Entries closed this week for the 2012 Allam British Open Championships, with the world number one James Willstrop heading the entries for the men’s event at the London Piazza, O2 Arena from 14-20 May 2012.
Among the 109 entries are eight of the top ten ranked players in the world, including Gregory Gaultier of France, England’s World Champion Nick Matthew and the Egyptian force of Ramy Ashour, Amr Shabana and Mohamed El Shorbagy.
Londoners Peter Barker and Daryl Selby, ranked numbers seven and 11 in the world respectively will be looking for a big performance in front of a home crowd, whilst no fewer than 27 nations are represented, among them players from Australia, Botswana, Columbia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, South Africa and Qatar.
England Squash & Racketball (ESR), promoters of the British Open report a strong demand for tickets, and expect that this year’s Championships will bring together the biggest crowd at a live squash event since the Open was staged at the former Wembley Conference Centre in the 1990’s.
The men’s event is a 32 draw competition, with entries from many of the top ranked players accounting for the first 24 places and qualification the remaining eight berths to be fiercely contested through a series of qualifying rounds.
ESR has handed a wild card entry to talented young English player, Adrian Waller. Described by Head of Coaching & Performance, Keir Worth, as extremely professional in his approach and with world class potential, Waller will be eagerly anticipating the announcement of the draws which are expected to be released next week.
The British Open promises to deliver yet another thrilling match-up between the game’s biggest rivals, Willstrop and fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew. Matthew proudly held both the title of World Champion and World Number One, until a sensational finale to 2012 when Willstrop secured the top slot in the world rankings.
Matthew regained the ranking briefly after beating Willstrop in New York’s Tournament of Champions, only for Willstrop to wrestle it back once more with victory over Egypt’s Ramy Ashour in the North American Classic.