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Nour El Sherbini in action against Emily Whitlock in the British Open first round

British Open: Day One - As It Happens

The Allam British Open main draw starts today with a feast of exciting matches in store as the competition heats up for the sport's oldest title and you can follow all of the action as it happens here.

Egyptian World No.1s Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini are both in action as they lead the men's and women's draws, respectively. El Sherbini kicks off proceedings against England's Emily Whitlock, while ElShorbagy follows on the glass court as he takes on Peru's Diego Elias.

Meanwhile, during the evening session on the glass court, a selection of English talent is in action with three-time World Champion Nick Matthew – who is making his last appearance at the event, former World No.1 James Willstrop and defending women's British Open champion Laura Massaro all taking to the court.

As well as the glass court action live on SQUASHTV (rest of the world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), there is also a host of matches taking place at University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre and you can follow the action LIVE from court four thanks to our live stream.

Schedule: Glass Court – Round One – Live on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player
12:00 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
12:45 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
13:30 Salma Hany (EGY) v [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
14:15 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
17:00 [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
17:45 [7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Mayar Hany (EGY)
18:30 Nick Matthew (ENG) v [5] Tarek Momen (EGY)
19:15 [Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
20:00 [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Court 4 – Live on YouTube
12:00 [15] Donna Urquhart (AUS) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
12:45 Daryl Selby (ENG) v [7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
13:30 [8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
14:15 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Joel Makin (WAL)
17:00 [4] Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
17:45 [6] Simon Rösner (GER) v [WC] Declan James (ENG)
18:30 [14] Victoria Lust (ENG) v [WC] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
19:15 [8] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

Court 5
12:00 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
12:45 Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
13:30 [12] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
14:15 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
17:00 [Q] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v [6] Camille Serme (FRA)
17:45 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Ben Coleman (ENG)
18:30 [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) v [10] Annie Au (HKG)
19:15 Max Lee (HKG) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)

Court 6
12:00 [Q] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [16] Salma Hany (EGY)
12:45 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
13:30 [9] Alison Waters (ENG) v Joey Chan (HKG)
14:15 Paul Coll (NZL) v [Q] George Parker (ENG)
17:00 [Q] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v [11] Tesni Evans (WAL)
17:45 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
18:30 [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v [13] Joshna Chinappa (IND)

Urquhart Cruises Past Metwally in Round One

Donna Urquhart

Australia’s World No.17 Donna Urquhart made light work of her Egyptian opponent Mariam Metwally in round one to reach the second round of the tournament with a 3-0 victory.

Urquhart, who last played when she picked up a gold medal alongside compatriot Cameron Pilley in the mixed doubles event at the Commonwealth Games, was in fine form as she took a commanding 2-0 lead as Metwally struggled to find her length and range to threaten the Yamba-born Australian.

Metwally, however, battled back in the third as she stormed to a 5-0 lead, hitting her targets well, as she looked to get a foothold back in the game. Urquhart managed to dig in, however, and drew level for the first time in the game at 8-8 before going onto win and claim her place in the next round.

“I’m stoked to be coming out as the winner, especially in three games – I didn’t expect that,” said the 31-year-old.

“She’s a tough opponent and a tricky opponent. I guess I was the seeded player but only just. I expected it to be close so to get off in three I’m really pleased with.

“I was down 6-1 in the first game, I had just lost momentum a little bit so I was trying to get back to playing a bit of squash, so I think I got back into doing that and I was lucky to win the third in the end.

“I had a little break after the Commonwealth Games and I’m glad I did because I think I needed to. It’s exhausting and there is such a huge build up especially with it being a home Commonwealth Games and I needed a little break at the end of it and it was just what I needed to get me ready for this tournament. I’m feeling like I’m enjoying squash and looking forward to playing here.

“I love it. I’ve had a good tournament here for the last few years and I seem to play well at the uni here. I’ve gotten onto the glass court the last few years and I’ve really enjoyed it so I can’t wait to be back there again this year.”

