COUNTDOWN to the 2019 British Open

The British Open is the sport’s longest running and most prestigious tournament, the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’, and 2019 will be the 8th time it’s been known as the Allam British Open. We look back at some highlights from recent events, and at the record of some of the British Open legends …

[Note – we’re recycled some items from last year’s ‘countdown’ but we’ll be updating and adding more over the days before the BO starts in Hull)

2018 Daily Highlights

Round TWO key moments …

Living with Legends

The “Legends Gallery” was a feature of last year’s event, and we asked people to pick their favourite, and maybe try to emulate their winning poses … here’s a sample

As you can see above, WSF’s Andrew Shelley simply couldn’t decide. Neither could PSA’s Nathan Clarke , so he went for the full house …

Emotions, Emotions …

When you’re in the business of Making Legends, there’s going to be some emotional moments. With less than a week to go until the 2019 British Open starts, we recall a few emotionally-charged moments from 2018 and 2017 …

Butter Fingers Nick

You’d think that by the time you’ve won it three times, you’d realise that the British Open trophy is historic, precious … and fragile !  When Nick Matthew raised it for a third time, at the O2 in 2012,  well, you can see what happened!

Jenny Doubling up again

Finalist in 2008, Jenny Duncalf will be doubling up on British Open duty, for the third year in a row combining playing in the event with being MC on the show court.

It was the former world #2’s debut holding the microphone here in 2017 and being so natural, knowledgeable and frankly good at it , she’s been called upon for other events since, including the last two World Champs, World Series Finals and more.

This will be Jenny’s last competitive outing, having announced her retirement earlier this month. She’ll be playing world junior champion Rowan Elaraby at 12.00 on the opening day, and while we hope she goes deep into the event to prolong her playing career, we really want to see her as MC as much as possible too!

First Time Champions

British Open History is littered with multiple champions, but there’s nothing like claiming your first title, and in 2015 we had two first-time champions in Mohamed Elshorbagy and Camille Serme.

Mohamed has won it again since, and both will be among the favourites to lift the famous trophies again this year – but today, let’s look back at their 2015 wins …

Epic all-English 2009 Men’s Final

Looking back to the last all-English Men’s final, Nick Matthew beat James Willstrop in a brutal 123-minute encounter, 12-10 in the fifth.

You have to feel for James, who lost out in similar fashion in the 2008 Final against David Palmer … but that’s another story.

Nick and Rachael Grinham, who won her fourth BO title, would be reigning British Open champions for three years as the event wasn’t held again until 2012.

Qualifying is no more

The 2018 British Open was the last one to feature Qualifying matches so here’s a look at some qualifying crackers from recent years …

2012 St George’s2013 Pontefract  |  2014 University  |  2015 University

All English 2017 Women’s Final

Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry played a much more recent all-English final …

Nicol David’s Seven Finals

Five-time British Open Champion Nicol David will be playing her last British Open – her last tournament!  It might be a bit of a stretch to hope for an eighth final, but with a record like the one below, there’s nothing but admiration on offer …


2005  Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Natalie Grinham (Aus)     9/6, 9/7, 9/6
2006  Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Rachael Grinham (Aus)    9/4, 9/1, 9/4 (41m)
2007  Rachael Grinham (Aus) 3-2 Nicol David (Mas)    7/9, 4/9, 9/3, 10/8, 9/1 (87m)
2008  Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Jenny Duncalf (Eng)    9/1, 10/8, 9/0 (40m)
2012  Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Nour El Sherbini (Egy)    11/6, 11/6 , 11/6 (33m)
2013  Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 Nicol David (Mas)    4/11, 11/3, 10/12, 11/8 (53m)
2014  Nicol David (Mas) 3-1 Laura Massaro (Eng)     8/11, 11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (64m)

Ten titles for Jahangir

The most record for the British Open Men’s titles belongs to none other than Jahangir Khan.

He appeared in his first final in 1981, losing out to Geoff Hunt who collected his 8th and last title.

Jahangir went on to reach, and win, the next TEN British Open finals, the first five during his amazing five-year and 555-match unbeaten streak.

Jahangir on Wikipedia

1982 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Hiddy Jahan (Pak)                       9-2, 10-9, 9-3
1983 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Gamal Awad (Egy)                         9-2, 9-5, 9-1
1984 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Qmar Zaman (Pak)                       9-0, 9-3, 9-5
1985 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Chris Dittmar (Aus)                      9-3, 9-2, 9-5
1986 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Ross Norman (Nzl)                      9-6, 9-4, 9-6
1987 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Jansher Khan (Pak)                      9-6, 9-0, 9-5
1988 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-1 Rodney Martin (Aus)         9-2, 9-10, 9-0, 9-1
1989 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-2 Rodney Martin (Aus)    9-2, 3-9, 9-5, 0-9, 9-2
1990 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-0 Rodney Martin (Aus)                 9-6, 10-8, 9-1
1991 Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-1 Jansher Khan                        2-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-0

 Jenny & Laura have a head for heights

England’s Laura Massaro will both be appearing in their last British Opens.

Laura is of course a double champion and Jenny has traded in her racket for the microphone.

Back in 2012 they started their campaigns off in unusual stype … in the London Eye !

2014 Semis, a rare bad day for Egypt

There aren’t many bad days for Egypt in the final stages of major events these days, but a dramatic semi-finals day in 2014 saw all three Egyptians lose as the Top Seeds,  World Number Ones and World Champions – none of them Egyptian – went through to the finals.

[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [3] Raneem El Welily (Egy)                      6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (44m)
[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-1 [5] Alison Waters (Eng)                                8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (43m)

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-2 [4] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy)  4-11, 14-12, 3-11, 11-7, 11-8 (104m)
[2] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) 3-1 [3] Ramy Ashour (Egy)                       11-7, 12-10, 3-11, 11-7 (72m)

2014 Semi-Finals reports

Squash on the Pitch

2013 saw the British Open move to Hull, and after qualifying was completed in Pontefract, the main draw action moved to pitchside at the KC Stadium …

It being May, in England, the weather was a factor of course – wind, rain, sunshine and low temperatures all played their part as Squash was staged on a football pitch for the first time.

The honour of playing the first match went to Saurav Ghosal and Jon Kemp, with Tarek Momen and Marwan ElShorbagy following with an all-Egyptian battle.

Tarek’s thoughts on the venue :  “WOW! Putting a squash court on a football pitch is a great idea. It might get a bit cold for the spectators, but the playing conditions for us are perfect!”

BO at the O2

The history of the British Open goes all the way back to 1922, but its life as the Allam British Open started in 2012.

After a hiatus in 2010 and 2011 the Open returned in spectacular fashion with the Glass Court situated in London’s O2 Arena (formerly known as the Millenium Dome).

After ten days of action at St George’s Hill and at the O2, Nick Matthew and Nicol David were crowned the champions, collecting their 3rd and 4th titles.