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Carol Weymuller Open 2015
29 Oct - 05 Nov, New York, $50k

05-Oct, Final:

[5] Nour El Sherbini
(Egy) 3-0 [wc] Joelle King (Nzl)
                 11/5, 11/6, 11/3

Sherbini takes the Weymuller title
Linda Elriani reports

Today was the final day of our 2015 Carol Weymuller Open. It’s been a tremendous week of squash and the PSA players have definitely left everyone inspired and motivated.

The tournament is obviously named after Carol Weymuller herself. Carol started the junior squash program here at The Heights Casino many years back and it has obviously grown and expanded along with the sport. We always like to thank Carol for all her hard work and dedication back 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. Our finalists Joelle King from New Zealand, who was former world # 4, before her injury, and Nour El Sherbini from Egypt who is world #7, looked bouncy and eager to go! Both players knowing this was their last huge effort after a very successful and tiring week at the Weymuller. They will both have a couple of days off before the US Open starts in Philadelphia later this week. Either way they will both being going onto the next tournament full of confidence and high spirits.

In the head to head Nour was 3-1 up but both players have had plenty of experience in finals, especially Joelle. This is Joelle’s 17th Tour final, with 8 titles under her belt and its Nour’s 9th tour final with 4 titles to her name.

This match was going to be particularly interesting as both players, whilst very much on-form, play very different styles. Joelle plays a very fast, precise and attacking game, stepping forward on the court and has more traditional tactics of cutting the ball off around the T. Nour varies the pace more and goes short with wonderful creative shots at almost every opportunity and tries to twist and turn her opponent and take away their rhythm. Who was going to manage to force their game plan over the other? We’d soon find out!!!!

The match started out with both players playing long, patient rallies and trying to find their own rhythm. The score stayed even through to 4-4 but then Nour, who had been uncharacteristically patient so far, started to slot in her wonderful winning shots as soon as Joelle hit a slightly lose or short length. Nour went storming through, putting a very eager Joelle under so much pressure that she clipped the tin on a couple of openings.

Nour’s movement was also particularly fast and fluid today and even when Joelle looked to have played a winner, Nour was onto it and re-applying pressure again. The game finished in Nour’s favour with an amazing forehand volley drop winner from a high length that would usually be good enough to get someone out of trouble! Nour won the game 11/5.

Could Joelle come out in the second and find her usual faster paced deep lengths and start to control the middle of the court again or would Nour continue her near perfect game plan?

The second game started out much the same, with lots of patient long rallies and Joelle was trying so hard to really take some control. The points stayed even until 4-4 again and then Nour started surging forward through the points, playing better and better squash! Nour seemed to be consciously keeping the pace slower and this forced Joelle to also hit with less pace and purpose and it was definitely working in Nour’s favor.

With some errors from Joelle and an array of winners from Nour after patient thought out rallies, Nour got herself up to 11/5 game ball again. With one perfect backhand drop from Joelle she squeezed out one more point but then a perfect forehand drop in the nick from Nour took her to a 2-0 lead winning the second 11/6.

In the third game Nour was basically on fire! She played a perfect game of squash. She was so poised, calm, focused and error free! Whilst Joelle kept trying her best, she looked like she had run out of ideas of how to stop this barrage of amazing squash. The more Joelle tried, harder it became and Nour took advantage of every single tiny opportunity! Nour stormed through to take the third 11/3 and also the much deserved title of 2015 Carol Weymuller Open champion!

An absolutely thrilled Nour saidI was really focused and really wanted to win. I was trying to be patient and calm and just wait for the right opportunity and that made the difference. Thank you to my brother for being here, I’ve finally won a tournament and he was here! Also to my parents for staying up and watching me at 2am (on the streaming) and my squash and fitness coach and Shabana the National coach. The all called me today and gave me the plan and it worked! Thanks to my sponsors EZZ Steel, Tecnifibre and ‘Brqthru’. Thanks for a great tournament and to the Mendez family for hosting me. See you again next year!”

A disappointed looking Joelle said after her final “I guess I feel mixed emotions right now with getting so close to the finish line and getting pipped at the post. All credit to Nour, she played impeccable squash and capitalized on every opportunity and didn’t let me play my way into the game. I guess I’m just real really happy to be back competing again and looking forward to coming back next year – hopefully not as a wildcard!!!”

I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to 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 2015 Carol Weymuller Open as much as we did and we look forward to running it again next year.

Congratulations again to Nour and good luck to all the PSA players for the next week at the US Open and beyond! Cheers!

Draws & Results

Photos by
Jean Ervasti

Photo Gallery

(130 photos)

the players at Heights Casino
Carol Weymuller Open 2015
29 Oct - 05 Oct, New York, $50k
Round One
 01-02 Oc
03 Oct
04 Oct
05 Oct
[1] Raneem El Welily (Egy)
11/6, 11/7, 5/11, 7/11, 11/5
Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
[1] Raneem El Welily
 15/13, 11/7, 11/8
[Q] Joey Chan
[1] Raneem El Welily

11/4, 9/11, 11/4, 11/8

[5] Nour El Sherbini

[5] Nour El Sherbini


11/5, 11/6, 11/3


[wc] Joelle King

[8] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
119, 11/5, 10/12, 12/10
[Q] Joey Chan (Hkg)
[5] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
11/6, 11/7, 11/9
Delia Arnold (Mas)
[5] Nour El Sherbini
10/12, 11/1, 11/4, 12/10
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
12/10, 9/11, 11/3, 9/11, 11/3
Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
[wc] Joelle King (Nzl)
11/6, 8/11, 14/12, 11/8
[3] Alison Waters (Eng)
[wc] Joelle King
11/9, 13/11, 11/9
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry
[wc] Joelle King

11/4, 9/11, 11/4, 11/8

[Q] Joshana Chinappa

[Q] Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)
5/11, 11/9, 11/2, 11/9
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)
[Q] Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
4/11, 16/14, 11/7, 11/4
[7] Emma Beddoes (Eng)
[Q] Joshana Chinappa
11/9, 8/11, 5/11, 11/8, 11/9
[Q] Salma Hany
[Q] Salma Hany (Egy)
12/10, 8/11, 11/7, 4/11, 11/9
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng)
30-Sep, Qualifying Finals:

Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 3-2 Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 11/7, 11/13, 11/7, 7/11, 11/6
Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) 3-1 Line Hansen (Den)                       11/6, 11/5, 6/11, 11/5
Joey Chan (Hkg) 3-1 Samantha Teran (Mex)                          10/12, 11/7, 11/9, 11/4
Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy) 3-1 Yathreb Adel (Egy)                8/11, 11/5, 12/10, 11/8

29-Sep, Qualifying Round One:

Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 3-0 Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl)    11/3, 12/10, 11/6
Joshana Chinappa (Ind) 3-0 Coline Aumard (Fra)              5/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4
Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) 3-0 Heba El Torky (Egy)                       
11/4, 11/7, 11/7
Line Hansen (Den) 3-2 Olivia Blatchford (Usa)         11/7, 7/11, 11/6, 8/11, 14/12
Joey Chan (Hkg) 3-0 Donna Urquhart (Aus)                               11/4, 11/3, 11/8
Samantha Teran (Mex) 3-0 Victoria Lust (Eng)                            11/8, 11/7, 11/8
Yathreb Adel (Egy) 3-0 Maria Toorpakai (Pak)                            11/8, 11/6, 11/4
Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy)   bye
2014 Event | 2013 Event | 2012 Event | 2011 Event | 2010 Event

Linda Elriani welcomes the girls to Casino Heights with lunch

Top seed toppled in all-Egyptian semi
Linda Elriani reports

Semi finals day arrived at the 2015 Carol Weymuller Open. Everyone was excited to see some more action packed squash and that’s certainly what they got and more!!

The first semi final was between giant killer Joshana Chinappa from India who is world #24 and a very on form Joelle King, former world #4, who is doing a very impressive job of her comeback from her Achilles injury that kept her out the game for a year.

In the head to heads Joelle was 4-1 up but they haven’t played for over a year so it was interesting to see if things would be different this time around.

Joelle started the match in the way that every player would want to, she was moving fluidly, taking the ball incredibly early with great pace and keeping her opponent pinned in the back and limiting Joshana’s chance to use her amazing short game.

Joshana didn’t manage to get herself moving the way she has been this tournament and Joelle got a 5-0 lead very quickly and even though Joshana got a sprinkling of points, in the end she never really found her rhythm or managed to rush or out maneuver Joelle who took the first 11/4.

The tables totally turned in the second game and Joshana came out on court in a similar fashion to Joelle’s first game with an array of wonderful winners and putting maximum pressure on her opponent. Her legs now seemed charged with energy and before we knew it Joshana was 6-1 up.

At 2-7 Joelle started to find her great length again and managed to control the T more so Joshana had to work harder for the openings. Joshana continued her run and went 10-5 up.

Joelle gave a huge push to play her own game again and Joshana started to get a little edgy making several unforced and forced errors, and then a perfect dying forehand drive allowed Joelle to comeback to 9-10! The next rally was mammoth with both players covering the court so brilliantly and finally Joshana won the rally with a kill on the backhand, evening up the match to 1-1.

The start of the third came was even back and forth with Joshana 4-3 up with the rallies staying fast and ferocious. Joelle suddenly went back into the mode that she’d started the match playing very precisely and accurately and went straight through to win the next 8 points in a row to take the third 11/4!!

In the fourth Joelle continued her relentless barrage of tight, accurate, powerful squash and she managed to surge forward to take an 8-3 lead. Joshana kept pushing and absorbing as much pressure from Joelle as she could.

She must have had some tiredness in her legs from playing three very tough 3-2 matches previously but it didn’t really show that much. Then Joelle started to look nervous for the first time in the match as if she could suddenly see the finish line and a ticket to the Weymuller finals.

She played a handful of errors and things started to get very tense. At 9-8 Joelle played a backhand crosscourt drive than landed too short, but luckily for Joelle the ball found itself going straight into the nick taking her to 10-8 match point!

In true fair Joelle style she apologized for the luck that was thrown her way but she must have been relieved inside to get to her first match point. The last point of the match was won by a stroke ( (11/9) and taking Joelle to a 3-1 win.

A smiling Joelle said afterwards: “I’m really, really happy to back in a final of a big tournament and really enjoying being back in Brooklyn. It’s just nice to enjoying the playing some good squash again.

"It changes tomorrow as it goes back to be the hunter (rather than the hunted). The Egyptians are always so nice to play against because they play incentive squash. Here’s hoping that they play a five setter!!”

The second semi final was an all Egyptian affair with team mates Nour El Sherbini world # 7 who is still only 19 years old against newly crowned world #1 Raneem El Welily. Raneem recently took the #1 spot from Malaysian squash legend, Nicol David, who has dominated for the last 9 years.

As expected the match started off in true Egyptian style with both players using the front of the court as often as possible. The points stayed even most the way through the first game with Raneem reaching game ball first. There were crazy and delightful rallies with errors and amazing winners coming from both players throughout, but it was Raneem that clinched the first in the end 13-11.

It really is so much fun to watch these players in action, their creative squash and unpredictable choices kept us all on the edge of our seats!

Even though Raneem won the first nail biting game she came back out on court looking like she left her confidence in her racket bag. This was not helped by the fact that Nour was on fire and couldn’t miss and was playing freely and relaxed. An error ridden Raneem couldn’t stop Nour, who maintained her amazing play and soon took the second 11/4.

The third game was more like the first with the points going to both players evenly. The rallies were a little longer, they varied the pace and Raneem looked to have regained some of her previously fallen confidence.

There was still a lot of back and forth with winners and errors from both players but it certainly kept us all guessing who would come through to take the crucial third game. At 8-8 Nour did an amazing and very brave backhand cross court volley nick winner from a good high lob from Raneem. This seemed to take the rug out from under Raneem’s feet, as another error soon gave Nour the 2-1 lead winning the third 11-9.

The fourth game as completely one sided with Nour blasting through the game with winners and control and Raneem looked like she nothing left to throw at the match. Nour took an extensive 9-1 lead and Raneem’s last ditch attempt to get back some rhythm was pushed aside by Nour and she went on to take the match 11/5 in the fourth.

A delighted Nour said after her huge win “I’m really really happy I won. She’s my model in squash.

"Raneem has a lot of skills and is really fast and she deserves to be world #1. I’m really, really happy to win this match as last time I played her was 3 years ago at the Weymuller in this very court and I lost 3-1!

"Joelle has just come from an injury and it’s great to see her competing as before. Hopefully it’s going to be a nice match. I’ll try to relax and forget about today and remember that there’s one more match to go!”

Congratulations to both winners who played absolutely amazing squash and we very much look forward to the final tomorrow between Joelle King and Nour El Sherbini at 7.30pm.