[15] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 (26m)
[16] Salma Hany (EGY) bt [Q] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (27m)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (25m)

Gawad Survives Scare to Defeat Selby

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad survived a huge scare against England’s Daryl Selby as he came from 2-0 down to beat the World No.19.

Selby started in formidable fashion as he found his length and range quickly to punish a slow-starting Gawad as he took the opening two games and looked as though he could get a win over the Egyptian for the first time on the PSA World Tour.

26-year-old Gawad is no stranger from turning matches around having achieved it numerous times throughout his career and this one proved to be no different as the Egyptian fully hit his stride in game three to put Selby to the sword and progress through to the next round.

“Playing Daryl is always tough and the last time we played was a long time ago but today, for me it was a very tough first round and a very tricky one coming from 2-0 down.

“It was tough mentally for me today. I just wanted to win so badly today and I just told myself ‘let’s start from the beginning’ and happily it worked today and I won.

“For me this season, there have been a lot of injuries and a lot of different ones and I didn’t really know the reason for my injuries so now I’m trying to recover well in between matches and stay fit, avoid injuries and enjoy my game again.

“The British Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments and for me, one of my targets to win one day. The last tournament of the year is always tough on the body for a lot of players so I’m trying to play my best squash this week.”

[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (49m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 9-11, 13-11 (67m)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 11-9, 2-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10 (76m)

El Sherbini Moves Past Whitlock

Nour El Sherbini (right) v Emily Whitlock (left)

2016 British Open champion Nour El Sherbini got her 2018 tournament off to a winning start as she claimed a 3-0 victory over England’s Emily Whitlock on day one of main draw action at the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’.

El Sherbini, the current World No.1, was in imperious form as she dominated Whitlock from the off, with some delicate drops catching the Englishwoman off guard

It was a clinical display from the two-time World Champion as she pounced on Whitlock's loose balls and she pulled away to claim an 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 in 25 minutes.

Compatriot Salma Hany awaits El Sherbini in round two after she dispatched Belgium’s Nele Gilis in straight games.

“It’s never an easy first round [against Whitlock], especially as we played in El Gouna in the last tournament,” said El Sherbini.

“I was expecting that it was going to be harder this time and I’m really glad that I won in three.

“In the first round you have to try all your shots and make sure that everything is working.

“I think this season has been way better than last season, I’m playing well and there’s just one more tournament and it’s over. I hope it goes well and I’ll give it everything this tournament.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (25m)

Perry Sees Off El Hammamy

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry saw off the threat of Egypt’s rising star Hania El Hammamy as she made it a birthday to remember with a 3-1 win to reach round two of the British Open.

The two players had never faced each other before on the PSA World Tour and El Hammamy showed no fear in the opening moments as she looked to cause an upset against last year’s runner-up.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Perry took the first game before 17-year-old El Hammamy – who is rising up the ranks of the PSA World Tour – fought back to level the scores.

Experience then proved crucial for the Birmingham-born Englishwoman as she punished a tired looking El Hammamy to book her place in the next round.

“Always happy to get through the first round,” said the

“There are never any easy first rounds and Hania has been getting some really good results and she’s a really solid player, who has shown that and got her reward for that by getting into the top 20.

“I started really well and then just sort of lost my way a little bit but managed to steady the ship and thrilled to get through to round two again.

“I’ve watched her a few times and I’ve been really impressed with watching her play and I just had to show my experience and put my markers out early and not let her get too much confidence especially on the backhand.

“First time you play someone is always a baptism of fire. She had nothing to lose and has gone out there pretty fearless and she’s definitely one to be aware of and watch out for.

“The University here is a good venue but I’m really looking forward to playing on the glass court and obviously I have fond memories of playing there with reaching the final last year.”

[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8 (42m)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [12] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 3-1: 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-2 (30m)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-6 (33m)

ElShorbagy Comes Back to Beat Elias

Mohamed ElShorbagy

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy came back from the brink of an opening round upset as the Egyptian powerhouse recovered from a two-game deficit to defeat Peru’s Diego Elias at the Airco Arena.

