In her longest title triumph since the
introduction of PAR (point-a-rally) scoring, favourite
Nicol David overcame second seed Laura Massaro in
the final of the Women's Delaware Investments U.S. Open
Squash Championship at Drexel University in
Philadelphia to become the first player in the event's
history to retain the title.
The match, the first US Open final to go the
full distance in ten years, saw Malaysia's world number one
(pictured above, left, with Massaro) fight back from
2/1 down to defeat England's world number two Massaro 13-11,
11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 in 84 minutes.
It was an appropriate climax to the
Women's Squash Association World Series Platinum event,
which - for the first time ever - was providing equal prize
money to the men's event.
For five games the pair traded blows, testing
each other out with long, patient, well-crafted rallies -
with unforced errors few and far between.
Barely a point separated the finalists in the
first two games: Massaro reached game ball first in the
opener, but David took it 13-11. From nine-all in the
second, it was the Malaysian who had the first chance to get
the game - but Massaro drew level after a second tie-break
Massaro held onto a slender lead through the
third to take the lead 11-7, but was unable to capitalise on
a 7-4 lead in the fourth as David took five points in a row
to force the decider.
From two-all in the fifth, David moved ahead
to 7-3 after some rare errors from her opponent. A winning
boast for 10-5, then a ball driven into the deep that
Massaro was unable to retrieve saw David leap into the air
"It feels fantastic, it means a lot to win
that match and to win another US Open title," said David.
"It's been such a journey this year; I knew
Laura was playing well and I would have to dig deep. When I
was down in the fourth, she maybe stepped off it a little, I
just knew I had to keep going and going to the last point."
David held an 18-5 career head-to-head lead
over Massaro going into the final - but had lost their two
most recent encounters. The victory marks the 30-year-old
from Penang's third WSA Tour title in a row, and the 69th of
"Liz helped me such a lot, she gave me the
confidence to go in there, to know I could do it, and she
and the team in Amsterdam have been doing that for the last
ten and a half years," added David, in praise of her coach
"This is such a fantastic event - all credit
to US Squash, the sponsors and the venue. Making the prize
money equal is putting the women's game where it deserves to
be and we all look forward to coming back for the next ten
Nicol David & Laura Massaro To Meet In US
Top seeds Nicol David and Laura
Massaro will contest the Women's Delaware Investments
U.S. Open Championship final at Drexel University
in Philadelphia after coming through contrasting
semi-finals of the Women's Squash Association World
Series Platinum event, which - for the first time ever -
is providing equal prize money to the men's event.
Second seed Massaro, the world No2 from
England, reached her second US Open final in three years -
but needed five games and almost one and a half hours to get
past surprise opponent Low Wee Wern, the No6 seed
from Malaysia who ousted last year's Egyptian runner-up
Raneem El Weleily in the previous round.
Massaro (pictured above, right, with Low)
recovered from 1-4 to take the first game 11-6. The
Malaysian underdog was ahead for most of the second game
before drawing level.
Again the next two games were shared,
29-year-old Massaro reclaiming the lead after the third and
her 23-year-old seven-ranked opponent coming back from 1-4
down to take the fourth.
The Englishwoman took the lead in the
decider, 3-1 then 6-4, but a determined Low brought it back
Massaro again took the lead at 8-7 before
appealing a let which was over-ruled into a stroke for 9-7.
A winning boast and a crosscourt dropshot gave Massaro the
11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 victory after 86 minutes.
"I started well, it's just a pity I couldn't
carry on like that for the whole match," said Lancashire
lass Massaro. "But she played well, she's like a human
sponge, she just keeps soaking everything up and you end up
just having to go for something.
"It's great to be back in the final in a big
event like this. It was a long break over the summer so it
feels good to be back playing these events again."
It took less than half the time for favourite
Nicol David to earn her place in the final for the
second year in a row.
The world number one faced Joelle King,
the No5 seed from New Zealand. Playing with her usual
authority, David (pictured above, left, with King)
led 8-2 in the opening game. But the Kiwi world No5 mounted
an impressive comeback, drawing level at eight-all before
moving ahead to game ball at 10-9.
The world number one held firm though, taking
the game 14-12 - and soon after wrapping up the match 14-12,
11-4, 11-6 in 38 minutes to move one step closer to becoming
the first player for more than 20 years to successfully
defend the US Open title.
