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Carol Weymuller Open 2014
30 Sep - 06 Oct, Casino Heights, Brooklyn, New York, $50k

06-Oct, Final:
Waters wins ...

Alison Waters came from a game down to beat Omneya Abdel Kawy 9/11, 12/10, 11/5, 12/10 in tonight's final to claim her first WSA title in two years  ... Linda Elriani reports ...

05-Oct, Semis:
Top seeds beaten in Semis

The final of the Carol Weymuller Open will be an England v Egypt affair, but not the one predicted by the seedings after Alison Waters and Omneya Abdel Kawy beat top seeds Raneem El Welily and Laure Massaro in the semi-finals.

In truth you could have seen it coming, with Welily and Massaro both needing all five games to win their quarters, and both going into the semis with losing H2H records against today's opponents (Waters is now 8-2 against Welily, and Kawy 10-3 over Massaro).

04-Oct, Quarters:
Top seeds tested in quarters

No upsets in the quarter-finals, but Laura Massaro and Raneem El Welily were both takes the full distance as they edged past Salma Hany and Emma Beddoes to set up semi-finals against Omneya Abdel Kawy and Alison Waters ...

03-Oct, Round One (2):

The first round concluded with two more upsets as Emma Beddoes and Nicolette Fernandes both beat seeds to set up quarter-final matches against Raneem El Welily and Alison Waters ...

02-Oct, Round One (1):

It was a great day for the Egyptian contingent in Brooklyn as three out of four quarter-final places went to Omneya Abdel Kawy, Nour El Tayeb and Salma Hany, with world champion Laura Massaro joining them in the next round.


Draw & Results

Watch the replays

Watch the replays

Carol Weymuller Open 2014
30 Sep - 06 Oct, Brooklyn, $50k
Round One
02 / 03 Oct
04 Oct
05 Oct
06 Oct
[1] Laura Massaro (Eng)
11/5, 11/9, 11/8
Sarah Kippax (Eng)
[1] Laura Massaro
11/6, 11/8, 9/11, 9/11, 11/4
[Q] Salma Hany
[1] Laura Massaro

11/2, 7/11, 11/8, 11/5

[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy

[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy


9/11, 12/10, 11/5, 12/10


[3] Alison Waters

[6] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/6, 11/9, 12/10
[Q] Salma Hany (Egy)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11/5, 11/6, 11/3
[Q] Sam Cornett (Can)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy
11/8, 4/11, 11/8, 11/9
 [Q] Nour El Tayeb
[4] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/2, 11/4, 11/4
[Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
Line Hansen (Den)
11/6, 11/8, 11/5
[3] Alison Waters (Eng)
[3] Alison Waters
14/12, 11/2, 11/4
Nicolette Fernandes
[3] Alison Waters

7/11, 9/11, 11/7, 12/10, 11/3

[2] Raneem El Welily

Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
7/11, 11/6, 11/8, 6/11, 11/9
[7] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Emma Beddoes (Eng)
11/7, 12/10, 11/4
[8] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
Emma Beddoes
13/15, 11/6, 7/11, 11/4, 11/4
[2] Raneem El Welily
[Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)
11/5, 11/7, 11/4
[2] Raneem El Welily (Egy)
01-Oct, Qualifying Finals:

Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-0 Latasha Khan (Usa)                             12/10, 11/5, 11/7
Sam Cornett (Can) 3-2 Olivia Blatchford (Usa)        11/4, 13/11, 7/11, 3/11, 12/10
Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy) 3-2 Victoria Lust (Eng)   5/11, 11/9, 12/10, 9/11, 11/6
Samantha Teran (Mex) 3-1 Tesni Evans (Wal)                    11/7, 11/9, 9/11, 11/9

, Qualifying Round One:    

Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-1 Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy)           11/6, 6/11, 11/8, 14/12
Latasha Khan (Usa) 3-1 Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl)    11/4, 11/3, 7/11, 11/4
Sam Cornett (Can) 3-0 Belen Etchechoury (Arg)                       11/8, 11/3, 11/6
Olivia Blatchford (Usa) 3-0 Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)                      11/3, 11/8, 11/4
Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy) 3-0 Haley Mendez (Usa)                 11/5, 11/6, 11/5
Victoria Lust (Eng) 3-0 Thaisa Serafini (Bra)                             11/4, 11/5, 11/9
Samantha Teran (Mex) 3-1 Siyoli Waters (Rsa)                11/9, 9/11, 11/7, 11/4
Tesni Evans (Wal) 3-0 Cecilia Cortes (Usa)                               11/6, 11/5, 11/3

2013 Event | 2012 Event2011 Event | 2010 Event

06-Sep, FINAL:
Comeback queen Waters takes Weymuller title
Linda Elriani reports, photos from Jean Ervasti

Today was the final day of our 2014 Carol Weymuller Open. It’s been a tremendous week of squash and the WSA players have definitely left everyone inspired and motivated.

We sometimes have the honor of Carol Weymuller herself coming to watch the final, but Carol hasn’t been able to make it here over the last couple of years. Carol started the junior squash program here at The Heights Casino many years back and it has obviously grown and grown along with the sport. We always like to thank Carol for all her hard work and dedication at the start, as we wouldn’t be where we are today with our program if she had not been forward thinking enough to develop squash in this area.

At 7.30pm the bleachers were packed with eager members, anticipating the outcome. Alison Waters and Omneya Abdel Kawy first played in a WSA event back almost 11 years ago, but their rivalry started back when they were both juniors in the British Open U14 final, where Omneya won 3-1!! Alison won the last time they played back in February in a long hard 3-2, so we knew that the match tonight was very likely to be a great one.

The first game started a little gingerly with both players trying to find their rhythm, but they soon settled into some wonderful, long and skillful rallies. The points went back and forth evenly until 7-7 with an array of different winners around the court. Ali was concentrating on keeping the ball out the middle where Omneya is so deadly and managed to do so for the most part but as soon as the ball was off the wall Omneya would step in with her volley drops and finish the point.

With a couple of winners and a stroke against Ali, Omneya edged ahead to go 10-7 up for her first game ball. This is when Ali gave a huge push and really found her length and kept the T and a backhand volley drop tin and a backhand boast error from Omneya helped Ali to climb back to 9-10. Just when we started to think that Ali was going to equalize, Omneya hit a lovely hard flat forehand drive that died perfectly in the back corner. First game 11/9 to the experience and flamboyant Egyptian.

The second game started with a very similar pattern and momentum as the first. Both players were playing very clean, attacking squash with some wonderful retrieving and creative winners. The points stayed even throughout up to 6-6 but then suddenly Omneya managed to squeeze ahead again to take the lead to 9-6. Omneya has an amazing ability to inject some serious pace on her drives when she chooses to and then a second later she is using her incredible touch to stop the ball perfectly in the front! She really looked like she was having fun out there!

