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El Welily Downs David For Career-Biggest Title In Windy City

  Final   Semi Finals   Quarter Finals   2nd Round   1st Round   Qualifying   Preview  
Windy City Open 2015
Women's Draw
Chicago, Usa, $150k
Men's Event
Round One
26-27 Feb
Round Two
28-01 Mar
02 Mar
03 Mar
04 Mar
[1] Nicol David (Mas) 
 11/3, 11/6, 12/10 (30m)
[wc] Olivia Blatchford (Usa)
Nicol David
11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (27m)
 Heba El Torky
Nicol David
12-10, 12-10, 11-7 (40m)
Alison Waters
Nicol David
11-9, 13-11, 12-10 (52m)
Nour El Tayeb
Nicol David
14-16, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7 (57m)
Raneem El Welily


[12] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
 11/9, 11/9, 5/11, 11/6 (43m) 
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy)
[15] Nouran Gohar (Egy)
7/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/6
[Q] Victoria Lust (Eng)
Victoria Lust 
13-11, 11-5, 11-4 (32m)
 Alison Waters
[5] Alison Waters (Eng)
12/10, 11/3, 12/10 (27m)
Natalie Grinham (Ned)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
11/8, 11/3, 12/10 (35m)  
Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
Nour El Tayeb
11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (34m)
Madeline Perry
Nour El Tayeb
11-7, 11-9, 11-5
Nour El Sherbini
[13] Madeline Perry (Irl)
w/d injured
[Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)
[10] Annie Au (Hkg)
12/10, 11/4, 8/11, 11/8
Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Annie Au 
11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8 (45m)
Nour El Sherbini
[4] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
11/1, 11/4, 11/7 (22m)
[Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl)
[Q] Delia Arnold (Mas)
7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11 (50m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Eng)
Laura Massaro
6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7 (58m)
Emma Beddoes
Emma Beddoes
11-4, 11-2, 11-5 (31m)
Camille Serme
Camille Serme
11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3 (58m)
Raneem El Welily
Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy)
4-0 ret.
[16] Emma Beddoes (Eng)
[Q] Sam Cornett (Can)
11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (26m)
[6] Camille Serme (Fra)
Camille Serme
11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5 (60m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (37m)
[14] Sarah-Jane Perry(Eng)
Habiba Mohamed (Egy)
11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6 (65m)
[7] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
Low Wee Wern
7-11, 11-2, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6 (58m
Rachael Grinham
Rachael Grinham
9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 (39m)
Raneem El Welily
Joey Chan (Hkg)
11-6, 2-11, 15-13, 11-6 (41m)
[11] Rachael Grinham(Aus)
[Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 (44m)
[9] Omneya Abdel Kawy(Egy)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 (44m)
Raneem El Welily
[Q] Line Hansen (Den)
11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (25m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (Egy)

Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, Chicago, USA

Qualifying finals:
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (37m)
Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9 (54m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Deon Saffery (WAL) 8-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (75m)
Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (46m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (29m)
Heba El Torky (EGY) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 14-12, 11-8, 15-13 (36m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6 (56m)
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (33m)

Men's Event


El Welily Downs David For Career-Biggest Title In Windy City

Egypt's world No.2 Raneem El Welily claimed the biggest WSA World Tour squash title of her career when she upset Malaysian favourite Nicol David in the final of theWindy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in Chicago, USA.

David, the 31-year-old world No.1, was celebrating the 99th Tour final of her career in the WSA World Series at the University Club of Chicago - and reached the climax in style without dropping a game.

By contrast, 26-year-old El Welily (pictured above, left, in action with David) was taken the full distance in her semi-final against sixth seed Camille Serme - and was forced to fight back from 2/1 down before beating the world No.6 from France.

The Cairo queen went into the final 3/17 down on a career head-to-head record with David over the past ten years.

And David, who has topped the world rankings unopposed since August 2006, took the lead after surviving a tense first game tie-break.

The second game also went to a tie-break, which El Welily won to draw level.

El Welily continued to maintain the upper hand, and after 57 minutes recorded the biggest win of her life by beating the sport's dominant player for almost a decade 14-16, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to win," said El Welily, who scored 29 winners in the match, against 19 by her illustrious opponent. "I always enjoy playing Nicol - and all credit to her, she played a great tournament and a great match. She's a great athlete."

