day Two Glass Court: As It Happens

Day two of the 2019 Allam British Open takes place today as the oldest tournament in squash continues at the newly renamed Allam Sport Centre.

All of the action will be LIVE on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the PSA World Tour Facebook page (excluding Europe and Japan) from 12:00 local time (UTC+1).

On the glass court, England's former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf, who could be featuring in her last ever PSA match, and World No.1 Raneem El Welily kick off the day's action at 12:00.

Defending champions Miguel Rodriguez and Nour El Sherbini will also both get their 2019 British Open campaigns under way today, along with World No.1s El Welily and Ali Farag.

Schedule: Glass Court

El Welily off to Winning Start as Duncalf Bows Out

Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily got her British Open campaign off to a winning start as she overcame England’s former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf, who brought the curtain down on a glittering career in her final PSA match.

Duncalf, who secured a surprise round one victory over World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby yesterday, announced earlier this month that the British Open will be her last PSA event as she retires from the sport.

El Welily got off to a flying start as she took the opening game for the loss of just one point, however, Duncalf began to test the Egyptian more in the second game but the World No.1 was able to utilise her incredible shot making skills to double her advantage.

The Egyptian continued her dominance in the third game as she powered to the finish line to close out in straight-games and will now face United States’ Amanda Sobhy in round three after she defeated Canada’s Samantha Cornett on the side courts.

“Jenny is one of the most skilled English players that I have ever seen play the game,” said 30-year-old El Welily following the match.

“I’ve enjoyed watching her and I wish her all the best. I hope Jenny will enjoy her moment though and we will certainly miss her on tour. She is such a good player on court and a great person off court and I wish her all the best.

“It’s the end of the season and we are all pushing ourselves and hopefully it will be a good end to the season for me.”

Duncalf added after the match: “I said yesterday that if I could pick anyone to play my last match against, apart from Al [Waters] it would probably be Raneem – I’m not so sure about that now!”

“Raneem is always someone that, even though she is a lot younger than me, has always stood out from when she was a junior and someone I always admired and I would love to play like her. She was always the one that I hoped would get to World No.1, without sounding biased. She is a fantastic player and person off court and for all the kids watching any person to look up to as a player or human being then I would suggest following her.

“Just being able to play the sport that you love and tour around the world meeting people. Obviously getting to World No.2 was great and having a couple of big wins at tournaments to get there. I’d have loved to have had a better last few years or maybe to have won a major, but absolutely no regrets.

“I played a lot against Nicol, who is absolutely unbelievable. Winning the British Nationals for the first time was a big thing for me and was something I was very pleased to have achieved. My fondest memories are playing for England, I have always enjoyed the team stuff and I feel so lucky that I have been able to do it and so many memories.

“Before I had my hip operation, I was sort of borderline retiring before the Commonwealth Games last April. I needed a hip operation and I thought I would see how I got on, but it’s a struggle playing all these youngsters and I’m so pleased to be leaving the sport in good stead. We have so many different nationalities playing the game and I feel so proud to have been a part of it and it’s definitely time for me.”

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (20m)

Farag Prevails Against Fearless Asal

Egypt’s World No.1 and reigning World Champion Ali Farag started his tournament off in Hull with a win as he came from a game down to beat compatriot and World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal at the Allam Sport Centre.

18-year-old Asal put in a sensational performance in the first game, making himself look the higher seeded player, as he stormed into a 5-0 lead after rattling off a serious of impressive winners. The young Egyptian, who defeated Qatar’s Abdullah Mohd Al Tamimi in round one, then continued to pull Farag into all areas of the court with his powerful hitting to take a 1-0 lead.

The World Junior Champion continued his onslaught in the second, but the experience of Farag was able to pull him through as he levelled the scores with errors beginning to appear in Asal’s game.

From then on, Farag was able to show exactly why he is at the top of his game as he continued to keep momentum on his side to nullify Asal’s attacking intent as he claimed a 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 victory.

Farag will now face compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy in the next round after he defeated Germany’s Raphael Kandra in a five-game thriller on the side courts.

“It’s ridiculous how explosive and talented he is at such a young age,” said 27-year-old Farag.

“I wish I was that good at his age! He is playing unbelievably well and has no fear, he plays his heart out on court and that is exactly the type of character you need to reach the top of the squash world. I think he has a bright future ahead of him and I’m lucky to get in a few wins before he really starts to beat us.