"I started well but Joelle came back strong
at the end of the first," said David. "I told myself I
couldn't let her get that one, so I dug in, then managed to
push through in the next two games.
"It's good to be back in the final. I'll just
rest up, focus on what I need to do and go out and give it
David is celebrating the 88th WSA Tour final
of her career, while Massaro is marking her 25th.
In her first ever victory over the world No3 from Egypt, Low
Wee Wern upset 2012 runner-up Raneem El Weleily in the quarter-finals
of the Women's Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship at Drexel
University in Philadelphia to ensure double Malaysian interest in the
semi-finals for the first time in the event's history.
The sixth seed from Penang, who has never before progressed
beyond the first round, will meet second seed Laura Massaro in the
semi-finals - joining defending champion and fellow Penangite Nicol David
in the penultimate round.
Low came through a five-game thriller to progress to the last
four of the Women's Squash Association World Series Platinum event which
- for the first time ever - is providing equal prize money to the men's event.
The Malaysian (pictured above with El Weleily) twice
stemmed leads by third seed El Weleily before clinching her breakthrough 7-11,
11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 win in 66 minutes.
El Weleily pulled away from seven-all in the first to take the
opening game. After 23-year-old Low levelled, it was the Egyptian who moved on
from seven-all in the third to reclaim the lead.
The 24-year-old from Cairo looked on course for a second
successive place in the semis as she led 7-4 in the fourth - but Low hung in to
level at eight-all before two strokes took the match into a decider.
El Weleily's error count suddenly increased dramatically as five
tins gave the Malaysian underdog a 6-1 advantage. The Egyptian worked her way
back, however, and edged ahead at 8-7.
But a successful appeal against a let turned into a stroke to
give Low a 9-8 lead - then two more errors took the Malaysian into the semis.
"I feel like going back on for another game, the rallies were so
hard it doesn't feel like it's all over," said the jubilant winner. "It's
definitely one of my best wins, but there was no pressure on me going into the
match, so I just had to stick in and that seemed to work in my favour today."
World No2 Laura Massaro was up against surprise opponent
Kasey Brown, and was eager to get revenge for the ninth-seeded
Australian's upset over her England team-mate Jenny Duncalf in the
Brown started strongly, building up leads 5-2 and 7-3. But
Massaro (pictured above with Brown) fought back to level at eight-all and
moved on to game-ball.
But the England number one from Preston lost out on a video
review and Brown seized the chance to take the opening game.
Massaro came out strongly in the second - and ultimately
controlled the next three games.
From 6-2 in the second and 7-3 up in the third, the 29-year-old
soon established a 2/1 lead before closing out the match 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5
after 55 minutes.
"We hadn't played for a couple of years, so I had to get used to
how Kasey plays, and she's playing well at the moment," said Massaro, the 2011
"She's very strong down the middle so I had to adjust my game to
counter that and I'm happy with how I played the last three games."
King Crushes Waters To Make Second US Open Semi
New Zealand's Joelle King earned herself a surprise second
successive semi-final appearance in the Women's Delaware Investments U.S.
Open Championship after pulling off a notable upset over England's No4 seed
Alison Waters in the quarter-finals of the Women's Squash Association
World Series Platinum event which - for the first time ever - is providing
equal prize money to the men's event.
Londoner Waters, ranked four in the world, went into the match
3/1 ahead in previous Tour meetings - with a straight games win over the world
No5 from Cambridge in their most recent clash in the KL Open in March.
Waters duly took a 6-2 lead in the opening game - but King worked
her way back, taking five points in a row from 5-8 down to reach game ball as a
let given to Waters was turned into a no let on video review.
Waters saved those game balls, but a stroke later put the Kiwi
King (pictured above, right, in US Open action with Waters)
dominated the next two games, dropping just five points as she stormed to a
12-10, 11-2, 11-3 victory in 37 minutes.
"Quite often when you sneak a game, like I did the first, you can
get on a roll like I did tonight," said the 25-year-old New Zealand champion.
"Alison probably wasn't at her best but I'm pleased with how I
played and really happy to be in the semi-finals again. It's been a long break
so it's good to be back plying tournaments again, and this is such a great one
to do well in."
King will face defending champion Nicol David for a place
in the final. The world number one from Malaysia defeated Irish rival
Madeline Perry 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 in 34 minutes.
