Thursday’s play at the O2 saw four men’s and four women’s matches as the quarter-final lineups were completed.
There was one significant upset as New Zealand’s Joelle King ousted defending champion Rachael Grinham 15/13 in the fifth …
 Camille Serme (Fra) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) 11/2, 11/9, 11/5 (23m)
 Laura Massaro (Eng) bt  Natalie Grinham (Ned) 15/13, 12/10, 11/6 (39m)
 Joelle King (Nzl) bt  Rachael Grinham (Aus) 3/11, 11/5,11/8, 5/11, 15/13 (60m)
 Nicol David (Mas) bt  Samantha Teran (Mex) 11/7, 11/7, 11/3 (28m)PSA $150k Round Two, bottom half:
 Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt Steve Coppinger (Rsa) 12/10, 9/11, 11/2, 11/3 (58m)
 Nick Matthew (Eng) bt Tom Richards (Eng) 11/5, 8/11, 11/4, 11/6 (68m)
 Peter Barker (Eng) bt Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 7/11, 11/2, 11/6, 11/6 (57m)
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt [Q] Jonathan Kemp (Eng) 11/5, 11/8, 11/7 (33m)
Thre first match of the day saw France’s Camille Serme consolidate on a flying start as she beat Kiwi Jaclyn Hawkes in a quickfire three games. Dominant in the first game, Serme got the better of a close second game before racing through the third to secure a quarter-final spot.
“This cold court suits my game really,” said the winner, “and I think that the length is the key to this court. Today, I was able to find my length and tried to use it to win the point at my first or second drop shot attempt.”
After two tough opening games were shared, Laurens Jan Anjemapowered through the next two as Steve Coppinger’s wheels fell off, the Dutchman winning 12/10, 9/11, 11/2, 11/3 in just under an hour.
“It was tough at the start, but he was having to work a bit harder than I was,” said Anjema, “and it started to pay off at the beginning of the third.”
Massaro marches on
British national champion Laura Massaro also had two tough opening games, and had to save game balls in both as she took the lead against Natalie Grinham 15/13, 12/10. A 9/2 lead in the third all but sealed her passage into he quarters despite a late fightback from the Dutch former world number two.
“It’s brutal on there,” commented Massaro on the court conditions, “if you play the right game you can get people off quickly, but it can work the other way too and against someone as quick as Natalie you have to be constantly on your toes.
Matthew asserts his authority
Defending champion Nick Matthewwas made to work hard by compatriot Tom Richards, who recovered from losing the first game 11/5 to take a 25-minute second game 11/8. Matthew, six year senior, exerted his authority from 4-all in the third and 5-4 in the fourth to complete the win in 68 minutes.
”Tom is hungry for the scalp of a top player,” said Matthew, “I had to stand firm in the third and fourth, it was tough all the way through. LJ will be looking for a scalp too …”
Defending champion Rachael Grinham (although it was back in 2009) exited the British Open at the hands of Joelle King in the first upset of the day. The first four games were shared with the girls taking it in turns to paly well, setting up a nailbiting decider which saw the Kiwi take it on her third match ball, having previously saved two.
“It was disappointing to lose the first so quickly,” said a delighted winner, “I just told myself that this was a great opportunity in a fantastic venue and I just had to hang in there and try to grind it out.”
Another Englishman went through to the quarters as Peter Barkercame from a game down to beat Speedy Indian Saurav Ghosal, the sixth seed imposing his game for a 7/11, 11/2, 11/6, 11/6 win in just short of an hour’s play.
“He played well in the first and adapted to the conditions quicker than me,” admitted Barker, “but fortunately I got a good start in the second and found my length which made all the difference. I’m in the quarters now, and whoever I play I’ll be giving it everything.”
It’s always difficult playing a friend, especially a room-mate,” saidNicol David after her 11/7, 11/7, 11/3 win over Samantha Teran. The Mexican battled, as she does, but the world number one was always in charge and by the third game was looking very comfortable as she tested out some of her repertoire of shots.
“I had a good practice and watched some of the earlier matches so that I could get a feel for the conditions,” she explained, “so I was into it quicker than she was and I wanted it more.”
Second seed Gregory Gaultier raced through a quickfire match against qualifier Jonathan Kemp to claim the last remaining quarter-final spot, the 2007 champion taking on his shotmaking opponent and bettering him at it.
“I tried to be aggressive, but he has so many shots I had to keep the ball tight as well. I’d love to win this title again, tonight we’ll analyse what I did well and what I did badly to make improvements for the next match.”