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17-24, 2014

Official Website

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El Welily Takes ToC Title

Raneem El Welily became the first Egyptian winner of the Women's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title she defeated England's Alison Waters in the final of the WSA International 100 squash event at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

"Relaxed and happy and grateful," said the third seed from Cairo when asked how she felt after winning the title on only her second appearance in the prestigious WSA World Tour event.

Just under an hour earlier, El Welily was not quite so relaxed. The Egyptian and her fifth-seeded opponent were exchanging the lead almost every other point in the first game, until Waters took the lead after winning the opener at 11-9.

"I was thinking too much, putting too much pressure on my shoulders," said Welily of her state of mind in the opening game. In the second game, the world No.2 focused on getting better length on her shots and started pushing her opponent into the back of the court. As in the first, Waters went toe-to-toe with her opponent. Down 5-8, Waters tied the score at eight-all, then nine-all - then 10-all, at which point El Welily played two decisive points to win the second game 12-10.

The sharp-shooting Egyptian entered the third game determined to attack even more and be quicker getting to the ball. "Against a player like Alison, you have to keep the pressure on all the time," she said. After dropping behind 1-3, Welily found her rhythm, and at four-all reeled off the next seven points to win the game and take the lead.

In the fourth, the 30-year-old Londoner Waters was visibly tired and made several errors as Welily closed out the match by winning the game 11-4.

"Every tournament is meaningful in its own way," said El Welily after claiming the eighth - and biggest by far - WSA Tour title of her career.

Just under a month ago, the 25-year-old had been on the verge of winning her first World Championship, but lost all four match-balls that she held. "Winning the first tournament after losing that World Championship means a lot," Welily observed. "Back home, everyone is really happy!"


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The Court At Grand Central Terminal


. Final
Semi Finals
Quarter Finals
1st Round
. Qualifying
Qualifying Finals
1st Round Qualifying
. Previews

2015 Men's Event

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Raneem El Welily became the first Egyptian winner of the Women's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions

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Tournament of Champions 2014
Women's Draw
17-24 Jan, New York, $118k

Grand Central Terminus, New York 

Click here for 2015 Men's Event

Round One
19/20 Jan
21 Jan
22 Jan
23 Jan
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (40m)
Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Nicol David
11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-1 (56m)
Alison Waters
Alison Waters
8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11 (76m)
Nour El Sherbini
Alison Waters
9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-4 (48m)
Raneem El Welily
[5] Alison Waters (Eng)
6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 (47m)
[Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
11-5, 11-6, 11-2 (25m)
[Q] Victoria Lust (ENG)
Nour El Tayeb
11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 12-14, 11-9 (65m)
Nour El Sherbini
[4] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (21m)
Annie Au (Hkg)
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11-7, 15-13, 11-7 (39m)
[3] Raneem El Welily (Egy)
Raneem El Welily
11-5, 11-5, 2-11, 11-4 (28m)
Amanda Sobhy
Raneem El Welily
11-7, 11-2, 11-13, 11-6 (44m)
Laura Massaro
Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7 (61m)
[7] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
[Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 12-10 (59m)
[6] Camille Serme (Fra)
Camille Serme
3-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (72m)
Laura Massaro
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
11-4, 11-4, 11-3 (32m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng)

Qualifying Finals:
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (43m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (63m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) w/o
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8 (56m

1st qualifying round:
Mariam Metwally
(EGY) bt Sina Wall (GER) 11-1, 12-10, 11-7 (20m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Reeham Sedky (USA) 12-10, 11-3, 11-3 (33m)
Heba El Torky (EGY) bt Nikki Todd (CAN) 11-9, 11-5, 12-10 (30m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 (39m)
Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 (43m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Olivia Fiechter (USA) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (30m)
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Cecelia Cortes (USA) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (31m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 (50m)
2nd qualifying round:
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Madeline Perry (IRL) 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (52m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Joshana Chinappa (IND) 13-11, 18-16, 12-10 (46m)
Heba El Torky (EGY) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (52m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 6-11, 11-2, 13-11, 11-1 (51m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-6, 11-6, 11-3 (21m)
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (35m)
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-6 (65m)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 10-12, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 (38m)

Qualifying finals line-up:
Mariam Metwally
(EGY) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Heba El Torky (EGY) v Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
Emma Beddoes (ENG) v Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Samantha Teran (MEX)

Semi Finals

Waters & El Welily Set Up Surprise ToC Final

Third seed Raneem El Welily and fifth seed Alison Waters stunned higher-seeded opponents in the semi-finals of the Women's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to set up a surprise final of the WSA International 100 squash event at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

Tenacity, composure and strategic play earned Waters her first trip to the climax of the prestigious championship played on an all-glass court in the iconic station's Vanderbilt Hall. The journey to the championship match had several ups and downs - and ended with a dramatic finish as the world No.5 from England had to save three match-balls before claiming victory over fourth-seeded Egyptian Nour El Sherbini.

"I thought we both played really good squash," said Londoner Waters after the match. "But at the end, on those match balls, I was actually relaxed while I think Nour may have got just a little bit tight."

