Round TWO

J.P.Morgan Tournament of Champions 2016 • 05-14 Jan, New York

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TODAY at the ToC 2016

Sunday 10th Jan, Round Two:

Men's Bottom Half:

[3] Gregory Gaultier
(Fra) 3-0 Fares Dessouki (Egy)
                11-5, 11-9, 11-2 (62m
[6] Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-1 James Willstrop (Eng)
                9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 16-14 (79m)

[8] Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-1 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
                 12-10, 12-14, 11-9, 12-10 (78m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-0 Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
               11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (48m)

Women's Top Half:

Amanda Sobhy
(Usa) 3-1 [1] Raneem El Welily (Egy)
                11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 (41m)
[6] Alison Waters (Eng) 2-0 Delia Arnold (Mas)
                11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (29m)

[8] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-1 Heba El Torky (Egy)
                7-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (41m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [Q] Coline Aumard (Fra)
                11-3, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10 (51m)

Photo Gallery

Draws & Results

Sobhy Stuns Defending Champion El Welily

Team USA's 2015 triple-Pan Am Games Gold medal-winning hero Amanda Sobhy pulled off the biggest win of her career, and arguably one of the most significant triumphs in the history of US Squash, as she eliminated defending champion and World #2 Raneem El Welily in the second round of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions - the World Series tournament taking place in her home city of New York.

El Welily, who held the World '#1 mantle from September to December, was a hot favourite to retain the title she won in convincing fashion twelve months ago. Sobhy, who only transitioned to life as a full time pro last summer after completing a degree in Social Anthropology at Harvard, was 0-6 against the Egyptian going into the match. Undaunted, the two-time US national champion played fearless squash under the majestic chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall, and in front of a capacity crowd that was decidedly in her favour.

“I’m a little shocked to be honest because the last three times we’ve played it has not gone well for me at all and to get the win today was way above what I expected,” said Sobhy, who came into the tournament ranked no. 8 in the world, her highest to date.

“I knew I had nothing to lose against her, and I couldn’t have done any worse than the last time we played in Hong Kong (when Sobhy lost 3-0 in 22 minutes) so I just went out there and tried to stick to the game plan. I had to go out of my comfort zone and mix up the pace to get her on the back foot and I’m very, very pleased that it paid off."

“It’s definitely one of, if not the single, biggest wins of my career. She’s a phenomenal player, she won here last year and she’s been World No.1. I felt relaxed and knew I had my coach, my friends and the crowd behind me so I was excited to go in there and do my best.”

Sobhy jumped out quickly to win the first game, and despite losing the second, dominated the rest of the match, using her strength to consistently hit the ball into the back corners to take away El Welily's trademark shotmaking game. The Long Island native also attacked every loose ball to complete a 3-1 victory in 40 minutes and send the New York crowd into raptures.

“I was nervous when we played here last year, which was the only time I took a game off her, but I wasn’t nervous tonight,” added the 22-year-old who currently trains in Boston under the guidance of former Men’s World No.1 and World Champion Thierry Lincou. “Thierry has made a huge difference to my game. I started working with him when I was a junior and his experience and knowledge has been amazing. Both he and my other coach, Shahid Zaman, have really helped me raise the level of my game."

Sobhy will face Alison Waters in the last eight after she recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over Delia Arnold. Englishwoman Laura Massaro, the current World #1, was forced to call on all her mental strength to come through a difficult second round match with Frenchwoman Coline Aumard during which Massaro struggled to find her best form.

Massaro looked on course to seal a straightforward victory after she dominated the first game, taking it 11-3, but found herself embroiled in a tense battle from there on in. The 2014 World Champion had to use her big match experience to save game ball in the fourth and progress after a hard-earned 3-1 win.

“I didn’t feel at my best on court but I’m very happy to come through because winning is the important aspect,” said Massaro. “I’m relieved and honestly just happy to still be in tournament. I have a rest day now to work on the things and come back better in my next match because I know I need to raise my level of play.”

In the men’s draw hard-hitting German Simon Rösner pulled off one of the most impressive wins of his career to defeat 2010 champion James Willstrop, booking a quarter-final berth against crowd favorite Gregory Gaultier, the current World Champion.

Rösner and Willstrop treated the capacity crowd to an 80-minute thriller which came to a crescendo during a fourth game that saw the German squander four match balls before saving three game balls to finally to secure the win 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 16-14.

“To beat James, in the form he has been in recently, and on this stage, is one of the most significant wins of my career in recent years and especially so as I struggled a bit at the end of last year,” said Rösner.