Down to the last four at Heights Casino
Linda Elriani reports

Tonight was quarter finals night of the 2015 Carol Weymuller Open. The quarter finals night is always my favorite 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!

First up on the championship court was the world #24 Joshana Chinappa from India and against fellow Egyptian qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim, who is world # 20. Both players have fought their way from the qualifying rounds and well and truly earned their place in the quarter finals here tonight. In the head to heads Joshana is 3-0 up even though her ranking is slightly lower than Salma’s.

This was definitely the match of the night! Both players really put it all out there on the court and give it their absolute best to earn their place in the Weymuller semi-final.

Salma can out in the first game in control and managed to push to a 6-2 and 7-4 lead but it wasn’t long until Joshana started to find her length and then consequently started to get Salma off the T where she likes to be to slot in her wonderful short shots. There were a few lets asked for at the front backhand and many were no lets and before we knew it Joshana finished off the first game 11/9 with some precise drops and tight drives.

The second game was even through to 4-4 and then Salma started to pull away with the help of a few errors from Joshana and a couple of loose services where Salma hit two cross court volleys on the forehand straight into the nick! Salma took the second 11/8 to even the match up at 1-1.

In the third game Salma kept the pressure on and used her short game at every opportunity. Both players were enjoying using the front backhand corner but Salma’s shorts were particularly accurate in the third. Salma took the third game 11/5 winning the last point with a forehand cross court winner from the back and to take a 2-1 lead.

The fourth started out evenly but both players were a little tense and some unforced errors crept in. It was Joshana that took the momentum to the next level near the end of the game and Salma was left having to cover the court and suck up the pressure as much as she could to keep in the game.

Salma did a huge dive at the front forehand which resulted in a cut on her elbow and a time out to stop the bleeding. Joshana pushed ahead with an array of great short shots and a loose forehand drop from the back from Salma gave Joshana the chance to step onto it and hit a wonderful dying cross court to take the match to the fifth.

With both players taking out higher ranked players you could see that today they were playing more cautiously than their last matches where they had nothing to lose and were playing free and relaxed.

The fifth game was very even all the way through with many creative winners, wonderful movement and both players hunting for the ball to volley and take control of the T. There were lots of lets (some resulting in ‘no let’) with both players not wanted to go through off balanced and risk playing a loose shot especially with both players having such great short games.

At 10-9 match ball Joshana put Salma in one last pressure situation resulting in her forehand drive going out of court to give Joshana her very much deserved place in the semi final.

After the epic fiver setter was over I asked Joshana how she felt, “I feel great, I really do. It was such a hard match and at one point I really didn’t think I was going to make it! I really hung in there as I much as I could. I’m really looking forward to playing in the semi’s tomorrow.”

Second on court was the Sarah-Jane Perry from England who is world #15 against Joelle King from New Zealand who came off a great win yesterday against the 3 seed Alison Waters. They had only played once and that match went down to the wire with Joelle winning 11-9 in the fifth!

This match was very difference than the first, with the ball mostly being played to the back of the court deep with long rallies. Joelle started the match in fine form and surged ahead with some perfect purposeful drives and wonderful short shots to take a 10-5 lead. Sarah-Jane gave a big push and managed to regain some control of the T but it all happened a little too late and Joelle won the first 11/9.

The points stayed more even in the second until Joelle climbed away from 5-5 to 10-5 again. The same push came from Sarah-Jane as in the first and this time she managed to even things up to 10-10.

With both players being more than 6 foot tall they play their best squash when right up on the T and taking everything on the volley.

They both were vying for the control of the middle but it was Joelle that came through with the help of a tin from Sarah-Jane to take the second 13-11.

Joelle followed the same pattern and started the third in fine fettle. Joelle was playing the ball so tight and controlling the middle so well that it was really exposing Sarah-Jane’s movement, where she sometimes struggles to twist and turn.

Before we knew it Joelle was 5-1 then 9-6 up. Sarah-Jane was not going out without a fight and she battled to stay in the match which included some banter with the referee! Joelle eventually came through the very tight 3 game match 11/9.

A happy Joelle said afterwards “I guess I’m happy to finish that off in 3! I felt I played well in patches and SJ kept coming back at me, especially at the end of each game. I’m really happy to win the 3rd and come back from 9-6 down. I’m looking forward to being back in the semi finals tomorrow and hopefully I can play well.”

The third match of the evening was an all Egyptian quarter final with team mates Omneya Abdel Kawy and Nour El Sherbini playing one another. They are world 6 and 7 respectively. In the head to head in PSA event it’s 1-1 so it would going to be interesting to see if age and experience over ruled and the vibrant youngster.

The first game was very closely contested with both players going for their winners as soon as possible during the rallies. Omneya got to game ball first at 10-8 but Nour made her team mate work hard to finally win the game 12-10.

In the second game Nour was very simply on fire! Nour could NOT miss! Omneya didn’t have an answer to any of Nour’s play. Nour made no errors and played a very smart game with many amazing winners thrown in which made Omneya look a little flat and sluggish. Nour won the second in an impressive 11/1.

The third followed a very similar tone and Nour went 8-2 up before Omneya could even think about what she needed to do. Omneya started to go for some desperate shots to try and get some points back but it didn’t pay off. Nour won the third 11/4.

Nour took a 3-1 lead in the fourth and we thought she would go straight through like the last two games, but Omneya started to find a better length and control the T and started to look more relaxed and fluid so she could start to use her deadly front court winners. Nour also lost her previous great straight length and started cross courting which Omneya took full advantage of. Omneya pushed to get a 9-7 lead.

Some wonderful retrieving and great tactical play got Nour to her first match ball at 10-9. Omneya gave one last push before Nour went through to win the fourth 12-10 taking her into the semi finals tomorrow.

A smiling Nour said “I’m really, really glad I won that! I really wanted to win so badly! Omneya is so talented and she’d not just my team mate, she’d like my big sister. She’s definitely more experienced than me as she’s 10 years older! Her shots weren’t working for her today she hit a lot of tins. I’m really happy to be through, I just needed this match to give me more confidence. Even though Omneya wasn’t at her best, in the end I was praying that she would put it in the tin!!”

Last up on the championship court, but certainly not least was the world #1 Raneem El Welily against Hong Kong’s on form Joey Chan who is world #29.