ElShorbagy – who had struggled with illness the night before their match – was in all sorts of trouble after an out of sorts showing from the two-time winner saw him go two games down against a composed Elias, who looked free of the hamstring injuries that have plagued him over the past few months.

The World No.12 played some tidy squash and was on fire as he rattled ElShorbagy, who looked down and out after conceding the game ball in the second.

ElShorbagy came onto court a completely different player in the third though as he stepped up the court and forced Elias into some brutal movements and the Peruvian began to run out of ideas.

After conceding the third and going 9-8 down in the fourth, Elias’s inexperienced showed as the 21-year-old received a conduct stroke against him for stepping off court to remonstrate with the referee and ElShorbagy converted his game ball to set up a decider.

It was one-way traffic in the fifth as ElShorbagy surged to victory, completing the win by a 5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 margin.

“When you have been throwing up the whole night it's not easy to play a squash match,” said ElShorbagy.

“But to be the best in any sport, you don’t win matches because you play your best every match, you find ways to win when you’re not playing your best and today I found a way to win.

“I’m happy to be here for one more day and I will give it everything I can in this tournament because this is the British Open. This is a World Series event and even if I have all my body broken I will fight for every single point because that’s what I do best.

“The British Open is our ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ and you don’t want to lose a match easily. If someone is going to take me out I’m going to make sure that they have to be at their best.

“After the second [today], I didn’t like my body language, I didn’t like how negative I was and I thought that I had to be positive. I was not proud of my performance in the first two games but I gave it everything I can and I know that if he was a few years older then there would have been no way I would have won today.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (54m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 (47m)
[Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (49m)

Coll Edges Parker in Tight Encounter

A tight encounter between New Zealand’s World No.10 Paul Coll and England’s World No.53 George Parker saw the Kiwi prevail to book his place in the next round.

Coll took the opening two games by a tight 11-9, 11-6 scoreline before Parker battled back by playing excellent squash and hitting some sublime winners to take the third by an 11-4 margin.

Momentum then looked to be with the Englishman as he continued to put pressure on Coll with the Kiwi making some errors, however, he managed to maintain his composure to seal the win in the third after Parker saved two match balls.

“It was tough, he had a good game plan and stuck to it throughout the match,” said the 26-year-old following his win.

“I think I was a bit in and out off concentration. He played a really good third and I made a few mistakes and he played really well. It was tough going and I’m pleased to get through it and it was a good start to the tournament.

“I knew I had to start better and I just switched off in the third, he was aggressive and that really paid off for him. Credit to him he played really well and pushed right until the end.

“I can’t wait to play on the glass again. I’m really excited and have had my eyes on this for a while and I’m ready to go.”

Coll will now face Gawad in round two after he defeated Selby earlier in the day.

Paul Coll (NZL) bt [Q] George Parker (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8 (72m)

El Tayeb Dispatches Grinham in Quick-Fire Fixture

Nour El Tayeb (right) v Rachael Grinham (left)

World No.3 Nour El Tayeb began her attempts to lift a third World Series title as she took just 21 minutes to dispose of four-time winner Rachael Grinham in a quick-fire first round fixture between the pair.

The opening stages of the first two games saw Grinham – who was making her 21st successive appearance at the sport’s longest-running tournament – hold her own against the in-form El Tayeb as both players traded points in a series of rapid rallies, with both players utilising their considerable shot-making skills.

El Tayeb pulled away both times though to go two games ahead and she made the most of a strong start in the third to triumph 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 to claim a fourth successive win over the Australian.

A difficult second round tie against former World No.6 Amanda Sobhy lies in wait for El Tayeb next after Sobhy defeated fellow American Olivia Blatchford to reach round two.

“She is a legend of my whole world, everyone around me knows how big of a deal Rachael is to me,” said El Tayeb.

“I got most of my tricks from her and she’s the first professional squash player I grew up watching. She was the World No.1 at the time and she always played with me when I was around 12 back home in Cairo so I look up to her in every aspect.