When reminded of her recent World Championship clash with David, when she squandered a match-ball in the final, El Welily (pictured above with men's championNick Matthew) commented: "I thought I'd forgotten about that match until I was 2/1 up and had match-ball at 10-6.


Semi Finals

David & El Welily To Contest Chicago Climax

The world's top two squash players will contest the women's final of the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company after Malaysia's world number one Nicol David and Egypt's Raneem El Welily, the world No.2, prevailed in contrasting semi-finals of the WSA World Series event at theUniversity Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

After her shock quarter-final exit at the Tournament of Champions in New York in January, David has been in scintillating form. The 31-year-old from Penang swept through the field of the WSA International Cleveland Classic in Ohio last month to win the title without dropping a game - and extended this straight games run in Chicago with an 11-9, 13-11, 12-10 semi-final victory over Egypt's eighth seed Nour El Tayeb.

The win takes David into the 99th WSA World Tour final of her career - one step away from her 80th title triumph!

"I tried hard to stick to my game plan tonight and to keep my focus and I really fought hard and dug deep in each of those games to make sure she did not take them,"explained the Malaysian who has topped the women's world rankings unopposed since August 2006.

"It's exciting to be here in Chicago playing this tournament and it's fantastic for women's squash that there is equal prize money for the women - and to be in with a chance of winning the title makes it extra special.

"I'm very pleased to be in the final and I'm going to prepare for the final tomorrow to make sure I am ready."

El Welily, winner of the 2015 Tournament of Champions title, is unbeaten by any player on the WSA Tour - except for David - since October last year.

But the 26-year-old from Cairo was taken the full distance before surviving her Chicago semi-final against France's Camille Serme.

The pair have been rivals throughout their careers - and contested both the World Junior Championship and British Junior U19 Open finals in 2007.

Sixth seed Serme opened up a 2/1 lead in their latest encounter, but El Welily regained control in the fourth before closing out the match 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3 in 58 minutes to extend her Tour head-to-head record over the world No.6 from Creteil to 6/2.

David and El Welily will be celebrating their 21st Tour meeting since July 2006 - and their 11th in a final. The Malaysian currently leads the head-to-head 17/3.


Quarter Finals

El Tayeb Shocks Sherbini In Chicago

Egypt's Nour El Tayeb avenged a five-game defeat by compatriot Nour El Sherbini in January's Tournament of Champions in New York when she upset the world No.4 in straight games in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company - the WSA World Seriessquash event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

"I watched our match from ToC to see where I went wrong and what mistakes I made," admitted the 21-year-old from Cairo (picture above, foreground, with El Sherbini) after her resounding 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 victory.

"I made a game plan today and stuck to it - and thankfully I was able to come through the match!"

Team-mates in Egypt's 2012 World Team Championship-winning squad, El Tayeb and El Sherbini were marking their seventh Tour clash, with world No.7 El Tayeb celebrating her first win since October 2011.

"Nour and I are very good friends, we are even sharing a room here at this tournament, so we'll put the match behind us now and go out for some food," added El Tayeb, now in the Windy City semi-finals for the first time.

New York revenge was also in the air for the young Egyptian's next opponent: World No.1 Nicol David suffered a rare quarter-final exit at this year's Tournament of Champions when a powerful performance from Alison Waters saw the English underdog beat the favourite for only the second time in 25 meetings.

But the Malaysian was back to her supreme best at the Cathedral Hall in Chicago where David defeated Waters 12-10, 12-10, 11-7 in 40 minutes.

"Alison was on form and finding the angles today but I managed to get going midway through that first game," explained the 31-year-old from Penang (picture above, left, with Waters) later. "She's had a few wins over me recently so I knew I would have to work hard to win today.

"At ToC she was a better player on the day but today I was aiming to play my best and I'm really glad to come through in three games," added David - who now faces El Tayeb in a bid to reach the 99th WSA World Tour final of her career.

Camille Serme and 2014 runner-up Raneem El Welily will celebrate their second successive appearances in the semi-finals after prevailing in the quarter-finals in the lower half of the draw.

Serme, the new world No.6 from France, ended England's Emma Beddoes' impressive Chicago run, beating the 16th seed 11-4, 11-2, 11-5.

El Welily, the world No.2 from Egypt, won her 10th Tour meeting with Malaysian Low Wee Wern, beating the seventh seed 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9.