“I started the season with two goals, which was to be World No.1 and World Champion and to achieve both was a huge relief more than anything and I’m very proud of that, but if there is one tournament you want to win after achieving those then it is the British Open.

“The history behind the tournament and all the great names that have their name on the trophy, so it’s definitely a big one for all of us but you don’t want to look too far ahead. I’m just going to take it match by match and my next one will be a tough one.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)

El Tayeb Defeats David in Malaysian’s Final Appearance

Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb booked her place in the third round of the British Open after she defeated Malaysian icon Nicol David in her last ever PSA match.

The eight-time World Champion announced earlier this year that she would retire at the end of the season, bringing to an end an incredible career that saw her lift the British Open five times, as well as spend an unprecedented nine years at World No.1.

25-year-old El Tayeb started brightly and full of confidence to take the opening two games with her dynamic movement and racket skill coming to the fore as she powered to a 2-0 lead. The Egyptian looked comfortable on court and as though she was going to take the match in straight games, but former World No.1 David had other ideas.

The Malaysian icon fought back to showcase her winning attributes to the full as she reduced the deficit in a tough third game, which went all the way to the tie-break as she proved she was not going out without a fight, leaving the court fired up ahead of the fourth.

Five-time British Open winner David continued to press on and expose a lapse in concentration from El Tayeb as she took the lead in the fourth, however, once the Egyptian got back on level terms at 5-5 she was able to push on to clinch an important victory.

She will now face Hong Kong's Annie Au in round three.

“I didn’t enjoy any of it!” said El Tayeb following her round two victory.

“Playing against Nicol David it’s horrible and on her last tournament it’s very hard. Nicol has been helping me out for the last few months and apart from being a legend of the game, she has been helping me out personally, so I hated every moment of it from both sides.

“It was hard and someone told me the other day the best thing you can do for Nicol is play your best and I think I did that and hopefully she can remember.

“It’s a major title and I haven’t won a major in over a year. I’m not looking that far and wasn’t actually looking further than this match. I’m very happy to be in the third round and hopefully I can keep playing well.”

David, on her final appearance, added: “2005 was a big year to get everything going. The British Open was the thing that really kicked things off and winning that title gave me the belief that I could be one of the best on tour and gave me the confidence to win my first World title and get to World No.1 At the time, you just never quite know until you experience it first hand and as the year went by that’s when I won my second World title and things really kicked off for me and it all really started from the British Open. I can’t believe it’s nearly been two decades.

“2014 was a truly special World title, I gave it everything and I didn’t know what was happening, I just went for it and it all came together. I don’t think I recovered from that! But it was really special to win my eighth World title there against Raneem and to see what she has done since has been incredible.

“It’s a really special time for women’s squash to see the crop that is coming through. All the top girls are all gunning for that World title, British Open title, the World No.1 spot and to see them makes me so proud to have been a part of that group.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Nicol David (MAS) 3-1: 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5 (41m)

Coll Overcomes Makin in Mammoth Battle

New Zealand’s World No.6 Paul Coll secured a third round berth at the British Open after overcoming Wales’ Joel Makin in a gruelling 87-minute battle at the Allam Sport Centre.

The two players are no strangers to long matches against each other, with their previous encounter on the PSA Tour lasting 65 minutes as Coll claimed a 3-0 victory on that occasion.

This time around, however, it was Makin who took the lead as he stepped up the court to cause problems for the Kiwi with the first game alone taking 32 minutes in an attritional battle between the two consistent players.

Coll soon stepped up the intensity and was able to come back and level the scores in the second, before taking the lead in the third.

The Kiwi, who has enjoyed his best season to date on the PSA World Tour this season, then showed he was a true contender for the prestigious British Open title in the fourth as he pushed on to close out a hard-fought 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 victory.

Coll will now face Egypt’s Fares Dessouky in the next round.

“I have massive respect for Joel,” said Coll following his victory.

“He is such a hard trainer, when he chewed me up four years ago at the Aussie Open I knew he was going to keep rising. The work he has put in is credit to where he is this season and I have massive respect for him.

“I felt in the second that I played with more intensity. I was struggling with my length all game and I gave a few opportunities to him. I felt like I was getting into him, but he hung in there and I thought that if I could increase my length and accuracy a bit more then could lengthen the court a lot more and I felt I did that in the fourth and I’m pleased to get off in under 90 minutes.

“I’m extremely happy with this season. I have had some really good wins and I have improved a bit in my squash. I’m really enjoying my game and I’m looking forward to trying to finish off a good season. I knew today was going to be a big test and I’m pleased to pass that one.

“Mine and Fares’ head-to-head is pretty even, so I’ll recover tonight and be prepared for tomorrow.”

[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (87m)

King Gets off to Winning Start

New Zealand’s World No.5 Joelle King eased into the third round of the British Open after defeating Malaysia’s World No.28 Low Wee Wern.

The Kiwi continued her strong form from last week, when she claimed the inaugural Manchester Open title with victory over Wales’ Tesni Evans in the final, as she powered to victory against Malaysia’s Low.

The Malaysian has made a strong comeback onto the PSA Tour this season after suffering a torrid time with bad injuries over the past few years, but was unable to continue her run at the tournament after coming up against a strong King.

King will now face England’s Alison Waters tomorrow for a place in the quarter finals.

“It’s kind of a throwback to juniors, when we used to play a lot,” said 30-year-old King.

“I was actually on the receiving end of a lot of losses at that time. You talk about someone coming back from something horrific, she is a bit of an inspiration. I had an injury myself, but I don’t think it compares to what she has been through. I had a pretty smooth run back and she has faced hurdles over and over again to keep coming back, that’s a lot of mental strength. It’s nice to have her back and well done to her.

“I think sometimes when you win a title it is easy to relax, so my main goal this week was to have a couple of days off and then reset. The British Open is the one, along with the World Champs, that we want to win. I’m just trying to play my best squash and we will see how far I get through the tournament.

“Susan [Devoy] is definitely not shy about reminding us all how many times she won it! All the players that have won it, it’s no easy feat to make it to the final, let alone get over the hurdle of winning this title, so hopefully one day.”

[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (28m)

Rodriguez Kickstarts Title Defence

Defending champion Miguel Rodriguez got his British Open campaign up and running with a 3-1 win over New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson in the second round.

The Colombian was forced to work hard for his victory as after a strong start from Rodriguez, Grayson began to work his way into the encounter to control the pace of the rallies, but he was unable to capitalise as Rodriguez doubled his lead.

Grayson came back in the third, with his hard work paying off as he pulled a game back on the Colombian, but Rodriguez, who was the first South American to lift the British Open title, continued to dig in though and upped the pace to ensure he closed out an 11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 win in 61 minutes.

“I had a very good start,” said the 33-year-old from Bogota.

“And then I was maybe too calm in the second and third game and he was controlling the rallies and I knew I had to pick up the pace and that’s what I did in the last game.

“It’s been amazing, winning this title has been something I have wanted to achieve since I was a kid, but I never imagined to win the British Open, but I am so grateful for that year. It’s been challenging for me this season, there have been ups and downs, but this is my favourite tournament.

“The change of venue has been really good, it’s nice to have the glass court and the traditional courts next to each other and I think everyone is enjoying it. Everyone is trying to give 100% because this is the last tournament of the season and I just want to take every match at a time and we’ll see what happens.”

[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 (61m)

Gilis Causes Huge Upset Against Massaro in Englishwoman’s Final Appearance

England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro saw her British Open campaign end prematurely at the hands of Belgium’s Tinne Gilis in round two as the Englishwoman made her final bow on the PSA World Tour stage.

Two-time British Open champion Massaro announced earlier this month that the British Open would be her final tournament as she retires from the sport and it was not the farewell the Englishwoman would have wanted as she fell to a surprise defeat to the young Belgian.

Gilis started strongly to take the opening game, before Massaro – who was famed for her resilience throughout her career, battled back to take the second for the loss of just two points.

However, Gilis continued to push on and played incredible squash to claim the biggest win of her career and will now face older sister, Nele, for a place in the quarter finals of the sport’s longest-running tournament.

“That’s the biggest win of my career,” said 21-year-old Gilis.

“When I first started this tournament I didn’t expect anything because it has been such a long season. It was mentally so hard, but I’m so happy. I gave it everything today and it paid off and it is such an honour to play Laura in her last match.

“I tried not to think about it being her last tournament as if I thought about it too much then it would have made me nervous. I know how much this tournament meant to Laura, so I’m a bit sad for her as well, but I wish her all the best in her next chapter.

“I can’t believe we’re playing each other in the next round. It’s a dream for both of us. I’m so proud of Nele for making it through to the third round and I really wasn’t expecting this and I’m looking forward to playing on the glass court and may the best one win.”

Former World Champion Massaro added on her retirement: “It’s tough to describe what I was feeling tonight.