The match started well with both players looking to find their rhythm. Raneem was trying to take the ball in short whenever possible whilst Joey was trying to make the rallies longer, slow down the pace and keep the ball on the walls. With the playing styles of these two players being very different the rallies they were won in very varied ways. The points went to and fro evenly all the way through and at 14-13 Raneem won the game with a back wall nick off a great lob.

In the second game the pattern stayed the same with both players trying to get their own style and rhythm over the other. Raneem looked as if she was struggling to get herself up a gear when needed and Joey played so steadily and error free that Raneem really had to win all her points as Joey wasn’t giving any away to her. Raneem showed us quick flashes of her brilliance and there was enough to pull herself through 11/7.

The third game was a continued battle for Raneem to find her usual graceful rhythm and Joey was doing a fantastic job of putting up some lobs and using her great fading drops in the front to out position Raneem. The score was even at 7-7 and suddenly Raneem found a few points where she could put the ball away. Raneem when through to win the match 11-8 in the third.

Raneem clearly wasn’t playing her best squash but the true sign of a champion is still managing to find a way to win even on your not so good days!

After the match Raneem said “I’m feeling OK, a bit too calm and slow and I’m trying to be more energetic. The court is so hot and obviously the ball is too bouncy so I’m trying to find myself between all of that! I’m happy that we have an Egyptian finalist either way and hope that tomorrow will be a better day!”

Here ends yet another amazing evening of squash. We really have been treated to some wonderful matches and the players are such incredible athletes.

We can’t wait for the semi finals tomorrow at 2.30pm and 3.15pm to see who will make it through to the Weymuller Open final.

After the completion of the quarterfinals we had drinks, food and great music, as always, from our fab DJ Nudie on the squash level.

Today we 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 Emma Beddoes, Alison Waters, Jenny Duncalf, Yathreb Adel, Laura Massaro, Donna Urquhart, Samantha Teran and Heba El Torky for taking the time to play with them.

They all gave up part of their afternoon to play with our juniors and the kids all had such an amazing time. The PSA women are so great at giving back and spreading the joy and love of squash to others.

This weekend we are also running our first Weymuller Pro-Am hard ball doubles event.

Four pros, Line Hansen, Nicolette Fernandes, Emma Beddoes and Latasha Khan teamed up with our keen doubles members and hit the doubles court! The final is tomorrow so we’ll see which pro can turn their hand to a different racket sport the best!

02-Oct, Round One, Top
Quarter-finals set at Heights Casino
Linda Elriani reports

The second day of first round action at Heights Casino saw the quarter-final lineup completed as top seed Raneem El Welily battled past Dipika Pallikal in five, qualifier Joey Chan beat Rachael Grinham in four, and Omneya Abdel Kawy and Nour El Sherbini set up an all-Egyptian quarter-final ...

Tonight was the second half of the 1st round of the 2015 Carol Weymuller Main draw. It has been so great having all the main draw matches on the championship court again this year.

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 PSA players to know that their family and friends can watch their matches from afar.

First on the Championship court was world # 6 and last year’s Weymuller finalist Omneya Abdel Kawy against PSA president Jenny Duncalf who won the Weymuller back in 2009 and 2010. Both players have been playing the PSA professional circuit for many years so there was a lot of serious experience out there on court in this match. In the head to head Omneya is up 9-2 over Jenny.

The match started well for Jenny and while both players moved the ball around the court a lot using court courts and angles, Jenny managed to control each of the rallies just that little better than Omneya up until she got to 10-6 game ball at least. Omneya suddenly pounced into gear and Jenny squandered her lead with a few loose shots and errors that had not be there at the beginning. Omneya went through to win the next 6 points in a row taking the first game 12/10.

Jenny started off well again with a 5-1 lead but once again Omneya won the next 6 points in a row to then take the lead at 7-5. This time Jenny took the bull by the horns and stepped it up and went through to take the second in a very close 11/9.

In the third game Omneya was completely in control. Jenny’s lengths were too short and gave Omneya a free range of the middle which is where she plays her best. Omneya won the third in a convincing 11/3.

Jenny came back in the fourth looking determined and she soon regained her composure and found her length, forced Omneya back on the court and errors started to creep in. Jenny got an impressive 10-4 lead hitting much tighter, deeper lengths but just like déjà vu Omneya got onto a roll again winning 5 points in a row but at 10-9 Jenny finally decided this was her game and went through to win 11-9.

Now the match was in the fifth and final game and we were left wondering who was going to find their momentum first out of the 2 players. The match had been very up and down and patchy for them both players and whoever got their rhythm first was managing to dominate and win many points pretty quickly.
 Unfortunately for Jenny it was Omneya that very quickly got ahead first. Omneya’s short shots were amazing and soon she had a 7-1 lead! Jenny couldn’t regain her previous weight on her lengths to force Omneya back, so Omneya went through to win 11/3 in the final game.

A happy Omneya said after her five setter “I’m feeling good for the 1st match of the season. Since June I haven’t played any tournaments so in the 1st game I didn’t see the ball well. I was struggling in the beginning and Jenny was moving well.

"I just relaxed and started to go for my winners and Jenny made some errors and then started to tense up. It was a crucial game. My head wasn’t tough enough. I played in phases and so did she, I’m glad that I played my game in the fifth. I ‘m happy for my win and I look forward to my match tomorrow.”

Second match on the championship court was between World # 7 Nour El Sherbini from Egypt and Hong Kong’s Delia Arnold who is world # 12. Nour and Delia hadn’t played each other before this evening so it was going to be interesting to see who would win their first bout.

Nour played very steadily and kept the T and used her height advantage to cut off shots so well and force Delia to move around the court. Whilst Delia did a great job retrieving and trying to find her position on the T it didn’t stop Nour imposing her game and she went through to win the first 11/6.

In the second game the points went back and forth evenly and Delia was really moving well and managed to win one particularly long and exciting rally with a perfect backhand volley drop whilst running back almost off balance. This was followed up by a perfect forehand boast from Delia which took her to 7-7. Nour had been looking like she had another gear in her and suddenly she used it to take the next 4 points in the row and also the game 11/7.

The third game Delia kept trying to win back the T and stop Nour from using her wonderful volley drops and short shots. Delia put in her own fair share of great winners and she eventually got a 9-7 lead. Nour gave a final push to control the middle and with a variety of holds, perfect boast winners and a crosscourt kill, Nour took the match 11/9 on the third.

Nour said after her win: “It was my 1st match of the season and I was a bit nervous. I was thinking about how my game was good or bad and not thinking about the game plan.