“For me to share the court with a huge legend like her is an honour for me.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)

French General Gaultier Marches Past Pilley

Gregory Gaultier (right) v Cameron Pilley (left)

Defending champion Gregory Gaultier made it 17 wins out of 19 against Australia’s World No.21 Cameron Pilley as he booked a second round berth against Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar.

Pilley played well in patches but Gaultier was on his game today as he dealt with everything his opponent threw at him and he claimed an 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 victory to continue his 100 per cent record in the opening round of this historic tournament.

“It was a very tricky first round, Cameron has had some good results and has beaten some top players in the past,” said Gaultier.

“I knew I had to be ready and stay focused throughout the whole match and I couldn’t give him any angles because he is lethal. I’m happy with the way I moved, I had a tough season trying to get through a lot of injuries but now I [feel like] am young again.

“These kind of events is what I train for, I’ve been dreaming of lifting this trophy since I was a kid. Three times is not enough for me, I’m very angry, and I want to lift some more trophies.

“I haven’t [won a trophy] for a while and I’m really looking forward to a special moment to make me forget what I’ve lived through this season.

“I’m going to give it all for the last tournament of the season.”

[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (45m)

ElShorbagy Sends Commonwealth Games Star Willstrop Out

New Zealand’s World No.4 Joelle King put in a commanding performance as she downed compatriot Amanda Landers-Murphy in straight-games to reach round two.

It was a quick-fire match between the Kiwi pair, who recently won gold together at the Commonwealth Games in the women’s doubles event, however, King was in complete control as she dominated the court to condemn her compatriot to an 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 defeat in just 23 minutes.

“It’s a far cry from last year when I lost first round!” said King following her victory.

“Obviously it’s tough playing one of my best friends on Tour and someone from my home country but you just have to put that to one side and just go out there and both try and play your best squash.

“We’ve just stayed together for two weeks in Bristol, she has been training with the group there, so we spend a lot of time together and it’s always tough to play someone that you are close to but everyone is professional and whether you are friends or not you play to win.

“No matches are easy ones and even if you come off 3-0 you have still had to do some work to win these matches and now I play Tesni, which is another one of my close friends on the Tour, so it is going to be another similar situation.

“For New Zealanders the British Open is probably one of the most prestigious events that they know of because of Dame Susan and so there is a lot of following back home and hopefully we can have a good week.”

King will now face Wales’ Tesni Evans in the next round after she defeated South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller in straight-games. Meanwhile, Camille Serme is also through to the second round and will face Australia's Donna Urquhart.

[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (25m)
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-1, 11-6, 11-8 (27m)
[11] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [Q] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (30m)

ElShorbagy Sends Commonwealth Games Star Willstrop Out

Marwan ElShorbagy (right) v James Willstrop (left)

World No.3 Marwan ElShorbagy continued his red-hot form as he overcame Commonwealth Games gold medalist James Willstrop in straight games to end the Englishman’s tournament at the first hurdle.

Willstrop, the former World No.1 from Yorkshire, defeated New Zealand’s Paul Coll on Australia’s Gold Coast last month to claim gold and was making his first appearance on the PSA World Tour since that triumph.

But ElShorbagy, fresh off the back of claiming a maiden World Series title at the El Gouna International three weeks ago, played some impeccable squash to prevent Willstrop from establishing any real control of the match and a gruelling schedule – which has also seen the Englishman appear at the European Championships – looks to have taken its toll on Willstrop, who pulled up injured during the last few points.

ElShorbagy will clash with Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in the next round after he came through a brutal five-game matchup with Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.

“James is a great player, I watched him so many times when I was growing and he’s been a role model for me and for a lot of squash players,” said ElShorbagy.

“I tried to copy his game a little bit and develop it my own way, I’ve learned so much from him. You have to enjoy these kinds of matches when you play with one of the legends of the game. I really enjoyed it and I hope he’s okay.

“I also want to congratulate him for winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. It’s a great achievement and I’m glad to win in three games.

“I’ve been playing really well to win a World Series event finally. It was a dream come true but hopefully it will be the start for many great things.”

[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (36m)

India’s World No.13 Saurav Ghosal produced a storming comeback to defeat Scottish qualifier Greg Lobban in a 71-minute gruelling round one battle.