There was an amazing rally where Ali got back so many great shots and tried so hard to reapply the pressure, but she ended up in the front backhand corner where a crosscourt lob may have saved her, but Ali chose the straight drive at full stretch, probably to keep the ball out the middle and away from Omneya’s racket but it ended in a stroke. 10-8 game ball to Omneya to go 2-0!! But Ali wasn’t about to give up! With an amazing counter drop from Ali, a couple of tins from Omneya and a perfect forehand drop, Ali snatched away the second game from under Omneya’s nose to win 12/10!!

The third game started perfectly for Ali, showing so much focused and discipline. Ali went 3-0 up before we knew it and it seemed that Omneya was still thinking about the last game that she should have just won. Omneya started to look like some tiredness may be creeping into her movement as she labored for a couple of shots and the referee called them ‘not up’. More pressure and precise squash from Ali and errors on the short shots from Omneya took Ali through to win the third game pretty convincingly 11/5.

The fourth game did a complete 360 degree turn at the beginning, with Omneya getting a very fast and easy lead of 6-1, mainly from Ali’s unforced errors. Omneya continued through and at 8-3 we were definitely all thinking that this match was going to five games. Yet once again Ali was not going to give up lightly, she pushed up the court, started to volley more, took some wonderful short shots in and changed the momentum in her favour.

Ali went from 4 to 9 in one hand and with the game now at 9-9 we wondered who would play these last big points the best. Next there was a wonderful rally where Allie retrieved Omneya’s forehand drop so incredibly well and played the most perfect counter drop of the match, which ended in a ‘no let’ when Omneya asked. This took Ali to her first match ball! Ali got slightly edgy and hit a tin to even it out again at 10-10. Ali took advantage of a slight opening that Omneya gave her, hitting a powerful winning forehand kill to gave her a second match ball.

There was a great rally from both players trying to out maneuver one another but a loose ball on the backhand from Omneya got Ali a stroke to take the final point she needed to become the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open Champion!!!!!

Ali Waters, the comeback queen, said happily after her victory:

“I’m really really delighted to have won! It’s been 2 years since I won a title and to win it here of all places is extra special!! Another tough match….Omneya played really well and I could have gone 2-0 down! I’m pleased with how I stuck in there and just kept going, which was key all week in all my matches.

"That’s what I’m most happy with, is my attitude and commitment to it. I’m off to Philadelphia on Thursday for the US Open, so hopefully I can take this forward for next week.”

I went over to Omneya after the final and told her that she’d had a great week….she said:

 “I wanted to finish it good, but it was still a good week. I was playing well and took the 1st game and in the second I was up 10-8 and my head started to think stuff!!

"So I put pressure on myself which was the last thing I wanted to do this week. But it happened and my shots weren’t working as well as when I was relaxed.

"My volley drop was great and in the end it wasn’t as accurate. Ali played really well, she pushed hard and I think that she felt when I got tense and that’s where she pushed and pressured me while I wasn’t relaxed. Overall this week was great for me and hopefully I’ll continue playing good squash and keep going and enjoying it!!”

I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to all of the people who have put a lot of time, effort and generosity into making this tournament what it is.

Thanks again and we hope you all enjoyed the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open as much as we did and we look forward to running it again next year.

Congratulations again to Alison and good luck to all the WSA players for the next week at the US Open and beyond!


05-Sep, Semis:
Top seeds beaten in semis - England 1 Egypt 1
Linda Elriani reports, photos from Jean Ervasti

Semi finals day at the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open. Everyone was excited to see some more action packed squash and that’s certainly what they got!! Both semi finals were an English versus Egyptian affair and it was going to be very interesting to see the different styles from each country.

The first semi final of today was between the world # 3 and previous Weymuller winner in 2011, Raneem El Welily and world #6 from England, Alison Waters. In the head to head they are 7-2 in Alison’s favor but Raneem won 3-0 last time they played back in February 2013.

The match started very well for Raneem with great control, wonderful flowing movement and a series of amazing winners all over the court taking her to 10-4 game ball quite quickly! Alison did her best to stick in there, weather the storm and pin Raneem in the back. Ali managed to climb back from 4 to 7 but she couldn’t stop Raneem from taking the first game 11/7.

The second was very hard fought with long attacking rallies from both players, but Raneem used her great holds and finishing shots and this took her 6-2 up. Ali was hitting some wonderful shots but there didn’t seem to be much that Raneem wasn’t getting back today! Ali gradually started plugging back the points, keeping a constant pressure on Raneem and the errors started to creep in. Raneem certainly seemed to favouring the front backhand corner and she very often played either an outright winner or an error there. Ali climbed back with some lovely drops and steady play and took the lead at 8-4 for the first time in the match. Raneem then dug in and retrieved so well and implemented some amazing straight drive winners from the front when under a lot of pressure.

The game eventually evened up at 9-9 and at the end of a very long rally Ali hit what you thought was a winning forehand boast, but Raneem managed to not only get onto it, but also play a perfect backhand drop to go 10-9 game ball which she took on her first attempt to go 2-0 up.

Raneem took the first 3 points of the third game, but Ali was still working so hard to keep structure to her game, trying to volley as much as possible and prevent Raneem from having the middle to play her favorite short shots. Ali climbed back from 0 to 7 in one hand with a combination of her own great play and also errors from Raneem.
The rallies stayed very competitive and hard fought and with a backhand volley boast in the tin from Raneem, Ali came through to have her first game ball of the match at 10-7. Ali played a magnificent volley drop from Raneem’s crosscourt to take the third game 11/7.

We all started to see that it may be possible for Ali to comeback in this match if she could keep this incredible pressure on Raneem and finish off the rallies with great short shots and make no unforced errors. This is obviously easier said than done!

Ali started the fourth off very well and kept her previous momentum going to take a 4-1 then 6-3 lead but this didn’t last for long as Raneem was relentless with her movement and keep defending so well and attacking the ball in short as soon as Ali hit the ball even slightly loose! With a few winners from Raneem, including a couple of cross court volley rolling nicks off the serve, the game evened up at 9-9. A perfect forehand volley boast gave Ali her chance to equalize the match at 2-2.

Raneem won the next point on a very brave backhand drop, but with a no let and forehand volley drop winner, Ali had her second chance to make it through to the fifth game. Raneem helped Ali on her way to win the fourth 12/10 by playing a lazy forehand crosscourt drop in the tin on an opening!

Ali’s momentum and confidence seemed to be growing and she started off the fifth game exactly the way you always hope you can by taking a 3-0 lead. Raneem hit another rolling crosscourt nick off the serve but that was one of the last great shots from Raneem in the match. With a couple of great dying lengths and precise drop shots from Ali and many errors from Raneem, Ali went through to from 4 to 11 in one hand to take the match and win herself a much deserved place in the 2014 Carol Weymuller final!

An incredibly happy and red faced Ali said after the match:

“Being 2-0 down I still felt confident because I had played well in the first two. I knew that if I kept persevering I could get the errors from her, especially as I knew she’d had a tough match last night, I told myself to keeping pushing away!

