internationalSPORTgroup BRITISH OPEN – MEN’S 1ST ROUND

Qualifier Shuja, making only his second bid to qualify for the event since 1998, beat rising star Mohamed El Shorbagy 11-7 13-11 9-11 2-11 11-7 in 57 minutes. Much was expected of the 18-year-old Egyptian who made the World Open quarter-finals last year, also in Manchester, since when he has risen to a career-high World No.15 ranking.
 
"Shorbagy is an immensely talented player and a great sportsman with a great future," said 30-year-old Shuja, from Auckland. "I guess it was experience over youth today and I am glad I sneaked through in the end.
 
"I'm pleased to be in the last 16 of the British Open," added the Pakistan-born Kiwi, ranked 45 in the world.
 
Selby helped to deliver a bumper day for England in Manchester where six home players claimed places in the men's last sixteen of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship.
 
The World No.21 from Essex romped to an 11-1 9-4 lead against Aamir Atlas Khan when the 14th seed from Pakistan, ranked seven places higher, pulled up injured and conceded the match.
 
The 26-year-old, who made his England debut in May, has enjoyed a rapid rise up the world rankings this year - coming from outside the top 30 in January to a career-high 21 this month.
 
Selby, who has never before progressed beyond the first round, will now face England team-mate Adrian Grant for a place in the quarter-finals.
 
Grant, the No.8 seed, began his 2009 campaign against qualifier Simon Rosner - and beat the top-ranked German 12-10 12-10 11-5.
 
"This is by far the biggest and most prestigious tournament there is - and the fact that all the top players are here speaks for itself," said the 28-year-old who broke into the world's top ten last month. I'd be speechless if I won it."
 
Londoner Peter Barker, also a left-hander, was the first through on the state-of-the-art all-glass court. The sixth seed took four games to overcome French qualifier Stephane Galifi 11-9 4-11 11-5 11-2.
 
"Stephane was higher-ranked some time back, then took a couple of years off - so I knew he was one of the worst qualifiers to get. I was a bit edgy in the first two games, and he took advantage.
 
"Towards the back end of last season, I proved I can beat those above me on a one-off basis," explained the 25-year-old World No.8. "Now I've got to keep improving and do it back-to-back."
 
England's British Open hopes are being led by fourth seed Nick Matthew. The World No5, who made history in 2006 by becoming the first home winner of the title for 67 years, breezed past fellow countryman Chris Simpson, a qualifier from Guernsey, 12-10 11-2 11-5. 
 
"We've got a good bunch of up-and-coming players pushing us hard - and Chris is one of them. Every single rally I had to push hard - all credit to him," said the fourth seed who now meets Australian Cameron Pilley.
 
Compatriots Alister Walker and James Willstrop rounded off the day with contrasting journeys into the second round. Walker, the No11 seed, was stretched to a fifth game tie-break before celebrating an 11-5 7-11 11-6 9-11 12-10 win over French qualifier Renan Lavigne in 95 minutes.
 
Tenth seed James Willstrop took just 39 minutes to overcome New Zealand qualifier Campbell Grayson 11-4 11-5 11-7.
 
Gregory Gaultier, who became the first French winner of the title two years ago, defeated India's Saurav Ghosal 11-7 11-6 11-5 in the first match of the day at the National Squash Centre.
 
"This is such a prestigious tournament - it's one every squash player wants to win, and I would like to win it again. I'm not a young man anymore and want to try and win as many tournaments as I can."
 
The Northern Club, Didsbury, Manchester
Men’s Championship 1st Round:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 (27m)
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (39m)
[7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [Q] Martin Knight (NZL) 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (30m)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Yasir Butt (PAK) 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4 (58m)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (32m)
[11] Alister Walker (ENG) bt [Q] Renan Lavigne (FRA) 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 (95m)
[5] David Palmer (AUS) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
[9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt Joey Barrington (ENG) 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10 (82m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [14] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-1, 9-4 ret. (20m)
[8] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Simon Rosner (GER) 12-10, 12-10, 11-5 (42m)
[15] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 13-11, 11-3, 11-9 (45m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 12-10, 11-2, 11-5 (41m)
[16] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Davide Bianchetti (ITA) 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-3 (64m)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Stephane Galifi (FRA) 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 11-2 (49m)
[Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt [13] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 2-11, 11-7 (57m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (38m)
 
Men's Championship 2nd Round Draw:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [10] James Willstrop (ENG)
[7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [11] Alister Walker (ENG)
[5] David Palmer (AUS) v [9] Wael El Hindi (EGY)
[8] Adrian Grant (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [15] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v [16] Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL)
 
For further information, visit the internationalSPORTgroup British Open – Manchester 2009 Official Website, www.isportgroup.com/BritishOpenSquash, email: info@isportgroup.com or contact Press & Media Manager Peter Schmidl on mobile +49 172 7211162, Skype: peter.schmidl1 or email schmidl@squashnet.de
 
Issued by www.isportgroup.com/SquashNews

England's Daryl Selby and New Zealander Kashif Shuja shared major upsets in the opening round of the internationalSPORTgroup British OpenManchester 2009 to claim unexpectedplaces in the last sixteenof the $92,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.