Day ONE reports & reaction

The 2022 edition of the Allam British Open – celebrating the Centenary of the sport’s longest-running tournament – kicks off today with 32 first round matches at Hull’s Allam Sports Centre.

This is the ninth year the tournament has been staged in Hull, and the third at the Allam Sports Centre which has six traditional glass-back courts and an all-Glass court specially constructed for the event.

The first two days will see four courts in use as the 48-player draws are reduced to the last sixteen men and women.

Today’s 32 first-round matches will see players battling it out for the right to, mostly, take on the seeded players in tomorrow’s second round. There’s plenty of home interest, with 15 British Players in action today, 10 of them on the Glass Court.

You can watch all the action Live on SquashTV (Glass Court) and YouTube (side courts), follow on Live Scoring and our Social Feeds, and we’ll have reports, player reaction and photos right here, with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.

Allam British Open 2022 : Mon 28th Mar, Day ONE, Round ONE


Glass Court
Danielle Letourneau (Can) 3-2 [wc] Katie Malliff (Eng)   9-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (46m)
Patrick Rooney (Eng) 3-1 Declan James (Eng)   11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 (55m)
Lucy Turmel (Eng) 3-0 Sana Ibrahim (Egy)   11-8, 13-11, 11-3 (37m)
[wc] Nick Wall (Eng) 3-2 Victor Crouin (Fra)   11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 (62m)
Lisa Aitken (Sco) 3-0 [wc] Millie Tomlinson (Eng)   11-7, 11-5, 11-1 (29m)
Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 3-0 [wc] Sam Todd (Eng)   11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (25m)
Emily Whitlock (Wal) 3-0 Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg)   11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (32m)
Nathan Lake (Eng) 3-1 Auguste Dussourd (Fra)   15-13, 11-8, 15-17, 11-7 (69m)

Court 4
Farida Mohamed (Egy) 3-0 Ineta Mackevica (Lat)   11-4, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
Todd Harrity (Usa) 3-0 Edmon Lopez (Esp)   11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (28m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (Mas) 3-0 Enora Villard (Fra)   11-4, 11-1, 11-7 (18m)
Raphael Kandra (Ger) 3-0 Bernat Jaume (Esp)   12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)
Hana Ramadan (Egy) 3-0 Haley Mendez (Usa)   11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (18m)
Shahjahan Khan (Usa) 3-1 Alan Clyne (Sco)   7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (59m)
Alexandra Fuller (Rsa) 3-0 Mariam Metwally (Egy)   13-11, 11-9, 11-7 (29m)
Sebastien Bonmalais (Fra) 3-0 Iker Pajares (Esp)   11-5, 11-9, 11-1 (37m)

Court 5
Milou van der Heijden (Ned) 3-1 Rachael Grinham (Aus)   5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (34m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (Egy) 3-1 Tayyab Aslam (Pak)   9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3 (40m)
Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-0 Anna Serme (Cze)   11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (23m)
Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-1 Greg Lobban (Sco)   11-1, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10 (54m)
Rachel Arnold (Mas) 3-0 Donna Lobban (Aus)   11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (21m)
George Parker (Eng) 3-0 Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)   11-9, 12-10, 11-4 (40m)
Jasmine Hutton (Eng) 3-0 Emilia Soini (Fin)   11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (17m)
Moustafa El Sirty (Egy) 3-1 Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)   11-6, 2-11, 11-9, 11-9 (50m)

Court 6
Nada Abbas (Egy) 3-0 Cristina Gomez (Esp)   11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (23m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) 3-2 Dimitri Steinmann (Sui)   11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3 (84m)
Cindy Merlo (Sui) 3-2 Zeina Mickawy (Egy)   13-11, 9-11, 10-12, 11-9, 8-3 rtd (43m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-2 Leonel Cardenas (Mex)   11-7, 11-4, 14-16, 2-11, 11-5 (50m)
Sabrina Sobhy (Usa) 3-2 Yathreb Adel (Egy)   9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3 (42m)
Ramit Tandon (Ind) 3-0 Lucas Serme (Fra)   11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (38m)
Aifa Azman (Mas) 3-1 Ho Tze Lok (Hkg)   9-11, 11-4, 14-12, 8-4 rtd (52m)
Borja Golan (Esp) 3-1 Karim El Hammamy (Egy)   11-4, 3-11, 11-5, 13-11 (64m)


Reports and Reaction

Van der Heijden joins Egyptian duo Abbas & Mohamed in RD2

Opening play on court five was Australia’s Rachael Grinham against Milou van der Heijden from The Netherlands. This is Grinham’s 24th appearance in the British Open.

