Champion Selby Settles Into Title Defence In Manchester

The world No12 from Brentwood recovered from dropping the second game to beat Cheltenham-based Lake 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 in 40 minutes.
 
"It's nice to play the first match as defending champion," said the third seed. "Nathan is a good young player - he played some good shots and certainly deserved that second game. That court was quite bouncy - you have to attack on there. You try not to play every match for an hour as it's going to be a long week.
 
"It doesn't feel too much different really, being defending champion. But it's nice to see myself on the poster - that IS different!"
 
When asked what the most significant benefit of the title has been, Selby replied: "I guess it's being introduced as the current British champion. All around the world that carries some weight as everybody knows how strong we are, not just the English, but Welsh, Scottish and Irish too.
 
"It's been an honour and a privilege to have that title and I'm going to do my best to defend it." Selby continued. "But whoever does win it will deserve it, as there are some good players here."
 
Manchester squash veteran Andy Whipp had to fight for his life in the opening round. Marking his tenth successive appearance in the event, the 30-year-old 12th seed faced teenager Declan James.
 
The 18-year-old underdog from Nottingham recovered from losing the first game to win the next two - before moving ahead in the fourth to within two points of victory.
 
But Whipp dug deep to draw level then maintained a lead in the decider before closing out the match 11-5, 12-14, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 after 67 minutes.
 
"He played well," conceded the local hero, a former world No64. "I was carrying a little groin injury so was really nervous about losing today. I'm just relieved to get through - I didn't feel confident in my running or hitting."
 
James had just returned from Chennai in India where he helped England win the bronze medal in the WSF U21 World Cup. "I was 9-7 up in the fourth and choked. I got desperate and thought about winning too early. I felt strong mentally but physically I was a bit slow and tired - because of all the travelling.
 
"Chennai was a great experience - I've never had the opportunity to play on such a big stage before - the atmosphere there was ridiculous," added James, who arrived back in the UK on Monday, but his racket bag was delayed and only turned up at the venue less than hour before today's match!
 
Whipp now faces James Willstrop, the No1 seed from Yorkshire who topped the world rankings last month. "I'm desperate to get into the quarter-finals one year," continued Whipp. "But I've got James next so it might be difficult this time.
 
"James and I went through juniors together and there was one year when I played him about 18 times - but it's been about four years since I last played him."
 
Willstrop dropped a game before overcoming Scottish qualifier Kevin Moran 11-3, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4. It was the former champion's first appearance in Manchester since admitting that that a shock early exit in last year's event almost led him to quit the sport.
 
"I've not seen Kevin before," said the 28-year-old from Leeds who became world No1 last month. "I was quite happy with the way it went. It's not such a bad thing dropping a game - it helps you concentrate and get your focus, and it gives you extra time on court."
 
Yorkshireman Simon Parke, a former world No3 who made his Nationals debut 25 years ago, was back in action yesterday against Surrey's Charles Sharpes, aged just 20. The youngster held his nerve to see off Parke, who will be 40 this year, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 in 44 minutes.
 
"He was too quick," said a weary Parke, the 1998 champion who first reached the final in 1991, the year before Sharpes was born. "I just enjoy competing - but he was just too good. I really rate him, he's going to be a good player."
 
Surrey-based Sharpes was also full of praise for Parke: "I've got so much respect for him - he's still playing fantastic squash," said the 13th seed, who also competed in the U21 World Cup.
"I felt good - even after India - and now look forward to playing Chris Simpson tomorrow."
 
In one of the last matches of the day, second seed Nick Matthew began his bid to win the title for a fourth time since 2006. The 31-year-old from Sheffield, now back at the top of the world rankings, beat fellow Yorkshireman James Earles, a 19-year-old qualifier from Hull, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.
 
"It's always good to get the first one out of the way," said Matthew, who is expected to line up against Willstrop in the first ever National final between the top two players in the world.
 