"Delia has created a lot of upsets recently and it was my first time to play her so I was expecting what was coming. It was a hard match, each game could have gone either way. I’m glad to be through and keen to play Omneya tomorrow.”

Third match of the night was between qualifier Joey Chan who is world # 29 and Australia’s Rachael Grinham who has had a very long and success career so far starting out by winning the world juniors championships when she was only 16 years old. Rachael and Joey have played 8 times before this evening with Rachel 7-1 up in the head to head rally.

Rachael had a wonderful start to the match and couldn’t miss whenever she took the ball in short. Before we knew it Rachael was 7-1 up! Joey slowed up the pace a little more and finally found her rhythm and started to plug her way back into the first game. The court started to open up for Joey and Rachael started to make some forced and unforced errors. Joey’s climb took her all the way up to 10-9 and with an unexpected cross court drop winner from the back of the court she took the first 11/9. It was a very impressive comeback!

Joey started the second very well and Rachael was going short way too soon and not managing to push Joey back in the court with her length. Both players were using the lob beautifully and the variation in pace was lovely to see as very often squash is played at a very fast pace. With one too many counter drops from Rachael, Joey was able to attack the deep from the very front of the court, leaving her opponent stranded many times and she took the second 11/5.

In the third it was Rachael that got a 4-1 lead until Joey continued in a similar vein as the last game, making the pace of the game as slow and controlled as possible. She was using the lob as much as she could and then doing some deceptive holds in the front off of Rachael’s forced back wall boasts. Joey managed to surge forward from 3-5 down to 9-5 up in one hand. Just as we thought that Joey was heading for a 3-0 win Rachael’s creative squash started to flow and she cut off the ball and moved Joey around in many unexpected ways. Rachael went on to win the next 6 points in a row with only one hand out for Joey and took the fourth 12-10.

The fourth went back into Joey’s favor and she very quickly got an 8-2 and 9-5 lead but yet again Rachael’s unorthodox play helped her to claw her way back to 10-10. Joey gave one last push and came through 12-10 to just scrape a 3-1 win.

Before tonight, Joey has only beaten Rachael once 3 years ago so in her interview straight after the match Joey mentioned how happy she was to win and that Rachael is a great competitor and mover and that she has magic hands!! Well, Joey’s touch on the court tonight was pretty awesome too and we look forward to seeing if Joey can put her slower, more controlled game over her opponents tomorrow.

The last match on the championship court was between India’s #1 Dipika Pallikal and newly crowned world #1 Raneem El Welily from Egypt. Raneem just recently knocked the legendary Nicol David off her 9 year world # 1 spot, so she is clearly arriving here in Brooklyn on form and in good spirits!

Raneem was 9-0 up in the head to head with Dipika, and she started well in the first game and it was helped along by Dipika’s errors and soon she went through to win the first 11/6.

The second game was still leaning in Raneem’s favor but some mistakes crept in and Dipika was playing some great attacking volleys and was moving really well around the court. The score stayed pretty even until 6-5 to Dipika and then with a couple of awesome drops from Raneem and some errors from Dipika, Raneem when almost straight through to win the second 11/7.

Raneem’s movement off the spot is so dynamic, she got onto some great short shots from Dipika and managed to get herself out of trouble and reapply the pressure.

The third game was all Dipika! She came out on fire! She played attacking low deep drives, she was forward on the T and taking in precise volley drops and kills in the front. Raneem didn’t react quickly or well enough to this huge push from Dipika and she went through to win the third 11/5.

The fourth started in the same way with Dipika looking extremely confident and making barely any errors whilst she was on this rampage. Raneem started to look unsure and she couldn’t seem to stop herself from going short as if to see if this next drop shot would be the winner.

There were definitely moments of brilliance from Raneem but she was struggling to find her consistency and wasn’t putting the basic tactical work in to change Dipika winners to errors. At 10- 7 Dipika’s watch caught Raneem’s knuckle on her playing hand and caused it to bleed so Raneem has a time out to stop the bleeding. Once Raneem returned to the court there was only one more rally for Dipika to take the fourth 11/7 and take the new world #1 to a fifth game!

In the fifth Raneem started out looking much more confident than she had been in the last two games. Her short game was more accurate again and she was controlling the T. Raneem took a 3-0 lead, but with two perfectly disguised forehand boasts from Dipika and an error from Raneem, it made us realize the fight was not yet over.

Just an Dipika pulled back in to the game again she seemed to get a little excited and made a couple of unforced errors and this gave the green light for Raneem’s confidence. Her immense experience guided her through the last few points of the fifth game to win it 11/5. It was a really amazing match and effort from Dipika and Raneem must have definitely felt that she dodged a bullet tonight getting out of this one!

When I asked Raneem how she felt after her match she said: “Pressure, lots and lots of pressure!! You asked me what it’s like to be world #1 and being so hungry and it being so close in ranking points makes me feel the importance of every point.

"So 2 or 3 rallies are enough for me to start feeling badly, especially with the results yesterday- everyone is beating everyone!! I lose my game and my nerve when I play with pressure but I am learning to play with it!”

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 function with food, drinks and our very own DJ Nudie (Annelize Naude) playing her fantastic tunes.


01-Oct, Round One, bottom:
English suffer in Round One
Linda Elriani reports

It was the bottom half of the draw at Heights Casino in Brooklyn tonight, with four English players seeded to progress to the quarter-finals. In the event only one of those - British champion Sarah-Jane Perry - made it, as qualifiers Joshana Chinappa and Salma Hany and wildcard Joelle King recorded upset wins to put out Emma Beddoes, Alison Waters and Laura Massaro.

First on the Championship court was world #5 Laura Massaro from England, who won the Weymuller back in 2012 and her young teenage Egyptian opponent, Salma Hany Ibrahim, ranked world #20.

In their head to head in PSA tournaments Laura stands at 2-0 but Salma came very close in one of them so we knew we are in for a great and competitive match. This match was by far the most exciting one of the evening!

The match started ferociously with movement all over the court with attacks and counter attacks, especially from Salma. Laura was trying to find her rhythm and stop the shorts from her young opponent. Salma managed to wrong foot Laura with her great holds and ability to straighten up the ball from the front forehand when under a massive pressure. Salma squeezed out the first game 12-10.