Grinham was sharp from the start as she used the hold to great effect. Making her opponent stop her movement and make it that much harder to reach the ball. The Australian took a quick first game 11- 5.

A strong reponse from van der Heijden in the second game levelled the match at 1-1. More solid squash followed for van der Heijden as she kept the ball tight and stretched her opponent on the volley.

As much as Grinhams unorthodox style of play was frustrating van der Heijden, the Dutch No.1 had an answer and managed to close down the court and force errors from the racket of her opponent and took the match 3-1 in 34 minutes.

She had this to say after the match: “I was really excited. First of all, it’s great to have Rachael back playing. She’s a legend in the game and it’s an honour to share the court with her. She’s very tricky, her shot selection is so unique and keeps you on your toes. She makes you feel very uncomfortable on there and I definitely felt like that on there today.

“I was really just trying to get in some kind of rhythm, even though that’s so hard against Rachael. I was trying to hit the back corners better and get more chances to take the ball in short from the middle and some parts were good, some not so good but glad I could get through in the end.”

On courts four and six, Egyptian duo Nada Abbas and Farida Mohamed wasted no time against their opponents, Ineta Mackevica and Cristina Gomez as they confidently booked their second round places.

Abbas fired the ball in short with great accuracy to move her Spanish opponent constantly and give her no time on the ball. Abbas won all three games 11-5 in 23 minutes.

The aggressive hitting of Farida Mohamed was in full motion from the start of her round one match. She seemed to increase the pace of her hitting rally after rally and always had Mackevica on the back foot. She won in just 18 minutes to set up a second round match with Canadian Hollie Naughton.

Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (23m)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-1: 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (34m)

Letourneau Comes From Behind To Beat Wildcard Malliff

Canada’s Danielle Letourneau, the World No.20, struggled to get going in her clash with wildcard Katie Malliff, in the opening match of the Allam British Open 2022, but she eventually came through in five to move through to the second round of the Platinum level competition.

It was the young Englishwoman, who sits 90 places below Letourneau in the World Rankings, that started the quicker of the two, with the Canadian looking like she was struggling somewhat with movements to the front of the court.

After going two games down, the World No.20 was able to fight her way back into the contest, as Malliff started to lose her length, and struggled to get the ball to the back of the court. The Canadian was able to punish the young Englishwoman, eventually coming through to take the victory in a tight fifth game to move into the last 32 of the tournament.

“It was a little scary. She came out playing positively, attacking and burying me in the back,” the Canadian said.

“At the beginning, I think I was a little passive and doubting what I was doing, but then you realise you have nothing to lose, you’re 2-0 down, you just have to find a way. Once I found a plan, I stuck to it.

“One of the things is the pressure. I love club squash, it’s so social, you get to see your friends and you play, and I still feel that way when I am training, but it is hard to switch it off sometimes. You come on court and you feel the occasion, I get to play in front of all you lovely people on the glass court, it is such a special occasion. It’s trying to enjoy it without putting that same pressure on yourself to get the result.

“My goal, I do want to break the top ten by the end of this year, so I have to make last 16s, quarters and further. I am trying to push to that point, but to me, the pressure is all in the first round. You haven’t played on the court, you’re trying to just get going, so I feel the first one is the toughest one under the belt.”

Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt [WC] Katie Malliff (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (46m)

Rooney Downs James In All-England Battle

In the only all-English clash of the opening day’s play, Patrick Rooney got the better of compatriot Declan James in a tough four-game battle, with a crucial second game tie-break being one of the keys to the victory.