“I had a few tough defeats at the end of 2015 and was maybe losing a little bit of confidence. To be moving well on court again and winning a big match like this is very important for me. I’m really happy that I managed to close it out in the end and move into the quarter-finals here.”

The quarter-final lineup was completed as Nick Matthew an Marwan Elshorbagy beat Karim Abdel Gawad an Ryan Cuskelly.

Sat 9th Jan, Men's Round Two (top)
and Women's Round One     

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-0 Cameron Pilley (Aus)
                             11-5 , 11-9, 11-9 (46m)
[5] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-1 Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
                             11-5, 11-4, 12-14, 11-7 (73m)
[7] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-2 Max Lee (Hkg)
                              10-12, 11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4 (72m)
Borja Golan (Esp) 3-2 Leo Au (Hkg)
                             11-6, 11-5, 11-13, 4-11, 11-4 (80m)

[1] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
                             11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (30m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [Q] Olivia Blatchford (Usa)
                             11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-7 (38m)
[10] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-0 [Q] Deon Saffery (Wal)
                             11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (25m)
[2] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 Victoria Lust (Eng)
                            11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (24m)

            Plus 12 afternoon women's matches at NY Clubs

Annie Au
3/0, Delia Arnold 3/1, Nouran Gohar 3/0, Alison Waters 3-1, Joshna Chinappa 3/1, Heba El Torky 3/1,Omneya Abdel Kawy 3/2, Nour El Sherbini 3/0, Coline Aumard 3/0, Camille Serme 3/0, Emily Whitlock 3/0, Mariam Metwally 3/0

Photo Gallery

Draws & Results

Favourites on form in NY

On the opening day of Women’s action at the 2016 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, which for the first time in tournament history is offering equal prize money in the Men’s and Women’s draws, title favourites Nicol David, Laura Massaro and Raneem El Welily, the defending champion, signalled their intentions to triumph on the sport’s grandest stage with a trio of dominant first round performances.

After a number of disappointing results during the second half of 2015 recently deposed No.1 El Welily, for whom victory here 12 months ago laid the foundations for her surge towards the top spot, hinted at a timely return to form as she breezed past Tesni Evans.

The victory sees her move closer to a potential semi-final encounter with in-form Massaro, who took out home hope Olivia Blatchford in four games.

“I’m really happy to be back here in New York,” said El Welily, “it’s a great crowd, great venue and great atmosphere to play in and I’m happy with how I played today.

“I was trying hard to make sure I moved up the court and increased the pace and I’m glad that it worked. It’s a good start and hopefully I can keep it going.”

El Welily next meets home favourite Amanda Sobhy, who also eased past a Welsh qualifier - Deon Saffery - in the other women's match to be played out on the glass court.

David, who at World No.3 is at her lowest ranking in ten years, returned to form in December with a decisive victory at the 2015 Hong Kong Open and she picked up from where she left off prior to the Christmas break with a destructive victory over England’s Victoria Lust, dropping just seven points throughout the 25 minute match.

“It’s great to be back here in New York in what is one of the most amazing places in the world to play squash,” said David.

“There’s no better way than to start the year here, especially now that this tournament has taken a huge step and is offering parity in prize money between men and women for the first time ever. Hopefully I can continue to play well this week.”

While the top seeds moved through unscathed there were surprise victories for qualifiers Mariam Metwally and Coline Aumard who took out established World Series performers Dipika Pallikal and Sarah-Jane Perry.

Metwally now meets compatriot Nour El Sherbini in a lst sixteen featuring six Egyptians, while Aumard takes on Massaro.

In the Men’s draw 2015 winner Mohamed Elshorbagy came through a difficult second round encounter with a resurgent Cameron Pilley.

Elshorbagy beat Pilley less that a month ago to take the Hong Kong Open title and once again consigned the dogged Australian to defeat as he played at an intense pace to out gun the 33-year-old in an exhibition of ferocious hitting.

“Cameron has been playing really well lately so I knew it would be difficult tonight and I’m really pleased that we managed to play a high quality match in front of this amazing crowd here in this amazing place because that always makes it even more special,” said Elshorbagy.

“I felt good throughout the week in Hong Kong and came here wanting to defend my title. I started 2015 in the best way possible by winning here and I’ll be giving everything I have this week in order to do the same thing at the start of 2016.”

Elshorbagy now faces in-form compatriot Omar Mosaad in the quarter-finals after the fifth seed beat Nicols Mueller in four tough games.

The day's other men's matches both went the distance with Mathieu Castagnet and Borja Golan both coming trough brutal encounters with Hong Kong duo Max Lee and Leo Au to set up a meeting in the last eight.

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Round TWO

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