internationalSPORTgroup BRITISH OPEN – MEN’S 2ND ROUND

Having cruised to a comfortable first-game win Darwish badly twisted his ankle midway through the second game and after a three-minute injury break, the 28-year-old from Cairo returned to the court - but almost immediately held his hand up to concede the match.
"It's the biggest nightmare for a professional sportsman," said Willstrop when interviewed after the 22-minute match. "I've been there," added the 26-year-old who underwent ankle surgery in April and is playing his fourth tournament since making his comeback in July.
For a place in the semi-final, Willstrop will meet No.13 seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar. The Malaysian caused the second upset of the day when he beat two-time runner-up Thierry Lincou, the No.7 seed from France, 11-13 11-4 5-11 14-12 11-5 in a 91-minute marathon.
It was a shock exit for former World Champion Lincou who beat Iskandar in last year's quarter-finals, and was suffering his first second round defeat in the championships since 2000.
"Last year, Thierry caught me out on my forehand a lot - so I have been working on that," said the 27-year-old from Kuala Lumpur after his first win over the Frenchman in six World Tour meetings.
"He played really well in the third game, but I felt the turning point came in the fourth.
"I've had a lot of injury problems - I strained my adductor recently - but I've now learned how to manage my body better.
"All I wanted was a good performance tonight - and that's what I got," concluded the World No.23.
English outsider Daryl Selby became the only unseeded player to reach the men's quarter-finals with a shock victory over fellow countryman Adrian Grant, the No.8 seed, which means that four Englishmen will line up in the quarter-finals of the worlds oldest and most prestigious squash championship for the first time since 2001.
"I'm ecstatic to get to the quarters of the British for the first time," said 26-year-old Selby, after his 11-8 11-8 8-11 11-9 victory over the World No.11 in 78 minutes. "Hopefully, this will be my breakthrough."
Selby, ranked 21 in the world, will now face fellow Englishman Nick Matthew, the former champion who is the fourth seed. "That match will be massive - he's the England No.1 and a previous winner. It's going to be tough," said Selby.
Matthew, playing in the event for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery, crushed Cameron Pilley of Australia, 11-3 11-3 11-6.
"I tried to attack from the word go," explained Matthew, who boasts a career-high World No.5 ranking. "I was trying to get him to move that big frame around the court."
Earlier in the day, compatriot Peter Barker battled through to the quarter-finals for the third year in a row after beating top-ranked Malaysian Ong Beng Hee 11-7 11-7 11-8.
"Beng Hee's a good friend and a gentleman - so I knew it would be straight," said Barker, the World No.8. "But I wanted to win in straight games to conserve myself for Greg (Gaultier) - and, even though it was hard, I'm glad I achieved that.
"I've worked hard this summer. I feel I turned the corner this season by starting to believe in myself a bit more. My goal for the season is to challenge for every tournament I play."
National Squash Centre, Manchester
Men’s Championship 2nd Round:
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Karim Darwish (EGY) 5-11, 4-2 ret. (22m)
[12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) 11-13, 11-4, 5-11, 14-12, 11-5 (91m)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [11] Alister Walker (ENG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (48m)
[5] David Palmer (AUS) bt [9] Wael El Hindi (EGY) 11-6, 1-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (74m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [8] Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 (78m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [15] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [16] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (66m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-5, 11-7, 11-1 (25m)
Men's Championship Quarter-Final Line-up:
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) v [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [5] David Palmer (AUS)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [6] Peter Barker (ENG)
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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In a dramatic day of second round upsets in the internationalSPORTgroup British OpenManchester 2009, World No.1 Karim Darwish was forced to retire from his match to gift England’s James Willstrop a quarter-final place in the PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.