The new England No.1 took the first game of their contest and was in control of the second, but James fought back, and the pair went to a tie-break. It was the man from St. Helens that took it to hold a two-game advantage.

James, a former World No.15, showed his quality in the third game to take it 11-8, but Rooney was able to regroup, taking the fourth game to secure victory in the match, and advancing to the second round.

“Not as many nerves as last week at Canary Wharf, I felt a lot more comfortable today, more confident, and play the way I wanted to play,” Rooney said.

“I had to keep very mentally switched on, because the third game I dropped off a little bit. He is so good at doing the basics, and he brought that one back, but I enjoyed it! We’ve played three times in two weeks, and I am 2-1 up in the series now!

“I have always been a chaser, wanting to beat the players who are higher ranked, but now sometimes, in the first round I am the higher seeded player. The pressure is on me now, so I have to put these players away. Dec is no mug, he is a really good player! Anything can happen so I have to stay mentally switched on to win. It is the first round but I still go into it thinking it is really important.

“I want to try to replicate what I did today because I was happy with how I played. I was confident going in short and that is how I like to play. I will watch today’s game back and take that on tomorrow. I am on the other courts tomorrow, and it should be a different experience over there.

“Nobody likes playing with no crowd. If this was empty.. It would be a bit meh. You want people to come along and enjoy it. I enjoy playing in front of the crowd. People cheering and getting involved spurs me on!”

Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 (55m)

Waller survives Steinmann comeback to join El Sherbini & Harrity in the next round

A huge all-European battle took place on court six as England’s Adrian Waller took on Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann for a place in the British Open second round.

Waller started the better of the two and displayed a variety of amazing winners to twist and turn his younger opponent. Waller stormed out to a 2-0 lead and looked sure to book his place in round two.

Steinmann was not finished there, however. He battled back to take the next two games 11-8, 11-9 and level the match at 2-2. The speed of Steinmann was relentless and no matter how low on the front wall Waller’s attacks were, Steinmann had an answer.

After an injury break for Steinmann at 4-3, the closely contested match continued. Steinmann was clearly still struggling with a damaged neck and completed the match but not to his full ability. Waller capitalised on this to take the game 11-3 and the match in 84 minites.

Waller had this to say about his round one win: “That was exactly the same game that we had in Detroit in January. I went 2-0 up and he came back at me. I’m just glad I could get over the line today In the fifth, all be it in unfortunate circumstances with him injuring himself slightly.

“I felt really calm at the start of the match which is quite unusual for me in the first round of a tournament but then he started to grow in confidence and increased the pace which made it difficult for me in the crucial points. But I felt good at the end of the match and got control back.”

Egypt’s Mohamed El Sherbini was taken to four games against Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in his first round match at this year’s Allam British Open. Aslam was sharp out the blocks in the first game and caught El Sherbini by surprise as his mixture of low kills and severe boats wrong-footed El Sherbini on multiple occasions.

El Sherbini responded however and quickly found his attacking flair to trouble the Pakistan No.1. El Sherbini took the next two games 11-7, 11-9 to lead 2-1 and place one foot in the next round.

After discussions with both his opponent and the referee, Aslam’s concentration was being tested to the maximum. This was eventually his downfall as the street-wise Egyptian ran away with the fourth game 11-3.

USA’s Todd Harrity was in superb form as he comfortably defeated Spain’s Edmon Lopez 3-0 in just 28 minutes to book his round two place.

Lopez, who is still returning from injury was pushed all around the court by the accurate play from Harrity. World No.35, Harrity, continued his momentum throughout the entire match and never let the Spaniard back in at any point, winning 11-4, 11-5, 11-4.

Todd Harrity (USA) bt Edmon Lopez (ESP) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (28m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3 (40m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-2: 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3 (84m)

Gilis, Subramaniam and Merlo advance

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis got her tournament off to the perfect start as she confidently despatched Czech Republic’s Anna Serme in a 23 minute 3-0.

Gilis was on top from the start, hitting an excellent length to the back of the court to set up numerous volleying opportunities, which she took full advantage of. Serme tried her best to force some difficult movements from Gilis but the Belgian No.2 was simply too strong. Taking the victory 11-6, 11-2, 11-4.

