Defending champion Laura Massaro and former World No.1 and three-time finalist James Willstrop joined Dr Allam for the live draws of the Allam British Open today at the University of Hull.
The men’s and women’s draws for the Allam British Open, which will take place at The Sports Arena, Hull from 12-18 May were conducted in the presence of representatives from the Professional Squash Association and Women’s Squash Association as well as local event partners.
The Allam British Open is one of the most prestigious squash events in the world and 2014 is the third year that the tournament will be staged in Hull. Past winners of the event include legends of squash including Jonah Barrington, Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan and Peter Nicol.
Massaro, defending Allam British Open women’s champion, recently became World Champion with victory at the World Open in Malaysia on 23 March. In Hull for the live draw the world ranked No.2 is looking forward to defending her Allam British Open title in May:
Laura Massaro said:
“It’s a really prestigious event and for all the British players it’s a great opportunity to play in front of a home crowd which is something we don’t get to do very often. The strength and depth in the women’s draw is really tough, I’ve actually got the same first round draw that I had last year so I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad omen. I guess now I need to stop celebrating my World Open win and start focusing on this now it’s become real!”
James Willstrop, three time finalist is hoping to go one better in 2014 but has to contend with a tough first round match to keep his hopes alive:
“My first round match is again Simon Rosner from Germany which is really tough. It’s not ideal but that doesn’t matter, you just have to concentrate on that match and the rest of the tournament just works itself out from there. I used to watch the British Open when I was a kid, it’s got something special that all the players talk about. It’s the most prestigious event in squash history, you talk about players like Jonah Barrington, Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan who won multiple titles and it’s the one we all want to win.”
2014 is the third consecutive year that the British Open has been supported by title sponsor Dr Allam and this year, as part of a two year project to offer equal prize money for men and women, Dr Allam has increased the prize fund for the women’s draw:
Dr Allam said: “I am very pleased to be able to support women’s squash, I am committed to ensuring the increase of the women’s prize money in both practical and financial terms. After all female squash players play the best of five games the same as their male counterparts…I am very happy to be bringing this important event back to East Yorkshire and I look forward to seeing some great squash on display in May.”