2nd Round Lower Half

Beddoes Battles Past Mighty Massaro In Chicago

England's Emma Beddoes recorded one of the best wins of her career in the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company when she overcame compatriot Laura Massaro, the defending champion ranked three in the world, to reach the quarter-finals of the first WSA World Series squash event of the year at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

After two straight games defeats to the former world champion, it was Beddoes' first Tour victory over her illustrious England team-mate - and takes the world No.16 from Leeds into her first World Series event quarter-final for more than three years.

Massaro twice led in the match - but underdog Beddoes (pictured above, right, in action with Massaro) battled back both times to draw level, surviving a tie-break fourth game to force the decider.

It was after almost an hour of play that the 16th seed clinched her breakthrough victory, winning 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7 to secure her surprise place in the event's last eight.

"I can't quite believe I've just won," exclaimed the jubilant 29-year-old Beddoes afterwards. "It felt like a real battle and I don't think that either of us were playing our best out there - but to win is just brilliant.

"My short game has been improving a lot in recent years and on a court like this if you play the shots well you get rewarded so I'm just really pleased to get through this one in good health and we'll see how the rest of the week goes."

Beddoes progresses to face sixth seed Camille Serme after the French number one ended 14th seed Sarah-Jane Perry's winning streak. With unexpected title triumphs last month at the British National Championships and the WSA Granite Open in Canada, the 24-year-old England had been enjoying the best run of her career.

But it took exactly an hour for Serme, the world No.6 from Creteil (pictured above, left, with Perry), to stop Perry - winning 11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5 to claim a second successive quarter-final berth in Chicago.

Whilst the 2014 champion has been denied the opportunity to emulate her former success, runner-up Raneem El Welily is on course to reach the final for the second successive year.

The No.2 seed from Egypt overcame fellow countrywoman Omneya Abdel Kawy, the ninth seed, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 and will now face Malaysian Low Wee Wern for a place in the semi-finals.

The seventh seed from Penang recorded her fourth successive win over AustralianRachael Grinham - bringing their career head-to-head tally to four wins apiece - but was taken the full distance by the former world number one and world champion before winning 7-11, 11-2, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6.

2nd Round Top Half

Seeds Safely Through In Chicago

The four seeds in action on day three of the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company safely secured slots in the women's quarter-finals of the WSA World Series squash event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

It was a revenge win for fourth seed Nour El Sherbini when the 19-year-old Egyptian made up for the shock defeat by Hong Kong's Annie Au in last month's Cleveland Classic in Ohio.

El Sherbini, the world No.4 (pictured above, left, with Au) in her maiden appearance in the Chicago championship, needed 45 minutes to see off the tenth-seeded left-hander 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8.

"Even when I was 2/0 it wasn't easy today against Annie," admitted the Alexandria-based teenager afterwards. "She came back well in the third and then was playing really positive in the fourth so I'm happy I was able to hang in there.

"We played just a few weeks ago and she beat me so I felt like I needed to win today to make sure I don't lose to her twice in a row and I'm happy to win."

El Sherbini will now face compatriot Nour El Tayeb to ensure Egyptian interest in the semi-finals. In the opening match of the day, the 21-year-old No.8 seed from Cairo defeated 13th seed Madeline Perry, the 38-year-old world No.14 from Ireland, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in a victory which brings the pair's career head-to-head tally to three wins apiece.

Revenge will be in the air in the other quarter-final line-up settled after straight games wins by Nicol David and Alison Waters.

Top seed David, the world No.1 from Malaysia, defeated qualifier Heba El Torky, the world No.26 from Egypt, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.

"She's Egyptian so you have to expect her to be shooting from all over the court and you just have to be prepared to work hard throughout all the rallies," explained the 31-year-old from Penang (pictured above at full stretch against El Torky) who is poised to reach the 99th WSA World Tour final of her career in Chicago.

"I knew I had to be sharp from the start and I'm really pleased to win three love today.

"It's fantastic that the organisers and the sponsors here at the Windy City Open have managed to make prize money at this event equal for women and it's a great boost for all the girls. It's my first ever time here in Chicago so I'm looking forward to trying my best to win here this week."

Waters, the world No.5 from England, also ousted a qualifier - in this case compatriotVictoria Lust in a 13-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory in 32 minutes.

It was earlier this year, at the Tournament of Champions in New York, that Waters produced one her finest performances on a squash court to beat David in only her second win over the eight-time world champion in 25 meetings.

