MON 12th OCT – Round Two part one

Egypt dominate women’s matches as Ashour retires injured

SH0412It was down to the last sixteen in each of the men’s and women’s draws now, and today it was the turn of the top half of the draws.

In the women’s matches it was almost Egypt all the way as they provided three of today’s winners, but top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy was the only winner in the men’s matches as World Champion Ramy Ashour retired injured early in his match.

Delaware Investments U.S. Open Round TWO – Top Half[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) d [15] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (41m)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) d [10] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 14-12, 11-5, 11-3 (34m)
[7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) d [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 (48m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) d [11] Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (31m)[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) d [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)  11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (41m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) d [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY)  6-1 rtd
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) d Alister Walker (BOT)  11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (47m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) d Tom Richards (ENG) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (33m)

Egyptians dominate women’s draw

SH0365The first quarterfinalist was an Egyptian after Nour El Tayeb got past England’s Emma Beddoes in straight games. It didn’t start easily for the seventh seed, as Beddoes matched her in all aspects of the game, pulling ahead from 6-all to earn three game balls at 10-7.

SH0364Tayeb admitted afterwards that she wasn’t unduly worried—“Two days ago I was 10-6 up and lost the game, and I’ve seen so many players make comebacks this week from 10-6, 10-7 down, and I knew I wasn’t playing badly. Maybe I stepped up the pace a bit …”

She did too, levelling at 10-all and taking the lead 14-12 on her third game ball as Beddoes tinned a service return.

SH0368There wasn’t a big difference between the players, but Tayeb was just a bit faster, just a bit more agile, and a bit more accurate. It was enough, and she was on top throughout the next two games, taking them 11-5, 11-3, the last handful of points coming quickly.

“I thought I played pretty well,” she said, “better than I expected to, and I’m delighted to be in the quarters of the U.S. Open for the first time.

“If I end up playing Raneem, although she has a tough match first, it will be like another training match for us. I have a lot of respect for her, but not on the court!”


Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart provided 2014 U.S. Open finalist Nour El Sherbini with a scare in the second women’s match Tuesday, pushing the Egyptian world No. 7 to five games.

SH0378Urquhart took a close opener 11-9, and provided the large group of SquashSmarts kids with an example of top sportsmanship, calling a ball down on herself to lose the second game 11-8. Urquhart piled on the pressure again in the third, stringing together six straight points to go up 9-3, maintaining the lead until closing the game 11-7.

El Sherbini reacted with her own streak, dominating the fourth game including a seven-point run to force a fifth 11-3.

SH0370The Egyptian went up 4-0 in the fifth, and maintained her lead until closing out the match 11-6 in forty-eight minutes.

“You need to give everything every match, you have to give it 100%,” El Sherbini said. “Donna played really great today. She was using every shot she had very well. I made it to the final last year, so I was feeling a lot of pressure and needed to win, but thankfully I was able to get through.”

SH0379On junior day, emcee Chris Gordon asked the three-time world junior champion to share some advice with the kids in the audience.

“I played six years in the juniors, just to play and have fun so they can reach their goals. If you’re having fun, you’re going to give everything you have so just enjoy it.”

The evening session kicked off with a repeat of the British Open semifinal between Camille Serme and Delia Arnold.

SH0405The Frenchwoman took that one, and their other four meetings too, and that record never looked under serious threat in Philadelphia as the third seed went through in straight games 11-4, 11-6, 11-5.

SH0406Serme was never behind and, aided by a number of innoportune tins from her opponent, always looked in control, finishing the match off with a volleyed nick and a look towards her support team.

“I’m very happy to win three-nil,” declared Serme. “Delia is a great fighter and very dangerous in this sort of arena. Every match is tough nowadays, semifinal or second round, everyone is very close.

“My boyfriend tells me I don’t hit enough nicks, so that last shot was for him!”

SH0418Top seed Raneem El Welily safely navigated her way through to her fourth-consecutive U.S. Open quarterfinal, withstanding an early assault by England’s Jenny Duncalf.

The English former world No. 2 led 6-0 in the first game, which she managed
to win 11-6 displaying an entertaining array of shot-making—including the dangerous boast sitting just above the seventeen-inch tin.

SH0409Duncalf continued to press early in the second game where she led 4-0, at which point El Welily leveled 4-4, and continued to push on to win the game 11-8.

A reinvigorated El Welily controlled the third game 11-6, and managed to close out the forty-one-minute match in a close fourth game 11-9.

The twenty-six-year-old from Alexandria said the adjustment was mental as much as tactical.

SH0414“More attitude I guess. I was just trying to be more alert,” El Welily said.

“She was chopping everything at the first opportunity. She was playing really good, and had a really good start. I just want to say congratulations on a great performance today. Happy to see her play that well again today. “

El Welily now faces good friend and fellow top-ten Egyptian Nour El Tayeb in the quarterfinals.

“It’s definitely hard playing a friend and a sister. But yea, good times for Egypt, five women in the world’s top ten. I’m at least happy one Egyptian will be in the semis.”


Ramy retires as  top seeds advance

SH0377The men’s matches started on a low note as World Champion and No. 5 seed Ramy Ashour retired shortly into his first game against Mathieu Castagnet.

The Frenchman was leading 6-1 when Ashour offered his hand and quickly departed the scene.

“It’s really difficult for me to be happy to win like this,” said Castagnet. “Ramy is such a great and fair player and we all want to see him playing because he’s such a special player, so it’s very hard to be happy right now.”


Germany’s world No. 6 Simon Rösner made it three U.S. Open quarterfinals in three years, defeating Botswana’s Alister Walker 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 in forty-seven minutes.

SH0387Rösner, who has maintained his career high world ranking of six since attaining it in June, is now bidding to reach his first U.S. Open semifinal having exited in the quarters since 2013.

“I love this tournament, I’ve been here for at least six years. It’s a very well-run tournament and I love to play on this court. I’m happy to be through and have a rest day tomorrow before getting back on court.”

Gregory Gaultier went into his match against Tom Richards with an eleven-nil record in their previous matches, with the Englishman failng to win a game in of those encounters.

SH0415In truth that record didn’t look in danger tonight, with the Frenchman ableto counter anything that Richards could muster. It wasn’t a walk in the park, there were plenty of well-contested rallies, but as in most of their previous matches Gaultier was the one winning most of them.

The scene was set after a long first rally which was won by Gaultier with a volley drop into the nick, followed by a short exit from court to replace his broken racket. Richards’ look said it all, and half an hour later came another look to the skies as Gaultier finished off another tough rally to win 11-4, 11-5, 11-4.

SH0417“I tried to play fast today, but it’s very hot and bouncy on there and hard to control so I had to try to slow it down.

“I’ve trained the whole summer for these type of matches, so we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the tournament, but I’m looking forward to it.”

SH0433Mohamed Elshorbagy ended Monday’s matches by ensuring both Egyptian top seeds and world No. 1’s reached the quarterfinals, defeating Scottish qualifier Greg Lobban 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 in forty-one minutes.

“Obviously I love this court, I have really good memories here where I got to world No. 1. This year is amazing because we have Shabana coaching us as a national coach and I think we both have very good memories here. I beat him in the final here last year so I’m sure he has good memories of that as well. It’s great to have him in my corner and it’s amazing to have his experience. As for this tournament, I’m just really happy to be back and moving on to the next round.”

SH0434Elshorbagy complimented Lobban, who recorded the biggest upset of his career against Max Lee Saturday, and the progress the twenty-three-year-old Scotsman has made since they met in the first round of the last U.S. Open.

“This tournament is really interesting for me to watch because a lot of the guys playing are my generation. They’re all playing each other in the main draw of this tournament. I’ll be watching Greg very closely, he’s been improving each tournament, and I really admire how he plays. I really enjoy watching him play, and it seems like he adds something new to his game each time I see him. I’m just happy I can beat him this time, because I don’t think that will happen all of the time in the future.”

SH0432The world No. 1 avoids a repeat of the world championships final following Ashour’s withdrawal, but still faces a daunting task in the form of a fresh Mathieu Castagnet, who defeated Elshorbagy in their last meeting during December’s British Grand Prix.

“We’ve always had such great battles and it’s always tough to play him. I have to be playing my best to beat him. He did really well to reach the top ten, and he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met on tour as well. I’m just really happy we’ll get to meet on court one more time.”

TODAY at the U.S. Open 2015 – Daily Reports


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