duo Nouran Gohar and Mohamed ElShorbagy are the 2019 Allam British
Open champions after they got the better of World No.4 Camille Serme
and World No.1 Ali Farag in their respective final fixtures earlier
today at the Allam Sport Centre in Hull.
The British Open is the sportís longest-running tournament, and
Gohar, the World No.7, put her name into the history books with a
sensational dismantling of Serme as she powered to an 11-3, 11-8,
11-3 victory in 30 minutes to win the womenís event.
Gohar came runner-up to World No.2 Nour El Sherbini in the final of
this tournament in 2016, and the hard-hitting 21-year-old ensured
that she went one further this year as she stormed to a comfortable
victory over 2015 winner Serme to lift her first PSA World Tour
Platinum title since the Hong Kong Open in August 2016.
means so much to me, especially because it is the British Open,Ē
said an emotional Gohar after lifting the seventh PSA title of her
ďI feel very comfortable. The environment, the city itself, it feels
a bit like home. It is very cosy here and it really helps me to feel
good on court. To have the accuracy, you have to be both relaxed and
focused. I feel this attitude and environment really helped me.
morning after my hit, I started crying. I never did that before.
Even in Hong Kong, I didnít do that. I think I was very young, so
maybe I couldnít really comprehend how much it meant to me to be in
the final of a major event. My mum kept telling me to enjoy the
occasion and to relax. She told me to take the chance and if I
played my best then I would take the win.
ďWhen I won the Hong Kong Open, she [her mother] was there as well.
I think she might be my lucky charm, and there is also someone who
is not always with me, but he is the main reason for what I have. My
dad is the reason why I play squash because he loves it so much.Ē
menís final saw World No.2 ElShorbagy capture the third British Open
title of his career after he overcame World No.1 Farag by an 11-9,
5-11, 11-5, 11-9 scoreline in 66 minutes to add to his 2015 and 2016
ElShorbagy, who also finished as runner-up 12 months ago, had lost
three of his four matches with Farag this season, but a fired-up
performance from the 28-year-old saw him earn the win in the latest
instalment of their rivalry.
Farag came through a brutal 77-minute semi-final with New Zealandís
Paul Coll in the semi-finals, while ElShorbagy hadnít dropped a game
throughout the tournament. And the latter hunted the ball down and
engaged Farag in all four corners of the court to become the first
Egyptian since Abdelfattah AbouTaleb in 1966 to win a trio of
British Open crowns.
ďI have such respect for Ali, what he achieved this season is
unbelievable," said ElShorbagy.
"Our last match last season in Dubai, he told me that what I did
last season was inspirational. This time is it my turn to say that
what he has done this season was inspirational. Normally, winning
the US Open, Hong Kong and British Open in one season would be
enough to keep me at No.1.
just showed consistency throughout and he was the toughest I had to
face. We are going to improve each other for the rest of our careers
and after a lot of great players have retired, I think squash now
needs a new rivalry. The people need a new rivalry and hopefully we
can both give the people what they want and what they will enjoy."
Gohar and ElShorbagy take home $22,800 in prize money, while
ElShorbagy moves joint seventh on the menís all-time PSA title
winners, with his 37th title putting him level with Canadaís
The culmination of the British Open means that the qualification
spots for the next monthís PSA World Tour Finals - the season-ending
tournament which takes place in Cairo between June 9-14 - have been
Despite his defeat, Farag tops the menís PSA World Tour Finals
Leaderboard, with ElShorbagy, Tarek Momen, Karim Abdel Gawad, Coll,
Simon RŲsner, Mohamed Abouelghar and Diego Elias all joining him in
World No.1 Raneem El Welily finishes in first place on the womenís
leaderboard, and will be joined in Cairo next month by El Sherbini,
Nour El Tayeb, Serme, Gohar, Joelle King, Sarah-Jane Perry and Tesni
World No.4 Camille Serme will be the only non-Egyptian in action on
finals day at the 2019 Allam British Open as she overcame England
No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry at Hullís Allam Sport Centre earlier today to
earn her spot in the title deciders alongside Egyptian trio Nouran
Gohar, Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy.