Laura came out playing her game in the second and managed to vary the pace more and control the T and she came through to win 11/8. Salma started the third game on fire and with a couple of errors from Laura she was 7-2 and then 8-5 up . Laura lost the great length that she had which pinned down Salma in the second. Salma took advantage of her lead and won 11/7.

The fourth was all Laura. She pushed up the court, took the ball earlier and hit her length with a purpose again with some lovely hold cross court flick drop shots to finish off the rally. Salma started making errors and started reacting to Laura’s attacking game. Laura went through to win 11/4.

The fifth started off pretty evenly with Laura taking a small lead at 3-1 but soon Salma started hitting an array of wonderful winners again from all the court and she went ahead to 9-4. Laura gave a huge push and started to climb back and Salma looked as though she was starting to doubt herself a little mentally, though she chased down every single ball and even did the splits in the front forehand corner whilst trying to get back one of Laura’s drop shorts. Laura clawed back to 7-9 and then Salma hit a cross court volley nick winner off the serve to take her to match ball.

Salma panicked in the next rally and mishit the ball and you were let thinking that Laura could maybe pull this off! At 9-10 Laura had Salma running all over the court and then out of nowhere Salma hit an amazing unexpected forehand boast to take the match and her first win off Laura 11-9 in the fifth.

A red faced and extremely happy looking Salma said: “I’m speechless! It’s not that I can’t believe I won it’s that I pushed myself so much when I was tired! I didn’t want to lose this time after last year but I still had a feeling I’m not going to win, even though I’m playing well. So I made myself smaller goals and just told myself ‘just one point at a time’ as when I told myself I’ve got to win it felt harder.

"When it was 2-2 Omneya, Raneem, Nour and my friend Bolla (who drove 90 minutes to come and watch me) told me ‘You have only one game left so give it your all! Don’t lose your focus like last time’. I’m also impressed with my nick and boast at the end!

Second match on the championship court was world #11 Emma Beddoes from England against India’s Joshana Chinappa who is world # 24. Emma recently got engaged to fellow Englishman and squash pro Eddie Charlton so there will be wedding bells ringing in 2016!! Emma has a 2-0 lead in the head to head but they haven’t played each other for a couple of years so it was interesting to see if the young Indian player had managed to close the gap since their last meeting.

Emma started the match in fine form and didn’t let Joshana settle and she won handily 11/4. The second was a true battle and but a much different match than the previous one with longer more traditional rallies up and down the wall. Joshana started to do more with the ball than Emma and get in front of her and chop the ball in at the front. The score went back and forth but Joshana came through in a marathon 16-14!

The third stayed in Joshana’s favor and she used the front of the court well with great disguised backhand boasts. Emma seemed to have fallen into a reactive mode and before we knew it Joshana was 2-1 up winning the third 11/7. Emma came out much more aggressively in the fourth and even though she fell down twice in the game she keep her composure and won 11/8.

In the fifth Emma went too defensive and was pushing the ball around the court and Joshana took advantage of this and attacked short whenever Emma’s lengths were not deep enough. With a fall that caused Emma’s calf to briefly cramp and a few more winners, Joshana went through to get her first win from the English woman in her career.

Joshana said after her match “I’m happy of course. It was a tough match and it could have gone either way. With Emma being on form and at her highest ranking I’m really glad I pulled through

The next match on was between England’s Sarah-Jane Perry who is world #15 against qualifier Kanzy El Defrawy who is world #36.

Their head to head is 1-1, with Kanzy winning last time they played back in June so we could be sure that Sarah-Jane wanted to get her own back!

Kanzy came out in the first game on fire and went 7-1 up before SJ had turned around. SJ found a little rhythm but Kanzy went on to win the first 11/5.

The second SJ was ready for the random winners and started to push up to the front better and use her great lob to regain her position throughout the rallies.

In typical Kanzy form, she dived around the court several times in her huge efforts to retrieve everything humanly possible, with one of them resulting in a time out for bleeding knee. SJ came through in the end winning the second in tough11/9.

The third was very one sided, SJ is deceptively fast around the court and has an amazing reach into the front and this really helped her suck up the pressure that Kanzy was trying put her under at the front of the court. SJ keep forward on the court and volleyed more and won the third 11/2.

The fourth was more evenly battled again, but with SJ’s constant pressure, a few more desperate dives from Kanzy and SJ taking the ball early helped her pull away at the end of the game and finally take the match 11/9.

Sarah-Jane said afterwards ‘I thought I stuck in well there. She caught me a bit off guard in the first game going short. I haven’t played the Weymuller before and it took a bit of time to get used to the court. Kanzy beat me last time we played back in June so it was to get my revenge!

The last match on the championship court went on court very late due to all the very long and exciting squash previously. This match was between last year’s Weymuller Champion Alison Waters from England who is world # 4, against former world # 4 Joelle King from New Zealand.

Joelle has just recently come back from a serious achilles injury and is gradually clawing her way back up the world rankings to her rightful spot again. Alison is in the lead in the head to head, 4-2, but with both players playing a fast attacking game from the T, we knew it would an excellent match.

This match was of a very high caliber of squash with both players hitting deep, tight drives into the corners and volleying everything they could. Their movement was clean and sharp and there were very few lets unlike some of the previous matches. Joelle managed to control the T more than Alison in the first, the rallies were long and hard fought but Joelle came through 11/6.

Alison found her rhythm in the second and starting finding her targets in the back and allowing her to use the middle of the court more and finish the rallies off at the front. Alison went through to win 11/8 to make the match even at 1-1.

The third game was the hardest of them all and ended up being the most crucial of the match. Both players were vying for the T and keeping the pace high and aggressive. There were some wonderful attacking volleys and deep dying lengths and it was Joelle that eventually sneaked the third 14-12. Alison pushed hard but never really got her control back after the mammoth third game and Joelle went through to win 11/8 to make it the third upset of the night!

Joelle said after her win “It was tough for both of us after such long matches before. I think we both came out well considering. She’s a tough competitor and we’ve had so many battles over the years and it’s so nice to be back on court with her.

"The third game was a turning point and I think it took a lot out of both of us, but when you win those games it can give you a spring in your step again. I’m looking forward to playing SJ, we’ve only played once before

So here ends another incredibly exciting night of squash at The Heights Casino. The quality of the matches tonight was fantastic and the matches were so enjoyable to watch. 

We all look forward to the second half of the first round starting at 5.30pm on Friday night. See you again soon !