“I had nerves throughout the day, which is a bit stupid really because I have been in far more nerve-wracking situations than this, but I guess I had a lot of people coming and I just wanted to do my best. I manged to put together a good performance in Manchester and had two matches which I was really happy with.

“DP [David Pearson] actually said to me a few years ago that he had watched Tinne play and that she had some real potential. I hadn’t actually seen much of her play and then all of a sudden she’s kicked into some form and you can see from her performance today that she’s a great player. Obviously, I’m hugely disappointed with my own performance and to finish on that, but at the same time you have to be ready to finish and it’s the right time for me.

“I’m looking forward to handing the mantle over to all these young girls who are going to carry the future of our sport and hopefully hang around and watch some of them do their thing.

“Hull has become a special place for me. My first British Open title at the then-KC Stadium was one of the best locations we have played in England. To be in two finals and to win it twice is just a dream come true really. There’s not many people that can say they have won it twice and I am hugely grateful to the Allams and all of the sponsors, Hull will always be special for me because of the memories I have made here and it seems fitting that even though it didn’t end with my best today, that the Allams were able to watch my last match and that it was in Hull.

“No-one steps on court at seven-years-old and thinks they are going to achieve that. My motto is ‘leave no stone unturned’ and I have always tried to ask for advice, learn from my wins and failures and listen to people who criticise and comment on my game. If hard work can get you anywhere, then it has been down to a lot of hard work. It’s been a complete rollercoaster, it’s been unbelievable highs and lows throughout my career and I’m extremely proud of my achievements – hopefully once it all sinks in then I can look back and reflect a bit.”

Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt [8] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7 (37m)

El Sherbini Eases Past Hany

Egypt’s three-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini eased past compatriot Mayar Hany to book her place in the third round of the British Open.

El Sherbini claimed the prestigious title last year after defeating compatriot Raneem El Welily in the final and the 23-year-old Egyptian ensured she got her title defence off to the dream start as she defeated Hany in straight-games.

The Egyptian was full of confidence as she found her accuracy quickly and was able to despatch Hany by an 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 scoreline and will now face England’s Victoria Lust in the next round.

“It’s always hard playing an Egyptian,” said the 23-year-old defending champion.

“I’m really happy with my performance and I’m looking forward to this week.

“We have played each other many times and it is always tough to play against another Egyptian and the first round is always tricky so I just wanted to get into the mood of the match and of the tournament.

“It’s good to have a change and play in a new venue. It’s amazing that we can put our court anywhere and it’s amazing here and hopefully the court is going to work well for me this week.

“Playing Victoria here in England is going to be tough, but I have a rest day tomorrow and hopefully I will prepare well for her and it will be a good match.”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (23m)

ElShorbagy Takes Out Willstrop

Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy defeated England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop in a closely fought battle inside the Allam Sport Centre to book his place in round three.

The Egyptian reached the final of last year’s tournament and already has his name on the trophy twice and ElShorbagy was forced to bring his best squash as he got up and running with a win in round two in Hull.

Willstrop played well in the opening two games as he lived up to his ‘Marksman’ nickname, finding his targets with laserlight precision, however, the physicality of ElShorbagy saw him narrowly edge ahead in both games to take a 2-0 lead.

The closely contested battle continued into the third, with both players consistently exchanging points in a high-quality display, but eventually ElShorbagy was able to close out by an 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 scoreline.

He will now face England’s Daryl Selby for a place in the quarter finals.

“My age helped me!” said 28-year-old ElShorbagy following his win.

“One day I will play someone when I am 34 and they are 28 and he will do exactly what I did to James today, it’s always going to be karma for sure.

“Every point was so hard to beat, every time I put a few hard rallies in his legs but he kept pushing and pushing. I’m not sure where he gets that energy from, but it just shows the mental strength he has. I think James, as a squash player, always got credit for his talent, tactics and shot-making ability, but I don’t think he got enough credit for his talent mentally. He’s one of the strongest players mentally that I have played against and to keep pushing the way he does is unbelievable.

“I’ve got good memories here, I have made three finals and it’s always great for me to play in England. I’ve always said, for me and my brother, we have had a lot of great support here in the country and it’s always great to be playing another tournament in England.

“The British Open is the tournament with the most history. When you win it you’re down in the history of the sport and nobody can take that away from you. It’s the last tournament of the season and that is pretty brutal, we all have a lot of niggles so it’s survival of the fittest this event and I’m going to give it a big push and let’s see how far I can go.”

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (44m)

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