Serme became the first Frenchwoman ever to win the sportís
longest-running tournament when she beat former World No.1 Laura
Massaro in 2015, and she will have another opportunity to etch her
name into the history books after getting the better of World No.6
Perry by a 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 13-11 scoreline.
Perry, the 2017 champion, had her chances and led 7-3 in the fourth,
but a tenacious performance from Serme saw her take a win which sees
her reach a first PSA World Tour Platinum final since January 2017.
Serme will play 2016 runner-up Gohar in the womenís final.
ďIt was difficult today, she had a lot cheering, but the crowd were
very fair, they enjoy good squash, and even though the English
player didnít win, they clapped at the end,Ē said Serme.
ďSarah-Jane was playing better [in the fourth], she was finding her
length and I was trying to get in front of her again. It seems I
play better when Iím behind.
ďSheís [Gohar] been playing very well for the last few months and
sheís in very good form. Iím looking forward to a good battle, and
Iíll be ready for it.Ē
followed up a semi-final dismantling of World No.1 Raneem El Welily
with a superb display against World No.3 Nour El Tayeb to earn a
place in a second Platinum tournament in a row.
The World No.7 has been in fine form recently after advancing all
the way to the El Gouna International title decider last month and
the hard-hitting 21-year-old outplayed El Tayeb to earn an 11-9,
11-2, 6-11, 11-9 victory.
Gohar, a construction engineering student at the American University
in Cairo, sat her final university exams in the build up to the
tournament, but says her lack of preparation for the tournament has
been a blessing in disguise rather a hindrance.
ďI had my final exams before coming here, so I wasnít playing that
much squash, I was just studying a lot,Ē the Egyptian said.
ďI think it helped today and throughout the week. Sometimes when you
donít play so much squash, youíre really fresh, moving on court fast
and have new ideas. I think that was the case today."
the menís draw, the worldís top two players - Ali Farag and Mohamed
ElShorbagy - will do battle after they defeated World No.6 Paul Coll
and World No.4 Karim Adel Gawad, respectively.
Farag will appear in his 10th PSA final of the season - and third in
a row - after prevailing in a thrilling 77-minute encounter with New
Zealandís Coll to reach the British Open final for the first time.
The duo put on a semi-final clash befitting of one of the sportís
most prestigious tournaments, with Coll playing some accurate squash
to take the opener. Farag stayed calm though and some incredible
retrieving from the 27-year-old saw him finally get the better of
his opponent by an 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7 scoreline.
ďIt is unfair to talk about it [this match] in just a few sentences.
It is one of those matches that you are going to remember forever,Ē
ďWin or lose, you would have been proud to have been a part of it. I
think Paul and I represented our sport very well and we did our
sport proud. Also, what an occasion to do it, on semi finals day at
the British Open."
Farag and ElShorbagy will now meet for the fifth time this season
after ElShorbagy displayed some of his best squash against Gawad to
earn an 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 victory.
Gawad was suffering with a shoulder injury sustained during his
89-minute quarter-final with Germany's Simon RŲsner and never really
got going as he fell victim to an immaculate performance from
ElShorbagy, World No.2.
hasnít dropped a game all tournament and will appear in his fourth
British Open final after winning the event in 2015 and 2016, and
reaching the final last year against Colombiaís Miguel Rodriguez.
ďAli had to go through a lot of tests today, and again he passed the
test," said ElShorbagy.
"At the end of the day, he is the one in the final and I am the one
who has to face him. You have to forget the rest of the tournament
and now there is one big match tomorrow and there will only be one
The British Open finals begin at 15:00 (GMT+1) on Sunday May 26 and
action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport
Player (Europe only) and by major mainstream broadcasters around the
world, such as BT Sport.
No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry and Egyptís World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy sent
defending champions Nour El Sherbini and Miguel Rodriguez out of the
2019 Allam British Open, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament after an
action-packed quarter-finals day at Hullís Allam Sport Centre.
Perry, the 2017 British Open runner-up, has taken a while to get
back to full fitness after undergoing elbow surgery in December, but
the World No.6 played some of her best squash to recover from a game
down, winning 8-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8 to reach her first Platinum
semi-final since Novemberís Hong Kong Open.