“I only played Anna recently in Dutch league about 10 days ago, but this is the first time in years we’ve played on PSA so it’s a little different. I played a lot better today than that match because I knew what to expect and had a game plan in my head and just glad I could execute it today.”

Next onto court four was talented Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam against France’s Enora Villard. The Malaysian was in top form and displayed exactly why she is such a threat to the World’s top players.

She needed only 18 minutes to make her way to the second round, where she will play No.1 seed Nouran Gohar.

Switzerland’s Cindy Merlo and Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy were next onto court six. Both players displayed great attacking squash to manoeuvre each other into all four corners of the court.

There was nothing to split the two players as the first four games were extremely tight and hard fought. After Mickaway took the lead at 2-1, Merlo battled back to force a decider 11-9.

In the fifth, however, Mickaway started to struggle with a calf problem. She managed to stay on court but unfortunately had to retire at 8-3, sending Merlo through to round two.

Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Anna Serme (CZE) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (23m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-1, 11-7 (18m)
Cindy Merlo (SUI) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 9-11, 10-12, 11-9, 8-3 retired (43m)

Turmel Downs Ibrahim In Three

Lucy Turmel put in a commanding performance to book her place in the second round of the Allam British Open in Hull, beating Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim in straight games.

She started strongly, and despite a mini comeback in the mid-part of the first game, Turmel was able to hold out to win it 11-8. The second was different though, as Ibrahim was able to fight to get in front of the Englishwoman. However, it was Turmel who was able to just keep the momentum to win it on a tie-break.

That carried on into the third game, and after a short stoppage due to a blood injury to the Egyptian, the World No.26 came through in three, winning in 37 minutes to advance to the second round.

“The second game, I went off from my gameplan a bit and that’s why it was closer. I allowed her to play how she likes to play. The other two games, I starved her of being able to do that,” she said.

“The gameplan was simple. To get in front, keep the ball tight so she wasn’t able to hit any angles, which she likes to do. Then I am in front of her, feeling good with my short stuff, and I was able to attack her.

“You have to believe in what you are doing, especially in the next round against someone ranked higher than me. The most important thing is that I believe that I can win, and if you believe, you play well, and anything can happen!”

Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 13-11, 11-3 (37m)

Mosaad, Mueller & Kandra progress

‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller continued his excellent form on the PSA World Tour as he defeated up and coming Mexican Leonel Cardenas in five games to book his second round place.

Mueller displayed his trademark flair and accuracy to take the opening two games against Cardenas 11-7, 11-4.

Cardenas started to become more confident in the third however and put some work into the legs of the talented Swiss. He managed to hold off the European and took a 15 minute third game 16-14 to give himself a lifeline in the match.

There was no stopping the Mexican in the fourth game, after earning himself a healthy lead he converted the game 11-2 to set up a fifth and final game.

Mueller managed to regroup in the fifth game. He straightened up his play to the back of the court giving himself more opportunities to volley short, which he did to great effect. Mueller took the game 11-5 to defeat the Mexican and take his place in round two.

Egypt’s Omar Mosaad has booked his round two place as he defeated Scotland’s Greg Lobban in a tough 54 minutes.

After Mosaad came out to a blistering start, taking the first game 11-1, Lobban became more competitive in the second and started to ask questions of the tall Egyptian. Lobban levelled the match 11-7.

The former World No.3, Mosaad showed his class from then on, his smooth playing style allowed him to move the ball into dangerous areas consistently and give Lobban all kinds of problems. Mosaad won the third and fourth 11-5, 12-10 to progress.

Another all European battle took place in round one as World No.18 Raphael Kandra from Germany took on Spain’s Bernat Jaume.

It was Kandra who managed to closeout a crucial first game 12-10 to give him the lead in the match.

Kandra’s momentum continued in the subsequent games, moving well into the front corners and using great touch to counter attack the positive play of Jaume. He won 11-5, 11-6 in 33 minutes to progress through to round two.

Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 11-1, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10 (54m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-2: 11-7, 11-4, 14-16, 2-11, 11-5 (50m)

Wildcard Wall Secures Big Win Over Crouin

For the second year in succession, England’s Nick Wall has made it into the second round of the Allam British Open as a wildcard, this time taking out World No.21 Victor Crouin in the process.

Last year, Wall came up against compatriot Daryl Selby on the opening day, and this time it was the young Frenchman, who had defeated World No.1 Paul Coll at the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic just two weeks earlier.

The Yorkshireman won the first game easily, after a quick start, but saw Crouin fight back. The same pattern followed across the third and fourth game, with a slight niggle starting to cause Wall a few problems. However, after losing a fourth game tie-break, he fought back to win the fifth 11-8, and book his spot in the last 32 of the competition once again.

“It feels amazing! It was definitely my biggest win on the PSA Tour so far. Victor is such a great player, he is so solid and he doesn’t give you anything,” Wall said.

“I really just had to take my chances when I got them, when the opening came, I was really making sure that I was going to do something with the ball and not get passive!

“I think I dropped off after the first game because I tried to go out as hard as I could in the first, and really try to take the pace, so I dropped off naturally with my movement. Then I seemed to tweak my hamstring in the front corner, and then I slipped at the back which exaggerated it. Hopefully, I can do everything I can tonight, and my aim is to be back tomorrow and show what I can do again!

“It’s funny, some things like that can be a blessing actually because it makes you use your brain a lot more. You start to think more about squash instead of running around like a headless chicken. That’s something that me and my team at the Hallamshire, Sheffield, have been working on over the last couple of years. To have more than a ‘Plan A’, being able to play the game in various ways to win different matches against opponents, and I definitely had to be switched on to change a few things in that match.”

[WC] Nick Wall (ENG) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-2: 11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 (62m)

Arnold & Ramadan through in three, Sobhy survives Adel scare

Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold showed her great skill and athleticism as she defeated Australia’s Donna Lobban in just 20 minutes to progress to round two.

A slow start from Lobban gave nothing but confidence to her opponent in the opening exchanges of the match. Arnold used this momentum to move Lobban into all four corners of the court at pace.

After winning the opening game 11-5, Arnold went from strength to strength, using her straight drop from both the front and back of the court, was extracting tough movements for Lobban.

Arnold needed just 21 minutes to complete the win and set up a second round match with Belgium’s Nele Gilis in round two.

“I just felt really confident,” admitted Arnold.

“I’ve played Donna a few times recently so I feel like I know her game quite well and I just managed to use that and play well today.”

“I’m playing against Nele tomorrow, who I’ve never played before so looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough but if I can take the ball in short like I did today then I’ll be happy.”

Court six saw USA’s Sabrina Sobhy take on Egypt’s Yathreb Adel. A close first game went the way of the Egyptian 11-9 in 8 minutes.

Sobhy responded well and cut down on her error count to take the second game 11-5 to level the match. Her momentum continued in the third game as the work that Sobhy was putting into the legs of Adel was starting to show.

The rallies were extremely competitive throughout the third and fourth games with both players determined not to give an inch to one another. They each won a game 11-9 to set up a deciding fifth game.

The end came quickly for Adel as Sobhy picked up the pace of her game and set herself up with a healthy lead. She converted the game 11-3.

Egypt’s Hana Ramadan was in great form as she defeated USA’s Hayley Mendez on court four at the University of Hull.

After winning a comfortable first game 11-5, the pace of Ramadan’s play was not slowing down. The Egyptian seemed to always be hitting into space and giving Mendez no time to settle into the match.

Ramadan continued this form into the next two games and won 11-3, 11-4 to book her second round place.

Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (21m)
Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (18m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3 (42m)

Aitken Through After Beating Tomlinson

Scottish No.1 Lisa Aitken safely made her way through to the second round of the Allam British Open, after a convincing performance to dispatch England’s Millie Tomlinson, winning in straight games.

The Scot, who has spent plenty of time in the SQUASHTV commentary booth over the last 18 months, came out firing against an opponent who she had never beaten before, and had lost out to in the qualifying rounds of the tournament four years earlier.