"It’s nice to be in the final. It’s been a while so I’m really excited and looking forward to it!”

The second semi final match was between an on-form world # 14 Omneya Abdel Kawy and world # 2 and current world champion Laura Massaro.

The match started very much in Omneya’s favor with her taking control of the pace and hitting some excellent winners. Laura looked a little flat and was not getting onto the short shots the way she had been last night and was hitting her shots very one paced, where usually Laura has the ability to vary the pace and control the game so well. With a series of wonderful winners Omneya flew away with the first game 11/2.

In the second game Laura came out looking much more upbeat, her movement was much better and she seemed to be following a game plan now and not playing the reactionary squash she had in the first. A few unforced errors from Omneya too got Laura to an 8-4 lead. Omneya brought out some crazy flicks and holds which sent Laura completely the wrong way but she battled to find her place on the T and implement her usually steady, smart game. Laura hit a backhand boast winner and a lovely forehand drop from the mid court to take the second game 11/7.

The third game stayed evenly with points but it also didn’t have that much rhythm as a lot of Omneya’s shots were either outright winners or tins. It was as if the whole game was decided by whatever Omneya was going to do. The score stayed even until 6-6 where Omneya hit three perfect drops to take her head to 9-6. A few more hard fought rallies and a perfect dying forehand length from Omneya took her to 10-8 game ball and with a tricky forehand boast gave Omneya the third 11/9.

In the fourth Omneya confidence was at its highest and she hit so many great winners from spectacular holds, forcing Laura out of position. Laura as always keep fighting to regain her control but today it was Omneya’s day for sure and she went through in style to win the fourth and final game 11/5.

Omneya was delighted and said:

“I really was enjoying it! When I won the first I wasn’t thinking about winning or losing . Then in the second I started to think about this, so it messed up my game and she played really well in the second too. But I tried to get back in the second game at 7-0 down so that even if I lost the game, she knew I was still in the match.

"I’m happy to win this one. It’s my first gold final in a long time, maybe since 2010. So tomorrow, no pressure, just relax and enjoy it!!”

Congratulations to both winners and we very much look forward to the final tomorrow between Alison Waters and Omneya Abdel Kawy at 7.30pm. Everyone is so excited to see who will be the 2014 Carol Weymuller Champion. See you then!

04-Sep, Quarters:
Top seeds tested in Heights Casino quarters
Linda Elriani reports, photos from Jean Ervasti

Tonight was quarter finals night of the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open. The quarter finals night is always my favourite night at tournaments because it’s four extremely high quality matches all on one court. The weather for most of today was so rainy and grey, but the atmosphere here in the Heights Casino squash courts was vibrant, exciting and fun!

The only players that had played before tonight out of all the quarterfinal matches were Omneya Abdel Kawy and Nour El Tayeb! All the other matches were the first time in a WSA event!

First up on the championship court was the world # 3 and a previous Carol Weymuller Open champion in 2011 from Egypt, Raneem El Welily against Emma Beddoes the world # 20.

The match started out very evenly going back and forth in points and control. Emma was moving beautifully into the front and was ready to get onto all of Raneem’s attacking short shots. The first game went down to the wire with the Emma playing a perfect backhand volley drop to take her to 14-13 game ball and then followed up by stroke against Raneem to gave Emma the first game 15/13.

Raneem came out on fire in the second and she was retrieving so many of Emma’s shots, with one particular rally where Emma should have won the point about 3 times but Raneem just kept getting all the shots back and won the point in the end too! Raneem controlled the second and went through to win it 11/6.

In the third Emma quickly went 4-1 up and some errors started to creep back into Raneem’s game again. Emma made it hard for Raneem by keeping her deep on the courts and playing an array of wonderful winners herself including a backhand crosscourt nick to take Emma 9-7 up. One more great rally that ended with Emma hitting a perfect dying forehand cross court, took Emma through to win the third 11/7 and lead the match 2-1.

The fourth and fifth games Raneem found her rhythm again and whilst Emma battled hard, Raneem managed to cut out the errors and we saw a huge amount of wonderful drop short winners from her which helped her to go through and take the fourth and fifth games both 11/4.

One of the really great parts of this match was that even though it was a long, hard fought five setter, both players were incredibly honest and fair and even told the referee when their shots were down. It’s so nice to see this and is such a great example for our juniors watching the match.

When I went over to the Raneem straight after, the only thing she said about her match was “Thank god!!!”

Second on court were the Alison Waters the world #6 from England and Nicolette Fernandes world #22 from Guyana.

In the first game Ali started off brilliantly, playing very precise, clean and concentrated squash, taking her to a 7-3 lead. Suddenly Nicolette seemed to find her game and rhythm and won 6 straight points.

Nicolette didn’t even look tired from yesterday’s incredible match and she was getting everything back that was humanly possible.

Ali started to make a few unforced errors and lose the quality of her length a little and Nicolette pushed through to get her first game ball at 10-8. Ali hit a forehand volley drop to get back to 10-10 but Nicolette got another game ball opportunity at 11-10 brought on by a great tight length deep in the back. Ali counteracted with a tight length of her own to equalize again at 11-11 and then a backhand volley drop error from Nicolette took Ali to 12-11 game ball. Error from Ali brought the point even again. Finally a backhand kill winner and a forehand boast that wrong footed Nicolette took Ali through to win the mammoth first game 14-12.

Ali started the second in fine style, with some lovely drops and great dying lengths in the back, before we knew it Ali had won the second game 11-2. It was only then apparent that Nicolette was getting very jaded and that the hard first game on top of the long match last night, had finally taken its toll. The third game was very much the same with Ali’s precise play and error free short game, exposing Nicolette’s tiredness. Ali went through to win the third game 11/4 and earned herself a place in the Weymuller semi-finals where she will play Raneem tomorrow.

Ali said after her match: “I knew Nicolette had had a monster match last night so I knew a tough first game would take it out of her, which it did. But she still sticks in the keeps going, which I knew she would. I was quite pleased to play well and close out the match. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Raneem is obviously a great player. We haven’t played in a while so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in there!”

The third match of the evening was an all Egyptian final with team mates Omneya Abdel Kawy and Nour El Tayeb who are world 14 and 8 respectively.

The control of the third match kept switching back and forth between the players with Omneya playing a great first game, with some very powerful lengths and lovely holds which worked Nour out of position. There was some lovely squash from both players but Omneya was more in control and won the first game 11/8.

In the second it was Nour’s turn to take control and Omneya made a whole bunch of unforced errors to give Nour a 7-1 lead. Omneya found her game a little at the end but Nour finished the game with a great deceptive cross court that sent Omneya the wrong way, winning 11/4.

In the third it was Omneya’s turn again to take control and she was quickly 7-1 up, using some wonderful holds and flicks to out position Nour. Nour then settled in and there were some great rallies with some tricky angles and fast retrieving and she managed to win four points on the trot. Omneya managed to hang in there with a little more consistency and came through 11/8. Nour had ended the third game pretty well but had to come back from such a deficit that it she couldn’t quite manage it.

