Qualifying Finals: Perry Wins Battle of Malik Brothers

The final round of qualifying at the 2023 British National Squash Championships saw Perry Malik defeat younger brother Heston to claim a spot in the main draw at the St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club in Weybridge.

Despite World No. 379 Heston racing out of the blocks and clinching a tight first game 11-9, Perry worked his way back into the encounter, sealing the following three games 11-6, 11-7, 13-11.

The World No.100 will now face Joel Makin as he ventures into the main draw for the first time in his career.

“I feel really happy making it through to the main draw, but obviously playing your brother is never an easy match-up,” said Perry, who beat fellow Englishman Jared Carter earlier in the day in the opening round of qualifying.

“It was hard to get myself up for it and fight for it, because we train every day together, we support each other, and we just want each other to win, so it was quite a tough match mentally.

“The build-up was really calm, we actually warmed up together and we’re really civil, so there was no tension there at all. I feel really good, I’m looking forward to it and excited to play against whoever I’m drawn against.”

Meanwhile, World No.408 Jordan Warne continued his fine debut campaign at the British Nationals, defeating Matt Gregory 11-4, 7-11, 11-1, 11-9 in 33 minutes to add to his win over Archie Turnbull earlier in the day.

In the women’s side of the draw, World No.117 Lowri Roberts overcame Kiera Marshall in four games to feature in the main draw for a second consecutive year.

The Welshwomen clinched tiebreak victories in the first and third games and sealed a 40-minute victory 12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 11-6. Roberts will face top seed Georgina Kennedy in the first round on Wednesday.

Lowri Roberts (front) in action against Kiera Marshall
Lowri Roberts (front) in action against Kiera Marshall

“I feel really good,” Roberts said. “Last year I got a bit lucky and into the main draw straight away, so it feels nice to earn it and nice to get through in four because I know it was a shaky one.

“Errors were a big issue for me today. I’m not that comfortable on the glass, it’s not something that I play on very often.

“I think it’s about staying really patient and trying to be confident at the same time.”

Elsewhere, fellow Englishwomen Asia Harris sealed her spot in the main draw with a straight-games victory against World No.169 Katie Wells in 31 minutes.

Saran Nghiem was another comfortable victor, defeating World No.201 Isobel McCullough 11-5, 11-1, 11-7.

The final match of the evening saw home-boy Miles Jenkins square off against World No.288 Jack Mitterer in front of a fervent crowd.

Jenkins, who coaches at St George’s Hill, didn’t disappoint his home supporters, prevailing 14-12, 8-11, 11-1, 12-10. A first-round tie against Nick Wall now awaits.

Miles Jenkins (front) seeing off the challenge of Jack Mitterer
Miles Jenkins (front) seeing off the challenge of Jack Mitterer

Speaking after his victory, Jenkins said: “It was amazing, the crowd were brilliant, it’s great to see the support down and it makes a big difference being able to push through and to get through.

“I was a little bit heavy [at the beginning], a little bit fatigued, but I had to just keep battling. Jack was playing very well, disrupting me a lot, his backhand was pretty lethal today, so he had a lot of nice options.

“I’ll look to get a lot of food in and a lot of recovery. Obviously, I’ve been trying to help Josh with the running of the event, so I’ll just try to get a little more sleep and try and get on with Matt the physio.”

World No.98 Emyr Evans progressed to the main draw for the first time since 2021 with a hard-fought victory over Paul Broadberry.

The Welshman, appearing in his sixth British Nationals, took 39 minutes to see off Broadberry, winning 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4.

Speaking after the match, Evans said: “It was a tricky match. Paul played really well and I found it really tricky to find my length at times, but I’m happy to get through in the end.

“This morning I was playing on the backcourt, so obviously you don’t get a chance to practice on it [the glass court] and you’re not usually playing two matches in a day. So although you’re fit enough, it can still be a bit difficult.

“I don’t really mind who I get [in the main draw], I’ll just have a good go and get stuck in.”

Alison Thomson sealed her spot in the main draw of the British Nationals with a confident 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 victory over Chloe Foster.

The World No.93 will look to tread new ground and break her seven-match losing streak in the first round of the competition when she faces Katie Malliff.

Alison Thomson (front) and Chloe Foster in action
Alison Thomson (front) and Chloe Foster in action

“Coming back from summer training and into matches is always going to be a little sketchy, but I felt like it came together towards the end there,” Thomson said.

“We’re all training and not really thinking about match-play, the nerves, and all the other aspects like the spectators.

“I was joking to my coach saying, ‘I’ve played here quite a few times in the first round,’ so I’m going to make sure I leave everything out there tomorrow.

“If I come off the court knowing I couldn’t have done anymore then I’ll be happy with myself, but the goal is to put together a game plan and beat whoever I’m facing.”

The opening round of main draw action takes place tomorrow from 13:00 (GMT+1) onwards. Action from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV, while matches from court one will be shown live on the Nationals website.

For updates on the British Nationals, follow England Squash on XFacebookInstagram and TikTok.

Results – Men’s Final Qualifying Round: 2023 British National Squash Championships

Miles Jenkins (ENG) bt Jack Mitterer (ENG) 3-1: 14-12, 8-11, 11-1, 12-10 (46m)

Jordan Warne (ENG) bt Matt Gregory (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-1, 11-9 (33m)

Emyr Evans (WAL) bt Paul Broadberry (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (39)

Perry Malik (ENG) bt Heston Malik (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 13-11 (36m)

Results – Women’s Final Qualifying Round: 2023 British National Squash Championships

Saran Nghiem (ENG) bt Isabel McCullough (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (23m)

Alison Thomson (SCO) bt Chloe Foster (WAL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (25m)

Asia Harris (ENG) bt Katie Wells (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (31m)

Lowri Roberts (WAL) bt Kiera Marshall (ENG) 3-1: 12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 11-6 (40m)

Draw – Men’s First Round: To Be Played August 16th

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) v [12] Finnlay Withington (ENG)

[Q] Emyr Evans (WAL) v [8] Curtis Malik (ENG)

[7] Charlie Lee (ENG) v [Q] Jordan Warne (ENG)

[11] James Peach (ENG) v [3] Patrick Rooney (ENG)

[4] Adrian Waller (ENG) v [9] Ben Smith (ENG)

[5] Nick Wall (ENG) v [Q] Miles Jenkins (ENG)

[6] George Parker (ENG) v [10] Joe Lee (ENG)

[Q] Perry Malik (ENG) v [2] Joel Makin (WAL)

Draw – Women’s First Round: To Be Played August 16th

[1] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) v [Q] Lowri Roberts (WAL)

Grace Gear (ENG) v [8] Georgia Adderley (SCO)

[5] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) v Millie Tomlinson (ENG)

[Q] Asia Harris (ENG) v [4] Emily Whitlock (WAL)

[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Alicia Mead (ENG)

[Q] Alison Thomson (SCO) v [7] Katie Malliff (ENG)

[6] Lucy Turmel (ENG) v Torrie Malik (ENG)

[2] Tesni Evans (WAL) v Saran Nghiem (ENG)