World No.1 James Willstrop & World Champion Nick Matthew Lead Home Charge at British Grand Prix England’s

Top seed Willstrop will face 2010 British National Champion Daryl Selby in arguably the toughest first round match of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) International 70 event, with the winner likely to face Laurens Jan Anjema, the Dutch No.1 and World No.9 who faces Wildcard Jens Schoor of Germany in his opening match.

Four time World Champion Amr Shabana and another former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier are also in Willstrop’s half and each can be guaranteed to mount a determined and tough-minded challenge for a title that neither has previously won.

Matthew, currently ranked World No.2, is seeded to meet his English arch-rival in the final and will begin his 2012 British Grand Prix campaign against compatriot and World No.16 Tom Richards. The 32-year-old will be keen to make up for the disappointment of losing in last year’s final and will have to navigate a tough bottom half of the draw which also includes former World No.1 Karim Darwish of Egypt, compatriots Peter Barker and Adrian Grant ranked World No.6 & World No.17 respectively, and Alister Walker, the World No.13 from Botswana.

Willstrop and Matthew now firmly established as the world’s top ranked players and one of the sport’s all-time great rivalries, produced another close and brilliantly entertaining encounter on the same spectacular ASB all-glass show court in February when Matthew claimed a stunning 81-minute marathon four-game victory over his perpetual rival to win a record-equalling fourth British National title.

Although Matthew boasts a 33-10 career head-to-head advantage over his great rival and a winning streak of 20
consecutive matches on the PSA World Tour over the past four years the difference in quality is far less pronounced.

Willstrop, three years Matthew’s junior, hit the best form of his career in the closing months of 2011 which allowed him to take over as World No.1 in January after winning three back to back PSA World Series events while injury had forced Matthew to withdraw from successive tournaments.

Matthew, however regained the world’s top ranking in February following his win over Willstrop in the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York, but lost it again to his English rival a month later despite winning his third British Open title and second PSA World Series event of the year in May.

British Grand Prix – Manchester 2012 1st Round Draw:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) vs. Daryl Selby (ENG)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) vs. [WC] Jens Schoor (GER)
Amr Shabana (EGY) vs. Qualifier
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) vs. Qualifier
[4] Karim Darwish (EGY) vs. Peter Barker (ENG)
Adrian Grant (ENG) vs. Qualifier
Alister Walker (BOT) vs. Qualifier
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) vs. Tom Richards (ENG)

Tickets for the British Grand Prix – Manchester 2012 can now be booked online at or by telephone on +44 844 8797 949.

For further information email or visit the British Grand Prix – Manchester 2011 Official Website

Issued by on behalf of the British Grand Prix – Manchester 2012

World No.1 James Willstrop and World Champion Nick Matthew will lead the home charge at next month's British Grand Prix Squash Championship to be staged at the National Squash Centre in Manchester from 21-24 September.