The fourth game was even right through and both players were going for short shots at their earliest opportunity and many where coming off and hitting the nick. Nour really pushed to keep up with Omneya and even almost did the splits for one drop shot in a huge effort to get it back. It was Omneya’s hold and flick and got her through the last part of the match and it really took Nour’s speed away from her. Omneya came through to take the fourth and final game 11/9 to secure herself a place in the semi finals.

A happy Omneya said: “It’s lack of pressure – this week I’ve told myself ‘Omneya just relax and enjoy’ and it’s worked! I feel good inside the court and I’m enjoying every shot in the rally. Even if it’s a long rally, I’m not pressurizing myself to win on the next shot.

"I just played Salma recently and won 11/9 in the fifth and I haven’t played Laura for a while since the British Open last year. So let’s see who wins and enjoy it tomorrow!”

Last up on the championship court, but certainly not least was World # 2 and current World Champion from England, Laura Massaro against the only qualifier who made the quarter finals Salma Hany Ibrahim from Egypt.

Laura started the match which such a purpose and was hitting such quality lengths and moving so fast into the front of the court that Salma’s amazing short game wasn’t able to hurt her. Even though the rallies were long and both players were retrieving balls from all over the court, Laura was varying the shots and pace and lifting balls up high and taking the middle away from Salma. Laura won the first two games 11/6, 11/8.

In the 3rd and 4th games there were a lot of lets and both players struggled to clear out from the ball. Laura didn’t manage to stick to her game plan with the same conviction and soon Salma was coming into her own and with many more opportunities to go for her amazing her short shots. It was 9-9 in the third and with a forehand drop into the tin from Laura and then a serve that hit the back wall nick, Salma took third 11/9.

Salma also won an incredible closely contested fourth game which again was even at 9-9 and with a no let decision to Laura in the front backhand and an amazing hard, low crosscourt drive from Salma the game went 11/9 to the young Egyptian.

In the fifth game Laura came on the court with a new focus and seemed to have her purpose and game plan back. Laura’s length was deeper and wider again and she stepped up and volleyed more and her opportunities to go short came up more often, which Laura took advantage of perfectly with some unretreivable drops shots. Salma kept pushing to take back the control but Laura was back in her groove and for this time, it was not going to be Salma’s day. Laura went through to win the fifth in a convincing 11/4, taking her through to the semi-finals tomorrow against Salma’s team mate Omneya.

Laura said after her match: “I’m really pleased to come through in the end. I felt like I was dominating in the first two games and I just lost a little bit of my focus. I just tried to get my body language up and find a bit of composure towards the end. I’m really happy to be in the semis. It’s all a bonus form here!"

After the completion of the quarterfinals we had drinks, dim sums and great music, as always, from our DJ Nudie in the Governors Room. I had heard that Siyoli Waters (South African # 1) could not only play wonderful squash but also sing and play the piano brilliantly too. In the Governors Room there is a piano in the corner, so we persuaded her to do some songs for us. WOW!!!

Siyoli has the most beautiful voice and can play the piano equally amazingly. What an unbelievable talent!! I even got goose bumps on my arms listening to her!!! Alicia Keys, if you want to have someone to do duets with you at your concerts we have just the girl for you!! Thanks so much Siyoli for performing for us, it made our night!

Today we also had the junior ‘Play a Pro’ which ran from 2.00pm-3.00pm before the quarterfinals. It’s our juniors chance to get on court with some of the best women’s squash players in the world. That doesn’t happen every day!

A huge thank you goes to Tesni Evans (world #27), Vicky Lust (world # 30), Sam Cornett (world # 32), Samantha Teran (world # 39), Siyoli Waters (world # 37), Sarah Kippax (world # 19), Madeline Perry (world # 13), Jenny Duncalf (world # 16), Latasha Khan (world # 38), and Rachael Grinham (world # 15). They all gave up part of their afternoon to play with our juniors and the kids all had such an amazing time.

The WSA players are so great at giving back and spreading the joy and love and squash.

We look forward to the semi finals tomorrow at 2.30pm and 3.15pm. There is a Sunday Weymuller Brunch from 12pm-2pm before the matches.


03-Sep, Round One Part Two:
Beddoes & Fernandes bag Brooklyn quarter-final spots
Linda Elriani reports, photos from Jean Ervasti

Tonight was the second half of the first round of the 2014 Carol Weymuller Main draw.

It has been so great having all the main draw matches on the championship court for the first time. This means all the matches are streamed live and also the viewing for our spectators here at the Casino is great too! It’s so nice for all the WSA players to know that their family and friends can watch their matches from afar and we have even seen the texts coming through from coaches or family members in between games.

First on the Championship court was world # 3 Raneem El Welily from Egypt against Mexican and world # 39 Samantha Teran. In the head to head Raneem 3-0 up on Samantha so we wanted to see if Samantha could change this statistic.

It took the first half of the first game for the players to settle and soon the rallies got a little longer and structured. Raneem looked almost casual and on cruise control but was completely in control and won the first 11/5.

Raneem literally couldn’t miss in the second and went 9-1 up! But suddenly Raneem seemed to switch off and Samantha managed to start controlling the T, hitting some great lengths and cutting off some lovely volley drops. Raneem ended up winning the second 11/7.

In the third Raneem seemed to have not got her composure back in between games and went 4-0 down before we knew it! Then Raneem suddenly seemed to wake up and start playing hard again. Raneem started moving fast and hitting her shots with a purpose and what a difference that makes! Samantha put up a brave fight but Raneem came through to win the third game 11/4.

Raneem said after her match: “I thought I was feeling ok and then that happened!!! It was 11 points in a row that I lost!!!

"I am very happy to be through and looking forward to tomorrows match. I don’t think I have ever played Emma and I haven’t played Amanda for about 2 years.”

Second match on the championship court was between American’s young star Amanda Sobhy, who has just recently broken into the world’s top 10, and English pro Emma Beddoes, who is world # 20.

Amanda has managed to achieve her top 10 ranking whilst studying at Harvard, so it’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for Amanda once she has graduated and has the chance to concentrate 100% on her squash!! Watch out everyone!

Emma was 2-1 up on the head to head but they haven’t played against one another since 2011, so both players have changed and improved a lot since then. Amanda is definitely playing the best squash of her life with recent big wins over top 10 players but Emma was looking very fit, focused and ready for the match.

Emma started the match very well, with incredible movement, especially into the front and steady tight length. She really took the T away from Amanda, which is where she is deadly with her volley drops and kills. The rallies were hard fought but Emma definitely managed to keep the pressure on Amanda and force some errors. Emma won the first game 11/7.

In the second Amanda came out with a little more purpose and managed to force Emma back on the court and cut off any loose cross courts perfectly. Emma started to lose the previous game plan that she had managed to follow and Amanda went 10-7 game up. Emma suddenly started to up the pace and pressure and hit some amazingly tight lengths and shorts shots that Amanda couldn’t get off the wall. Emma played the crucial points brilliantly with a couple of forehand trickle boasts from a hold that sent Amanda the wrong way and exposed her movement, which was looking a little slow and flat today. Emma went through to win the second game 12/10.

