Five former champions seeded to face off in British National semi-finals

The Dunlop British National Championships will play host to a series of mouth-watering encounters, with as many as five former title holders seeded to meet in the semi-finals, after the main draws were released today.

In the top half of the Men’s draw, defending champion and top seed, Nick Matthew will begin his title defence against a qualifier and is seeded to meet Declan James in the quarters before a potential final clash with long-term rival and former World No.1, James Willstrop.
 
The Yorkshiremen have locked horns in five previous Nationals finals with three-time World Champion Matthew enjoying the lion’s share of victories. 
 
Willstrop, the two-time National champion, will first have to navigate a potential semi-final clash with 2011 champion, Daryl Selby - the only player ever to have toppled nine-time champion Matthew in a Nationals final.
 
Selby, who commences his campaign against a qualifier, will be wary however of a potential quarter-final challenge from Scot Greg Lobban who last week dispatched the World No.15 in three at the Edinburgh Open.
 
In the women’s draw, top seed and defending champion Laura Massaro is seeded to lock horns with World No.12 Tesni Evans in a mouth-watering last four encounter. The Welshwoman, seeded ¾, memorably got the better of the four-time National champion and former World No.1 in Round 2 of the AJ Bell PSA World Championships back in December.
 
Meanwhile, the bottom half of the women’s draw sees a blistering first round clash between former title holders Jenny Duncalf and Sarah-Jane Perry, the World No.8.
 
Perry, who lifted the NetSuite Open title last year, is seeded to go on to meet four-time National champion and World No.10 Alison Waters in the semi-finals.
 
The qualifying stages will be held on 13th and 14th February, with the main draw taking place between 15th and 18th February.
 
A total of nine players inside the World’s Top 20 will compete in the 2018 Dunlop British National Squash Championships. Tickets available at www.isportstore.com.