Dad-to-be Lobban Looking To Continue Good Form and Record Best Ever British Open Performance

Greg Lobban is enjoying his best season to date on the PSA World Tour at the moment, achieving his first Platinum event quarter final in Qatar, claiming a 20k title in Montreal and reaching his first World Tour Final recently in Manchester. These achievements have all resulted in the Scotsman reaching a career-high ranking of World No.16 in the latest standings.

Lobban will head to Birmingham next, to end his season at the prestigious British Open. The historic event hasn’t been one that Lobban has done particularly well in throughout the seven times that he has competed in it but with form well and truly on his side and a relatively short distance for him to travel, a best ever finish at the British Open could be on the cards for the Scotsman.

Many players have admitted that they see the British Open as the biggest Platinum event on the calendar, but Lobban admits that he looks at it as just another major event but is relishing the chance to have familiar faces cheering him on.

“I do see it as another Platinum event. It’s really nice that it’s close to home and I can have family faces there,” explains Lobban.

“Scotland is my home and the British Open has never been in Scotland in my career. But it’s nice that I don’t have to jump on a plane to get to the tournament and there’s a few more familiar faces in the crowd so thats always nice.

“You spend so much of the season without your friends and family, I think it makes a huge difference when you can have them with you. You’re on court for maybe an hour a day in the matches in these tournaments and the other 23 hours in the day you’d be with friends and family so even just to go out to dinner and go and get coffee is nice.”

Greg Lobban celebrates.

The British Open will be Lobban’s 16th event this season and with many players feeling the effects of the campaign as we reach the last Platinum event, Lobban says that he feels as good as he ever has reaching the end of the season but is excited for the summer break to reflect on a positive season.

“I feel as fresh as I’ve ever done heading into the end of the season. I felt like I’ve been in more matches than ever this season in the major events. I feel pretty fresh and the body feels good, I am looking forward to the end of the season and have some time to relax and reflect.

“There’s definitely a few moments to look back on from this season that have gone really well. I think its important to look back at those good moments as it’s easy to just think about the missed opportunities and the bad moments so for me, it’s important to get a good balance of good and bad.”

“I don’t think I’m in a position that is too hard, compared to the guys in the top 5/6 in the world. I don’t know how they do it!

“They’re reaching the latter stages week after week and that must be incredibly hard. Statistically, I might play one or two matches and then head home and despite it being not as hard physically, I think it’s equally as hard mentally to keep bringing myself back after some tough losses. I’m very proud to be 31 years old and to be one of the most experienced guys in these events. I’ve been backing up event after event for many years now and I’m proud of that.”

Lobban is yet to progress past the second round in a British Open but feels like this year is the best that he has felt heading into the event, having had a strong tournament last week in Manchester.

“My performances have certainly been better this season than they have been in previous years on the World Tour and hopefully I’m feared a bit more than I have been before. We ran through the British Open losses that I’ve had and some aren’t great but the likes of Saurav Ghosal and Omar Mosaad are on the list and if you’d have told me 12/13 years ago that I’d be competing with these guys in major events, I’d have bit your hand off.

“I’m up against Ramit Tandon in the first round this year. A great player who’s beaten me before so I’ll approach that match as if it’s the last that I’ll play this season and hopefully I can see a few more rounds in the British Open this time around.”

Away from the court, the 31-year-old has an exciting summer to look forward to as he and his wife Donna (former World No.13) are expecting their first child in early July. Lobban is excited for the priority shift and says that he’ll be seeking out some advice from other dads on the tour such as Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag and Germany’s Raphael Kandra.

“I’m super excited, pretty scared as well. I haven’t really got my head around it yet, I think that will come in July. Priorities are going to change but for the better I think. I’m a big believer in if you’re happy off court then your performances will match that and take care of themselves. I’m a player where squash has never been the all and end all and I’m just really excited to become a dad and hopefully I can be a good one to our little boy or girl.

“I’ll definitely be looking for some advice from the other player dads. I mean Ali Farag is the marker, he’s done pretty well for himself since becoming a dad so hoping I’ll be the same as him. But, Raphael Kandra is a dad and Lucas Serme just recently became a dad so I’ll definitely be looking for some advice wherever I can get it.”

Lobban in Manchester, with mum-to-be wife Donna on the front row