Team England Continue Great Doubles Form

Team England continued their outstanding squash doubles form at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last night, when four more pairings reached the quarter-finals.

In the men’s doubles reigning champions Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant progressed through to the last eight after an 11-6, 11-5 victory over Jamaica’s Chris Binnie and Bruce Burrowes, while third seeds Daryl Selby and James Willstrop joined them by beating Welsh duo Scott Fitzgerald and David Haley 11-1, 11-9.

Selby then returned to the court for the last 16 of the mixed doubles with Sarah Kippax (pictured) and pulled off another victory by defeating Canadians Shawn Delierre and Sam Cornett 11-7, 11-8, before fourth seeds Peter Barker and Alison Waters joined them by defeating Northern Ireland’s Michael Craig and Madeline Perry 11-5, 10-11, 11-8.

Unfortunately, one of the English mixed pairings will bow out today, as they are drawn to meet each other.

Kippax said: “We are used to playing each other all the time in singles and training. You can be the best mates off court, but as soon as that door shuts, you want to get out there and you want to win.

“You are out there to win, that’s your number one priority. I’m sure it will be a great match and we will certainly be doing all we can to come through."

Familiarity of their opponents proved beneficial to Willstrop and Selby in their match against Fitzgerald and Haley

“We had practised against that Welsh pair a lot in the months coming in, so we knew each other quite well," said Willstrop.

“We’re still in and still going. That second game showed how hard it will be to take gold, but we are enjoying it and we are playing all right, so if we keep fighting and doing the right things, we should give ourselves a chance.”

Matthew also found his and Grant’s last-16 match against the Jamaicans tough going.

“The ball was shooting everywhere and it took us a while to get control of that and our emotions because we were getting a bit frustrated,” said the singles champion.

“We’ve been quite comfortable up until now, so that might stand us in good stead. We’ve not had to extend ourselves fully – it’s been a bit of a slow burner, so this wasn’t what we expected, but it’s what we needed.

“My eyes are popping out of my head now because the adrenaline started going!”

The triple world champion has been delighted with the attention squash has been getting at the Games.

“The Commonwealth Games is brilliant for squash and I think the sport has been one of the talking points of the Games," said the Yorkshireman.

“If this doesn’t push squash into the Olympics, then what else do we need to do? Do we need to swing from the rafters to play shots?!

“We’re trying our best and hopefully someone finally takes notice.”

Matthew and Grant, the favourites for the title, now face 10th seeds Peter Creed and David Evans, of Wales, while Selby and Willstrop meet 11th seeds Lance Beddoes and Paul Coll (New Zealand).

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