Jenny Duncalf survived a worrying first game scare to confirm her place in the quarter-finals of the Allam British Open 2013.
El Tayeb, ranked No.23 in the WSA world rankings was able to match her opponent in the early stages, and saved three game balls to force the first game to a tiebreak. Duncalf tightened her attacking shots to the front to combat the speed of the Egyptian, and gladly closed the game out 14-12.
The loss seemed to dishearten the 20-year-old form Cairo, who gave away five successive points in the second game to sure up Duncalf’s position. This gave the Englishwoman the confidence to attack higher up the court and she ended the contest with a further two quick games. “It doesn’t matter if we play in the Sahara desert or in the middle of the snow,” Duncalf told SquashSite after the match, “it’s still the British Open, and if you are a good squash player, you’ll play well on any court.”
The 2008 British Open runner-up will face Raneem El Weleily, who looked in good form as she dispatched the experienced Madeline Perry in straight games. The Egyptian No.3 seed wasted no time in setting about her usual attacking game, and Perry was happy to take her opportunities too as they both racked up some quick points. El Weleily’s lower error rate gave her a slight advantage to take the first game, but Perry made a real battle of game two to force a tiebreak. In the end though there was nothing she could to do as the world No.3 put the game to bed, followed by a dominant third to end the contest.
“It’s the first time I played with sleeves on,” said El Weleily on the cold court temperature, “so definitely not my favourite conditions. But it’s a good court, and I like it, but no, it’s not as easy as it looks, plus it’s a very risky game so you need a plan B! “Jenny and I have had some pretty nice battles, and last year, I reached the semis after beating her in the quarters, so I hope we’ll have another great battle tomorrow.”
Despite surprising last year’s British Open onlookers by reaching the final at 16-years of age, Nour El Sherbini failed to match per past form as she succumbed to a straight games loss to compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy. Sherbini, seeded fifth for the event, lost out narrowly in the first game as both players made their way through a far from flawless performance. The cold court made attacking shots all the more dangerous, but the Egyptians scored points and gave them away in equal measure as little else separated them at the tiebreak. The more experienced Kawy was able to do enough to claim the opening game however, and some more tactical play saw the former world No.4 run out 3-0 winner against the higher seed.
“I think the difference today came from the pressure she felt, because she is the highest ranked player, and that she got into the final last year,” said Kawy. “But also, maybe the way I played surprised her, I thought she was going to play a lot more shots at the front, but she didn’t.”
Kawy will face local Laura Massaro in tomorrow’s quarter-final round, following the second seeds four-game win over Dipika Pallikal. It was the Indian player who started in better form, attacking quickly in the cool conditions, with Massaro struggling to retrieve.
The Englishwoman was able to move her opponent off the tee more in the second game and claimed a narrow tiebreak game to draw level, before taking an equally close third. The home hopeful had more breathing room in the fourth game as Pallikal’s error count rose, and she sped to match point with a comfortable cushion. Pallikal took a nasty slip in the final rally, colliding head-first with the side-wall but the match was Massaro’s and the world No.2, along with Duncalf and Alison Waters who progressed on Wednesday, remain on course for British success.
“It’s such tough conditions on there I just had to concentrate on each point,” said the Englishwoman. “It might have seemed a bit excessive but I needed to keep on geeing myself up and that was the only way to do it.”
The quarter-finals will be aired on SquashTV from midday on Friday, with the event continuing over the weekend.
12:00  Nicol David (MAS) v  Joelle King (NZL)
14:00  Alison Waters (ENG) v  Kasey Brown (AUS)
18:00  Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
19:45  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
Today’s round two results:
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 14-12, 11-4, 11-4 (25m)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (25m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 14-12, 11-7, 11-8
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6