The 29-year-old from Birmingham was at the mercy of a rampant El
Sherbini in the opening game as the World No.2 played some sumptuous
attacking squash to take a one-game lead.
The two-time British Open winner looked set to double her advantage
as she opened up a 7-2 lead in the second game, but a dogged Perry
stayed in the rallies and came back to take the game on the
tie-break. From there, the Englishwoman rose to the occasion and
outplayed her opponent in the next two games to complete an 8-11,
14-12, 11-7, 11-8 victory in 49 minutes.
ďI donít really know how I won that,Ē said Perry.
ďAs everyone saw, I was very down in that second game, I actually
told myself Ďdonít worry about this game, just play your way back in
like you did in the first gameí and then every time I won a point
the crowd was right behind me, and that helped.
ďI just wanted to keep the home crowd happy and have some home fans
cheering me on tomorrow. Iíve got a tough match tomorrow, but itís
great to see the crowd packed. We donít get to play in England that
much so its fantastic and thank you to everyone who has put the
Perry will line up against 2015 champion Camille Serme for a place
in the title decider after the World No.4 defeated Belgiumís Nele
Gilis 11-4, 14-12, 13-11.
World No.1 Raneem El Welily also fell on quarter-finals day as she
went down in straight games to a rampant Nouran Gohar - meaning both
finalists from last yearís womenís final have crashed out of the
Gohar had lost her previous six matches against El Welily -
including in last monthís El Gouna International final - but her
trademark hard-hitting style was in full flow today in Hull as she
crashed the ball around the court to win 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 in the
dayís opening match.
has beaten me in the last three tournaments," 2016 runner-up Gohar
"It has been so long since I have beaten Raneem, and I think the
head-to-head shows that. Iíve beaten her one or two times on the PSA
Tour, so it is huge for me today. I just tried to keep it simple and
play the basic things because if you make it too complicated, then
it is so hard against her, so I just tried to straighten it up and
play the normal game."
She will take on World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the semi-finals, with
El Tayeb putting in an immaculate performance to dispatch New
Zealandís World No.4 Joelle King 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 in just 28
the menís draw, World No.2 ElShorbagy avenged his defeat to
Colombiaís Miguel Rodriguez in last yearís final. The 28-year-old
stormed to an 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 victory to move to within one win of
a fourth British Open final.
ElShorbagy and Rodriguez contested one of the greatest finals in the
tournament's 90-year history 12 months ago, with the latter winning
a five-game, 102-minute epic to become the first South American ever
to win the iconic trophy.
ElShorbagy has won all four of their matches since that match
though, and the form book was never in danger of being thrown out of
the window as he powered to the win in straight games.
ďMiguel is, of course, a very dangerous opponent, and when he is
playing well, he is one of the toughest opponents to play on tour,Ē
ElShorbagy said after the match.
ďEvery situation is different and I have been in a lot of situations
in my career where I have had to perform differently to try and get
the best result possible to be able to come back the next day and
still be able to perform at my best."
Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad awaits ElShorbagy in the
semi-finals after he defeated Germanyís World No.5 Simon RŲsner 3-2
in a gripping, 89-minute encounter, which is the longest match of
the tournament so far.
Zealandís Paul Coll also advanced to the last four as he became the
first Kiwi in 30 years to reach the semi-finals of the British Open.
The World No.6 twice saw a one-game lead slip through his fingers
against World No.34 Hesham, but put in a composed performance in the
decider to close out the win.
Coll, 27, is the first New Zealander since Ross Norman in 1989 to
claim a semi-final berth, and he will now look to end a seven-match
losing streak against World No.1 Ali Farag, who beat fellow Egyptian
Mohamed Abouelghar to reach the semi-finals here for the first time.
"Itís coming towards the end of the season, and my body is one piece
and feeling match fit, so Iím taking each day as it comes and just
trying to keep it together and keep pushing, Iím looking forward to
my next semi-final today," Coll said.
