World No.43 Joel Makin became the first Welshman in a decade to reach the main draw of the prestigious Allam British Open after he defeated England’s Tom Richards by a 3-2 margin in the final qualifying round of the PSA World Series tournament.
The pair waged a gruelling battle at the University of Hull Sports & Fitness Centre as 23-year-old Makin fought back from 2-1 down to complete an 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 victory that will see him take on World No.9 Mohamed Abouelghar in the first round of the main draw.
Makin’s triumph means that the British Open main draw will feature a male Welsh player for the first time since 2008 when former World No.5 and current PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough made it to round two of the sport’s longest-running tournament.
Top qualifying seed Gregoire Marche is also through to the main draw courtesy of a 3-0 win over Malaysia’s World No.46 Eain Yow Ng and his reward is a first round matchup with Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly.
An English quartet also moved through to the main draw on home soil as Adrian Waller, Chris Simpson, Ben Coleman and George Parker all claimed wins on the final day of qualifying.
Hong Kong’s Max Lee lies in wait for Waller, while Simpson, Coleman and Parker have lined up respective fixtures with World No.2 Ali Farag, former World No.3 Omar Mosaad and World No.9 Paul Coll.
There were also wins for second qualifying seed Greg Lobban and Germany’s Raphael Kandra. Lobban beat Frenchman Lucas Serme to set up a first round match with India’s Saurav Ghosal, with Kandra beating Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip to ensure he will face World No.27 Mathieu Castagnet.
In the women’s draw, two successive qualifying round upsets have ensured that World No.58 Alexandra Fuller has become the first South African to earn her place in the main draw since 2015.
The 24-year-old followed up a 3-2 win over Egypt’s top qualifying seed Nadine Shahin with a 3-0 victory over Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi to book a main draw berth against World No.12 Tesni Evans.
Third seed Millie Tomlinson was the only English player in action as she overcame Zeina Mickawy in four games and she will look forward to a first round fixture with 2015 champion Camille Serme in the next round.
Mayar Hany and Yathreb Adel made it an Egyptian double courtesy of respective wins over Danielle Letourneau and Nada Abbas. Hany has a tough encounter against defending champion Laura Massaro in store, while Adel will play Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa.
Belgium’s Nele Gilis, Canada’s Samantha Cornett, Dutchwoman Milou van der Heijden and New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy also booked their places in the main draw.
The main draw of the 2018 Allam British takes place between Tuesday May 15 – Sunday May 20 at Hull’s Airco Arena, with the exception of 23 of tomorrow’’s 32 first round matches, which will be staged at the University of Hull Sports & Fitness Centre.
Tomorrow will feature a bumper day of English talent as three-time winner Nick Matthew begins his final British Open against World No.5 Tarek Momen, while Commonwealth Games gold medalist James Willstrop, Massaro, World No.23 Emily Whitlock and Chris Simpson are the other English players in action.
Fans can book their tickets now to see the English quintet in action by visiting Ticketmaster.
Fixtures staged on the glass court at the Airco Arena will be shown on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player throughout the tournament, while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
For the latest news on the 2018 British Open, visit www.allambritishopen.com or follow the tournament on Twitter: @BritOpenSquash
Results – Men’s Final Qualifying Round: 2018 Allam British Open
 Raphael Kandra (GER) bt  Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (37m)
 Greg Lobban (SCO) bt  Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (51m)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt  Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (30m)
 Joel Makin (WAL) bt  Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (62m)
 Ben Coleman (ENG) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 14-12 (75m)
George Parker (ENG) bt  Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 0-1 retired (39m)
 Chris Simpson (ENG) bt  Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 (47m)
 Adrian Waller (ENG) bt  Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (35m)
Draw – Men’s First Round: To Be Played May 15th
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Paul Coll (NZL) v [Q] George Parker (ENG)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v [WC] Declan James (ENG)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Joel Makin (WAL)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
Nick Matthew (ENG) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Ben Coleman (ENG)
Max Lee (HKG) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Results – Women’s Final Qualifying Round: 2018 Allam British Open
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt  Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (22m)
 Nele Gilis (BEL) bt  Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (52m)
 Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt  Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-1: 12-10, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4 (36m)
 Mayar Hany (EGY) bt  Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-2: 11-5, 5-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-5 (45m)
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt  Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (38m)
 Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt  Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 (64m)
 Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt  Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-2: 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 (48m)
 Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt  Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 14-12, 11-4 (25m)
Draw – Women’s First Round: To Be Played May 15th
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[Q] Nele Gilis (BEL) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Joey Chan (HKG)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Mayar Hany (EGY)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
[Q] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) v [WC] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)