Ghosal took the opener before Lobban claimed control of the match and found his targets well to take a decisive 2-1 lead. However, Ghosal refused to be beaten and mounted an impressive fightback to take the next two games to win 11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3 in 71 minutes.

Ghosal will now face Germany’s World No.6 Simon Rösner in the next round after he defeated tournament wildcard Declan James in straight-games. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Omar Mosaad claimed a win over England’s Ben Coleman by a 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 scoreline.

“It’s the British Open so you can’t expect any easy matches!” Said Ghosal following his win.

“The depth of the men’s game right now is the best in my career and it bodes really well for the PSA World Tour to have that kind of depth. I didn’t expect it to be easy by any means and it wasn’t!

“With the Commonwealth Games it takes a lot out of you, physically, mentally and emotionally, so after the Commonwealths I had to kind of get away for a little bit.

“Greg has been playing really well and has been in good form so to go 2-1 down against him when he is playing like that is not good. I had a switch in my head where I just became a bit more proactive in what I was doing and my movement and shot making and I think that helped me.

“It’s the last tournament of the season so you want to give it everything you have. Of course, it’s the British Open as well and it is probably the most prestigious event after the World Championship so you want to give the best account of yourself.”

Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3 (71m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-1: 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 (58m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [WC] Declan James (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (45m)

First Game Crucial as Massaro Beats Hany

Laura Massaro (left) v Mayar Hany (right)

A mammoth first game proved to be the crucial factor in defending champion Laura Massaro’s victory over Egyptian qualifier Mayar Hany as she moved through to the last 16.

34-year-old Massaro and Hany – 13 years her junior – had met at the second round stage of last year’s British Open, with Massaro taking a comfortable 3-0 win in just 29 minutes, while the pair met last month at the El Gouna International, with Massaro again triumphing in straight games.

While the scoreline was the same this time around, Massaro didn’t always have it her own way as the two-time British Open champion was forced to overturn three separate game balls in a dramatic 25-minute opener, eventually prevailing 21-19.

Massaro’s game management from that point onwards was superb though as the experienced Englishwoman took the pace out of the game to unsettle Hany and she was rewarded with 11-6 victories in each of the final two games to advance to the next round.

“The conditions on here are significantly different compared to when I practiced this morning,” said Massaro, who will play another Egyptian qualifier – Yathreb Adel – in the next round.

“I don’t know whether Mayar felt the same but it’s really hot and bouncy and this morning it was nice and on the chilly side if anything. I came on court today with a plan to hit my back corners and get my targets going and then my targets were different targets to this morning.

“It took me a bit of time to adapt my plan and get my head around it and I was probably a bit lucky to sneak that first game having saved a couple of game balls. In the second I just told myself to hit the space, forget about the targets and make it as simple as that.

“I haven’t won a World Series event this season but I’ve made the semi-finals in all of them apart from Chicago I think, so my ranking being at seven feels a little bit harsh because I feel like I’m making regular semis.

“Having said that, the tour is as strong as ever and my level just hasn’t been strong enough to win those titles this season. We’ve got this event to go and I’ll have to adapt as quickly as I can over the summer ready for next season otherwise my ranking will be even further down.”

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 21-19, 11-6, 11-6 (42m)

Colombia’s World No.14 Miguel Angel Rodriguez overcame three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour in round one at the University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre.

It was only the two players second time meeting on the PSA World Tour with their last fixture coming in 2014 at the PSA World Championships when Ashour claimed a 3-1 victory. However, the tables were fully turned this time around as Rodriguez played at an intense pace to take an important win and secure a second-round berth at the prestigious tournament.

Ashour took the first game as he looked to have taken control of the match, however, Rodriguez battled back to take a crucial second game to level the scores.

Midway through the third, Ashour looked to start struggling with his movement and the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ made sure to take full advantage as he powered to a 7-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 win in just 35 minutes.

Rodriguez will now face Egypt’s Omar Mosaad in round two after he defeated England’s Ben Coleman.