However, there was no trouble for Aitken after the first game, one she won 11-7, as she went on to fully take control of the match, with Tomlinson unable to find her footing again. The Scot took victory after 29 minutes of play, to book her spot in the second round of the competition.

“Very nerve-racking the whole time actually. I don’t particularly perform well at the British [Open] for some reason, and I have come up against Millie in the first round before and lost,” Aitken said.

“You could say that there were some extra nerves there, but I had a very clear gameplan, my coach is here, so I have been able to go through that quite a lot. I feel like if we were to keep going, it would get better.

“Everybody is different. It’s pretty dark through there, and you can block out some distractions. For me, it’s about breathing, keep my breath and listen to some good Scottish music, and then come out here and dance!

“A bit of dinner and recovery. I am lucky, I have a load of people here supporting me because we are so close to home, so I will probably just hang out with them and smile!”

Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt [WC] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-1 (29m)

Masotti Cruises Into Second Round

After seeing compatriot Victor Crouin lose out to a wildcard earlier in the day’s play, Frenchman Baptiste Masotti made sure that the same fate would not happen to him, as he came through against England’s Sam Todd, the other men’s wildcard, in straight games.

It was a strong performance throughout from the current World No.20, as he did not allow the Englishman to get in front of him, restricting Todd’s capabilities to play the attacking squash he can.

In the end, Masotti got the job done in 25 minutes, to move through to the second round of the competition, joining compatriot Gregoire Marche as one of the French contingent in the last 32.

“On the PSA Tour, every match is tough. You cannot say before the tournament, ‘Oh he is the wildcard, I will win easily.’ You have to put everything you have in your mind into every ball, every shot if you want to make it,” the Frenchman said.

“Sam is such a good player and I am pretty sure that if I had let him, he would be making me live a nightmare. If you want to win, you have to put the thoughts to every shot you play.

“I am very happy, I am feeling better and better each tournament. My body is feeling way better than it used to be two months ago, so I am very happy that I can go through and have another match to try to reach the last 16, like I did in August.

“I love this court, this venue, and to play in England because everyone knows squash very well. We might play them at the end of April [in the European Team Championships] and I hope we will beat them, but I still love this country for playing squash. It is always enjoyable to play in front of you guys!

“We are back to some kind of normal Tour, like we were before COVID. We can interact with people which is good, I missed that a lot! We feel that we are not just playing for us. Of course we are, but at least, the people who are coming to watch, we can share memories, and that is why we are playing sports.”

Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt [WC] Sam Todd (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (25m)

Parker, Tandon & Khan through to RD2

In an entertaining and competitive match up, England’s George Parker secured his second round place with a 3-0 win over India’s Mahesh Mangonkar.

The opening two games were extremely close. Both players were determined to dominate the middle of the court and pin each other in the back corners. The volleying opportunities became more frequent for Parker as he stepped up the court and took the ball in more aggressively each time. Parker took both games 11-9, 12-10 to place one foot in the next round.

Parker stepped up further in the third game and a depleted looking Mangonkar struggled to maintain the pace being set by the Englishman. Parker won 11-4 to win 3-0 in 40 minutes.

“I’m just happy to through in three” admitted Parker.

“The first two games were quite tough, I had to dig deep to win the big points in the second and once I was 2-0 up I felt good and I just carried that on really.”

India’s Ramit Tandon was in fine form in his first round match against France’s Lucas Serme.

The Indian showcased his excellent short game to push and pull his opponent into the front corners and make life very difficult for the Frenchman.

Tandon took the opening two games 11-7, 11-8 to deservedly lead the match 2-0. Tandon continued to dominate the match and hit several outrageous winners to take the third game 11-3 to advance to round two.

Shahjahan Khan claimed a victory over Scotland’s Alan Clyne on court four to make his way through to round two.

Clyne took the opening game of the contest 11-7, countering the attacking work of Khan with great accuracy forcing a change of tactics from the USA No.2. Khan responded with tight, accurate squash to take the next two games 11-6, 11-7 and looked on course to advance.

Khan stuck to his task in the fourth game and after 59 minutes, sealed his second round place. He has set up a match with either Iker Pajares Bernabeu or Sebastien Bonmalais.