Being 2/0 down it was going to be interesting to see how much Amanda would fight in the third and from past matches I have watched Amanda in, I assumed that she would come out ready for the fight but it was actually the opposite.

The third game was very one sided with Emma taking a very fast 8/1 lead. Emma’s game just kept getting tighter and more precise, while Amanda looked like she had almost given up! Amanda gave one last push near the end of the game but she couldn’t stop Emma from dominating. Emma went through to win the third 11/4 and won herself a place in the final eight of the tournament.

Emma was very happy when I went over to her after the match and she said:  “Obviously I’m really pleased! First two games were really tight and I managed to stick in there and keep it tight, particularly at crucial times. I have so much respect for the fact that Amanda is at Harvard and also in the world top 10!!!

"She had a great summer and I was expecting a tough match. I’ve never played Raneem! She’s the only player that I haven’t played! I’ll be expecting some nicks, but I’ll be ready for them!!”

Third match of the night was between Alison Waters from England and world # 6 against Denmark’s Line Hansen who is currently world # 25 and Alison is has won every time in their six WSA matches.

The match started with a fast pace, with hard hit lengths interspersed with some great angles from both players and wonderful retrieving. The points started out evenly until 6-6 when Ali seemed to find her rhythm and feel for the court and she went straight through to win the first 11/6.

The second had a similar pattern as it started out fast, furious and evenly and then just as Line pushed hard to get a 8-6 lead with some great volley drops, Ali once again found her targets and looked very relaxed and flowing with her movement and she made great choices with her shots, making it very hard for Line to impose her game. Ali went through from 6-8 to win the second game 11/8 in one hand.

In the third game Ali started fantastically with a 6-1 lead caused by fast dying lengths and cutting off the ball accurately when Line didn’t manage to keep it close enough to the wall. There were a few openings for Line but she couldn’t quite finish the rallies, mainly due to Ali’s great movement and error free squash.

Ali went through to win the third 11/5 in fine style.

I asked how she felt after her match and she said: “Yeah, good! I felt quite calm and controlled. Line’s a good player and she had some good results recently so I wasn’t taking her lightly coming into it. I’m looking forward to getting back on court tomorrow and enjoying the tournament.”

NOTE: Line suffered an unusual 'injury' during the match >>>>>>>

The last match on the championship court which was between world # 15 Rachael Grinham from Australia and world # 22 Nicolette Fernandes from Guyana was by far the most entertaining match of the tournament so far!!! It was such a great natured match with both players managing to crack a smile or laugh at certain appropriate times of the match.

It was 2-2 in the head to head, with Nicolette winning the last match in an incredibly hard fought 3-2 at the World Championships back in March, so it was going to be interesting to see who can moved the statistics in their favor!

Rachael started the match really well taking a 9-2 lead and didn’t let Nicolette settle. Nicolette squeezed a few points at the end, but eventually Rachael won 11/7.

The points went back and forth more evenly in the second. Rachael made more unforced errors than in the first and Nicolette was moving really well onto Rachael’s short shots. Eventually Nicolette took a lead playing as much steady squash that she could amongst the array of shots from Rachael. Nicolette went through to take the second 11/6.

These two players are so athletic and fun to watch. Rachael has such a unique style and uses the space on the court so effectively and both players covered the court amazingly making for incredibly exciting rallies.

Rachael started the third well and her short shots were all coming off, but with the amount of short shots that Rachael goes for it is high risk and mistakes are bound to happen, which they did. Nicolette came back from 3-6 down, with only one hand out, to game point 10/7 and with a few incredibly tight lengths that forced further errors from Rachael, she eventually won the third 11/8 to take a 2-1 lead.

Rachael had started to look a little slower in the third and I wondered if she was getting tired, but in the fourth Rachael came out firing on all cylinders again. Rachael went through to win the 4th game 11/6 with some amazing holds and angles.

The whole match was a battle for Nicolette to find rhythm and structure to her game, while Rachael stuck consistently to her unexpected shot selection, trying to break down Nicolette game plan.

The final game was back and forth all the way through and they both were attacking and retrieving some amazing shots. Nicolette even did a couple of dives in the effort to get everything back. There were some very funny points too, one being where Nicolette jumped in the air and cheered due to receiving a stroke when Rachael hit the ball straight back at herself down the middle and the crowd started laughing!!

At the end of the fifth game Rachael went for a few extra risky shots that didn’t come off, including a return of serve short that went into the tin.

It was Rachael’s high cross court lob from the back of the court that went out that gave Nicolette her first match point at 10/8. Rachael grabbed one point with a stroke before Nicolette took the final game 11/9 to earn her way into the quarter finals.

A very happy Nicolette said: “A win against Rachael is amazing as half the time you don’t know where the ball is going. You just have to focus on what you are trying to do. I really enjoy this tournament and I think that it shows as every time I play well.

"I haven’t played Ali in a while. I love to play someone I haven’t played for a while – so bring it on!!!”

It was another fantastic night of squash and we all look forward to the quarterfinals starting at 3.30pm tomorrow afternoon. After the quarter finals we have a Weymuller party with food, drinks and our very own DJ Nudie (Annelize Naude) playing her fantastic tunes. We’ll also hold our ‘Meet and Greet’ at this event so all the players can introduce themselves to our members.


02-Sep, Round One Part One
Egyptians on fire at Heights Casino
Linda Elriani reports, photos from Jean Ervasti

Tonight was the first round of the 2014 Carol Weymuller Main draw - top half. The quality of the matches tonight was fantastic and the matches were so enjoyable to watch.

First on the Championship court was world #14 Omneya Abdel Kawy from Egypt against Sam Cornett, who did an unbelievable comeback last night to reach the main draw. Sam and Omneya have very different styles and had never played before this match, so it was going to be interesting to see who get their game plan over the other.

Omneya was basically on fire and if Sam put the ball on her racket it was gone! Omneya has amazing hold and stops her opponent’s momentum and rhythm. Sam tried to be steady and keep the ball on the wall but she couldn’t consistently enough. Sam gave 100% effort as always, but couldn’t quite get Omneya off the T where she was clearly very comfortable.

Omneya went in and out of focus a couple of times but always came back with an amazing flick or hold. Whenever Sam gave a big push it was as if Omneya has another gear in her to use whenever necessary.

Both players moved really well around the court but today Omneya made it look effortless and almost casual. Overall it was a great match for Omneya and she never let Sam settle in and find her game. It’s likely Sam’s huge match yesterday could have left her feeling somewhat flat today.

Omneya came through to win in a convincing 11/5, 11/6, 11/3.

After the match I commented to Omneya that she made it look so effortless today and she said: “If you look at the scores it doesn’t depict the game. She gave me a hard time to win each point and I had to think for every shot. At times she got some openings and I was lucky because she made mistakes and I took advantage and kept on winning points.