"I knew I had to be on from the start," said David (pictured
above in action with Perry), bidding to become the first player for more
than 20 years to successfully defend the title. "Madeline is so strong from the
middle and she had me on the run a lot of times so I had to work hard to stay in
Perry, the world No9 from Belfast who went into the match with
only one win over David in 22 meetings, was not unhappy with her performance: "I
thought I played pretty well there, but it's pretty warm on there and she was
getting everything back.
"I thought I'd won some of the rallies three times over, but when
she's playing like that there's not a lot you can do!"
Australia's Kasey Brown produced a resounding upset in the
second round of the Women's Delaware Investments U.S. Open
Championship when she despatched seventh seed Jenny Duncalf
in straight games to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals
of the Women's Squash Association World Series Platinum event
which - for the first time ever - is providing equal prize money to
the men's event.
Brown, the US-based world No11, went into the match 1/8 down in her
head-to-record with Duncalf - her only win against the world No6
from England coming exactly three years ago.
series of unforced errors by Duncalf gave Brown, the runner-up two
years ago (pictured above in action with Duncalf), the
Duncalf settled after that, taking a lead of 4-1 in the second. The
28-year-old from New South Wales drew level at five-all before going
on to extend her lead to 2/0.
Duncalf again led in the third, but Brown caught up at six-all
before racing on to match-ball at 10-7. Duncalf won the next three
points to level, but a powerful drive took Brown to the brink again
before a stroke sealed the upset.
"This place holds a special place in my heart," admitted a delighted
Brown after her 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 victory in 41 minutes. "After
2011, and being sponsored by Delaware Investments, plus I always
seem to play well on this court.
"It feels great to be able to pull it out today. I've been working
on a few things to help me out in tight matches like this and that
certainly helped me pull through at the end."
Brown moves on to meet her third successive English opponent -
second seed Laura Massaro - in a repeat of the 2011 final.
World No2 Massaro recovered from a game down to beat Egypt's Nour
El Tayeb 6-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-7.
hadn't played Nour for such a long time and she took me by surprise
in the first," admitted Massaro later. "I was pretty terrible in
that game though! After that it turned into a bit of a catfight, I
had to really gee myself up to stay in it.
"I'm happy to get through that one, hopefully I can refocus for the
interest in the championship ended when Low Wee Wern, the No6
seed from Malaysia, defeated New Yorker Amanda Sobhy 2-11,
11-6, 11-9, 11-5.
"Playing on the glass court is so different," said Low (pictured
above with Sobhy) after her first ever meeting with the US
number one. "And if you give Amanda anything loose she'll punish
just couldn't get it past her in the first, but with Nicol giving me
advice I started to step up more - playing a bit more like she does!
This court is punishing if you get stuck at the back, so I'm glad I
was able to change it around."
Wee Wern will now meet Egypt's Raneem El Weleily for a place
in the semi-finals after the world No3 from Cairo survived a
five-game battle with compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, a former
Abdel Kawy twice came from behind to force a decider, but last
year's runner-up El Weleily held her nerve to clinch an 11-7, 5-11,
11-6, 8-11, 11-9 victory after 50 minutes.
"Playing a friend is the hardest thing you can do in a tournament,"
said victor El Weleily. "I was so nervous, just trying to stop
making mistakes and I was so, so, lucky in the end."
Top half of draw
Patchy Waters Makes US Open Quarters
England's Alison Waters admitted that it was a 'patchy'
performance that saw the fourth seed survive her second round encounter with
Australia's Donna Urquhart in the Women's Delaware Investments U.S.
Open Championship, the Women's Squash Association World Series Platinum
event which - for the first time ever - is providing equal prize money to the
Waters, the world No4, went into the match at Drexel
University in Philadelphia boasting a 4/1 career head-to-head record
over the left-hander from New South Wales, ranked 21 places lower.
But the Londoner squandered an 8-3 lead in the opening game to
allow Urquhart to win the next eight points in a row to take an unlikely one
game lead. Waters upped her game to take the next two to go 2/1 up - but
Urquhart came out firing in the fourth to level the match.
Waters (pictured above in action with Urquhart) took early
leads in the decider - but the Australian underdog drew level at seven-all. Two
careless tins from the Englishwoman put Urquhart within two points of the match
- but three crisp winners later gave Waters match-ball at 10-9.
A stroke saw Urquhart draw level at 10-all - but Waters converted
her next match-ball to finally secure her 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 win
after 58 minutes.
"Donna played well, but I was pretty patchy throughout," admitted
Waters. "I'm just glad to have got through!"