1st Round Lower Half

Champion Massaro On Course In Chicago

England's Laura Massaro began the defence of her Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company title in style in Chicago when she beat Malaysian qualifier Delia Arnold in four games on the second day of first round action in the first WSA World Series squash event of the year at the University Club of Chicago.

The former world champion from Preston (pictured above, right, with Arnold), ranked three in the world, recovered from a game down to extend her unbeaten run over world No.28 Arnold, winning 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11.

Massaro now takes on England team-mate Emma Beddoes, the 16th seed from Leeds. Beddoes had the easiest run through to the last 16 round, barely breaking sweat after her Egyptian opponent Salma Hany Ibrahim conceded their match with just four points on the scoreboard.

There was further English success on the night when Sarah-Jane Perry powered pastNicolette Fernandes, registering her first win over the world No.20 from Guyana 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 after 37 minutes.

World No.16 Perry, who arrived in the USA fresh from her surprise British National Championship title success in Manchester - where she beat favourite Massaro to claim the trophy for the first time - now takes on French number one Camille Serme.

The sixth seed from Creteil crushed top-ranked Canadian Samantha Cornett 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 in just 26 minutes to make the second round for the second year in a row.

Second seed Raneem El Welily, the world No.2 from Egypt (pictured above, right, with Hansen) who was the 2014 runner-up, eased into the second round after seeing off Danish qualifier Line Hansen 11-3, 11-5, 11-3.

"Only got 25 min on the glass court tonight!!" Hansen told her Twitter followers shortly afterwards. "Raneem was in chop chop mood."

El Welily, 26, from Cairo, now also faces a fellow countrywoman in the next round when she takes on Omneya Abdel Kawy. The Cairo-based No.9 seed got the better ofTesni Evans, beating the Welsh qualifier 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8.

In her maiden meeting with fast-rising Egyptian teenager Habiba Mohamed, Malaysia's No.7 seed Low Wee Wern needed 65 minutes to secure an 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6 victory.

"Happy with my 3-1 win against Egyptian Habiba Mohamed today!" tweeted the world No.8 (pictured above, right, with Mohamed) from Penang afterwards. "Looking forward to a rest day tmr before taking on Rachael Grinham!"

1st Round Top Half

Qualifiers Shake Off Seeds In Chicago

Qualifiers Heba El Torky and Victoria Lust advanced in the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in the USA after impressive upsets on the opening day of main draw action in the first WSA World Series squash event of the year at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago.

Lust, the world No.31 from England who is based in Canada, recovered from a game down to beat rising Egyptian star Nouran Gohar, the 17-year-old from Cairo who is the event's 15th seed.

After the 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 win was credited on social media to 'Victory Lust', the 25-year-old from Luton tweeted "loving my new name!"

Egypt was the beneficiary of the second upset when Alexandria-based El Torky toppledDipika Pallikal, the 12th seed from India, 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6.

It was a disappointing day for India when Pallikal's Commonwealth Games Women's Doubles gold medallist partner Joshana Chinappa, the 2011 champion, also exited after losing 11-8, 11-3, 12-10 to Egypt's 8th seed Nour El Tayeb (pictured above, right, with Chinappa).

There was much anticipation for the comeback appearance of Natalie Grinham, the former world No.2 from the Netherlands making her return to the WSA World Tourjust seven months after the birth of her second child.

The 36-year-old boasted a 9/2 career head-to-head over opponent Alison Watersgoing into the match - and forced two games into tie-breaks in her first professional match for more than a year.

But it was Londoner Waters, the world No.5 from England (pictured above with Grinham, foreground), who ultimately prevailed - winning 12-10, 11-3, 12-10 to earn her anticipated place in the last 16 round.

Top seed Nicol David also had a comfortable first round victory, extinguishing home interest in the championship after beating US wildcard Olivia Blatchford 11-3, 11-6, 12-10 in her first Tour meeting with the 22-year-old from New York.

David, the world No.1 from Malaysia expected to notch up her 99th WSA Tour final appearance in Chicago, will now face El Torky for a place in the quarter-finals.


Qualifiers From Eight Nations Blow Into Windy City Main Draw

Eight qualifiers from eight separate nations earned places in the main draw of theWindy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company after fierce battles in the women's qualifying finals of the first WSA World Series squash event of the year, at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

Samantha Cornett doubled North American interest in the championship after recovering from two games down to beat top-ranked Japanese opponent Misaki Kobayashi 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9 in 54 minutes. In her first appearance in the main draw, the Canadian number one who is ranked 32 in the world will take on France's sixth seed Camille Serme.

