Greg Lobban looking to become first Scotsman to win British squash title since 2004
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Greg Lobban is looking to become the first Scottish squash player to win the British National Championships in 16 years.
The 27-year-old from North Kessock, who will be competing in his eighth British Nationals, is bidding to become the first Scot to win the title since John White in 2004.
He is part of a growing number of players attempting to challenge thedominance English players have exerted in the tournament in recent years.
He believes 10 players are in with a shout of winning the tournament which starts on Thursday.
He said: "For a long time, Nick Matthew was always favourite.
"However now, over the last two championships, there are 10 guys who on their day could take the title home.
"There's no one clear favourite in theevent and there are players from Wales and Scotland that are really challenging.”
Heading into the competition ranked 29th in the world, Lobban has good reason for optimism.
The Scot ousted World No.5 and defending champion Paul Coll in straight games in the quarter-finals of the Edinburgh Open last weekend before eventually falling to World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad in the final.
Lobban attributes his upturn in form to his relocation to Sheffield, where he now works under the tutelage of coaches Neil Guirey and Nick Matthew.
Lobban, who opens his tournament against England's George Parker,continued: “Over the last six years, I've been around 26 and 35 in theworld. I moved down to Sheffield last year to a new training facility -
I feel that's helped bring me to my highest world ranking, but I'm"certainly not content with that.”
Lobban will equally be encouraged by his improving performances at theNationals over the last few years. Having exited the competition in thesecond round for three years consecutively between 2013 and 2015, he hassince reached the quarter-finals twice, and made it to the semis last year before being eliminated by eventual winner James Willstrop.
"I've gradually made my way through the rounds and started in the main
"Then I made the semis last year, but you take it for granted sometimes being able to make it that far. I was disappointed last year as I had the chance to go on and make the final - and potentially win
And as Lobban looks to go a couple of steps further this year, heconsiders the British Nationals at the top of his list of priorities.
“It's a big title to win and it's one we really want to take back home," he said. "It would be high on my list of achievements if I was to come and win that event.”