Knowles, who decided to enter the tournament despite a recent personal bereavement, won his opening match comfortably, by beating Nottingham's Roger Mistri 15-0, 15-1, but had more trouble with Paul Edevane, of Hampshire. The problems started in the second game, with the Maidstone player coming back from 12-8 down to win 15-1, 15-12. Knowles now plays Wiltshire's Anthony Bush, seeded in the five to eight category, today.
Knowles, who has beaten the world No 4 Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen, of Denmark, Jens Olsson, the Swedish No 1, and Foo Kok Keong, of Malaysia, this season, is in the same half as the defending champion, Anders Nielsen.
Also through in the top half is another England international, Peter Smith, who twice won in straight games and whose wife Fiona Smith, the triple Commonwealth Games gold medallist, is favourite to win the women's title for the seventh time in 10 years.
Later two seeds went out. Richard Harmsworth, the former junior champion, lost in three games to Stephen Isaac, of Worthing, and the third-ranked woman, Alison Humby, lost 11-3, 12-9 to the 22- year-old Tracy Dineen.
Fiona Smith joined her husband in the quarter-finals with an 11-7, 11-7 win over Nicola Jordan, of Wales, but needed to come from
7-1 down in the first game to do it.
Meanwhile the other favourite, Darren Hall, who is aiming to take the men's title back from Nielsen and win it for a record sixth time, had two comfortable straight-games wins, by 15-7, 15-8 against Richard Doling, an 18- year-old from Kent, and by 15-3, 15-2 against Lancashire's Chris Hunt, a holder of the men's doubles title.
Results, Sport in Short, page 51
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content