Malaysian Delia Arnold also stared defeat in the face after losing the first two games in her final qualifying encounter against Welsh opponent Deon Saffery. But the 29-year-old from Selangor dug deep to regain the upper hand before closing out the match 8-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 in 75 minutes.

Arnold, ranked 28 in the world, now lines up against defending champion Laura Massaro, the world No.3 from England who won the title for the first time last year.

Mexico's Samantha Teran also earned herself the chance to win the title for a second time after despatching France's Coline Aumard 11-8, 11-8, 11-7. The 33-year-old world No.33, the champion in 2008, will take on Madeline Perry, the 13th seed from Ireland who last week won her 15th national title.

Antipodean qualifying success came courtesy of Amanda Landers-Murphy, the world No.48 from New Zealand who became the lowest-ranked player to survive after upsetting England's world No.29 Emily Whitlock 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4.

While Victoria Lust boosted English interest in the event after beating Egypt's Mariam Metwally 7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, Egyptian success came when Heba El Torkydefeated US veteran Latasha Khan 14-12, 11-8, 15-13.

Tesni Evans and Line Hansen secured slots in the main draw for the first time after straight games wins: Welsh champion Evans beat Dutch opponent Milou van der Heijden 11-5, 11-6, 11-5, while Dane Hansen denied South African interest in Chicago after seeing off Cape Town-based Siyoli Waters 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

Malaysia's world number one Nicol David will be making her Windy City Open debut against US wild card Olivia Blatchford. The 31-year-old from Penang, who this month became the sport's longest-reigning world number one of all-time, is seeded to reach her 99th WSA World Tour final - where she is due to face 2014 runner-up Raneem El Welily, the world No.2 from Egypt.

Second seed El Welily, 26, from Cairo, begins her 2015 campaign against qualifier Hansen.

More than a year since last competing on the WSA World Tour, and just seven months after the birth of her second child, former world number two Natalie Grinham will be making her comeback at the 2015 Windy City Open.

Winner of 19 Tour titles in a distinguished career which began 20 years ago, 36-year-old Grinham will take on England's fifth seed Alison Waters.



Natalie Grinham To Make Windy City Comeback

Just seven months after the birth of her second child, former world number twoNatalie Grinham will make her comeback at the first Women's Squash Association World Series championship of the year, the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in Chicago from 26 February to 4 March.

The World Series Platinum event is making history by offering the richest purse in North America this year and providing parity for men's and women's prize money. The Windy City Open, hosted by the University Club of Chicago and staged in the club's prestigious Cathedral Hall, is one of only two Pro Squash World Series Events to offer prize money parity for men and women professionals.

Australia-born Grinham, a record triple gold medallist in the 2006 Commonwealth Games who now represents the Netherlands where she boasts three national titles, is excited about making her latest Tour comeback after the birth of her second son Ryan on 31st July last year.

"I feel like an addict about to get my fix," admitted the 36-year-old from Hoofddorp. "I am excited to be going back on tour, but at the same time nervous and curious."

Grinham, who has appeared in 44 WSA World Tour finals and boasts 19 titles, lines up against Alison Waters, the world No.5 from England, in the first round in the top half of the draw.

"How far will I get, and will I be satisfied?" continued Grinham (pictured above with Ryan). "I think it's possible to get back to being competitive at the highest level.

"Having two kids requires a lot more structure, so it's going to be tougher this time - but I do love a challenge!"

The draw also includes Natalie's older sister Rachael Grinham, the 11th seed. The former world number one faces Hong Kong's Joey Chan in the other half of the draw.

Malaysia's reigning world number one Nicol David is seeded to win her 61st WSA World Series title in Chicago. The 31-year-old from Penang, who last month won a record eighth world title, opens her Windy City Open campaign against US wild cardOlivia Blatchford.

The draw predicts a final between David and Raneem El Welily, the Egyptian who moved up to two in the January world rankings after reaching December's Wadi Degla World Championship final at her home club in Cairo against expectations.

Defending champion Laura Massaro, who beat El Welily in last year's final, is the event's third seed. The world No.3 from England faces a qualifier in the opening round.