Waters now faces fifth seed Joelle King, the world No5
from New Zealand who defeated England's Sarah Kippax 11-9, 11-4, 11-7.
"I had a close match against Nouran (Gohar) in the first round,
and that was probably just the kick up the bum I needed," admitted 25-year-old
King afterwards. "I'm glad I was able to come out and play much better today,
even if I did make a few errors at the start."
Favourite Nicol David maintained her 'clean sheet' in the
event by beating Camille Serme 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 in a repeat of her
victory over the fast-improving French number one in last week's Carol
Weymuller Open final in New York.
"I was really pumped up for this, ready to give my best," said
the world number one from Malaysia (pictured above in action with Serme)
after extending her career head-to-head record over world No10 Serme to 10-0.
"We played last week and she was playing really well, so I knew
she would be fired up for it. I managed to settle and get into my game but it
wasn't easy, she played well again."
David, bidding to become the first player to defend the title for
over 20 years, now meets Irish rival Madeline Perry, the No8 seed from
Belfast who recovered from a game down to beat Dane Line Hansen 6-11,
11-2, 11-3, 11-8 in 41 minutes.
"She started well, her length was better than mine and I just
couldn't get control of any rallies," said Perry, the 36-year-old world No9.
"But I felt much better from the start of the second.
"I've been struggling with a knee injury for the last couple of
months, so it's just nice to be playing again. I'm looking forward to the
quarter-finals and having another rest day can't hurt!"
New Yorker Amanda Sobhy singlehandedly carried US hopes
into the second round of the Women's Delaware Investments U.S. Open
Championship after a revenge victory over Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes
on the second day of first round action in the Women's Squash Association
World Series Platinum event which - for the first time ever - is providing
equal prize money to the men's event.
Despite being unseeded, Fernandes is now ranked higher than Sobhy,
the 16th seed. And world No19 Fernandes demonstrated the significance of her
higher placing by beating the US star in last week's Carol Weymuller Open
clash in New York.
But after losing out on a fiercely-competitive first game at
Drexel, world No23 Sobhy (pictured above, right, with Fernandes)
proceeded to totally dominate the remainder of the match as she advanced to the
last sixteen for the second time since 2010, much to the delight of the Drexel
Sobhy took control from the outset of the second and proceeded to
take the next two games for the loss of just five points - and build up an 8-2
lead in the fourth.
Fernandes fought back to 5-8, and from 5-10 down saved three
match balls before finally succumbing as she tinned a dropshot to her own
anguish - and Sobhy's delight.
"Yes, a bit of revenge was on my mind after losing to Nicolette
in the Carol Weymuller last week," admitted Sobhy after her 10-12, 11-4, 11-1,
11-8 win in 47 minutes. "She's been playing well, and I was fortunate to get
another shot so soon.
"It's been a good summer, I've been able to train more than study
and hopefully I can get my ranking back up to the top twenty. I'll be back later
on to support Sabrina in her match and hopefully we can keep this Sobhy Super
A Sobhy double did not materialise, however, when younger sister
Sabrina Sobhy, a 16-year-old qualifier, went down 11-7, 11-3, 11-2 to
Egypt's 14th seed Nour El Tayeb.
"I know Sabrina very well from the juniors," said 20-year-old
Tayeb. "I never played her but I've heard about her a lot. As you can see I was
very focused today, because I know how dangerous Sabrina can be."
There was further Egyptian success when last year's runner-up
Raneem El Weleily took a step close to a second successive appearance in the
final with an 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win over experienced Mexican Samantha Teran.
"It wasn't an easy first round to get," said third seed El
Weleily (pictured above in action with Teran). "It's very hot on there
and she doesn't stop running.
"It would mean everything to me to win this event. It's one of
the very biggest and I've got my family here supporting me this week so
hopefully I can keep on winning for them."
(top half of draw)
Buoyant Nicol David Wins Historic US Opener
Malaysia's Nicol David successfully began her defence of the
Women's Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship title
after dismissing New Zealand qualifier Kylie Lindsay in the
first round of the Women's Squash Association World Series
Platinum event which - for the first time ever - is providing
equal prize money to the men's event.
