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First Day Qualifying - British Open 2008
May 6, 2008, By SquashTalk.com , Independent News; © 2008 SquashTalk LLC       

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While Madeline Perry advanced to the second round of qualifying in Liverpool, England, the sole American in either qualifying draw, teenager Olivia Blatchford, of Brooklyn NY, was vanquished in three games by New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes.

Homecoming Fails To Lift Siveter In Dunlop British Open Qualifiers

Years after representing the club in the local leagues, Merseysider Stephen Siveter returned to the Liverpool Cricket Club to compete in today's (Tuesday) first qualifying round of the Dunlop British Open - Liverpool 2008 squash championships - but was unable to progress through to his maiden appearance in the longest-established and most prestigious event in world squash, which is being held in Liverpool for the first time.

Born in St Helens, and a Merseyside county player for many years, Siveter faced fellow Englishman Jonathan Harford.  It was a David v Goliath encounter, with 289 world ranking positions separating the two - 32-year-old Siveter having only recently joined the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and currently ranked 349.

The local hero, who now lives in Stafford, pushed Harford all the way - and took the third game on a tie-break.  But the 24-year-old from Leeds ultimately prevailed after 56 minutes to record an 11-8, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7 victory.

"I know Stephen, I’ve played in the leagues up here a few times, he is a very good non professional player," Harford said.  "I’m lucky to win that one 3/1 - he was 7-1 up in the first, and the second was pretty tight too. He was the local player, with nothing to lose - me, a top eight qualifying seed, a bit of pressure. He played very well, it was tough the whole way."

English outsider Mark Fuller pulled off a notable upset, beating French international Julien Balbo in straight games.  Unranked either in England or the world, the 23-year-old from Northamptonshire was making his first ever appearance in the event. 

But, undaunted, Fuller despatched the Frenchman - who helped his country through to last week's European Team Championships' finals - 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 in 41 minutes.

"That wasn’t expected to happen," conceded the English debutant.  "I think we play both a similar type of game, up and down the wall, steady, not too much with the ball, no flashy shots… And today, that’s what I stuck to, trying not to do too many mistakes.

"I just need to say a big thank you to my training partners, and my little brother," added Fuller.

Sadly, his 'little brother' failed to make it a Fuller double later in the day.  Chris Fuller, the reigning British National U17 champion, went down 11-2, 11-10 (3-1), 11-6 to Pakistan's Farhan Mehboob.

Women's qualifying also got underway at the Liverpool Cricket Club, with Cheshire's Sarah Kippax making a strong start against New Zealand's Joelle King

Kippax, a multi-talented sportswoman who has represented her county in netball, hockey, football, cross-country and squash, eventually chose to focus on squash and is now ranked 30 in the world.

The 24-year-old, now based in Halifax, recovered from a game down to defeat her Kiwi opponent 0-9, 9-6, 9-2, 9-1 - and will now face compatriot Dominique Lloyd-Walter for a place in the qualifying finals.

The Dunlop British Open - Liverpool 2008 will be staged at the new ECHO Arena Liverpool from 10-12 May, following qualifying and early rounds at the Liverpool Cricket Club.

Nottingham RESULTS

WOMEN 1st qualifying round:
Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 9-4, 9-1, 9-3 (23m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Kirsty McPhee (ENG) 10-9, 0-9, 9-2, 9-7 (42m)
Lauren Briggs (ENG) bt Vicky Hynes (ENG) 10-8, 9-4, 9-4 (38m)
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Emma Chorley (ENG) 9-7, 9-3, 9-1 (32m)
Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Birgit Coufal (AUT) 9-6, 9-4, 9-4 (29m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Fiona Moverley (ENG) 9-3, 9-0, 9-5 (37m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) bt Carrie Hastings (ENG) 9-7, 9-0, 9-0 (24m)
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Joelle King (NZL) 0-9, 9-6, 9-2, 9-1 (46m)
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt Lauren Selby (ENG) 9-4, 9-2, 9-3 (25m)
Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt Rebecca Botwright (ENG) 9-1, 9-7, 10-8 (34m)
Louise Crome (NZL) bt Leonie Holt (ENG) 9-6, 9-1, 5-9, 9-2 (40m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 9-1, 9-1, 9-2 (21m)
Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) bt Luz Etchechoury (ARG) 9-1, 9-3, 9-3 (23m)
Annelize Naude (NED) bt Jeannine Cowie (ENG) 9-3, 9-1, 9-1 (20m)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Kerri Shields (IRL) 9-4, 9-1, 9-3 (23m)
Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Belen Etchechoury (ARG) 9-0, 9-2, 9-0 (18m)

MENS 1st qualifying round:
Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 11-10 (2-0), 11-9, 11-9 (53m)
Ben Ford (ENG) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6 (53m)
Jonathan Harford (ENG) bt Stephen Siveter (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7 (56m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt John Rooney (IRL) 11-7 ret. (7m)
Mark Fuller (ENG) bt Julien Balbo (FRA) 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (41m)
Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt Lewis Walters (ENG) 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
Shaun le Roux (ENG) bt Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 (65m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Adam Murrills (ENG) 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Rob Sutherland (WAL) 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 (57m)
Jesse Engelbrecht (RSA) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 11-7, 7-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-5 (44m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Jethro Binns (WAL) 10-11 (0-2), 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3 (71m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt James Snell (ENG) 11-8, 11-10 (3-1), 11-9 (46m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Romain Tenant (FRA) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
Scott Handley (ENG) bt Andrew Widdison (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (27m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 11-1, 11-6 ret. (14m)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt Chris Fuller (ENG) 11-2, 11-10 (3-1), 11-6 (37m)



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