ďI have massive respect for Ali, he has achieved so much, on and off
court he is a deserving No.1, but that doesnít mean tomorrow that
Iím not going to come out and try and smash him.Ē
The semi-finals of the British Open begin at 14:00 (GMT+1) on
Saturday May 25 and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of
world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and around the world by
mainstream broadcasters such as BT Sport.
quarter-finals of the men's 2019 Allam British Open will see
Colombiaís World No.7 Miguel Rodriguez and Egyptís World No.2
Mohamed ElShorbagy go head-to-head in a repeat of last yearís
blockbuster title decider after both players secured round three
wins at Hullís Allam Sport Centre earlier today.
Rodriguez overcame ElShorbagy in a thrilling 102-minute final last
May as he became the first South American in history - and the first
unseeded player of the modern era - to win the iconic PSA Platinum
tournament, which is the longest-running event in squash.
The 33-year-old from Bogota booked his place in the quarter-finals
of this yearís British Open as he prevailed in a captivating
four-game battle with Mexicoís Cesar Salazar, winning 11-8, 10-12,
11-6, 11-8 in 61 minutes.
ďIt was like an exhibition match,Ē said Bogota-born Rodriguez.
ďThis is our kind of Latin style. We know each otherís game, he is
very talented, and he is a top 10-15 player when he is at his best.
I think maybe the experience paid off at the end. We are good
friends on and off court, it was a great match and is maybe the
squash we should play every day. Iím very grateful and happy to win
ďThis is a special tournament for me, last year I won my biggest
title here in Hull and Iím taking it one match at a time and will
enjoy my match tomorrow again.Ē
a British Open champion in 2015 and 2016, ended English interest in
the menís draw as he followed up a second round win over three-time
runner-up James Willstrop with a 3-0 victory against World No.20
The 28-year-old from Alexandria had won seven of their nine previous
matches on the PSA Tour and put in an extremely accurate performance
to record an 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 win in just 22 minutes. ElShorbagy and
Rodriguez will meet for the fourth time this season, with the
Egyptian winning all three.
ďBoth of us had a great battle last year, I was very disappointed to
lose, but at the same time he was a great winner," said ElShorbagy
of last yearís defeat to Rodriguez.
"We are really good friends, and his mum and my mum are actually
hanging out with each other in Alexandria right now. Even the
families are good friends with each other, so I was happy for him
last year. We have met four times already this season, and Iím sure
this one will be another great one.Ē
Elsewhere, World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.5 Simon RŲsner
will do battle in the quarter-finals after respective wins over
Egyptian duo Zahed Salem and Omar Mosaad.
womenís draw will feature a Belgian quarter-finalist for the first
time after World No.24 Nele Gilis defeated younger sister Tinne 3-1
to book a place in her maiden last eight berth at a Platinum
The Mol-born sisters were meeting for the third time on the PSA Tour
- with 23-year-old Nele winning both of their previous matches - but
it was the first time they were competing against each other on the
glass show court.
Nele, who is two years Tinneís senior and ranked 15 places above her
in the PSA World Rankings, won 11-2, 11-9, 11-13, 11-3 in 54 minutes
to set up a match with Franceís World No.4 Camille Serme in the last
"Weíve played each other many times over the years but never on an
occasion like this, itís a very special day for both of us to play
here at one of the biggest events," said Gilis.
"Iím so proud of my sister for how she did, it was so tough on me,
but Iím so happy that I got through. Iím so excited [for the
quarter-finals], Iíve been watching this tournament from when I was
a little girl, when I could only dream of competing at the British
Open. To be in the quarter-finals, Iím speechless."
Serme, the 2015 British Open champion, defeated Welsh No.1 Tesni
Evans 11-8, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5 to reach the last eight, while England
No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry will join Gilis and Serme in the last eight
after beating Indiaís Joshna Chinappa in four games.
Birminghamís Perry, who is the final British player left in the
tournament, saw out the match by an 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 margin as
she looks to go one better than her runner-up finish in 2017.
has been playing really well,Ē said 29-year-old Perry.
ďYou could see that anything loose she was putting away, so I had to
be really disciplined. Unfortunately, at the start of the second, I
lost that discipline and she played some really good squash. I had
to fight back and find a way back into the match, which I did, so
Iím really pleased."
She will clash with defending womenís champion El Sherbini for a
place in the semi-finals, with El Sherbini defeating Perryís
compatriot Victoria Lust 3-0 in 22 minutes. Perry beat El Sherbini
in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open in November, but
required elbow surgery after the tournament, which put her out of
action for three months.
