National Championships: Jenny Duncalf beats Sarah Campion to set up semi-final date with Alison Waters

Jenny Duncalf.
Jenny Duncalf.
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Jenny Duncalf booked herself a semi-final date at the British National Championships with a hard-fought win over Halifax’s Sarah Campion in Manchester yesterday.

The 33-year-old two-time winner, from Harrogate, came from behind after losing the opening game to see off her opponent 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7.

She will now meet a familiar face in the last four in Alison Waters, who defeated Emily Whitlock in straight games.

“We seem to play each other every year,” said Duncalf of Campion.

“She came out really well and made it hard work for me. It’s great to see her back on court but I’m happy to make it through to another semi.”

Duncalf and Waters have met seven times in the Nationals, with Duncalf’s two wins both coming in finals they contested in 2007 and 2009.

Hull’s Fiona Moverley caused the shock of the first round when knocking out defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry, but she couldn’t repeat that form as she went out to Wales’s Tesni Evans, who prevailed 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10.

In the men’s draw, James Willstrop set-up a semi-final clash with Chris Simpson after defeating qualifier George Parker 1-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7.

“He made me work really hard for that,” admitted two-time champion Willstrop.

“The atmosphere is building here already and I think it’s going to be buzzing at the weekend.”

Simpson, who like Willstrop is from Harrogate, beat qualifier Joel Makin 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5.

Defending champion Nick Matthew, from Sheffield, remained on course for an eighth Nationals title with an 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 win over fifth seed Adrian Waller.

“There’s two matches to go and I’m not thinking past tomorrow,” said Matthew afterwards.

“Ten years ago I wouldn’t have believed I could win seven times. I’m not as quick as I was but I do have more of a brain in me to make up for that!”