The semi-finals of the 2022 British National Squash Championships begin at 17:30 (GMT+1) today with four exciting fixtures in store at Manchester’s National Squash Centre.
Up first is a clash between top women’s seed Emily Whitlock and No.3 seed Jasmine Hutton, before Patrick Rooney takes on defending champion Joel Makin in the first men’s match of the evening.
Next up is Lucy Beecroft, appearing in the Nationals semis for the first time, against fellow Englishwoman Lucy Turmel, before Mohamed ElShorbagy – vying to reach the finals of this event on his Nationals debut – will take on four-time winner James Willstrop in what will be their 27th meeting.
 Emily Whitlock (Wal) v  Jasmin Hutton (Eng)
The opening match will be a contest between two previous finalists as 2019 runner-up Emily Whitlock locks horns with 2020 runner-up Jasmine Hutton in what will be only their second meeting.
The pair were scheduled to play during the 2020 Nationals, but Whitlock was forced to withdraw from the fixture due to an injury, handing Hutton her first Nationals finals appearance.
Both players have been in fine form throughout the tournament thus far, with neither dropping a game. Whitlock has spent 58 minutes on court this week and has dispatched Scotland’s Alison Thomson and England’s Anna Kimberley en route to the final.
Hutton, meanwhile, has spent a shade less time on court than Whitlock, requiring 51 minutes to defeat English duo Katie Wells and Alicia Mead.
At World No.21, Whitlock is ranked nine places above Hutton in the World Rankings and after winning their only previous encounter by a 3-1 margin, will be the favourite going into today’s match.
 Joel Makin (Wal) v  Patrick Rooney (Eng)
Defending champion Joel Makin became the first Welsh winner of the men’s British Nationals when he toppled Adrian Waller in last year’s final, and the World No.7 will look to a third successive final here tonight.
The head-to-head record doesn’t make good reading for Rooney, who has beaten his Welsh opponent just once in nine previous matches, with his last victory coming seven years ago at the Ipswich Open.
Rooney had a slow start to the event, requiring five games and 44 minutes to see off qualifier Finnlay Withington, before coming back from a game down to beat Scotland’s Greg Lobban
Makin, meanwhile, has seen off Charlie Lee and Curtis Malik in straight games and will have his eye on another final in Manchester after he also captured the Manchester Open title at the National Squash Centre earlier this year.
 Lucy Turmel (Eng) v  Lucy Beecroft (Eng)
Competing in the third match of the evening will be the two Lucys – Beecroft and Turmel – and their head-to-head record is tied at two wins apiece.
25-year-old Beecroft will be full of confidence after an impressive win against No.4 seed Julianne Courtice in the previous round and will now look to reach her first ever final at this prestigious event.
Turmel is also aiming to become a first-time finalist and must deal with the pressure of the ‘favourite’ tag, though she has been in inspired form this week with comfortable wins over Lowri Roberts and Grace Gear.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng) v  James Willstrop (Eng)
The final match of the evening features two players who need no introduction, with 66 professional titles and 61 months at World No.1 between the pair of them.
Much has been made of Mohamed ElShorbagy’s switch of allegiance from Egypt to England since the announcement was made last week, and the 31-year-old is one win away from a Nationals final debut appearance.
The World No.3 dispatched qualifier Peter Creed in round one before overturning a one-game deficit against Nick Wall to book his semi-finals spot.
James Willstrop – a four-time British Nationals champion – overcame Ben Smith in the opening round before a highly impressive dismantling of last year’s runner-up Adrian Waller last night.
The 38-year-old will need an even better performance if he is to end a 10-match losing run against ‘The Beast’.