|Dunlop British Open 2005|
- National Squash Centre
- Rowsley St (Gate 13), Manchester M11 3FF
- 9 - 17 October 2005
- Tickets: 07973 544719
Vicky Botwright goes into the £35,000 event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester in excellent form after winning last month's Gerrard tournament at the same venue.
The world no. 7 followed that with another fine performance in Yokohama, Japan at the weekend. There, she crushed Hong Kong's Rebecca Chiu in just 26 minutes losing only five points.
But she's not likely to start getting complacent. "I agree that I'm the Manchester favourite," smiles the relaxed Mancunian, "But I wouldn't necessarily say I'm the overall favourite. This tournament always attracts the best players in the world and this year's no different."
Also competing is Vicky's regular training partner and younger sister Becky who, with a tough draw, faces a daunting task to make significant progress. So are they likely to play each other?
|Manchester favourite: Vicky Botwright|
"Of course, it would be great to play Becky, especially on my local court but she's got three matches before even making the main draw, so that's gonna be tough for her.
"I don't have to play a qualifier though, while Becky is likely to get one of the top seeds. Still, we are used to the setting and the courts and with a good crowd behind us, anything can happen!"
Becky's first European Individual Championship title came in September in Slovakia when she overturned the form book to topple top seed, fellow Brit Vicky Hynes in a gruelling 72 minute, five-game encounter. She'll need similar tenacity in Manchester to make it a dream, 'Botwright v Botwright' Manchester challenge.
|"Becky is likely to get one of the top seeds. Still, we're used to the setting and the courts and with a good crowd behind us, anything can happen!"|
"Of course, it would be great to meet my sister - especially at a place we've got to know so well," says Vicky. "It's a superb set-up which I use at least five times a week. There's the track, which I use for circuit training; there's the gym and the weights room, the squash courts and of course everything from massages to physiotherapy and training programme advice - briliant."
The senior squash sister believes the advent of the £30+ million complex, a legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, has been a key factor in the rise of so many Northern squash stars - Botwright & Botwright included.
|Tough draw for Becky|
"It's been great. If you come down here at six o'clock at night all the courts are taken, there's a full league system in place and all the best youngsters from the area are with a training academy - it really is a top venue to have."
Should the unlikely come to fruition - Vicky & Becky in close-quarters court combat - don't expect any family loyalty. "We have this thing when we play," says Vicky, "if you win three matches on the trot, the other person has to buy the breakfast coffee all week.
"I think Becky's still counting up the weeks and months of coffee she still owes me!"