The 2022 British Nationals continues today with the Quarter-Finals  at the National Squash Centre, with all the top seeds still in contention.

All the action takes place on the Glass court, and you can follow the matches on Live Scoring and our social feeds, Watch Live on SquashTV and more, and we’ll have reports and reaction right here with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.

British National Squash Championships 2022 : Day THREE, QUARTER-FINALS

[1] Emily Whitlock (Wal) 3-0 [8] Anna Kimberley (Eng)  11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (33m)
[2] Joel Makin (Wal) 3-0 Curtis Malik (Eng)  11-7, 12-10, 11-8 (43m)
[3] Jasmine Hutton (Eng) 3-0 Alicia Mead (Eng)  11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (26m)
[3] Patrick Rooney (Eng) 3-1 [6] Greg Lobban (Sco)   9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 (53m)

[2] Lucy Turmel (Eng) 3-0 [8] Grace Gear (Eng)  11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (29m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng) 3-1 [8] Nick Wall (Eng)  7-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (41m)
[6] Lucy Beecroft (Eng) 3-0 [4] Julianne Courtice (Eng)  11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)
[5] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-0 [4] Adrian Waller (Eng)  11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (32m)

QF H2H and lots more stats


Reports & Reaction

Whitlock First Player Through To Semi-Finals

No.1 seed Emily Whitlock opened day three with a win against England’s Anna Kimberley to reach the Nationals semi-finals.

Kimberely started well in the match and showed no signs of having to get used to the glass court as she took the ball into the front corners with great accuracy to test the movement of the No.1 seed. Despite the positive play of the Englishwoman, Whitlock maintained good structure to close out the game 11-8.

Whitlock started to dominate in the second game and showcased her excellent touch and variety of shots to constantly ask questions of Kimberely’s technique, which was beginning to buckle under the pressure. 

Whitlock grew stronger and stronger as the rallies went on and took the last two games 11-6, 11-4 to become the first player through to tomorrow’s semi-finals. Whitlock has recently appeared in her first European Team Championships representing Wales and thoroughly enjoyed the experience:

“It was a great week, we worked really well as a team it was just a really nice week. I’ve never been to a European Teams before so I was just happy to come away with a guaranteed medal was brilliant.

“Yeah last year in the semis I lost to SJ in a tough 3-1, but I played really well but it wasn’t enough on the day. She went and beat Gina 3-0 in the final so I thought that was good for me that I could perform well. Like I said yesterday, the seedings are just where you’re placed in the draw so as long as you can get the win then that’s the main thing.”

Result:  [1] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt [8] Anna Kimberley (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (33m)

Makin Overcomes Spirited Malik

The next match onto the all glass court at the National Squash Centre was between World No.7 Joel Makin and Curtis Malik.

Defending champion Makin is renowned for his physicality on court and displayed this from the start of the first men’s quarter final. A very high T position on the court enabled Makin to volley regularly to take time away from Malik and always force the Englishman to react.

After securing the first game 11-7, Malik started to express himself at the front fo the court and fired off several winners to put some doubt into Makin’s head. Makin earned the first game ball at 10-9 but Malik responded to force a tiebreak. Two solid points from the No.2 seed enabled him to convert the game 12-10 to lead 2-0.

The end came quickly for Malik as ‘The Golden Tiger’ straightened up his game and made it extremely hard for Malik to win points in any areas of the court. Winning 11-8 in the final game, Makin moves into yet another nationals semi-final to play the winner of Greg Lobban or Patrick Rooney.

Makin was impressed by the attitude of his opponent as he spoke to Vanessa after his match:

“He was impressive, I wanted to put some work into him in the third game to see what he’s about and I got a 7-1 lead and decided the make the rallies long to see if he’d play the match out and he did. That’s what we want, we don’t want players rolling over and surrendering easy, it’s a great example to anyone, it wasn’t looking good for him but he dug in and I respect that a lot.

“You’ve got to use the front of the court in these early matches, there’s no point just hurting people and getting off court quickly. Curtis is a quality player but I still want to practice my skills.

“Nick [Matthew] and James [Willstrop] have kept the importance of this event, the British Championships has only been won by the elite and although we’ve got a lot on I still place a lot of importance on this tournament and one that I definitely want to win.”

Result:  [2] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Curtis Malik (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-8 (43m)

Hutton Wins All-Left Handed Battle To Reach Semis

No.3 seed Jasmine Hutton booked her place in the semi-finals in confident style as she beat Alicia Mead 3-0 in just 26 minutes.

