ROWE British Grand Prix – Manchester 2010 – 1st round (top half of draw)

A quintet of Englishmen battled through to the second round of the ROWE British Grand Prix in Manchester after successes in the opening day of action in the $92,500 PSA Super Series event, the biggest squash event in Europe this year at the National Squash Centre.
But the day's biggest upset took place off-court when Nick Matthew, the top-ranked Englishman who was hoping to reclaim his world number one ranking following success in the sixth Super Series event of the year, was forced to pull out less than two hours before his opening match.
"During my practice session yesterday afternoon, I felt strange - my heartbeat was going at about 200 beats a minute - and by the time I got back to my hotel room I was really shivering," Matthew told the crowd after seeing the EIS (English Institute of Sport) doctor minutes before in the same building.
"I woke in the middle of the night with a heavy fever and covered in sweat. I left it as long as I could today before making my decision, but the doctor has advised me not to play.
"I'm very disappointed to pull out," said the clearly emotional Yorkshireman. "It's my favourite venue and I was really looking forward to playing here."
Later Manchester favourite James Willstrop, the No5 seed who was expected to line up against his England team-mate in the quarter-finals, pulled away from seven-all in the first game against Max Lee to beat the Hong Kong qualifier 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 in 26 minutes.
"I really feel for him - he must be feeling dreadful at the moment," said the 27-year-old from Leeds when asked about Matthew. "Nick being out of the event is obviously a bitter blow for the tournament, but devastating for him.
"It's the worst thing getting injured - we all feel for him, we know what it's like!"
Asked about his match against Lee, a 22-year-old making his Tour debut in Manchester, Willstrop agreed that there are no easy games. "I had to be on my toes - it was really level at seven-all - there was not too much of a gap, to be honest."
After suffering the worst experience of his life, causing him to be hospitalised for six days in Australia, England international Adrian Grant was clearly back at his best today when he despatched German opponent Jens Schoor in straight games.
It was after winning his first round match in last month's Australian Open in Canberra that the London-born left-hander was taken ill within an hour of eating an evening meal with his England team-mates.
"I have never felt so ill - and it came on so suddenly," said the Leeds-based former world No9 who was later diagnosed with severe gastro-enteritis, and spent six days in hospital where he lost almost a stone in weight.
"It's the worst experience I've ever had - I was in an absolute mess."
Grant then played at the Hong Kong Open, losing in the first round: "I was only playing at about 20% - I'd lost all my muscle strength.
"Getting home in itself was massive - and, with help from the EIS here in Manchester, I had a really good two weeks, building my strength back up.
"So my season starts here," said the event's 29-year-old ninth seed after his 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 win over wildcard Schoor. "I'm taking this as the first tournament of the season - and I'm really focussed."
Grant will now face Gregory Gaultier after the fourth-seeded Frenchman defeated New Zealander Martin Knight 11-6, 11-2, 11-3.
The 27-year-old from Aix-en-Provence is making a notable return to form after failing to exploit his world number one ranking last November, when he slumped to sixth place within the next four months.
"The most important thing was to get myself back in shape and get my motivation back," said Gaultier, who became the first Frenchman to win the British Open title on the same all-glass court three years ago.
"I'm looking for good times again - and I feel pretty confident," added the world No5.
Grant was joined by two fellow Englishmen in the second round after tenth seed Alister Walker, from Leeds, beat Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 in the opening match of the day, and Essex's No7 seed Daryl Selby defeated Gloucestershire qualifier Robbie Temple 11-5, 11-3, 11-2.
1st Round Schedule – Thursday 16th September:
[12] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) v [Q] Amr Swelim (ITA)
[8] David Palmer (AUS) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
[13] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) v Rafael F Alarcon (BRA)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) v Davide Bianchetti (ITA)
[15] Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[6] Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
[16] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
[2] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Laurence Delasaux (ENG)
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National Squash Centre, Sportcity, Manchester, England
1st round (top half of draw):
[Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [1] Nick Matthew (ENG) w/o
[14] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 (54m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Max Lee (HKG) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (26m)
[11] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [Q] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-7, 11-2, 7-11, 11-13, 11-3 (57m)
[4] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 (27m)
[9] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (30m)
[7] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Robbie Temple (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 (38m)
[10] Alister Walker (ENG) bt [Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (38m)