IT may not have been as clean a contest as he would have liked, but Yorkshire’s James Willstrop still made it through to the quarter-finals of the British Open in Hull.
The 30-year-old, from Pontefract, found himself embroiled in a series of on-court clashes with Egyptian opponent Omar Mosaad, which he admitted to regretting afterwards.
In the end, the fifth seed came through 11-5, 13-11, 9-11, 11-4 after a gruelling 90 minutes to set up a mouthwatering last eight duel with Ramy Ashour, the No 3 seed who defeated him at the semi-final stage last year.
“Omar is a very good player, we’re both good players,” said Willstrop afterwards. “But I felt tonight we both should have been better as it was not a great night for the fans.
“He did some things on court that I didn’t approve of, but I certainly wasn’t an angel in any way either and I wasn’t very happy with my performance behaviourally.
“I’m here to win and I have to be strong out there on court. I have to move on and forget about this match now and, hopefully, come back and play a better, cleaner match against Ramy.
“We’ve had some great matches in the past and Ramy is a tremendous player, so hopefully it will be more of the same.”
The last time Willstrop got the better of Ashour was in February 2012 when the two met in the final of the North American Open.
Defending champion Ashour remained on course to retain his title, but only after being given a stern workout from Laurens Jan Anjema.
The former world No 1 had to come from behind to defeat his Netherlands opponent 9-11 11-1 11-9 11-4.
In the other men’s second round matches, world No1 Gregory Gaultier booked a quarter-final date with Egypt’s Amr Shabana when he saw off the challenge of Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez in straight games. Former world No 1 Shabana made it through to the last eight with an 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6 win over France’s Gregoire Marche in just under an hour.
In the women’s draw, top seed and world No 1 Nicol David eased through to the quarter-finals with an 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 triumph over 16th seed Sarah-Jane Perry, from England.
Among the first quarter-finals today at The Sports Arena, is Sarah Kippax’s encounter with defending champion and world No 2 Laura Massaro.
Unseeded Kippax, from Halifax, has already enjoyed a stellar week, first defeating 10th seed Jenny Duncalf, before prevailing in an epic second round encounter against Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes.
In the men’s draw, Sheffield’s Nick Matthew will continue his bid for a fourth title when he takes on Egyptian qualifier Fares Dessouki, second round conqueror of eighth seed Karim Darwish.
It will be the first time that Matthew has come up against the promising 19-year-old, currently ranked 55 in the world – 53 places below the Yorkshireman.
Thursday results at the British Open
Women’s Round Two
 Alison Waters (Eng) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal) 11/7, 11/9, 11/6 (31m)
 Joelle King (Nzl) bt Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 11/6, 11//7, 8/11, 11/1 (43m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt  Camille Serme (Fra) 8/11, 9/11, 11/6, 11/9, 13/11 (62m)
 Nicol David (Mas) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11/6, 13/11, 11/4 (40m)
Men’s Round Two
 Amr Shabana (Egy) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11/5, 9/11, 11/4, 11/6 (55m)
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col) 11/3, 11/7, 11/9 (48m)
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) 9/11, 11/1, 11/9, 11/4 (51m)
 James Willstrop (Eng) bt Omar Mosaad (Egy) 11/5, 13/11, 9/11, 11/4 (90m)