• Allam British Open Squash  • 19-26 March 2017 • Airco Arena, Hull •  


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 2017 PREVIEWS

#1: Gaultier   #2: Sherbini   #3: Matthew

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#3: "Pressure is on,"
says three-time champion Matthew


England's number one Nick Matthew says the pressure ihttp://bit.ly/2mD11y8s on ahead of next week's Allam British Open as the three time tournament winner aims to peak for the 2017 staging of the 'Wimbledon of Squash' whilst also securing vital points in the World Series standings.

36-year-old Matthew, the 2006, 2009 and 2012 champion, goes into the event as the oldest player in the draw and is hoping experience will be on his side as he bids for title number four.

A run deep into the tournament will also help the Sheffield-man to cement a place in Dubai to compete at the World Series Finals - the season-ending event where only the top eight players compete.

"The British Open is the tournament with all the history - it's the oldest event on Tour," said Matthew.

"And I'm the oldest player on Tour, so hopefully those two things will come together in my favour this week!

"I'm really looking forward to the event. I've been focusing on that one in training over the past month or so and it's also an important event on the Road to Dubai and one of the last events to get points at.

"I'm in sixth place at the moment, so the pressure is on to qualify. I've promised my family a holiday out there at the end of the year, so I need to up my game and secure that spot - so this year the British Open is a big one for a number of reasons."

#2:  2016 win was 'Special' says
Defending Champion El Sherbini


2016 Allam British Open Champion Nour El Sherbini says that victory last year, when she defeated compatriot Nouran Gohar to become the first Egyptian woman ever to win the sport’s oldest and most established tournament, will live long in her memory as one of the most special moments of her career.

The 21-year-old - who in 2012 also became the youngest ever finalist in the event’s history at 16 - came through a thrilling five-game final with Gohar to lift the title and is hoping to use that victory as inspiration as she travels to Hull’s Airco Arena ahead of the 2017 iteration of the PSA World Series tournament, which takes place from March 21-26.

"Winning the British Open last year meant a lot to me,” said El Sherbini, who followed up her British Open by adding the World Championship title to her name just a month later.

"It was a very special victory - to be the first Egyptian winner of the tournament was an amazing achievement and it was the start of really good period of form for me last year.

"The event has a lot of history and I always love playing the tournament. I'm trying to train as hard as I can to defend the title and I'm very much looking forward to it.

 
"Hopefully it will be a good week again."
 

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2012 Final against David

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#1: Gaultier hoping for ‘Dream’ win
at 2017 British Open


Frenchman Gregory Gaultier says winning a third British Open crown would be like a dream come true as he prepares to travel to the Airco Arena, Hull on March 21st to kick-off the 2017 iteration of squash's oldest and most established tournament.

The 34-year-old collected the coveted crown in 2007 and 2014 and, having gone undefeated in February, winning both the Swedish and Windy City Open, he comes into this year's tournament as the man to beat.



"Winning the British Open is very special," said Gaultier.

"In my opinion the top three events are the World Championship, the British Open and the World Series Finals - winning one of those events is an amazing achievement and in 2007 when I won my first British Open, it was like a dream.

"I played Thierry (Lincou) in the final and I remember I had so many messages and emails after that match - it's one of the oldest and most important titles out there."


Gaultier faces a tough opening encounter against former world #4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Colombia, with a path to final likely to see him up come against Cameron Pilley, James Willstrop or Marwan ElShorbagy and either Ramy Ashour or Karim Abdel Gawad prior to the final.

But the charismatic ‘French General’ is undaunted by the challenge ahead.

"Even as a junior the British Junior Open was always the toughest event out there," he said.

"There were so many players coming from all over the world to compete. It was so tough - and this year's event is no different.



"But when I won in 2007 that was when I really started to improve as a player. I came through the rankings after that win and got better.

"I've won it twice, and lost a few finals as well. So to have the chance to win it again would be simply awesome."
 

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