No.1 Nour El Sherbini captured the Carol Weymuller Open, PSA W50 title
for a second successive year after an assured display from the
20-year-old Egyptian saw her defeat 2014 winner Alison Waters at the
Heights Casino in Brooklyn.
El Sherbini, the reigning World Champion, breezed through to the final
without dropping a game and defeated Englandís Sarah-Jane Perry to book
her place in the showpiece finale.
Waters, meanwhile, came up with arguably the performance of the
tournament in her semi-final fixture to overcome recent Delaware
Investments U.S. Open winner Camille Serme in a blistering five-game
It was the Englishwoman who lead the head-to-head record between the
pair 4-2 coming into the match, but El Sherbini stormed out of the traps
to hold a 6-1 lead in game one, only to see Waters fight back to claim
game balls on two occasions.
A determined El Sherbini came back though to take it on the tie-break
and, despite even starts to the second and third games, the Egyptian
pulled away in both to wrap up a 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 victory to capture
her first PSA World Tour title since she became World Champion in April.
ďItís a thrill to defend my title again this year after winning it last
year, and that was the start of a really special season," said El
"Letís hope that this will be the start of a special season again this
Englandís Alison Waters pulled off the result of the night, and one of
her biggest wins in recent months, as she downed recent Delaware
Investments U.S. Open champion Camille Serme in a thrilling five-game
battle to secure a place in the final of the 2016 Carol Weymuller Open,
PSA W50 tournament, that will see her take on World No.1 Nour El
Sherbini for the spoils.
Waters, the 2014 Weymuller champion, came through a tough five-game
battle with New Zealandís Joelle King to reach the last four but showed
no signs of fatigue as she came out full off attacking intent against
Frenchwoman Serme, the 2013 runner-up, who had secured her semi-final
spot courtesy of a routine 3-0 win over Annie Au.
The match started at a blistering pace, with both players attacking and
utilising all four corners on the court to stretch their opponent as
they matched each point for point all the way to 10-9, when it was
Waters who struck the first blow. The Englishwoman then looked to be in
cruise control as she edged 8-3 ahead in the second only to see Serme
claw her way back into contention and level the match via a tense 12-10
From then on they traded points back and fourth, sharing the third and
fourth games, to set up a nail-biting decider during which it was Waters
who stepped up to dominate the T, taking six consecutive points from 4-4
to hold match balls at 10-4 and eventually complete the win at the fifth
ďIím obviously delighted to have won and to have backed up yesterdayís
match,Ē said Waters.
ďIím happy to see the work I have done over the summer come into play. I
felt like I was thinking more about me and controlling the pace and not
just letting her get into her rhythm, which she is so strong at.
ďIím looking forward to being in the final tomorrow and Iím really
enjoying being here in Brooklyn.Ē
In the second semi-final it was World No.1 and World Champion El
Sherbini who emerged triumphant in straight games, but she was made to
work hard by opponent Sarah-Jane Perry.
The Englishwoman has scalped the likes of Nicol David already this
season and stood toe-to-toe with El Sherbini for long stints in the
match, none more so than when she fought back from 6-1 down in the first
to force a tie-break, but couldn't find a killer blow to get a game on
the board as El Sherbini kept her title defence alive.
ďIím definitely happy to be back in the final again this year,Ē said El
ďToday the first game was important. I always seem to have a tough first
ďIím looking forward to the final. I played Alison last week so I know
it will be hard but Iím just happy to be back in the final.Ē
States No.2 Olivia Blatchford claimed a second successive win over
former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf to seal her place in the quarter-final
stage of the 2016 Carol Weymuller Open, PSA W50 tournament taking place
at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn.
World No.32 Blatchford only just made it through qualification after
coming back from two games down to defeat Englandís Mille Tomlinson in
the final round, and the 23-year-old raised her game to put in an
assured display against Duncalf.
The duo had met just once previously, with Blatchford also causing an
upset on that occasion, and the American dominated the 'Tí and forced
Duncalf into the back corners to take an 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 victory.
ďMy dad always used to say, ĎAct the way you want to feelí, so I did,"
"I thought that if I went out there and executed the game plan, which
was to go deep and attack short when I could, win or lose I would have
to be proud.
"I watched Jenny at this tournament years ago beating [former World
No.1] Natalie Grainger and I was in awe with the way she struck the
ball. It was a pleasure to play her on the court that I first saw her
Blatchford will have the distinction of facing defending champion Nour
El Sherbini in the next round after the Egyptian rose to a win in
straight games against compatriot Kanzy Emad El Defrawy.
El Sherbini, the current World No.1 and World Champion, quickly rose to
a two-game lead, before going 8-2 up in the third. A resurgent El
Defrawy found her way back into the game and briefly threatened a
comeback, but El Sherbini held firm to close out the win by an 11-8,
11-6, 11-8 margin.
ďIím feeling good, the first round is never easy and Kanzy is never easy
[to play against]," explained El Sherbini, who last week reached the
final of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open.
"I havenít played Kanzy in a long time, but we used to play all the time
in the juniors since we were seven years old. Itís my first time to play
on the court this tournament and itís hard to connect between two big
tournaments, so I just wanted to go in and get used to the court.
"The last game I got used to the court more and tried more shots. Maybe
I relaxed a little and went for my shots. I was trying all the shots to
get used to the court but maybe it wasnít the best time to try them."
Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa and World No.11 Sarah-Jane Perry were the
other victors on the opening day of main draw action after they defeated
Egyptian qualifiers Salma Hany Ibrahim and Mariam Metwally,
Chinappa and Perry will face each other in the last eight in what will
be their first meeting since 2014, with Perry winning on that occasion.
American number two Olivia Blatchford, the World No.32, made it fifth
time lucky at the Carol Weymuller Open as she came through the final
round of qualification to join compatriot, and tournament wildcard,
Haley Mendez in the main draw and double home interest in the W50 event
taking place at The Heights Casino, Brooklyn.
Blatchford, second only to World No.6 Amanda Sobhy on the US standings,
failed to progress through the two-day qualification battle on her
previous four attempts - in 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011 - but produced an
impressive come from behind victory to down Englandís Millie Tomlinson
It was the No.39 who started strongest, playing patient, aggressive
squash to deny Blatchford time on the ball and it paid dividends as she
took the first two games 12-10, 11-3. But the tenacious Blatchford
fought back, coming from 8-5 down in the third to turn the game, and the
match, around - going from strength to strength and eventually sealing
the match courtesy of a dominant 11-1 fifth game.
ďI was thinking Ďshe is going to have to pry this from my fingers tips
if she wants to winí,Ē said Blatchford afterwards.
ďOn these types of courts when itís hot, itís really a free for all.
After the first two games I thought I would try to make it more about
the squash and less about the conditions - I guess it worked.Ē
Blatchford will now face Englandís former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf in
the main draw, where she will be eyeing an upset win, while she is
joined by a trio of Egyptians as it was Kanzy Emad El Defrawy, Mariam
Metwally and Salma Hany Ibrahim who came through the remaining three
qualification battles to upset the odds and take out the two top ranked
Defrway secured an impressive win as she got past the experienced
Nicolette Fernandes, the top seeded player in qualification, 3-1 while
Metwally and Ibrahim secured impressive 3-0 wins over Samatha Teran and
Tesni Evans, respectively.
Ibrahim in particular impressed as she held the dangerous Evans, number
two seeded qualifier, to love and set up a first round match with
Indiaís Joshna Chinappa.