Kanzy KOs Kawy

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Women’s Round ONE:
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [Q] Lauren Selby (Eng) 11/7, 11/4, 11/5 (24m)
[15] Samantha Teran (Mex) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal) 11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (24m)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt [14] Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) 11/8, 9/11, 11/8, 11/7 (52m)
[Q] Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy) bt [8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 12/10, 11/9, 12/10 (35m)
[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy) 11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (41m)
[9] Annie Au (Hkg) bt Joey Chan (Hkg) 13/11, 11/6, 7/11, 11/6 (46m)
[10] Joelle King (Nzl) bt [Q] Gaby Huber (Sui) 11/7, 11/6, 11/6 (35m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Line Hansen (Den) 11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (32m)
[11] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Sarah Kippax (Eng) 11/9, 11/9, 11/5 (30m)
[6] Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Orla Noom (Ned) 11/6, 11/5, 11/4 (32m)
[12] Natalie Grinham (Ned) bt [Q] Aisling Blake (Irl) 11/5, 11/3, 11/9 (37m)
[4] Madeline Perry (Irl) bt Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11/8, 11/4, 7/11, 7/11, 11/3 (58m)
[7] Camille Serme (Fra) bt Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 12/10, 11/7, 2/1 rtd (28m)
[16] Low Wee Wern (Mas) bt [Q] Latasha Khan (Usa) 11/6, 11/9, 11/8 (42m)
[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt Delia Arnold (Mas) 11/3, 11/6, 11/5 (29m)
[Q] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt [13] Donna Urquhart (Aus) 10/12, 11/8, 13/11, 9/11, 11/2 (61m)

The first two matches completed saw qualifiers Lauren Selby and Tesni Evans turn in creditable performances against Rachael Grinham and Samantha Teran, both having had a good tournament and doing themselves credit in today’s openers. “That was hard, she’s a good player and very physical,” Evans told Squashsite.co.uk. “But I’ve enjoyed my week, it’s been great to see the the top players together and to watch them play.”

Selby was also satisfied: “I thought I did alright, considering the matches I’ve had so far this week. Rachael’s not the easiest to play when you have heavy legs, she holds the ball so well and you have to stop and start and turn so often. But I’m pleased with my tournament, I thought I did credit to myself and I got my laundry done!!”

Teran was happy too: “I’m happy to get started, and to have a tough game to get me ready for the next round, Tesni played well. It’s normally hard to adjust after the travel from Mexico, but I’ve been here a couple of days already and I feel quite comfortable, I’m in good rhythm and playing well.

There was a huge upset in the second batch of women’s matches as teenage Egyptian qualifier Kanzy El Dafrawy ousted eighth-seeded compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy in three delicately poised games, 12/10, 11/9, 12/10.

“I can’t believe it,” said a delighted Kanzy, “I’ve never even taken a game off her before. But I was playing well, even if she isn’t at her best at the moment, but when I was 10/6 down in the third I told myself I mustn’t let an opportunity like this slip.”

Another upset followed when Dipika Pallikal, who has just moved into the world’s top twenty, took out 14th-seeded Kiwi Jaclyn Hawkes in four games.

“I started well then made too many errors in the second,” said the Indian number one. “In the third and fourth I was trying to be more steady and I thought I did that well. I played Jackie in Malaysia in July so I knew what to expect, you have to be prepared to run and run like she does. “Really happy to get through, it should be a good game against Kanzy …”

There were no further upsets in the afternoon session women’s matches, as Jenny Duncalf, Annie Au, Laura Massaro and Joelle King all progressed never looking in serious danger. King found Swiss qualifier Gaby Huber a bit of a handful: “I’d never really seen her play, so it came as a bit of a surprise to find she hits the ball as hard as I do, which I’m not really used to,” admitted the Kiwi commonwealth gold medallist, who won 11/7, 11/6, 11/6. “It’s good to get started though and I’m very happy to win that one three-nil.” King now meets second seed Duncalf, who had just as tough a time of it against Line Hansen, coming through 11/9, 12/10, 11/7 in just over half an hour.

Meanwhile Duncalf’s English team-mate Massaro managed to quell the lively young Egyptian Yathreb Adel 11/9, 11/7, 11/6 and she’ll meet Annie Au, who won her all-Hong Kong match with Joey Chan in four games. “We play each other so often, it feels strange to come all the way over here just to play each other again,” chuckled Au.
The ladies got their first outing on Victoria’s showcourt as locals Orla Noom and Natalie Grinham started their campaigns. Noom, who won the qualifying competition for the wilcard spot, performed well enough but Australia’s Kasey Brown was a tough opponent, and the sixth seed came through in straight games despite Noom’s best efforts and a noisy partisan crowd.”It’s never easy playing the crowd’s home favourite,” admitted Brown, “and they were definitely against me and pretty loud too, but I thought I coped with it well and played pretty well too.”

The following match, featuring four-time finalist Grinham against her qualifier training partner Aisling Blake, was one the crowd had altogether different expectations of, and they weren’t disappointed as the former Aussie who has just returned to the world’s top ten came through in straight games in front of her watching husband and son.

Two contrasting women’s matches followed. France’s seventh seed Camille Serme, having lost to one young Egyptian (El Weleily) in Qatar was in no mood to lose to another today as she took a close first game against Nour El Tayeb, doubled her lead with more ease in the second and gratefully accepted the world junior champion’s retirement with an ankle injury at 2/1 in the third.

Fourth seed Madeline Perry went two games up as well, but her opponent, Emma Beddoes, far from conceding stormed back to take the next two games. It was fairly comfortable for the Northern Irishwoman in the decider, who after an tough hour long match will be grateful for a day’s rest before she takes on Natalie Grinham at the Luxor Theatre on Thursday.

Low Wee Wern had to work hard to secure a three-nil win over US veteran Latasha Khan, while five-time and defending champion Nicol David started off her defence on an outside court against compatriot Delia Arnold. “Delia was struggling with the bounce on the court,” said Nicol after her 11/3, 11/5, 11/6 win, “but I was too to start with, it took a little time to get comfortable on there. I had to remind myself it was the first round of the World Open and not let her get into it, she can be very dangerous if she does.”

That left Donna Urquhart and Nour El Sherbini, who were by now into their fifth game too, Sherbini having taken the lead 2/1 after saving game balls in what proved to be a crucial third game. The fifth was a relative canter, the young Egyptian finally able to celebrate her 16th birthday with an 11/2 decider.

Full reports with quotes and photos available on TODAY on the World Open site here!

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Squash Stars is a social media effort designed to support women squash with the ultimate aim of promoting the sport for the Olympics.Nicol David, Founder

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