Hutton stormed the first two games giving no time to Mead around the middle of the court. Her crisp hitting was consistently finding the back corners and was always moving away from Mead. Hutton took a 2-0 lead winning 11-4, 11-5 and looked sure to be moving through to the semi-finals.

Despite a better showing from Mead in the third game, it wasn’t enough to halt the momentum of the World No.30 who looks a force to be reckoned with this week as she moves through to another semi-final.

“I thought she might have been a bit edgy, I don’t think she’s hit much on this court. To get a bye isn’t always easy, I remember when I reached the final I had two byes and I hadn’t hit on the glass so it was really hard so, credit to her for playing well in the last two games.

“I play on this court a lot, I’ve been coming here since I was about 14 years old for national squads and I’ve had some good wins on this court. I think I’m only of the few players who likes this court, it’s a lot hotter than usual but I’m just trying to adapt to it I guess.

“It’s so rare for me to play another lefty, I’ve got a lot stronger on my backhand so I’m happier on that side now and it’s good practice to defend on that side.

“I’m really looking forward to the semi-final, hopefully, will have the English crowd on my side and you never know what can happen on the day.”

Result : [3] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Alicia Mead (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (26m)

Rooney Battles Past Lobban To Reach First Nationals Semi-Final

Finishing off the afternoon session on day three at the National Championships was a birthday win for No.3 seed, Patrick Rooney after he beat Scotland’s Greg Lobban in a tough four games.

Lobban started the match in great form, moving the ball around with great precision into all corners of the court and at different paces to disrupt the usual silky smooth rhythm of Rooney. Lobban’s efforts were rewarded with an 11-9 win.

As the score reached 7-7 in the following game, Lobban had one of his shots deemed as a double hit which distracted the Scottish No.1 and errors started to come from Lobban’s racket which handed the game to Rooney and continued in the third game as Rooney turned the tie around to lead 2-1.

Lobban seemed to regroup in the fourth game and came out to a blistering start to lead 9-2 and look certain to force a deciding game. From this point, however, Rooney completely relaxed his arm and started to express himself at the front of the court which ate into the legs of the Scot. Incredibly Rooney came back to take the game 12-10 and move into his first Nationals semi-final.

“First half of the match I thought we were both playing well, it was errors mostly on my side. I thought the match was good. I thought he had a double hit and I questioned it and it went my way, it’s obviously hard to tell on the review but I’ll take it.

“I was just thinking about not making errors and keeping it tight. I thought I still had a chance at 9-2 so I wanted to carry on and I wanted to put work into him in case it went to a fifth and try and grind him down, for once.

“I am looking forward to it [a match with Joel Makin], but he’s an animal, isn’t he? So you kind of don’t look forward to that. I feel like I’m getting closer to him so hopefully, I can get a win over him, I know it’ll take a while.”

Result:  [3] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt [6] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 (53m) 

Turmel Storms Into Semi-Finals

No.2 seed Lucy Turmel booked her place in her first National Championships semi-final after beating compatriot Grace Gear in straight games.

Turmel wasted no time in storming out to a 2-0 lead in the last eight encounter, hitting the ball hard to the back of the court to bury Gear and set up attacking opportunities. She took the opening two games 11-3, 11-5 to place one foot in the semis.

Turmel completed the job in the third game 11-8 by utilising her solid and accurate short game to drag Gear up the front off the court and even if the shot was retrieved, Turmel was ready to pounce on the next shot.

The World No.25 will face the winner of Lucy Beecroft and Julianne Courtice in her semi-final and knows it will be a tough test whoever she plays:

“We’re a similar age, in the U19 British Championships I beat her 3-2 so she is tricky and when she’s going for her shots she’s very dangerous.”

“The more I play on this court, the more comfortable I feel. There was a slight advantage for me because she was on the side court yesterday, but I just tried to get a good start today and that’s what I did.

“I think Lucy [Beecroft] beat me last time and I beat Julianne [Courtice] in five games so it’s going to be tough regardless of who I play and I’m looking forward to it.”

[2] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt [7] Grace Gear (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (29m)

ElShorbagy Tested By Wall

No.1 seed Mohamed ElShorbagy booked his place in his first British National Championships semi-final after beating Sheffield’s Nick Wall in a tough four games.

‘The Beast’ was tested from the start of the match and looked surprised by the intensity and aggression that Wall was displaying in the opening exchanges. Wall became a dominant figure across the T and didn’t let any volleying opportunities pass him by. The Yorkshireman sealed the opening game 11-7 to lead 1-0.

