The world’s best players were in action at the Heights Casino in New York last night for the first round of the WISPA Gold Carol Weymuller Open. In hot and humid conditions, the courts were bouncy and the matches were close, with all 8 matches going beyond three games.
Joelle King has been in great form this year and the New Zealand no.1 is on the verge of a place in the top 10. She started strongly against Omneya Abdel Kawy, taking a comfortable 2-0 lead. Kawy had won their only previous meeting back in 2009 and came back fighting taking the 3rd game before saving two match balls in the 4th, eventually taking it 17-15 on the tie-break. King again let 4 match balls slip by at 10-6 in the fifth but finished the match off 12-10 with a beautiful drop shot. King had admitted afterwards that she had felt nervous closing out the match against Kawy, a player she admires a lot.
Raneem El Weleily had played Laura Massaro 6 times in 2010 and had won 4 of those matches, so there was a good chance another upset was on the cards. Massaro however has recently entered the top 5 and with another victory over Nicol David at the CIMB Singapore Masters in July, it seemed the British Champion had stepped up another level. Weleily’s risky shot making was paying off though and she moved ahead 2-1. Massaro leveled with a controlled and error free 4th game and then had 2 match balls in the decider. She was unable to close it out and Weleily came through 12-10.
Top seed Jenny Duncalf led the way for the rest of the seeds. The world no.2 dropped the first game to Jaclyn Hawkes but took charge from the 2nd game to win in 3-1. She goes onto face King in the quarter final. Second seed Madeline Perry lost the second game to Dipika Pallikal but stayed in control for the remainder of a fast paced and hard hitting match. Perry plays Annie Au in the quarter final. Au overcame Emma Beddoes 13-11 in the 4th game, although Beddoes had her chances in the 3rd and 4th.
Rachael Grinham maintained her perfect record against compatriot Donna Urquhart, winning in 4 games. Grinham’s quarter final opponent is another Australian, Kasey Brown. Fifth seed Brown lost the first game to Joey Chan and edged the 2nd on a tie break, before easing away to victory. World no.8 Camille Serme also lost the first game to her opponent Samantha Teran. The rest of the match was close, with only a few points separating the pair, but it was Serme who won the crucial points and go on to face Weleily in the quarter final.There is live video streaming of the quarter finals from Ustream on Squashsite, starting at 5.30pm EST.
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 8/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/5
Joelle King (NZL) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11/3, 11/7, 9/11, 15/17, 12/10
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11/7, 4/11, 11/5, 11/7
 Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 9/11, 12/10, 11/2, 11/6
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 9/11, 11/9, 11/8, 12/10
Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 6/11, 11/5, 11/6, 7/11, 13/11
 Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 6/11, 11/8, 11/9, 13/11
 Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11/6, 11/13, 11/6, 11/7