Injured Duncalf forced to pull out in Manchester

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WHILE Yorkshire’s leading stars in the men’s draw enjoyed further success on court at the British National Championships, it was a disappointing day for Harrogate’s world No 2 Jenny Duncalf after she was forced to withdraw through injury.

The 29-year-old top seed injured herself during warm-up for her first round match against Derbyshire’s Laura Hill. It comes only a week after she was forced to withdraw with a knee injury in the quarter-finals of the Cleveland Classic in Ohio, but her latest problem is thought to be unrelated.

In the men’s draw, world No 1 Nick Matthew was forced to reach the last eight the hard way, after being taken to four games by fifth seed Jaymie Haycocks, who took the first game.

No 2 seed Matthew, from Sheffield, eventually won 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 and will now face seventh seed Chris Simpson, who beat Charles Sharpes.

Top seed and world No 2 James Willstrop, from Leeds, had an easier time than his long-time Yorkshire rival, enjoying a comfortable 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 win over Cheshire’s Andy Whipp.

He will now face sixth seed Chris Ryder as the action switches to the glass court for the quarter-final stages in both draws.

“It was pretty comfortable for me really, but the good thing about is that Andy is a decent player and I’ve known him for a long time - so it’s never easy against him,” said Willstrop, whose new book ‘Shot and a Ghost’, chronicling a year of his career, is released later this week.

“I think he was a little bit tired from yesterday’s match, but he’s got a lot of experience so there were some good, hard, toughly-contested rallies which is what you want at this stage.

“You don’t want to be going through the week with nothing to do, so it was a good match for me to work on things and keep me sharp.”

Twitter: @philarra