ElShorbagy responded in typical fashion as he regained control of the middle, by hitting hard to the back of the court and narrowing the angles of Wall. After levelling at 1-1, the World No.3 really started to turn the screw and move Wall into the front two corners with much more frequency and put the physical capabilities under extreme pressure.

ElShorbagy closed out the match 11-8 in the fourth game after a spirited display from Wall. The 2017 World Champion had to use all of his experience to squander the spirit of Wall but eventually progressed through to the final four in 41 minutes.

ElShorbagy had this to say after his match:

“I phoned my brother this morning to find out some things about Nick as I haven’t seen him play before and I looked on SQUASHTV at one of his matches. He came at me in the opening game and surprised me a little bit but that’s the kind of mentality you want to see and I loved it to be honest. He made me angry and it made me play better but that’s the way I was when I first came on the tour as well.

“I always go in with the mentality of trying to win each match as it comes. I will start to think about World Tour Finals next week but there’s no reason that if I play well here that I can’t next week as well. As a top player, you need to play well every week so that’s what I’m going to try and do.

Result:  [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [8] Nick Wall (ENG) 3-1:7-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (41m)

Beecroft Scores Upset Over Courtice 

World No.55 Lucy Beecroft scored a seeding upset in the penultimate match of the day as she overcame No.4 seed Julianne Courtice in straight games to reach the semi-finals of the nationals for the first time in her career.

Beecroft, who is primarily based in the United States possesses great touch and control at the front of the court and utilised this in the opening two games to test the movement and fitness of Courtice. 

After earning a 2-0 lead, some uncharacteristic errors crept into the game of the Northumbrian in the early stages of the third game. But Beecroft quickly recovered and set herself up with 5 match balls at 10-5, she only needed one attempt to secure a surprise place in the final four.

“It’s shocking what the effects of long covid are and it showed with Jules and it’s a year on now, all that being said I knew she’d come out firing and beat you in three so I wanted to get a good start and not let her get in front as I know how dangerous she is, she beat me twice last year and I feel like I’ve come a long way since then but she is still capable of getting great result so hats off to Jules.

“I love playing on the glass. I’m lucky that where I’m based in the US, there is a glass court so I get on there quite a bit. I was lucky to have an easy hit this morning with ElShorbagy, just seeing the ball fly past you. But I love playing on the glass and I’m happy to be off in three.

“I haven’t been able to lay many nationals with being in the US and in college but it’s great to be back. Looking forward to playing Lucy, my fellow 305 Squash player. We had a good battle this time last year but I’m sure it’ll be a good match.”

Result:  [6] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt [4] Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)

Willstrop Marches Into Semis

Four-time British Nationals champion James Willstrop earned his place in the semi-finals of this tournament for an incredible 15th time after he produced an immaculate display to see off 2021 runner-up Adrian Waller in straight games.

The 38-year-old Yorkshireman had beaten Waller in all three of their previous meetings – including two at the British Nationals – and closed out an 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 victory in 32 minutes.

There was very little to separate the two in the opening game, but Willstrop had that extra bit of control in the crucial stages to sneak a one-game lead.

The former World No.1 stamped his authority on the match in the second game as he swiftly doubled his advantage, defending well and attacking when the opportunity presented itself with aplomb.

Waller threatened a comeback after some intelligent play in the third game saw him sit within a point of Willstrop at 10-9 down, but a critical error put paid to his chances as Willstrop booked his spot in the last four.

A mouthwatering encounter with top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy is in the offing for the man known as ‘The Marksman’.

“At 9-9 I was saying to myself that he is very good at figuring out these comebacks, he plays five-game matches and wins them,” said Willstrop.

“He was absolutely brilliant at the Euros, unbelievable performances. He’s played brilliant in Teams for us, at the World Teams in Washington in 2019, and he’s very unique. He’s buzzing around the ’T’ and wanting to take every volley he can, it’s such a good attack. I thought I played those good little areas at the end of the games pretty well.

“We have a lot of mutual respect and we just got on there and played squash. It’s weird that I’ve been on tour for 100 years and I’ve only played my compatriot four times, which is crazy really, but it was nice to play him tonight.

On ElShorbagy, Willstrop said: “I played him last week and he beat me. It’s been Mohamed week and I just hope that all the talk and all the internet stuff about England has gone to his head and he is going to combust tomorrow night.

“I feel like I have a bit of speed in my game and I’m moving well, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Result:  [5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [4] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (32m)