7:15 am
24 Jun 2024

Parker Upsets Mueller In British Open Opener at Birmingham Rep

3 Jun 2024

England's world No.39 George Parker moved through to the second round of the prestigious British Open after upsetting Switzerland's world No.23 Nicolas Mueller, a former quarter-finalist, in a five-game day one thriller at Birmingham Rep Theatre.

Spectators were treated to both players going all-out attack which resulted in an entertaining battle, with Parker eventually prevailing 8-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 after 65 minutes, sparking wild celebrations from the Leicester-born 28-year-old. He will now take on world No.2 and two-time champion Paul Coll in the next round.

"I was pumped up by these boys here [in the front row]," Parker said.

"All the boys and my old man came to watch me. To play in front of good people who have come to watch me from Leicester since I was a kid brought an extra 20 per cent out. I don't really do it for me, I do it for the boys.

"He [Mueller] has got such a good pair of lungs on him, he keeps digging in all the way and I always felt on edge. I felt he could hit a quick winner, he's so gutsy and he has the ability. He's a nice player, there was no contact and it was just enjoyable."

Parker was one of eight British players to reach the last 32 at both The Rep and Edgbaston Priory Club, with world No.42 Katie Malliff also securing her spot in the second round.

Her match with Wales' world No.26 Emily Whitlock was cut short after the latter retired shortly before the third game began. Malliff will play newly-crowned World Champion Nouran Gohar for a place in round three.

Malliff said: "She just said that she felt the court was slippy. I felt okay, maybe it was her shoes.

"It's good to play here, I was at Edgbaston Priory Club last year and thought I'd quite like to play on this court in front of this crowd, it's really cool.

"She [Gohar] will be the highest ranked player I've ever played, so it will be a great opportunity and let's see what I can do."