George Parker (ENG) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-4 (40m)
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (38m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (59m)

Whitlock Through In Three

In the only match not to feature an English player on the glass court on the opening day of the tournament, Welshwoman Emily Whitlock defeated Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling in straight games.

The pair had met at the CIB Black Ball Open just a couple of weeks previously, with Whitlock winning that contest, and she was pretty much in control throughout this match-up between the pair as well.

All three games were close, but it was Whitlock who was able to win each of them to book her spot in the second round of the Allam British Open.

“It’s a glass court, it’s not what typical squash looks like. You train really hard for hour long session, and that was half an hour. It is so intense, and you feel tired because the pace is so high,” she said.

“The 17 inch tin is no good for someone at 5’3”. As much as I practice my movement and speed, sometimes you just can’t get the ball back. I’m not someone who wants to go short too soon, but I had to because she was. I am glad I was positive today.

“You get drawn against a certain person. I was supposed to play her in Manchester, but [Nour] El Sherbini pulled out so I now don’t have a first round match, otherwise we would have play three times on the trot. That happens sometimes. I knew that because I had beaten her in Cairo, she would go away and do her homework. I did the same to try and make it 3-0, which I did.

“You play on traditional courts, so that is just bread and butter, so I will have practice and it will feel like nothing has changed. You can prep all you want for a glass court, but then you go back to a traditional court and it just feels normal.”

Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (32m)

Hutton, Azman & Fuller book second round places

England’s Jasmine Hutton wasted no time as she defeated Finaldn’s Emilia Soini in just 17 minutes to advance to the second round.

The World No.30 was dominant from the start, twisting and turning Soini at a fierce pace. Errors from Soini certainly didn’t help her cause in the match and only gave confidence to Hutton who needed no opportunity to attack.

Hutton won 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 to advance to the next round where she will play Alexandra Fuller.

“I felt good on court today,” said Hutton.

“I had a game plan going into it and I thought I executed it pretty well. It’s never easy playing in the first round, you just want to perform well and get the win under your belt.

“It will be a close match tomorrow against Alex for sure but I’m looking forward to it.”

Opening the last round of women’s matches for round one, up and coming Malaysian Aifa Azman took on Tze Lok Ho from Hong Kong.

Lok Ho managed to sneak a close first game 11-9 by using good height on the front wall and testing the movement of Azman early in the match.

Azman’s skills flourished in game two. Her devastating drops and boasts were too much for Lok Ho to handle and Azman levelled the match, winning 11-4.

A brutal third game followed as Azman clawed back a sizeable lead that Lok Ho had earned. Locked in a competitive tie-break, it was Azman who clinched the big points and won the game 14-12 to lead 2-1. Unfortunately, injury struck Lok Ho, who was forced to retire at 8-4 in the fourth game.

On court four, South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller was in action as she faced Egypt’s Mariam Metwally for a place in the second round.

A crucial first game was taken by Fuller 13-11. The topsy turvy game saw the lead change several times with both players looking to dominate the T and take control of the match.

This battle continued in the second game as and it was just as tight. Fuller managed to take the crucial points at the end of the game and earn herself a 2-0 lead. Metwally, tried her best to break the solid hitting of Fuller but had no joy. In 29 minutes it was Fuller through in three games to round two.

Aifa Azman (MAS) bt Tze Lok Ho (HKG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 14-12, 8-4 retired (52m)
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-7 (29m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (17m)

Bonmalais, El Sirty & Golan make the second round in Hull

France’s Sebastien Bonmalais scored a big victory as he defeated Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu in straight games to claim his place in the second from of this year’s British Open.

The Frenchman possesses unbelievable movement on the court and was able to retrieve so many quality attacks from his opponent. Not only was he retrieving well but his finishing off the ball was earning him well-deserved points.

After taking the opening game 11-5, he managed to win crucial points in the second game and take it 11-9. The Spaniard’s body seemed to be letting him down in the third game as Bonmalais raced to a 9-0 lead. It wasn’t long until Bonmalais converted to move through to hid first British Open second round.

