Three years after making his debut in the event with a wildcard, Simpson is delighted to mark his return to the British Open. But the 22-year-old, who boasts a career-high World No.38 ranking, had to overcome a scratchy first game before beating World No.57 Coppinger 2-11 11-4 11-5 11-9 in 55 minutes.
"In the first game, I didn't think I was even going to get a point," admitted Simpson. "He's a massive guy and so unorthodox - I simply couldn't read him in the first game.
"But after that, I settled down and managed to compose myself - and from then on I was always in front."
Simpson was surprised to find himself the lone Englishman to make the main draw through the qualifiers. "The standard is so high here - there could easily have been five of us through yesterday and Chris (Ryder) and Robbie (Temple) went close today," added Simpson.
Chris Ryder battled for 71 minutes before going down 12-10 4-11 11-8 8-11 11-8 to Pakistan's Yasir Butt, while Robbie Temple was unable to extend his opening game advantage against Renan Lavigne. The higher-ranked Frenchman eventually prevailed 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5.
"I should have been 2/0 up - I was 7-3 up in the second - but my lack of match fitness let me down," said Temple, the World No.80 Englishman who is suffering with an ankle ligament injury. "Renan stepped up the pace, and I couldn't live with it."
Other winners in the first round of men’s qualification for the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship were Stephane Galifi and Renan Lavigne (France); Kashif Shuja, Martin Knight and Campbell Grayson (New Zealand); Yasir Butt (Pakistan) and Simon Rosner (Germany).
The Northern Club, Didsbury, Manchester
Men’s Final Round Qualification:
Stephane Galifi (FRA) bt Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) 18-16, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 (74m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9 (78m)
Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Mansoor Zaman (PAK) 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5 (40m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (132m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 2-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (55m)
Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 (71m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Amr Swelim (ITA) 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10 (96m)
Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (48m)
Men’s Final Round Draw:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v [Q] Martin Knight (NZL)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v [Q] Yasir Butt (PAK)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Jens Schoor (GER)
[11] Alister Walker (ENG) v [Q] Renan Lavigne (FRA)
[5] David Palmer (AUS) v Tom Richards (ENG)
[9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) v Joey Barrington (ENG)
[14] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[8] Adrian Grant (ENG) v [Q] Simon Rosner (GER)
[15] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Farhan Mehboob (PAK)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG)
[16] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Davide Bianchetti (ITA)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v [Q] Stephane Galifi (FRA)
[13] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
For further information, visit the internationalSPORTgroup British Open – Manchester 2009 Official Website,, email: or contact Press & Media Manager Peter Schmidl on mobile +49 172 7211162, Skype: peter.schmidl1 or email
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Guernsey's Chris Simpson became the only Briton to progress in the men's qualifying finals of the internationalSPORTgroup British OpenManchester 2009 when he beatSouth African Stephen Coppinger at The Northern Club in Manchester to earn a place in the main draw of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship.