Team USA’s Olivia Fiechter dispatched world No.11 Salma Hany for the first time in her career to reach her second career quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Open Squash Championships presented by Truist Tuesday, October 10, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
Fiechter–who made her first semifinal appearance in a Platinum semifinal at the 2021 U.S. Open–has made a strong start to her 2023 campaign with two 3-0 victories. The Egyptian pushed Fiechter in the first game, but the Philly native took it 13-11, and went on to win 11-4, 11-7 in the second and third games to advance in thirty-eight minutes.
“I’m not going to lie, that win was huge for me,” Fiechter said. “I put in a really hard summer training block and I’ve had some good performances, but I’ve also had some not so good performances this year and I’m trying to find that balance and blend with some changes I made this summer while incorporating my natural game. My goal was to go out there and trust myself. I’m really happy with how committed I was to my game plan and I stayed really positive.”
Fiechter will face Egypt’s four seed and 2017 U.S. Open champion Nour El Tayeb in the quarterfinals after El Tayeb made quick work of England’s Lucy Beecroft.
“That’s the first time I’ve beaten Salma, I knew it was going to be really challenging, she’s a great player and I’m really happy with that performance,” Fiechter said. “I feel like I’m moving the best I’ve ever moved thanks to the work over so many years, but particularly this summer I definitely put a lot of work into it.”
The only match that wasn’t decided in three games on Tuesday was a five-game battle between seven seed Georgina Kennedy and Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby, who saved two match balls late in the fifth game before the English international took the seventy-one-minute encounter 12-10.
On the men’s side, defending champion Diego Elias, four seed Paul Coll, six seed Mazen Hesham and five seed Marwan ElShorbagy all advanced without dropping a game.