30-Sep, Qualifying Finals:
Qualifying at Heights Casino
Linda Elriani reports                                                  
photos by Jean Ervasti

Tonight was the last evening of the qualification at the 2015 Carol Weymuller Open. It’s always an exciting round as it really is all or nothing…main draw or out! The matches were very exciting and a fantastic display of how athletic and amazingly skilled the top women squash players are.

Our budding young squash juniors where also busy collecting autographs from the PSA players, it’s always so great to see how inspired they are by these amazing women.

Weymuller@Lunch was held in 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 13 years now.

I did an interview with Jenny Duncalf from England, who is the president of the PSA women’s division and former Weymuller champion in 2009 and 2010. The group was treated to some great answers by Jenny and the crowd of patrons was given the opportunity to ask some of their own questions as well.

This was followed by the first of the qualifying finals matches played at 1.30pm between Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes who is world # 23 and Joshana Chinappa from India who is world #24. So with a full stand of keen and excited members the first match began.

This match was the longest and most closely contested match of the day. The court was hot again and the rallies were long but Joshana took control of the middle of the court and managed to take the first 11-7.

The second started evenly with each player vying for the T and then at 4-4 Nicolette fell and had to have a time out for her bleeding finger. Once the game continued Nicolette squeezed ahead and eventually took the second 13-11.

Nicolette started the third game well but soon Joshana found her momentum and managed to work Nicolette around the court beautifully before using her accurate short game to finish the rallies. Joshana took the third 11/7.

It looked like Joshana was probably going to take the match from here forward but this doesn’t happen when you play someone as feisty as Nicolette! You really have to win every point as she will not go down without giving her all. Nicolette’s amazing retrieving and some attacking volleying along with a few mistakes from Joshana gave Nicolette the fourth game 11/7.

The fifth game started with a couple of unforced errors from both players while they found their rhythm again and it was even with points going back and forth until 5-5. Then from 5-5 Joshana gave a big push and played the second half of the fifth game error free, whilst Nicolette suddenly seemed to lost her focus and made some errors and had a couple of strokes against her. This allowed Joshana to go through and win the fifth and final game 11/6.

After her match Joshana said “It’s SOOO hot!!! But it was a great match from beginning to end. I’m happy of course to get through”.

The first evening match on court at 5.30pm was between Kanzy El Defrawy who is world # 36 playing Denmark’s #1 player Line Hansen.

Kanzy started the match on fire with every shot coming off and she rapidly took a 5-1 lead. Line started to find her rhythm as the first game went on but she started too late and Kanzy took the first 11/6.

Kanzy came out in the second with gusto and Line seemed to be reacting to Kanzy’s attacking game rather than playing her own. With a short break for a bleeding knee soon Kanzy took the second 11/5.

In the third Line played incredibly well, she stepped forward, hitting her lengths with weight and purpose and was played some really well thought out short shots to win the points. Kanzy gave everything to stay in the game and was literally diving around the court to win rallies but Line’s squash was too accurate and tight and Kanzy couldn’t stop her from winning the third 11/6.

In the fourth Kanzy took back the control and the huge effort that Line had put into winning the third game seemed to have taken its toll. Kanzy played excellent aggressive squash to win the final game 11/5 to qualify for the main draw.

A very happy and smiling Kanzy said after her win “I feel great!! I’ve never played Line before so I didn’t know what to expect. I just tried to play simple squash. My only problem today was I was a little hyper! When it’s too much it’s not good and I start being all over the court and diving!!Then instead of hitting a good length I was sometimes hitting it too hard and was too excited! I’m really pleased, it’s my first time to qualify for this tournament. I’m excited to keep it going!!”

The next match was between world # 32 Samantha Teran from Mexico against Joey Chan the world # 29 from Hong Kong.

Both Joey and Sam play a patient game with great retrieving so in the very warm conditions we knew the match would have long, hard fought rallies.

The points in the first game went evenly back and forth until 5-5 and then Sam sneaked away to get her first game ball at 10-6. Joey pushed to volley more and managed to get back to 10-10. Sam got her second game ball and after probably the longest rally of the day Sam clinched it 12-10.

After the first game Joey gradually took more and more control of the match. Both players varied the pace nicely and Joey threw in some nice holds to stop Sam in her tracks. Joey won the second game 11/7 with an impressive backhand volley drop winner from high above her head.

Now at one all in games both players really wanted to get the 2-1 lead. The third game was very evenly matched and both played really well, varying the pace, looking to volley and use the front of the court when they could, but in the end Joey’s nimble movement and great shot selection won her this important game 11/9.

The last game was error free and played with consistent and constant pressure from Joey. Samantha could no longer hang in the rallies and Joey went through to win 11/4 and qualify for the main draw.

Joey was obviously thrilled to qualify and said “I’m very happy because it is the second $50,000 tournament that I have qualified for in 3 years. Playing Sam is always a very tough match.

"She is a strong fighter and she forces you to really concentrate. No matter who I play next I will try my best and with the court being hot here you really have to fight!

Our last match of the evening was a wonderfully tense and colourful one between two young and very talented Egyptian players, Yathreb Adel and Salma Hany Ibrahim ranked 27 and 20 in the world respectively. They are both only 19 years old but play like they have played squash for many, many years!

This match was the complete opposite of the match just before, where the players played long, patient rallies until they got their openings to go short. This match was played in a very aggressive style with both players looking for every single chance to cut the ball off short and finish the point. Both players moved around the court so incredibly well, as if they almost knew ahead of time what the other person was going to play. This did cause a number of lets throughout the match but made for very entertaining squash.

Yathreb played a great first game with more great tight lengths than Salma and so giving herself more openings to use her creative winners. Yathreb took the first game 11/8.

Salma came out in the second all guns blazing, hitting aggressive hard lengths and holding the ball wherever she could to delay Yathreb’s movement. Yathreb started to make more unforced errors too and Salma took the second in a very impressive 11/5.

The third ended up being the deciding factor for the whole match. Yathreb started the game with more discipline and varying the pace a little more and got a 5-2 lead and then a 9-5 lead. Salma suddenly cut out the errors and pushed up to be in front of Yathreb. Yathreb clung onto her lead and did get game ball first but Salma had other plans and before we knew it Salma had taken the game 12-10.

Whilst Yathreb fought all the way in the fourth Salma’s amazing athleticism and shot production carried her right through to win the match and the fourth game 11-8.

Salma was delighted after the match and said “The last 2 tournaments I didn’t make it through the qualification, so for this tournament I was worried not to get through as well. But I told myself to just enjoy playing in one of my favorite tournaments.