Men's 1st round:
[1] James Willstrop (Yorks) bt [Q] Kevin Moran (Scotland) 11-3, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 (35m)
[12] Andy Whipp (Cheshire) bt Declan James (Notts) 11-5, 12-14, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 (67m)
[6] Chris Ryder (Herts) bt [Q] Oliver Holland (Notts) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)
[16] Anthony Graham (Glos) bt [Q] Richard Birks (Shropshire) 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (62m)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) bt Neil Cordell (Yorks) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (24m)
[9] Robbie Temple (Glos) bt [Q] Stuart Crawford (Scotland) 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (26m)
[5] Tom Richards (Surrey) bt [Q] Mark Fuller (Notts) 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (46m)
[14] Eddie Charlton (Notts) bt Adam Murrills (Cheshire) 11-13, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 (56m)
[10] Joe Lee (Surrey) bt Stephen Siveter (Merseyside) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (34m)
[8] Adrian Waller (Herts) bt [Q] Andrew Widdison (Yorks) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
[11] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) bt Jason David Pike (Wilts) 9-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-6 (33m)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (Glos) 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (40m)
[13] Charles Sharpes (Surrey) bt Simon Parke (Yorks) 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)
[7] Chris Simpson (Hants) bt Ben Coleman (Essex) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (44m)
[15] Jaymie Haycocks (Shropshire) bt Alex Ingham (Surrey) 11-5, 12-10, 11-7 (37m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt [Q] James Earles (Yorks) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)
Women's 2nd qualifying round:
Laura Mylotte (Cheshire) bt Rachael Chadwick (Cheshire) 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 (23m)
Julianne Courtice (Glos) bt Alicia Mead (Warwicks) 11-1, 11-8, 14-12 (21m)
Harriet Ingham (Surrey) bt Rachel Willmott (Sussex) 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 (23m)
Amina Helal (Lancs) bt Jessica Davis (Cheshire) w/o
Kirsty McPhee (Yorks) bt Anna Kimberley (Essex) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (26m)
Leonie Holt (Warwicks) bt Martha Possegger (Sussex) w/o
Kirsty West (Cheshire) bt Georgina Ingham (Surrey) 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (28m)
Laura Hill (Derbyshire) bt Katrina Burrows (Merseyside) 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 (18m)
Qualifying finals:
Julianne Courtice (Glos) bt Laura Mylotte (Cheshire) 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (27m)
Amina Helal (Lancs) bt Harriet Ingham (Surrey) 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 (20m)
Kirsty McPhee (Yorks) bt Leonie Holt (Warwicks) 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3 (40m)
Laura Hill (Derbyshire) bt Kirsty West (Cheshire) 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (30m)
Men's 2nd round line-up:
[1] James Willstrop (Yorks) v [12] Andy Whipp (Cheshire)
[6] Chris Ryder (Herts) v [16] Anthony Graham (Glos)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) v [9] Robbie Temple (Glos)
[5] Tom Richards (Surrey) v [14] Eddie Charlton (Notts)
[8] Adrian Waller (Herts) v [10] Joe Lee (Surrey)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) v [11] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire)
[7] Chris Simpson (Hants) v [13] Charles Sharpes (Surrey)
[2] Nick Matthew (Yorks) v [15] Jaymie Haycocks (Shropshire)
Updated women's 1st round draw:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) v [Q] Laura Hill (Derbyshire)
[7] Lauren Briggs (Essex) v [Q] Julianne Courtice (Glos)
[4] Sarah Kippax (Cheshire) v Lisa Aitken (Scotland)
[8] Alison Waters (Middx) v [Q] Kirsty McPhee (Yorks)
[6] Victoria Lust (Beds) v Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwicks)
[3] Laura Massaro (Lancs) v [Q] Amina Helal (Lancs)
[5] Emma Beddoes (Warwicks) v Tesni Evans (Wales)
[2] Madeline Perry (Ireland) v Lauren Selby (Essex)
 
Tickets for the British National Squash Championships - Manchester 2012 can be booked online at www.isportgroup.com/ticketing, or by telephone on 0844-870 0000 - or for further help and
information email: info@isportgroup.com
 
For more general details of the 2012 National Championships, please visit the official website:
www.nationalsquashchamps.co.uk
 

Daryl Selby, the 29-year-old from Essex who became the surprise winner of the men's British National Squash Championship title last year, successfully began the defence of his crown in Manchester today with a four-game win over Gloucestershire qualifier Nathan Lake at the National Squash Centre.