Capital squash players vie for $10,000 in Open event

Dougie Kempsell

Dougie Kempsell

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Chris Gray, from Colinton Castle, leads a host of Capital hopefuls into action when then the annual Edinburgh Sports Club Squash Open, the biggest event on the British professional circuit, gets underway on the Belford Road courts tonight until Sunday.

The opening sessions are devoted to qualifying and Gray is first up against Tom Chitty at 6pm with another home hopeful, Alan Tasker, following on at 7.30pm.

Rory Stewart and Craig Valente-Wallace add to local interest tonight.

The session concludes with Sports Club stars Ross McHoul, Simon Boughton and Jacques Lass taking the court around 9pm against, respectively, Taminder Gula-Aura, Matt Schonfrucht and James Jacobsen,

The tournament proper tomorrow features home club ace Dougie Kempsell (world No.110) taking on a qualifier at 12.45pm with Commonwealth Games team member Kevin Moran, the world No.138 from Grange, starting at 3pm against a qualifier.

Greg Lobban, former winner of the Bratislava Open, adds a further tartan flavour to a men’s event in which defending champion and world No.11 Daryl Selby is the top seed.

Tonight’s women’s qualifying programme features Scots Elspeth Young, Senga Macfie, Stephanie Walton, Kirsty Lobban, Helen Nicol and the highly promising Claire Gadsby between 6.15pm and 8.30pm.

No Scottish woman has made it into the draw proper in which the top seeds are Lucie Fialova (Czech Republic) and Birgit Coufal (Australia).

The 14th staging of the tournament has attracted a $10,000 prize fund and Selby will be hoping to take the title for a fifth time.