Botwright & Lengthorn Sail
Seeds Lloyd-Walter and Noom are out
England’s highest ranked women’s squash player Vicky Botwright, who recently led her country to success in the Women’s World Team Championships, secured her place in the quarter-finals of the inaugural Wolverhampton Open with a confident performance over Jenna Gates, before her young opponent retired mid-way through the second game with a back injury.
The top seed from Manchester, who has enjoyed her most successful year on the Women’s World Tour, culminating in her reaching a career high No.5 world ranking, is competing in the Wolverhampton Open as part of her final preparations for the World Championships to be staged in Belfast next week.
The 29 year-old will now face Sarah Kippax, recent winner of the Pepsi Enschede Open in the eastern Netherlands city of Enschede, who defeated qualifier Lauren Siddall 5-9 9-2 9-6 9-7.
Second seed Laura Lengthorn was equally impressive during her 9-1 9-3 9-2 win over Vicky Hynes, as was third seed Shelley Kitchen of New Zealand who overcame sporadic resistance from Italy’s Manuella Manetta during her 10-8 9-0 9-5 victory.
However, England’s Dominique Lloyd-Walter, seeded No.4 for the UK’s biggest club-based squash championships, crashed-out to qualifier Laura Hill 9-6 9-5 9-0.
Quarter-final berths were also secured by Rebecca Botwright, Emma Beddoes and Jaclyn Hawkes who recorded wins over Line Hansen, Orla Noom and Aisling Blake respectively.
Simon Parke, the former English No.1, World No.3 and two times British National Champion who is making his last competitive appearance in the UK before retiring from the international circuit, produced a typically dogged performance to outlast British Junior Champion Chris Simpson 10-11(1-2) 11-4 11-7 11-9 in the first round of the inaugural Wolverhampton Open.
Simpson, who had reached the first round via an arduous qualifying competition, attacked his experienced opponent with forceful drives and volleys to capture the opening game. Parke countered with breathtaking retrieval to force a 2/1 lead, but found himself trailing 4-7 in the fourth game before he was again able to slow the pace and run-down his opponents’ attempted front court winners to record a deserved 90-minute win.
Simon Rosner from Germany, who also claimed his place in the main draw via the qualification competition, failed to progress to the quarter-finals after losing 8-11 11-10(2-0) 11-8 8-11 11-4 to eighth seed Saurav Ghosal of India.
However, England’s Jon Harford did progress in the championships. The 23 year-old, making a belated start to his professional career having recently finished studies at nearby Birmingham University, defeated India’s fifth seed Ritwik Bhattacharya 11-2 11-6 11-8.
There were mixed fortunes however for two other local players. World No.26, Jonathon Kemp, who was born in Wolverhampton and regularly trains at Wolverhampton’s premier tennis and squash club, crashed-out 11-8 9-11 2-11 11-8 11-8 to fellow Englishman Lee Drew, whilst resident professional Chris Ryder, the championship’s wild card, was unable to breakdown the solid consistency of Spain’s third seed Borja Golan – the Spaniard eventually winning 11-10(2-0) 9-11 11-4 11-10(2-0).
No.1 seed Alex Gough of Wales, defeated stylish New Zealander Kashif Shuja 6-11 11-5 11-5 11-9, whilst Scott Handley and Stacey Ross had straightforward wins over Amr Mansi and Alex Stait respectively.
Lawn Tennis & Squash
Club, Wolverhampton, England
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