"For tomorrow, both players are really good and have had really good results at the last couple of tournaments. Hopefully on Saturday I’ll play good squash and enjoy the game and that’s all that matters now!”

Second match on the championship court was Irish and world #13 Madeline Perry from Ireland against a very much on-form Nour El Tayeb, the world #8 from Egypt.

Madeline was 3-1 up on the head to head but Nour won the last time they played this summer in Malaysia. Madeline is one of the older, more experienced players on the tour, but she is in amazing shape and looked ready to take Nour on. One of Madeline’s strengths is to hit a consistently hard, flat, deep drives but she just couldn’t seem to get them far enough back on the court to unsettle Nour and control the middle of the court. Nour was holding the ball really well and when Madeline hit her length a little short she would take in a tricky boast that Madeline just wasn’t managing to read and move onto. Nour won the first game in fine style 11/2.

In the second game the points were even to 3-3 and then Nour found her amazing momentum again and had a run of points straight through to game ball, where Madeline squeezed out one more point before Nour went 2-0 up.

The third game followed the same pattern with Nour playing a wonderful combination of disciplined and attacking squash with no errors. Madeline couldn’t quite find her groove and keep Nour deep enough and Nour went through to take the third game 11/4, taking her through to the quarterfinals against her Egyptian team mate Omneya on Saturday at 5.00pm.

When I asked Nour after the match how she was feeling, she said: “I’m feeling really good actually! In the qualifying I was feeling tense and I almost lost in the first round! All day today I was telling myself to enjoy the match. I slept as much as possible to release the tension. Madeline is one of the best players on tour and has beaten everyone!

"She can come up with great performances, but today she was tinning more than she usually does. I am playing Omneya next, I didn’t want to play her in the first round but I have to play her now. She’s like my big sister and I hope that we can play a great match.”

The next match on was between World #16 and previous Weymuller Open winner in 2009 and 2010 Jenny Duncalf playing qualifier and teenager Salma Hany Ibrahim.

They have only played one other WSA match before this which was in Hong Kong earlier this year and Salma managed to come through 3-2, it was going to be interesting to see who would come out as the winner today, especially after Salma’s incredibility long match yesterday. Would she have the legs to pull off another win?

Salma started the match so maturely, way beyond her years. She played a perfect combination of attacking shots and patience, without any errors. Jenny was trying to get the ball deeper but too many cross courts and unforced errors lead the way to Salma winning the first game 11/6.

In the second, Salma took a 3/0 lead with Jenny lacking patience but then Jenny started to find her length and push up the court better and go short at the right time and took the lead for the first time at 5-4. The points went back and forth with a variety of amazing winners, holds and also tins from both players. Salma edged away from 8-8 with a perfect forehand drop and a generous forehand volley drop in the tin from Jenny to get game ball at 10-8. A long and hard fought rally finishing in a stroke took Salma to a 2-0 lead.

The third game was very similar to the second with the points edging slowly up and evenly with some amazing retrieving and even a big dive across the court from Salma. Jenny hit a wonderful backhand volley drop to even up the points to 8-8 and Salma bounced straight back with an equally fantastic forehand drop to go 9-8! A perfect and well disguised boast from Jenny evened up the points again to 9-9. Salma got her first match ball after hitting a perfect cross court kill. Jenny countered this with an inch perfect backhand volley drop. Salma kept her head and game plan together and managed to come through to win on her second match ball to win this closely contested match in three games!

A beaming Salma said after the match: “I’m SOOOOO happy to win that match!!! After the epic match yesterday I’m so glad to have held myself together, pushed myself to the limit and keep myself solid until the end. I didn’t want to drop a game as I knew my energy was not full. Jenny is a tough opponent and a very experienced player and I knew that if I let her into the game it would be very hard to win.

"I was so worried after the 1st game and kept thinking a lot and there was lots of stuff going on in my mind. Every time I felt the tiredness I kept telling myself ‘MAN UP and it’s only a few points away and then you will have the whole day off!!!!”

The last match on the championship court was between #1 seed, world # 2 and current World Open champion Laura Massaro, and English team mate Sarah Kippax, world 19.

Laura and Sarah have played 9 times in WSA events and Laura has come through triumphant in all them but many have been closely contested. In the first Laura got a nice lead and settled in quickly. Both players were incredibly nibble in this match and got to some wonderfully played drop shots that I thought were going to be winners! Laura didn’t let Sarah control the middle and came through 11/5 to win the first.

The second game it really showed how much Sarah’s short game has improved and when Laura didn’t keep the ball tight enough she cut the ball off on the volley excellently. Laura was attacking Sarah a lot with her deadly boast and even though Sarah was moving really well, she either couldn’t quite reach them or it got her out of position so she would lose the point. Laura was just that bit too consistent and didn’t give as many unforced errors away as Sarah and this really made the difference for Laura to come through 11/9 in the second.

The wonderful retrieving continued from both players and they both wanted to control the T and then use a variety of short shots to end the points. Sarah did some brilliant holds that really stopped Laura in her tracks but Laura played the big points so steadily and focused. Laura squeezed the third 12-10 to go through to the quarterfinals on Saturday. Sarah put in a great effort and certainly deserved to win at least one of the games, but Laura’s ability to play the big points well is one of the reasons she is world #2 and current world champion!

Laura said after her match: “I’m really happy to come off 3-0. I really feel Sarah is consistent in her play and she really gets a lot of balls back, so I had to stay calm and play the big points well. I’m looking forward to playing Salma, I’ve never played her before and she’s obviously playing really well so I’ll have to concentrate on playing the best I can.”

So here ends another really exciting night of squash at The Heights Casino. It was certainly a successful night for the Egyptian players with three team mates already through to the quarter finals on Saturday! We all look forward to the second half of the first round starting at 5.30pm tomorrow night. See you again soon!


01-Sep, Day TWO:
Qualifying Finals:
Linda Elriani reports

Today the Carol Weymuller Open celebrated the 30th anniversary of the WSA with the inaugural Weymuller AT-Lunch.

The Governors Room at the Heights Casino was packed with members and Corcoran sponsors and everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch.

It was a great chance to thank Corcoran for their amazing support of the Carol Weymuller for over 12 years now.

I did an interview with World #2 and Current World Champion Laura Massaro from England.

The group was treated to some great answers by Laura and the crowd of patrons was given the opportunity to ask some of their own questions as well.

Today was also the last day of the qualification at the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open.

It’s always an exciting round as it really is all or nothing…main draw or out! Wow! What matches we had today!!

The matches were so incredibly exciting and a fantastic display of how athletic and amazingly skilled the top women squash players are.

Our stands were packed again with keen and inspired members and our juniors where also busy collecting autographs from the WSA players.

The first of the qualifying finals matches was played at 1.30pm between Tesni Evans and world # 27 from Wales and world # 39 Samantha Teran from Mexico.

