internationalSPORTgroup BRITISH OPEN – MEN’S QUARTER-FINALS

Barker, the World No.8, recorded a career-first victory over World No.2 and 2007 British Open Champion Gregory Gaultier, reaching the semi-finals for the first time with a spectacular 11-7 7-11 11-3 7-11 11-8 win over his French rival.
 
"I've had a terrible record against Greg, so I'm over the moon to have beaten him - especially here in the British Open," said Barker. "I'm going to enjoy today before preparing myself for tomorrow.
 
"I've been training really hard over the summer - endless bikes and swims for up to three sessions a day," explained the left-hander. "So much so, that I was looking forward to the start of the season so that I could stop training!
 
"Greg is a class act. But I needed to get myself fitter so that I could deal with his pace. In fact, I thought to myself as I went on court - 'I doubt he's done as much training as I have'!"
 
The 25-year-old will now meet England team-mate Nick Matthew after the fourth seed ended the giant-killing run of compatriot Daryl Selby.
 
Selby, the unseeded 26-year-old, had reached the last eight after taking out two world top 16-ranked opponents, but World No.5 Matthew was too strong, winning 11-7 11-5 11-8.
 
"I'm delighted to be playing Pete tomorrow," said Matthew, who in 2006 became the first home-grown winner of the title for 67 years. "We're sharing a room together here - I must pop something into his glass of water tonight!"
 
In a clash between three-time World Champion Amr Shabana andfour-time British Open winner David Palmer, described by Tournament Presenter Robert Edwards as the 'match of the championship', Shabana emerged the 11-8 14-12 4-11 19-17 winner.
 
"There wasn't much in it - he just played better at the end than I did," said Palmer, the 33-year-old title-holder from Australia who was making his 13th successive appearance in the event. "It's still nice that I can play with these top four guys. I don't think I could have done much more."
 
In the final match of the day, England’s James Willstrop claimed his place in the semi-finals with an 11-5 11-6 12-10 victory over Malaysia's 12th seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar.
 
National Squash Centre, Manchester
Men’s Championship Quarter-Finals:
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 11-5, 11-6, 12-10 (47m)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [5] David Palmer (AUS) 11-8, 14-12, 4-11, 19-17 (86m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 11-7, 7-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8 (76m)
 
Men's Championship Semi-Finals Line-up:
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) v [3] Amr Shabana (EGY)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)
 
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

A day of high drama in the quarter-finals of the internationalSPORTgroup British OpenManchester 2009 saw a series of spectacular matches and significant results, including a breakthrough win by sixth seeded Englishman Peter Barker which puts three Englishmen into the semi-finals for the first time in the professional era.