World No1 Matthew Leads Powerful Home Charge On British Grand Prix Title

The ROWE British Grand Prix – Manchester 2010 is one of only ten Professional Squash Association (PSA) Super Series events in 2010, and the only PSA Super Series event to be staged in the UK this year.  The $92,500 championship will take place at the National Squash Centre at Sportcity from the 15th to 20th September.
 
Matthew, who became England's first World N.1 for six years in June, leads a high-quality domestic field which includes English rivals James Willstrop, the World No.6; Daryl Selby, the World No.9; Adrian Grant, ranked 15 in the world; Alister Walker, the World No16; and former World University champion Chris Ryder, the World No.39.
 
Matthew, twice a British Open champion, is enjoying the best form of his career – and on Sunday beat Egyptian rival Ramy Ashour, ranked two in the world, in straight games in the final of the Australian Open to clinch his fifth World Tour title in a row – becoming the first player to achieve this for more than five years!
 
Incredibly, it was Matthew's eighth final appearance in the last nine PSA Tour events he has played!
 
Matthew is likely to face his toughest threat in Manchester from Ashour, the 22-year-old from Cairo whom he succeeded as World No.1 two months ago. The second-seeded Egyptian will feel at home on the spectacular all-glass court at the National Squash Centre – the scene of his World Open title triumph in 2008.
 
But Matthew and England team-mate Willstrop share one of the country’s biggest rivalries of all-time.  The pair contested the 2009 British Open final on the Sportcity court – which Matthew won in 122 dramatic minutes after saving a match ball!  In February, back on the same court in the climax of the British National Championship, Matthew again prevailed to win his third title.
 
Willstrop, the fifth seed who reached a career-high World No.2 in December 2005, won the first PSA Super Series title of the year at the Tournament of Champions in New York. The 26-year-old boasts a number of international titles on home soil, including the English Grand Prix and English Open in 2007, and the Canary Wharf Classic three times between 2004 & 2008.
 
Willstrop reached the Australian Open semi-finals after sensationally defeating Australian hero David Palmer and Egypt's World Champion Amr Shabana – both former World No.1’s. But the 27-year-old once again fell to the eventual champion Matthew.
 
Daryl Selby, Adrian Grant and Alister Walker are also England internationals. Seventh seed Selby is the latest English player to break into the world top 10. The 27-year-old has already notched up four PSA Tour final appearances this year – and won his ninth title at the Rocky Mountain Open in Canada in March.
 
“The ROWE British Grand Prix promises to be a very competitive tournament – and, with eight of the world’s top 10, it will be a high quality week of squash,” said Selby on the eve of the event.  “With the Commonwealth Games only a couple of weeks after the Manchester championship, it will provide a good warm-up and preparation before the Games.
 
“I'm looking forward to playing in front of an English crowd and hopefully they will get behind the English players throughout the week.”
 
Left hander Adrian Grant, with 16 World Tour trophies to his name, boasts more titles than any other Englishman on the international circuit.
 
Botswana-born Walker, the distinctive-looking 27-year-old reached his seventh World Tour final at the Berkshire Open in the USA in April and is seeded to make the last 16 in Manchester.
 
“The strength and quality of English squash is often overshadowed by the rivalry of Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, but it should be remembered that England currently have four players in the world’s top 10 and six in the top 20,” said Tournament Promoter Paul Walters of internationalSPORTgroup.
 
“Everyone involved with the ROWE British Grand Prix has gone to great lengths to deliver the best possible championship to showcase not only the best players in the world but also to give the English players an opportunity to compete against them in front of their home crowd which are without doubt the most knowledgeable in the world.
 
“It is great to see Daryl Selby, Adrian Grant and Alister Walker in the main draw alongside Nick and James.  There is a healthy rivalry amongst all of the leading English players, even if there is an edge that can spill over on occasions.  It would be fascinating I am sure if Nick and James were to meet again in Manchester, but equally so if Daryl, Adrian and Alister were to find themselves in the same quarter of the draw,” added Walters, who confirmed that the draw is scheduled to be made on the 18th August.
 
ROWE British Grand Prix – Manchester 2010 seeds:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[2] Ramy Ashour (EGY)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY)
[4] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG)
[6] Thierry Lincou (FRA)
[7] Daryl Selby (ENG)
[8] David Palmer (AUS)
[9] Adrian Grant (ENG)
[10] Alister Walker (ENG)
[11] Stewart Boswell (AUS)
[12] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK)
[13] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)
[14] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[15] Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
[16] Farhan Mehboob (PAK)
 
For further information visit the ROWE British Grand Prix – Manchester 2010 Official Website www.britishsquashgrandprix.com or email info@isportgroup.com
 
Tickets for the ROWE British Grand Prix – Manchester 2010 can now be booked online at www.isportgroup.com/ticketing or by telephone on 0844 870 0000.
 
Issued by media@isportgroup.com on behalf of the ROWE British Grand Prix – Manchester 2010

England's new World No.1 Nick Matthew, winner of the Australian Open this weekend, leads a powerful domestic title bid at next month’s ROWE British Grand Prix in Manchester, the biggest international squash championship to be staged in Europe this year.