Samantha squeezed a 2-0 lead over Tesni but had to fight for every point she won. Tesni took a brief injury time out in the second after tumbling over in the front forehand corner and managed to push back in the second to take a 9-7 lead, but Samantha kept steady and came through 11/9.

Tesni started the 3rd in fine style and started stepping up and using the whole court to move Samantha around before finishing the rallies with skillful short shots. Samantha kept pushing and managed to chip off some volleys drops but Tesni stayed ahead. It took 5 let balls for Tesni to eventually win the 3rd game 11/9!

The fourth game was back and forth with even points throughout the whole game. There were lots of hard, long rallies and many lets and body contact while the players were vying for the control of the T. At 9-9 Samantha was awarded a stroke to take her to match ball on the first try. The match was about 1 hour and 20 minutes for a 3-1 match, so it really indicates how long the rallies were!

Samantha said after the match: “It was hard, a very hard match. Tesni is not a player that plays one game, she mixes it, the pace, the shots, so you never know what she is going to do. I tried to win in 3 as I know if it kept going it would be harder for me, so I pushed in the 3rd, even though I was 9-3 down. Then at 9-9 and I couldn’t quite get to 11!

"Then the 4th I thought I would push again and then it was point for point all the way through. It’s like this sometimes in squash!!! I’m just happy to be playing here again, especially after my injury. When I played here two years ago I didn’t know if I would be back and I’m so pleased I am! I enjoy being here.”

The first evening match on court at 5.30pm was a wonderfully tense and colorful match which brought the crowd on the edge of their seats.

It was between World # 30 Victoria Lust from England and young talented Salma Hany Ibrahim from Egypt who is world #40. Vicky looked very comfortable, smooth and concentrated in the first game and managed to keep the ball so tight and away from Salma so that she couldn’t use her deadly short game to hurt Vicky. Vicky took the first 11/5.

The next two games where a real battle for court space and control of the T. Both players moved so well around the court, retrieving so many great balls with some splits from Salma and dives from Vicky! Salma clinched the next 2 games 11/9 and 12/10, even though Vicky had had her chances with an 8-5 lead in the 3rd.

In the 4th game Salma took a 7-4 lead with great deep lengths, followed up by perfect drops and it looked like she was ready to take the match in 4. Vicky had a final push and did some amazing gets to Salma’s incredible short shorts and she forced herself back to take the fourth 11/9 in nail biting style. The final point of the fourth was won by Vicky retrieving an almost impossible drop shot in the front backhand and then playing a perfect cross court drop off of it!!! Vicky did a fist pump as she walked off the court and we were left wondering what the fifth game would bring to us.

The fifth, while also an amazing game, was a little more one sided with Salma’s short game working wonderfully and Vicky starting to make more unforced and forced errors, taking Salma through to the main draw, winning the fifth 11/6.

A red faced and happy Salma very kindly spent her first 10 minutes off the court signing autographs.

After she was done she said: “I hope I won’t play tomorrow and I have a day off! What a long match, long rallies and very tough opponent! I’m so glad I won the third after being 8-5 down. The only game I had a lead was the fourth and I lost it! I’m so glad to come back and win the fifth. The atmosphere was incredible and the audience was amazing.

"So happy to be here at the Weymuller and happy to be in the main draw. The kids did a huge cheer and had big smiles when I came out of the court. It was great! Thanks so much to my team mates…Omneya, Nour and Raneem for their support. I don’t know what I would have done without them!!”

The next match was between World # 39 Sam Cornett from Canada and budding young American Olivia Blatchford who is currently world # 61.This match started off wonderfully for Sam and she took the first 11/4 pretty quickly playing steady, tight squash.

Olivia obviously had a re-think after the first and came out with a new energy and started taking the ball earlier and keeping it in the four corners so well and really pulling Samantha off the T where she had happily been in the first. Olivia was playing the perfect combination of patient and attacking to take her to a 10/6 lead. Olivia seemed then to start rushing the points and making unforced errors with several forehand drops in the tin, which she hadn’t been doing before. Sam kept plugging away and clawed her way back to 10-10. Olivia had one more chance to win the game at 11-10 but with an overly ambitious forehand volley drop into the tin she gave the emphasis back to Sam and she took it with both hands to take the second 13-11.

When a player is 2-0 down it’s very hard to go back onto the court and still believe you can win but Olivia certainly did! Olivia was moving beautifully and taking the ball so early and not giving Sam the chance to control the rallies. Olivia got the same 10/6 lead that she had had in the second and we were all left wondering if she would miss her chances like before, but Sam only won 1 more point before Olivia took the third 11/7.
The fourth game was perfect for Olivia. She was error free and tactically astute and Sam started to make some unforced errors and look a little tired, especially when twisting and turning. Olivia kept the momentum going and went through to take the fourth game 11/3.

Now it was the fifth and it certainly looked like Olivia had the tactics worked out to win the match if she could keep the focus that she had in the fourth. The fifth started off very evenly with both players digging depth on their resources. Then with a combination of some tins from Sam and a great hold and cross court winners by Olivia, she got herself to 10-7 match ball. This would be the first time that Olivia would have qualified for the Carol Weymuller Open, played at the club where she started to play squash many years ago.

The support from the local crowd was amazing too. It was almost as if Olivia suddenly couldn’t think about anything else but the chance she had to win and she lost her previous focus and game plan. Sam seemed to recognize this and really stepped up the court as if she decided that if Olivia was going to walk away triumphant, that she was going to have to really win that last point, as Sam wasn’t going to give it to her. Sam’s focus was the best it had been all the match, right when she needed it most and she went straight through from 8-10 to win the match 12-10 in the fifth!!!

It was an amazing match and almost heartbreaking to see either of them loose after such an amazing effort and wonderful squash.

Olivia was obviously incredibly disappointed to have had three match balls and not been able to capitalize on them, but from my point of view it was the best I’d ever seen her play and her improvements since last year are immense. She was fit, fast, accurate and as always, a good sport. I think we will see much more great squash coming from Olivia in the very near future…watch this space!

A very happy and relieved looking Sam said after the match: “I hope that I play in two days time!!!! I’m really happy with how I started the match and really impressed with how I finished it!!! I went into the fifth game with high energy after a couple of sloppy games and quality shots from Liv and it paid off.”

Sam plays Omneya Abel Kawy tomorrow at 5.00pm.

Our last match of the evening, but certainly not least was world # 8 Nour El Tayeb and American and world # 38 Latasha Khan.

Latasha played a creative and tactically astute game, especially in the first where Nour only scraped through 12/10.

Latasha has such great skills and her years of experience show when she plays, but she couldn’t stop an on-form Nour from controlling the middle and moving her around the court so well. Nour won the second and third games 11/5 and 11/7 respectively and goes through to play Madeline Perry tomorrow at 5.00pm.

Nour said after her match: “I’m very happy to have made the main draw and to be back here in Brooklyn with my second family (the Mendez’s). I look forward to tomorrow’s match.”