The quarter-finals of the British Open take place on Friday May 24.
Play begins at 12:00 (GMT+1) and will be broadcast on SQUASHTV (rest
of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook
page of the PSA World Tour.
World No.3 Nour El Tayeb overturned two match balls to come through
a gripping five-game battle with Hong Kongís Annie Au at Hullís
Allam Sport Centre as she booked her place in the quarter-finals of
the 2019 Allam British Open, PSA Platinum event.
Au hadnít beaten El Tayeb since the 2010 PSA World Championships,
but the World No.11 outplayed the Egyptian in the opening two games,
winning the opener 13-11 on the tie-break, before following that up
with an 11-7 triumph in the second.
A fired-up El Tayeb - who yesterday defeated Malaysian legend Nicol
David in the final match of the eight-time World Championís career -
finally got her game going in the third and fourth games as she came
back to level, but she lost her focus to allow Au back into the
encounter in the fifth.
Au moved ahead to hold two match balls, but El Tayeb dug in to come
back and complete the win, and the tenacious 26-year-old will line
up against World No.5 Joelle King in the next round.
"Ali [husband and menís World No.1, Farag] and Raneem [womenís World
No.1, El Welily] kept pushing me on,Ē said El Tayeb afterwards.
ďThey gave me the motivation to try harder after the second game. I
donít know if I wasnít trying hard enough, when you get stuck in her
game, itís suffocating to get out of, so Raneem and Ali were trying
to push me on.
ďI told Ali that I could do it on my own, but apparently not yet. I
thought I didnít need him, but apparently Iím not over that. He gave
me a big push, and just knowing someone is there and believes in you
makes a lot of difference."
King overcame Englandís World No.12 Alison Waters in straight games
to earn her spot in the quarter-finals,
while World No.1 Raneem El Welily dispatched United States No.1
Amanda Sobhy by the same scoreline.
El Welily, the 2018 British Open runner-up, has won her last three
PSA tournaments - beating Sobhy in two of them - and she extended
her unbeaten run to 15 matches with a 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 win in just
ďIt was very important to take the first,Ē said 30-year-old El
ďIím happy to be trying my best in every match and that is something
that I have been working on with my coach, who is here with me, and
was giving me the right tactics at the right time. Doing my best is
the thing that Iíve been doing. Iím enjoying myself and just trying
to do my best in every match, and wherever that takes me, I will be
pleased with it.Ē
Welily will play Egyptís Nouran Gohar in the next round in what will
be a repeat of last monthís El Gouna International final, in which
the World No.1 triumphed. Gohar will now look to end a six-match
losing streak to her fellow Egyptian after downing Hong Kongís Joey
In the menís draw, World No.34 Mazen Hesham advanced to his first
major PSA quarter-final since November 2015 after he got the better
of Franceís Lucas Serme by a 3-1 scoreline.
Hesham rose to a career-high ranking of World No.13 off the back a
run to the semi-finals of the Qatar Classic that month, but a hip
problem has seen him tumble down the rankings in recent years.
The 25-year-old looked to be back towards his best as he scalped
World No.8 Diego Elias in the previous round, and he followed that
up with victory over Serme to set up a quarter-final meeting with
New Zealandís Paul Coll, who beat World No.18 Fares Dessouky.
said: ďIíve been struggling badly, and Iím still struggling
slightly, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
"I need to thank Omar Abdel Aziz, my coach, who persuaded me to come
to Hull. I had such a bad season, I hadnít had a good win against a
top 10 player for three or four years. Omar is not just my coach, he
cares, and really wants me to do well, so I kept pushing."
Elsewhere, menís World No.1 Ali Farag ended a three-match losing
streak to World No.21 Marwan ElShorbagy to earn his place in the
last eight for a fourth year in succession.
Farag, 27, has struggled to get the better of ElShorbagy over the
past 18 months and lost to his compatriot in the final of the El
Gouna International last year. However, after a nervy start to the
match, Farag soon took control to win 11-8, 11-1, 11-2 in 31
a very big win,Ē said Cairo-born Farag.
