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  Day THREE at the Nationals: Wed 11th, Day THREE

Wed 11th, Day THREE:
Men's Round One, Masters begin ...

It was a busy day at the Nationals Squash Centre, with the Masters events starting at 10, plus sixteen men's first round matches (the top eight seeds on the glass court) and four women's qualifying finals.

First winners in men's round one both beat local players, Tom Richards beating Adam Murrills and Ben Coleman beating 'lucky loser' Julian Tomlinson, both in straight games. Adrian Waller was also sharp in dismissing qualifier Will John.

Daryl Selby and Eddie Charlton both survived five-setters, 2011 champion Selby was 2-1 down against Joel Hinds while Charlton was 2-0 up against Nottingham team-mate Mark Fuller.

"Joel was one of the toughest first round draws to get," said Selby, but it's good to get a tough match to get you into the tournament and used to the glass court, I haven't played much squash in the last couple of weeks."

Charlton was relieved: "It felt like I was playing well at the start, but things started to go wrong towards the end of the second, even though I won it. He came back well and it was a bit of a dogfight in the fifth."

Two-time champion and second seed James Willstrop was just as close to defeat, barely moving in his first game against Lyell Fuller and saving a couple of game balls in the second too before going on to win in five.

"If I wasn't fit to play I wouldn't be here," said Willstrop, "but it was tough."

A seed did fall as James Earles came from 2-1 down to beat 9/16 ranked Tom Ford in a battle of left-handers.

He beat me last time we played so I knew it was going to be tough. Hes also ranked above me so its a good win, said Earles.

The bottom half of the draw was completed when Charles Sharpes beat another Manchester favourite Peter Billson in four games.

The evening session featured the top half of the men's draw, with defending champion Nick Matthew, Joe Lee, Greg Lobban, Jaymie Haycocks, Declan James and Peter Creed all winning in straight games.

Matthew, aiming for a record seventh title, was full of praise for his opponent, 17 year old Patrick Rooney.

"He's really keen and improving fast, but probably the worst thing he did was to come and train with me for a couple of weeks, so I was ready for him! The Nationals is a great opportunity for young players like Patrick to test themselves at the top level."

Matthew now faces James, who beat Scot Dougie Kempsell in three games that took 48 minutes to complete.

"That was solid," said James, "it's always tough on these courtsbut I was happy with how I played. Looking forwardto playing Nick tomorrow, I hear he's pretty good ..."

Chris Simpson dropped the first games before winning an entertaining match against qualifier Steve Wykes, who said afterwards:

"That was as much fun as I've ever had on a squash court, different level! I always felt he had an extra gear, and if I'd managed to sneak that fourth game I don't think I would have done very well in the fifth!"

In the last match of the day Alan Clyne held off a fightback from young qualifier Ashley Davies to give Scotland two places in the last sixteen. 

The women's qualifying finals all finished in straight games with Jessica Davis, Rachel Chadwick, Lucy Beecroft and Alison Thomson all set to make their first appearance in the main draw.

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