David, the world number one from Penang bidding to become the first
player for more than 20 years to retain the title, eased to an 11-5,
11-3, 11-7 victory in 24 minutes at Drexel University in
Philadelphia in her maiden meeting with the world No43 from
The distinguished Malaysian (pictured above with Lindsay) is
looking for her third straight WSA World Tour title win after
successes in last month's Malaysian Open and last week's
Carol Weymuller Open in New York.
"It's great to be back, knowing that I had a good run here last year
and also last week in New York," said the title-holder.
"The US Open has set the benchmark for World Series squash events in
offering equal prize money and treating the women's event as equal
in very way," added the 30-year-old. "Everyone just wants to thank
them for the effort they're putting into this."
a repeat of last week's Carol Weymuller final, David will now meet
France's Camille Serme, the No10 seed who beat Canadian
Samantha Cornett 11-4, 11-6, 11-7.
The championship, which is boasting five home players in the main
draw for the first time in history, started disappointingly for two
who fell at the first hurdle.
The indefatigable Latasha Khan(pictured above,
foreground, with Kippax), the 40-year-old from Seattle who is
making her ninth appearance in the main draw since 2002, went down
11-7, 11-8, 12-10 to England's 13th seed Sarah Kippax.
"It's fantastic to get a match under your belt on the glass court so
early in the tournament," said world No21 Kippax. "You can't give
Latasha an inch, she's so experienced, and she was starting to get
into her stride at the end. I was a bit lucky, but pleased to finish
it in three."
Qualifier Olivia Blatchford, a 20-year-old from New York,
crashed out 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 to Donna Urquhart, the No12 seed
After the disappointment of early exits from the Malaysian Open and
Carol Weymuller Open, England's No4 seed Alison Waters was
back at her best to beat Ireland's Aisling Blake 11-7, 11-6,
was playing well and finding her length from the start," admitted
the world No4 from London (pictured above with Blake). "It
took me a while to find my range. It's always a bit of an unknown
quantity in your opening match, but I'm glad to get through in three
and looking forward to the rest of the tournament now."
Eighth seed Madeline Perry was given a scare by Tesni
Evans, a 20-year-old Welsh qualifier making her maiden
appearance in the event. Experienced Irish number one Perry led 2/0,
but plucky Evans fought back to draw level.
The 36-year-old world No9 dug deep, however, to regain the advantage
and close out the match 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5 after 67
Olivia Blatchford & Sabrina Sobhy Create US Open
For the first time in the history of the event, five home players
will compete in the main draw of the Women's Delaware Investments
U.S. Open Championship after impressive straight games victories
by New Yorkers Olivia Blatchford and 16-year-old Sabrina
Sobhy in the qualifying finals of the Women's Squash
Association World Series Platinum event at Drexel University
Blatchford ousted Dutch opponent Milou van der Heijden 11-4,
11-7, 11-9 in 27 minutes while US Junior champion Sobhy became the
one of the youngest players to make the main draw when she
despatched higher-ranked Australian Melody Francis 11-8,
13-11, 11-1 in just 22 minutes.
Sabrina, who will now line-up alongside her older sister Amanda
Sobhy, the 16th seed, in the main draw, is drawn to face Egypt's
No14 seed Nour El Tayeb.
But it was Egypt's Nouran Ahmed Gohar who became the youngest
player to make the first round after removing Czech opponent
Lucie Fialova 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11. Gohar, who only
celebrated her 16th birthday a week ago, will face New Zealand's No5
seed Joelle King.
Australia's Sarah Cardwell(pictured in US Open action
above) gave herself the best possible 22nd birthday present by
outlasting higher-ranked Pakistani Maria Toorpakai Wazir
11-2, 11-8, 2-11, 3-11, 11-8 in 46 minutes.
didn't mean to change my game after going 2-0 up," said the world
No76 from Melbourne. "But I tried to finish it too quickly. At 5-1
down in the fifth I just about got it back in time!"
Other winners were Tesni Evans, of Wales, who beat US
wildcard Elizabeth Eyre; Egypt's Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy,
who upset Czech opponent Olga Ertlova; England's Lisa
Aitken who dismissed Brazil's Thaisa Serafini in straight
games; and New Zealander Kylie Lindsay who beat England's
Georgina Stoker in four games.
Before the draw was made, a delighted Lindsay (pictured in US
Open action below) said: "It's good to get through to play one
of the top girls in my first U.S. Open. It's the biggest tournament
I've ever made the main draw of."
Rather than 'one of the top players', the Kiwi was drawn to face THE
top player - Malaysia's world number one and title-holder Nicol