ďTo play Marwan in the last 16 is a lot of pressure. Iím really
happy with the way I dealt with it, the first game could have gone
either way, I think that made a psychological difference, and Iím
really happy with the way I pushed on after that."
Farag will line up against the only person to beat him so far in
2019 - World No.9 Mohamed Abouelghar - in the next round, with
Abouelghar beating Franceís Gregoire Marche in straight games.
Third round action at the Allam Sport Centre continues tomorrow
(Thursday May 23rd) with play getting under way at 12:00 (GMT+1).
Play will be shown on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player
(Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
emotional second day of action at the 2019 Allam British Open saw
three of squash's most decorated players call time on their
glittering careers as eight-time World Champion Nicol David,
two-time British Open champion Laura Massaro and former World No.2
Jenny Duncalf played their final professional squash matches.
David, the iconic Malaysian who won five British Open titles and
spent an unprecedented nine years at World No.1, bowed out after a
3-1 defeat to World No.3 Nour El Tayeb, with the Egyptian player
winning 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5 to end Davidís 21-year career on the
PSA World Tour.
The 36-year-old was voted the greatest female squash player of all
time in a poll conducted by the Professional Squash Association
(PSA) last summer and ends her career after winning 81 PSA titles
from 102 finals, which is unmatched by any other female player.
"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," said David, the World No.18, afterwards.
"At the time, you just never quite know until you experience it
first-hand, and as the years went by, thatís when I won my second
World title and things really kicked off for me. It all really
started from the British Open, I canít believe itís nearly been two
"Itís a really special time for womenís 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."
the most successful Englishwoman of the modern era, saw her career
come to an end at the hands of Belgiumís World No.39 Tinne Gilis as
she fell to a surprise 11-5, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7 defeat.
Preston-based Massaro, the current World No.10, won the British Open
in 2013 and 2017, with the second of those wins seeing her become
the first female English player in 66 years to win the sportís
longest-running title on two occasions.
In a speech full of emotion, the former World Champion said: "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
"To be in two finals and to win it twice is just a dream come true
really. Thereís not many people that can say they have won it twice
and I am hugely grateful to the [title sponsors] 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
didnít 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. If hard work can get you anywhere, then it has been
down to a lot of hard work. Itís been a complete rollercoaster, itís
been unbelievable highs and lows throughout my career and Iím
extremely proud of my achievements Ė hopefully once it all sinks in
then I can look back and reflect a bit.Ē
will play older sister Nele in the next round and, after the biggest
win of her career, said: "It was mentally so hard, but Iím 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 Iím a bit sad
for her as well, but I wish her all the best in her next chapter."
Meanwhile, Massaroís international teammate, 36-year-old Duncalf,
played her final professional match against World No.1 Raneem El
Welily, going down in straight games.
retires with 11 PSA titles and was runner-up to David in the 2008
British Open and 2011 PSA World Championships final, while she even
took up MC duties later on in the day to interview David on court
after her final match.
"Before I had my hip operation, I was sort of borderline retiring
before the Commonwealth Games last April." Duncalf said.
"I needed a hip operation, and I thought I would see how I got on,
but itís a struggle playing all these youngsters, and Iím 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 itís definitely time for me.Ē
In the menís event, six of the seven Englishmen in action exited the
tournament, including three-time runner-up James Willstrop, who fell
to two-time winner Mohamed ElShorbagy in straight games.
Despite the scoreline, Willstrop and ElShorbagy played out an
extremely high-quality affair, with World No.2 ElShorbagy taking a
trio of 11-9 victories to send Yorkshireman Willstrop out.
British Open is the tournament with the most history," ElShorbagy
"When you win it, youíre down in the history of the sport and nobody
can take that away from you. Itís the last tournament of the season
and that is pretty brutal, we all have a lot of niggles, so itís
survival of the fittest this event and Iím going to give it a big
push and letís see how far I can go.Ē
Meanwhile, World No.15 Declan James, the highest ranked male English
player, saw his tournament cut short by an ankle injury as he went
down to former World No.3 Omar Mosaad.
England No.3 Daryl Selby is the only home player to reach the last
16 of the menís draw after he beat wildcard Patrick Rooney, while
ElShorbagyís younger brother Marwan got the better of last yearís
surprise semi-finalist Raphael Kandra, coming back from two games
down to exact his revenge for a quarter-final defeat to the German
in this tournament 12 months ago.
