Lowering of expectations allows Duncalf to relax and aim higher at British Open

WHILE the emphasis on winning for Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf may have softened in recent times, the former world No 2 is still determined to prove a point at this week’s British Open in Hull.

Jenny Duncalf.

The 32-year-old, a recent gold medal winner with England at the European Team Championships in Denmark, gets her bid underway against today.

She will face South African Siyoli Waters, who made it through to the main draw after defeating the USA’s Olivia Blatchford 3-2 last night.

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In years gone by, Duncalf would have been favoured to get to the latter stages of such events but, having gradually dropped down the WSA world rankings – she currently sits 16th – the expectation levels have also dropped.

But that does not mean she is ruling herself out of still being in contention when the semi-finals are reached at the Airco Arena.

“All the girls are beatable; if anyone, the top two are maybe a little bit ahead, but there isn’t much between everybody else,” said Duncalf. “The strength in depth of the sport is the strongest I have ever seen it. For me, it’s not so much about the winning and losing any more, it’s about whether I can play the best I can.”

Sheffield’s Nick Matthew came from behind to beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema 6-11 11-4 11-9 11-9. Pontefract’s James Willstrop lost out to top seed and world 
No 1 from Egypt, Mohamed Elshorbagy, 11-7 5-11 11-4 11-7.