"When I lost the first game it crossed my mind that I was going to lose 3-0 and not make it through, but then I told myself to fight for every point and when I came out in the second game I just told myself….win the point and play a good serve, win this point and play a good serve….over and over!!

"It was just so mental today and I know that my mum and brother were watching me (on the live streaming) and sometimes I looked at the camera and imagined they were there supporting in the stands, which helped a lot. Yathreb is a good friend of mine and we have played each other since we were 8 years old and still player each now!

Congratulations to all the players who qualified. All the matches were such great quality squash and everyone thoroughly enjoyed them.

The first round matches start tomorrow night at 5.30pm and we are all very much looking forward to watching some more of the amazing squash.

29-Sep, Qualifying Round One:
Qualifying under way at Heights Casino
Linda Elriani reports

The weather in NY is particularly humid and sticky at the moment and consequently the courts are very hot and bouncy making it difficult to finish the rallies.

The 5.30pm match is between world # 23 Nicolette Fernandes from Guyana and Kiwi Amanda Landers-Murphy the world #40. Nicolette played a very consistent and controlled game keeping Amanda under constant pressure for the first game. Amanda gave a big push in the second, making a vested effort to volley and take the T and get a 9-5 lead. Nicolette regained her composure and came through to take the second 12/10. The climb back from 2-0 down proved too big for Amanda and Nicolette eventually won the match in three ...11/3, 12/10, 11/6.

Nicolette said after her win…”It was nice to get back on court after San Fran. I love being back here, I think I play good squash here. I don’t think the heat has anything to do with it!!! I was happy with a 3-0 win against Amanda as she is playing well.”

The second 5.30pm match was French # 2 and world # 43 Coline Aumard against India’s Joshana Chinappa who is currently ranked #24 in the world. This was a very tense and physical match with lots of lets and interference, but Joshana managed to hold the T and keep the balls away in the corners from Coline’s volleys. Joshana eventually won in a tense four game match 5/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4. Joshana and Nicolette play tomorrow at 1.30pm.

Joshana said after her match “I’m glad I got through, I didn’t get the best start and with Coline being an aggressive and accurate player you can’t do that. She played really well. I’m glad I got through 3-1”.

There was a very enthusiastic crowd at 6.15pm on the championship court when home grown Olivia Blatchford, world # 37, played Denmark’s Line Hansen who is ranked world #26. Line recently married another world ranked squash player, Cameron Pilley, and who is here this week at court side to coach her.

This match was definitely the game of the night with the marathon match going back and forth until it was eventually even at 2-2. The fifth game was a nail bitter and the points were evenly won until it eventually went right down to the wire at 10-10. Olivia was playing a more attacking game with some wonderful short winning shots, but it was the impatient short shots that lost Olivia points at very vital times.

Line kept plugging away and trying to keep her length as consistent and tight as she could to stop Olivia’s aggressive game. A backhand boast error and then a stroke on the forehand finally gave Line her ticket to the qualifying finals. It was heart breaking for Olivia as she also lost last year in an equally close five setter. Next year Olivia.

A red faced Line said “To be honest I think that Olivia played better and deserved to win! I think that she’s really talented and when she gets the last parts of her game right she’ll be very dangerous! I hope that I can step it up tomorrow as I was struggling to find the right pace on there, but I’ll take the win!

The second 6.15pm match was two budding young Egyptian players Heba El Torky and Kanzy El Defrawy ranked #22 and # 36 in the world respectively. Kanzy played a very aggressive attacking game and kept Heba from finding any kind of rhythm. Kanzy came through in three … 11/4, 11/7, 11/7. Line and Kanzy play at 6.15pm tomorrow.

A smiling Kanzy said “I trained really hard over the last months and it was really frustrating to lose 1st round in San Fran. I was 2-0 up and then lost there! I felt l had a lot of pressure going there and my body was tired and wasn’t feeling good on court.

"Since that I have decided to change my thinking, so today I went out and enjoyed every moment. I knew it was going to be a tough match but I felt zero pressure and stress. I want to make people happy as I’ve had a lot of support so I hate to let them down. I feel happy but not satisfied and I’m really looking forward to tomorrows match. It’s great to know I’ll be playing tomorrow’s match with fresh legs. It’s the first time that I have made it through the first round here, so I’m really looking forward to it!

The 7.00pm match on the east court was between Joey Chan who is the world #29 from Hong Kong and Australian’s Donna Urquhart who is world # 30. Joey seemed to like the hot conditions better than Donna and won 11/4, 11/3, 11/8 to go through and play tomorrow in the qualifying finals.

Joey said “I feel good about my match because I didn’t think I could win in three. Donna plays at a fast pace so I tried not to get into her pace and keep being patient. Donna and I are both left handers and have very strong forehands so I tried to keep it to her back hand. I am happy to get through and hope to win tomorrow against Sam as it’s such a great place here.

The second 7.00pm match was between Samantha Teran the world # 32 from Mexico and England’s Victoria Lust who is currently world #21. This match was a tense but consistent play from Samantha and too many errors from Victoria helped Samantha to get through to play tomorrow against Joey at 7.00pm.

A very happy Samantha said “It’s hot!!! Actually, I’m very happy, just because this is my first win since my injury. I was thinking point by point and game by game…..now I can book my practice court for tomorrow! I really enjoy playing, especially here. The Weymuller is the first professional tournament I ever played outside Mexico, so it means a lot to me and I try to come back every year. The only years that I don’t come back is what I’ve been injured.”

The 7.45pm match on the west court was between world # 27 Yathreb Adel from Egypt and Maria Toorpakai from Pakistan who is world #51. It was a relatively one sided game with Yathreb varying the pace well and keeping a great length into the back, preventing Mariaf from using her array of winners at the front.

Yahreb came through to win 11/8, 11/6, 11/4 and when I asked her how she was feeling she said: “Good, really good now! It was a good match to start with, a fair match. Maria is really good with her racket so I was just trying to move her around and not go too short from the beginning. It’s the first match at the beginning of a new season so I’ll just give it my best and hopefully it’ll be a good start”.

Egyptian’s Salma Hany Ibrahim, world #20 got a bye this evening through to the qualifying finals, due to Nouran Gohar withdrawing and previously qualifying Dipika Pallikal from India moving into the main draw.

It was a truly fantastic evening of squash to start off the 2015 Weymuller.

Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to the final round of the qualifying tomorrow.  Good luck to all the players.



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