“I’ve been playing tough matches recently and for me, it’s a pleasure to play against Ramy,” said Rodriguez following his win.

“He is a champion and when I was a kid I used to watch him – he was one of my favourite players. I feel like I am playing at my best level now and so I felt ready to play this match.

“He’s the most talented player on the Tour and I think the key of the match was winning the second game and I was fighting for each rally and I think that was the correct strategy. He started to go down physically a little bit and he was maybe struggling with his leg but he came a bit better in the fourth.

“I was just focused and we both play intense, there was no rest between rallies and I’m glad I could win the match – it’s important for my career.”

Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Max Lee booked his place in the next round after defeating England's Adrian Waller 3-1.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [8] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 (35m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5 (47m)

Matthew Wins Huge Battle with Momen to Halt Retirement

Nick Matthew

Three-time British Open champion Nick Matthew put his retirement plans on hold for another two days at least as the 37-year-old veteran rolled back the years to dispatch World No.5 Tarek Momen in a gruelling five-game epic to mark his 700th PSA World Tour match in style.

Matthew is appearing at his last ever British Open and will retire at the end of this season.

Whether or not his final professional match takes place in Hull or not depends on whether he qualifies for next month’s ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals but defeat to Momen would have seen him pushed out of the top eight on the PSA World Series Standings by former World No.3 Omar Mosaad, who would have qualified in Matthew’s place.

But a thrilling 80-minute battle went the way of Sheffield’s Matthew, who put in a valiant display that epitomised the grit and determination that have been hallmarks of the three-time World Champion’s glittering 20-year career.

Momen twice fought back from a game down to set up a decider but it was Matthew – backed to the hilt by vocal home support – who ran away with things as he dropped just two further points to scalp the Egyptian and book a second round berth.

“That was my final, I’m not used to not being seeded, it’s hard work,” said Matthew.

“Every first round is tough but it’s totally different when you’re not seeded. It’s only this month that my ranking slipped out. I knew it was going to be tough and I feel over the moon at the minute.

“The good thing is that I’ve got a day off tomorrow so I think that will give me a chance to reset mentally as much as anything. That was a bit emotional and it was potentially my last one, so I didn’t want to go out on a Tuesday night.

“I want to go all the way to the weekend so fingers crossed I can keep pushing and I’m sure the crowd will be behind me.”

Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [5] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2: 11-4, 10-12, 11-4, 8-11, 11-2 (80m)

El Welily Eases Past van der Heijden to Reach Round Two

Raneem El Welily (right) v Milou van der Heijden (left)

World Champion Raneem El Welily advanced to the last 16 after dispatching Dutch qualifier Milou van der Heijden by a 3-0 margin to continue the fine form that saw her win the El Gouna International last month.

El Welily was at her best throughout the 26-minute fixture against a tricky opponent and she recorded 11-6 victories in all three games to set up a second round fixture with England’s Victoria Lust.

“Milou is very talented with her shots and she has great skills,” El Welily said afterwards.

“I came in not knowing what to expect, she had two great wins in qualification so she must have been playing really well. I’m just happy to be through today.

“I’m lucky to have my coach, Haitham Effat, here with me at this tournament so he takes care of the squash for me. He watches and I just follow the instructions, so when I’m playing someone I haven’t played before I just go on court, try to adapt and find a way to win.”

[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)

Farag Through at the Expense of Simpson

Ali Farag (left) v Chris Simpson (right)

Egypt’s World No.3 Ali Farag is through to the second round after an 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 victory over England’s Chris Simpson to bring the opening day of main draw action to an end.

Simpson was celebrating his 400th PSA World Tour match but a dominant display from Farag saw him gatecrash the party as he claimed the win in 32 minutes to set up a second round meeting with Hong Kong’s Max Lee.

“It’s been an unfortunate time for Chris because of his injury,” said Farag.

“He’s been coming up the rankings but he had to have a hip surgery and now he’s sitting at 40 in the world but he’s way above that.

“He’s not easy to play in the first round, I had to be on my mettle and I’m very happy with the way I played.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)