The Squash Championships of British Open is one of the most established and oldest competitions of the sport of squash. It is generally believed to be one of the two most influential competitions in the game, along with the World Open. (Indeed before the founding of the World Open in the early-1970s, the British Open Squash Championships was commonly recognized as the proper world championship of the game.) The Squash Championships of British Open are now repeatedly referred to as the "Wimbledon of Squash". The male and female events were conducted independently until 1983. Since that year, the two events have been run as a combined event.
The Squash Rackets Association organized the first British Open championship for male athletes in 1930, with a 'challenge' system: Charles Read was selected champion, but he was defeated in away and home games by Don Butcher. The Squash Championships of British Open is held to this day, however knockout format has been used since 1947.
Since its inauguration, the male's British Open Championships have been dominated by rather few players: Egyptians F.D. Amr Bey in the 1930s and Mahmoud Karim in the 1940s; brothers Azam Khan and Hashim Khan from Pakistan in the 1950s-1960s; Jonah Barrington from Great Britain and Geoff Hunt from Australia in 1960s-1970s; Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan from Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s respectively. Latest competitions have been dominated by players from Scotland, England, Wales, Canada and Australia.
The women's squash championship emerged in 1921, and has in the same way been dominated by fairly few players: British athletes Nancy Cave and Joyce Cave in the 1920s; British Margot Lumb and Janet Morgan in the 1930s and 1950s respectively; Heather McKay from Australia 1960s-1970s; Susan Devoy from New Zealand in 1980s; Michelle Martin from Australia in 1990s.
Due to its traditions, the Squash Championship of British Open is deemed by many people to be more influential than the World Open Championship, which originated in the mid-1970s.
Heather McKay, by her long-lasting and supreme dominance of the sport during the course of the 1960s-70s, is without a doubt the greatest female squash player of all time. Among the male athletes, most contemporary commentators think Hashim Khan or Jahangir Khan to be the all-time greatest male players. Amongst the other notable candidates are Geoff Hunt, Jonah Barrington and Jansher Khan.
British Open Past Results.
Men's Winners and Runner-up's:
2005 -- Anthony Ricketts (Runner-up: James Willstrop)
2004 -- David Palmer (Runner-up: Amr Shabana)
2003 -- David Palmer (Runner-up: Peter Nicol)
2002 -- Peter Nicol (Runner-up: John White)
2001 -- David Palmer (Runner-up: Chris Walker)
2000 -- David Evans (Runner-up: Paul Price)
Women's Winners and Runner-up's:
2005 -- Nicol David (Runner-up: Natalie Grinham)
2004 -- Richael Grinham (Runner-up: Natalie Grinham)
2003 -- Richael Grinham (Runner-up: Cassie Campion)
2002 -- Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Runner-up: Tania Bailey)
2001 -- Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Runner-up: Carol Owens)
2000 -- Leilani Joyce (Runner-up: Sue Wright).