He will take on World No.1 Ali Farag for a place in the
quarter-finals after Farag came back from a game down to beat
18-year-old Mostafa Asal in four games.
The third round of the British Open begins tomorrow at 12:00 (GMT+1)
and action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport
Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World
former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf claimed her first victory at the
prestigious Allam British Open since 2013 as she upset World Junior
Champion Rowan Elaraby at the Allam Sport Centre in Hull to keep
retirement at bay for another day at least.
Duncalf, a 2008 runner-up at the sportís longest-running tournament,
announced earlier this month that she will retire after the British
Open and the World No.62 came into her match with World No.29
Elaraby having lost to the 18-year-old at the El Gouna International
However, 36-year-old Duncalf rolled back the years as she put in a
highly-composed display and limited Elarabyís attacking abilities to
claim an 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10 victory which will pit her against
World No.1 Raneem El Welily in tomorrowís second round, in what will
potentially be her final match as a professional squash player.
ďI didnít expect to be stood here as the winner, which probably
helped because I just wanted to put in a decent performance in my
last tournament," said Duncalf afterwards.
"I thought it was going to be my last match, Rowan is such a good
little player and I have been on the end of defeats to her a couple
of times. I love playing in England, but to be honest I actually
have a shocking record in Hull, so I was a bit apprehensive that
this was my last tournament.
"To be able to play another match is all Iíve ever wanted, and these
past few years Iíve just wanted to play as many matches as I can.
Itís so nice to be able to play in front of my family.Ē
conqueror in the 2008 final - five-time winner Nicol David - is also
due to retire at the end of this tournament, and she booked her
place in round two of the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament after
beating Hong Kongís Ho Tze-Lok 11-7, 11-5, 13-11 in 32 minutes.
David, 35, will take on World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the last 32. The
Malaysian is 9-1 up on their head-to-head record, but El Tayeb won
their last match at the 2018 Saudi Masters.
ďI just had to do what I do best and keep digging in and Iím really
please to win 3-0," David said.
"I was happy to just get on court and play in front of a crowd. Itís
my last tournament and itís really special for it to be at the
British Open, Iím just going to try and absorb everything that comes
my way and savour the moments."
local favourite Fiona Moverley did call time on her professional
career after falling to Malaysiaís Low Wee Wern in straight games.
The 32-year-old from Hull - who is currently in the midst of
training to join the fire service - made her PSA debut in 2005 and
won eight titles on the tour, but was unable to prevent Low from
claiming her first win at the tournament since 2014.
Moverley said: ďBeing here every year has been great, the tournament
has been held in Hull every year since I came back so that has been
special being the local player.
"Playing for England has been exciting and one I wont forget. The
whole experience has been something special, travelling the world
and doing something I love."
Wildcard Jasmine Hutton - the World No.77 from Brighton - claimed
the biggest win of her career as she scalped World No.30 Hollie
Naughton on the traditional plaster courts located at the same
the menís draw, both of the wildcards earned their spots in the
second round as Manchester-based Patrick Rooney and Birminghamís
Joshua Masters upset Malaysiaís Eain Yow Ng and Hong Kongís Tsz Fung
World No.95 Rooney bridged a 59-place gap in the PSA World Rankings
to overcome Ng 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 and claim his first ever win at the
ďI didnít expect to win, but I just tried to take all the pressure
off myself and just play the best I could against Yow, who Iíve
known for ages," Rooney said.
"Iíve never beaten him before, and I knew it was going to be tough
because he has loads of skill and is so quick."
Meanwhile, World No.55 Masters will appear in the second round here
for the first time after beating World No.28 Yip by an 11-8, 11-9,
The 24-year-old will take on Egyptís Fares Dessouky in round two.
beaten him before and so that gave me a lot of confidence,Ē said
ďI knew exactly how to beat him and although at times I sometimes
went away from that game plan, I was pleased to get over the line."
Former World No.1 James Willstrop also earned his second round spot
courtesy of a 3-0 win over Indiaís Ramit Tandon, while England No.3
Daryl Selby beat close friend and compatriot Ben Coleman in four
games to earn his place in the last 32.