Congratulations to all the players that qualified. All the matches were such great quality squash and everyone thoroughly enjoyed them. The first round matches start tomorrow night at 5.00pm and we are all very much looking forward to watching some more of the amazing squash.

30-Sep, Day ONE:
Under way in Brooklyn
Linda Elriani reports

The 2014 Carol Weymuller Squash Tournament is now underway with the first 8 qualification matches starting at 5.30pm here on our Heights Casino squash courts. We are streaming the whole event live onto the internet so it’s exciting for everyone to be able to see the matches even if they are in different countries or can’t make it to the Heights Casino to see them.

The weather in NY still very warm and consequently the courts are very hot and bouncy making the rallies very long and winners difficult to cultivate.

The 5.30pm match between Tesni Evans world # 27 from Wales against American Cecelia Cortes who is world #72. Tesni played a relaxed match, controlling the games with medium paced shots, throwing in some holds and short winners when the chances came up. Cecelia did a good job of trying to stay in the rallies and hustle for the T but Tesni controlled the middle too well and consequently came through 11/6, 11/5, 11/3.

Tesni said after her match “It’s nice and warm in there!! I like it!! I have played Cece once before - this time last year and I won then too, but she hard to play and she’d got good control. It’s my 1st time to Brooklyn and I love it!! I’m happy to get through tonight and it’ll be another tough match tomorrow!!”

The second 5.30pm match was between Mexican and world #39 Samantha Teran and Syoli Waters who is world #37 from South Africa. They are the closest in ranking in the qualifying draw which made for a very closely contested match. Both players played at a fast pace and with the hot conditions the rallies where long and hard fought. The first two games were very even with the points going back and forth and as the match went on Samantha seemed to find her game and control the T, though Siyoli kept pushing hard and gave 100% effort right the way through.

Samantha won 3-1 in the end and when I asked her how she felt about the match she said “

I think I played good. I’ve never played Siyoli before and I’ve never seen her play before! I think the first game was to find out how we both played and then the second was very close through the points and she was volleying everything. In the third and fourth games I played much better as I knew what to do, but she kept fighting!

"It was a really good match, very clean and I enjoyed the match in general. Everyone is playing very good so you need to play your best to have a chance to win. I always enjoy playing here in Brooklyn”.

Tesni and Samantha T play at 1.30pm tomorrow,

It was packed audience at 6.15pm on the championship when our very own local Haley Mendez played young Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim. Haley has grown up playing squash at the Heights Casino and is currently studying and playing squash at Harvard.

Salma got off to great start and cut off every ball short that Haley didn’t manage to get deep enough. Haley started to find her length as the match went on and get in front and she hit a few perfect dying drives into the back, but Salma was making no unforced errors and it became increasingly hard for Haley to pin Salma in the back of the court. Haley kept trying hard to force Salma deep but in the end Salma came through 11/5,11/6,11/5.

Haley said “I’m feeling good. I unfortunately didn’t feel as prepared as I wanted to be because I wasn’t allowed on court for the last 2 weeks (due to a concussion), but it’s always fun to be home and playing at the Casino in front of a home crowd.”

Salma said after her win “I’m feeling good. I love the atmosphere here. It’s my first time to the states and I’m really enjoying the area and the people are so friendly. I am happy with the way I played and tomorrow I’m looking forward to play for a chance to make the main draw”.

The second 6.15pm match was between Victoria Lust world #30 from England and Brazilian Thaisa Serafina who is currently world #78. Vicky was the dominant player in the first two games and Thaisa gave a big push in the third taking a brief lead at 9-8 but Vicky manage to finish off the match and go through to the final round of the qualifying in 3 games.

I asked Vicky after her match if she was happy and she said “Yep, very happy, it’s always good to win! Thaisa played a lot better in the third game, the third game was tough. Tough match tomorrow against Salma. I won 3-2 last time, but it was long and close! I’m looking forward to having some Thai food now!!

Vicky plays Salma at 6.15pm tomorrow.

The 7.00pm match on the east court was between 2 budding young American players, Olivia Blatchford who has recently won her first WSA title and top USA junior Sabrina Sobhy. Olivia looked as fit and composed as I have ever seen her, moving lightly, playing a very mature game, precise length and accurate short shorts. Sabrina played well and did some impressive winners out of nowhere from time to time, but didn’t seem to have enough purpose to her game today to topple Olivia. Olivia came through in an impressive 11/3, 11/8, 11/4.

Olivia said after her win “I’m pleased with that. It’s always tough to play a team mate, especially Sabrina who is super talented. I’m coming into this with a bit of confidence (after winning a tournament in Mexico). I didn’t hit many tins, which can sometimes happen. My short game worked well today and it was fun! I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hoping for a spot in the main draw!”

The other 7.00pm match was between top Canadian Samantha Cornett, world # 32 and Argentinean world # 89 Belen Etchechoury. Samantha played a steady straight game and managed to control runs of points which made it tough for Belen to find her rhythm.

Samantha came through to make the final of the qualifying in 3 and said afterwards “Basically I cut the court down as she has really good kills and whenever I gave her space to hit her kill-she HIT her kill!! I hit a lot of straight lengths and looked for the volley drops and also threw in a couple of holds. I played Olivia at the Pan Ams recently and I won, so hopefully I can repeat that!!’

Samantha plays Olivia at 7.00pm tomorrow.

The 7.45pm match was between American and world #38 veteran Latasha Khan and world # 56 from New Zealand Amanda Landers-Murphy. Latasha’s immense experience and great use of the court came through tonight and she won her first match of the 2014 Weymuller in 4.

Latasha commented ‘I’m happy to be in my home club in New York!!! I love playing here, I love the members, I love beating Cristian, the manager at doubles!!!:-) I want to thank my lucky charms….Martha, Laura and my nephew Salim.”

Lastly but certainly not least was Egyptian Nour El Tayeb against follow countryman Kanzy El-Defrawy who is world #76. Nour has recently had a wonderful run, beating top ranked players in some major tournaments. Nour’s ranking has just moved up to its highest ever of world # 8, but unfortunately not in time for the closing date of this tournament, so Nour still has to qualify!!!

The match was full of many winners! Kanzy was vying for the T and trying to take the ball as early as possible but Nour managed to keep her game steady enough to force errors from Kanzy and play the big points better. Nour came through in a very tight 3-1 going down to the wire in the 4th 14-12.

Nour said “Kanzy and I train together in Cairo in the same club in the same league, so she knows my game well. Kanzy’s been playing well and recently won a tournament in Toronto so I was expecting a tough match. Luckily I managed to win the tie break in the end in the 4th game! Latasha and I have only played once and she won so I’m up for revenge!! Though I have to remember she is on the WSA board!!!:-)”

It was a truly fantastic evening of squash to start off the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open. Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to the final round of the qualifying tomorrow. The first match is starting at 1.30pm, after the ‘Weymuller At-Lunch’ luncheon and the other 3 matches will continue on at 6.15pm.

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