Bonmalais had this to say after his match: “Maybe he was struggling at the end, but today I had my tactics and I executed them pretty well. I tried to use a lot of variation, boasts, drops, lobs to try and break his rhythm so he wasn’t just able to hit hard past me. I’m just glad it worked today.

“I have been struggling with my body over the past week. I got food poisoning in Pakistan and I haven’t been able to play squash since today so I really didn’t expect this today. I’ll just recover tomorrow and be ready for tomorrow.”

A great contrast of styles was taking place on court three as the aggressive play of Moustafa El Sirty came up against talented Qatari Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.

With the match level at 1-1, the aggressive nature of El Sirty released from him with several roars as he took a crucial third game 11-9. Al Tamimi continued to fire shots into the front and made the Egyptian do lots of work around the court. El Sirty was bounding around but kept retrieving and found winners of his own.

With the adrenaline coursing through the body of El Sirty, there was no stopping him. He again fired off several winners at crucial times to take the game 11-9 and move into round two.

Finishing the day’s play on the side courts was experienced Spaniard Borja Golan taking on Egypt’s Karim El Hammamy.

In a topsy turvy match, the momentum changes were constant. Golan was the sharper of the two in the opening game, winning 11-4. El Hammamy completely reversed that in the second game and fired off a string of winners to take the game 11-3.

Golan responded in the third game and used his hold to great effect, stopping the speed of El Hammamy and dragging him into all corners of the court. He took the game 11-5 to lead 2-1.

A decision filled fourth game reached 9-9. With lots of action at the back of the court, both players seemed reluctant to attack the front at such a crucial stage. Saving a game ball at 10-9 it was Golan who converted with a great hold and punch to make his way through to yet another British Open second round.

Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-1 (37m)
Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-1: 11-6, 2-11, 11-9, 11-9 (50m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 3-11, 11-5, 13-11 (64m)

Lake Outlasts Dussourd In Last Match Of Day

England’s Nathan Lake and Frenchman Auguste Dussourd went for 70 minutes in the final match of the glass court action on the opening day of the Allam British Open, with the home favourite eventually coming out on top.

The pair were locked into battle from the very get-go, with the first game going to a tie-break, both men having game balls. It was Lake who took it, and he went on to hold a two-game advantage following the second game as well.

He then had multiple match balls at the end of the third game, but the Frenchman was able to fight to stay in the contest, saving them all before going on to win a lengthy tie-break, the score eventually finishing at 17-15. Lake came out strongly at the start of the fourth, and that was what won him the match in the end, advancing to the second round with a 3-1 victory, and he will now face World No.1 Paul Coll on Tuesday evening.

“I thought to myself at the start of the fourth that I was still 2-1 up. I was annoyed I lost the third because I had a couple of match balls. Each of the first three [games] were tight, so I was trying to be level-headed and think to myself that the pressure was still on him,” he explained.

“The ball softened up a lot, thank God, so skill was much more beneficial. The victory, it wasn’t particularly pretty, but the first win in a major for a long time for me, and I was seeded to win, so it’s brilliant. And, the British Open is the best event on the calendar in my opinion, so it is brilliant to be through to round two.

“I had to pick and choose when I went in short as to not expose myself. I felt like I was doing damage by showing options and playing quite straight, especially as the ball softened up. On these [glass] courts as opposed to a regular traditional court, the ball stays a lot tighter, so if I could show him a lot of options, I could still get the ball to run through and he has to cover a lot of the court and that does damage. Like you saw, though, he gets on to it so quick, and absolutely whacks it so I have to move faster, which I am not the biggest fan of!

“I played Canary Wharf a couple of weeks ago and I have the late evening shift there, so I am pretty well reheard in terms of my daily plan. I try not to look at the squash during the day if I am honest, because you can see other results and think that you need to win, with the ranking pressure and all that.

“My accuracy was very good today. I think I play Paul [Coll] tomorrow, he is freakishly fit and very good at squash as well, which is a difficult proposition, so my accuracy has to be as good, if not better, and I have to be able to do it for a bit longer as well!”

Nathan Lake (ENG) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-1: 15-13, 11-8, 15-17, 11-7 (69m)