Second round action continues tomorrow, when Englandís former World
Champion Laura Massaro begins her final PSA tournament, while
reigning champions Nour El Sherbini and Miguel Rodriguez kickstart
their title defences.
Play starts at 12:00 (GMT+1) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV
(rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the
official Facebook page of the PSA
World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).
of next weekís Allam British Open, Colombiaís Miguel Rodriguez says
that he is heading to Hull with the aim of retaining the title he
won in stunning fashion 12 months ago.
The 2019 edition of the British Open will be held at the University
of Hullís new sports complex between May 20-26, and Rodriguez has
fond memories of the city after beating World No.2 Mohamed
ElShorbagy at the Airco Arena last May to etch his name onto the
In doing so, Rodriguez became the first South American ever to win a
PSA World Tour Platinum title and the first unseeded player in the
modern era to capture the British Open trophy - accolades that seem
all the more impressive given his relative lack of training partners
in Colombia when compared to a number of his contemporaries.
"Itís something that is going to be in my mind forever," said
Rodriguez, the 33-year-old from Bogota.
"Becoming a legend at the British Open is something that is
difficult to describe. Being in the history books of this tournament
is amazing, Iím going to remember this tournament forever.
"I think that moment when I won that match with Mohamed was my
career highlight. There were so many years of training, playing,
travelling, and it paid off.
really wanted to win a Platinum event, but I never thought I was
going to win the British Open. That was a great gift because when I
was a kid I was just thinking about being top 20 and maybe top 10 in
the world, but I never thought I would win the British Open because
it was maybe too far for me.
"Especially because I come from South America where I donít have the
same competition and tournaments [than others]. You can consider
this tournament as the ĎWimbledon of Squashí. Thereís so much
history behind this tournament, and I was very proud to win it last
year, it was the first major event in my career."
Last yearís British Open win saw Rodriguez qualify for the PSA World
Tour Finals and, after a below-par season which has seen him fail to
make it past the quarter-final stages of any of his tournaments this
season, the World No.7 will require similar heroics to qualify for
the season-ending event in Cairo next month.
However, Rodriguez has proven himself as one of the most resilient
players on the tour and has fought back from injury, illness and a
world ranking which dropped as low as No.25 in May 2017 to become a
real force at the sportís major tournaments once again.
Now armed with the experience of claiming silverware on the biggest
stage, Rodriguez insists that he has what it takes to defend his
"The passion and the love that I have for this sport is huge, and it
motivates me," he said.
"I still think that I can play for many years, and I think that I
can win many tournaments. Itís like a little piece of a big cake
that Iíve already tasted, now I know how it feels when you win a big
tournament, especially beating the World No.1 in the final.
"Iím going to face this tournament with great motivation, this year
the competition is even harder because most of the players know that
they are capable of winning it.
"Itís a great opportunity for me and a great chance. Iím excited
knowing that Iím the defending champion, I know thereís going to be
a lot of pressure, but I want to play, I want to be fit and healthy
and the other things will come.
"Iím pretty sure that I can do the same thing as last year, Iím
looking forward to playing this event, and I would love to be the
British Open champion again."
Rodriguez is seeded sixth for this yearís tournament and has been
drawn on the same side of the draw as ElShorbagy, with the pair
seeded to lock horns once again in the quarter-finals.
Also involved in the menís draw are the likes of World No.1 Ali
Farag, World No.5 Simon RŲsner and Englandís former World No.1 James
The womenís draw is headed up by World No.1 Raneem El Welily as she
looks to go one better than last yearís runner-up finish to fellow
Egyptian Nour El Sherbini.
Former champions Camille Serme, Laura Massaro and Nicol David are
also involved, with the latter two making the final appearances of
their illustrious careers as both are set to retire at the end of
A prize purse of $324,000 is split evenly between the menís and
womenís draws, while matches from the glass court will be shown live
on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the
official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour
(excluding Europe and Japan. The semi-finals and finals will be
shown live by broadcasters such as BT Sport, Fox Sports Australia,
Astro and more.
Stay up to date with action from the 2019 Allam British Open by
following the tournament on
Twitter, or visit the