Clyne wants perfect 10 at national squash championships
Alan Clyne is hopeful of adding to his record nine national squash titles at Edinburgh Sports Club (ESC) this weekend, but admits close friend Greg Lobban goes in as tournament favourite.
Last year Clyne secured a fourth consecutive national title after beating Lobban 11-8, 15-13, 12-10 in a final which lasted 77 minutes.
In-form Lobban goes in to the National Championships as top seed, with the pair expected to meet once again in the final.
Lobban, ranked 27 in the world, claimed the scalp of world number five Paul Coll on the way to reaching last month’s ESC Open final, and this week shocked world number four Karim Abdel Gawad at the Canary Wharf Classic in London.
Clyne has been competing stateside recently and is currently training in Edinburgh ahead of the weekend’s action.
“I love playing the nationals,” Clyne explained.
“It’s an important event for me, one that I really prioritise.
“It’s going to be tough as always to win, especially with Greg being on such good form and Rory Stewart (seeded three) is also playing some good squash.
“I want to try and keep winning the title but we have got a good bunch of players coming through and it’s a strong field this year.
“If I play my best I’ll be in with a chance but Greg will be favourite because he’s been playing great squash for the past year.”
A string of up and coming youngsters are competing in this year’s championships and Clyne believes rubbing shoulders with the professionals will stand them all in good stead.
He added: “We have more than 30 entries in the men’s draw which is great for squash in Scotland and seeing the new batch come through is very encouraging.
“Greg played 14-year-old Kyle Penman in the early rounds last year which would have been a great experience for him, in the future Kyle will be trying to win this title.
“Alasdair Prott and John Meehan have just left school, both are training with the elite performance players and will now look to get to the latter stages.”