The Egyptian teenager was anything but tight at the start of the match as she led the entire way in the first game to take it 11-8. Undeterred, Waters claimed the second in a tie break. Sherbini roared back in the third, 11-5.

Traditionally a power hitter who likes a fast-paced game, Waters demonstrated some new versatility, especially in the last two games, as she added more lift and lobs to her usual hard-hitting game. The 30-year-old also displayed a new attitude. "I have made some big improvements in my mental game," explained the four-time British national champion. "I am not allowing myself to get annoyed with the officials' decision and I have been working on not getting petulant with myself."

After going up 10-5 in the fourth, Waters let four points slip away before she closed the game out at 11-9 to draw level for the second time. Sherbini seized the momentum in the fifth, breaking out to an 8-4 lead, before Waters answered with her own four-point run to tie the match.

After saving two match balls at 8-10, then another at 10-11, Waters closed the lid on the match, 13-11. "It feels especially good to back up my win last night over Nicol David with the win today," said Waters, now in the 21st WSA World Tour final of her career.

El Welily eliminated Laura Massaro, the second seed from England, in four games. Massaro started strongly and was playing with authority and purpose during the first 12 points of the match as the players stayed neck and neck through to seven-all.

The Cairo-based then took control and surged ahead to win the game 11-7. The second game was all El Welily. As the authority from Massaro's game faded away, the 25-year-old Egyptian conceded just two points to take a 2/0 lead in the match. It looked to be over in the third as El Welily had two match balls at 10-8 - but England's 2013 World Champion put together a string of three fantastic points to win the game 13-11 and keep her hopes alive.

In the fourth, 2014 runner-up Massaro - whose world No2 ranking El Welily took over earlier this month - rode the wave of momentum generated at the end of the previous game to take an early 3-0 lead. After El Welily tied the game at three-all, the lead exchanged hands through to 7-6, at which point El Welily once again took control to close out the match, winning the game 11-6.

"Each of us was playing well at different times," observed El Welily, now in the 22nd Tour final of her career.

Both finalists will be making their debuts in the climax of the 2015 Women's ToC - El Welily additionally also becoming the first Egyptian to make the women's final.






Waters (pictured above celebrating her success over Nour El Sherbini)

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Egyptian Raneem El Welily(pictured above with Laura Massaro)


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Official Website:

Quarter Finals

Waters Drowns Champion David In Major ToC Shock

England's Alison Waters produced the shock of the championship when she despatched defending champion Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia, in the quarter-finals of the Women's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the WSA International 100 squash event at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

The defeat was the first to deny David a semi-final berth in a WSA World Tour event since September 2012 - when Waters recorded her only other victory over the sport's dominant force for the past nine years in 25 meetings!

"Nicol clearly wasn't at her best," said Waters in her post-match interview. Indeed, many in the crowd were wondering if there was something wrong with the 31-year-old Malaysian, who seemed to be lacking her trademark energy.

Waters, the world No.5 from London, edged ahead at the start, winning the first game 11-9. David responded by winning the second 12-10. The on-song Waters grabbed the third 11-7. Undoubtedly, most in the capacity crowd were waiting for David to take her game to the next level or to find a way to win, as she has so many times in the past.

Instead, Waters jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth game, getting great depth on the ball and then wrong-footing the usually agile David several times with a deceptive two-wall boast to win the game 11-1 and clinch the match.

"She seemed very tired at the end," Waters continued. "I worked very hard to make that happen! Still, squash is very much a mental game and I was just focusing on playing one point at a time."

The ecstatic Waters told her Twitter followers later: "Delighted to win 3-1 tonight over Nicol! Very happy woooo! Onwards to the semis tomorrow vs sherbini! Can't wait!"

In her second successive appearance in the semis, Waters meets Nour El Sherbini after the 19-year-old ousted fellow Egyptian Nour El Tayeb by the barest of margins, 11-9, in the fifth. The two players treated the afternoon crowd to a superb match that showcased their fearless, contrasting styles.

The tall and powerful El Sherbini played a classic attacking game, controlling the centre of the court by driving her opponent deep and then deftly placing the ball in the front corners when she had an opening. 21-year-old El Tayeb was the retriever, nullifying Sherbini's power by varying her shots and lifting the ball, occasionally throwing in a split lunge or a floor dive to return seemingly ungettable balls.

El Sherbini seemed to dominate the match and yet El Tayeb hung in, winning a fourth game tiebreak after saving two match balls and rebounding in the fifth from 3-7 and 6-9 before succumbing 11-9.

"We have been playing each other since I was 10 and it is always close," said El Sherbini. "I was focused on keeping the ball away from her because she can flick it from anywhere in the court. Winning a match like this gives me confidence going into the next round."

The other semi-final will also feature Egyptian interest when Cairo-based world No.2 Raneem El Welily takes on England's world No.3 Laura Massaro. The Englishwoman needed five games and 72 minutes to defeat Camille Serme for a place in the final four.

The Frenchwoman started the match bouncing on her toes and looking hungry for victory as she quickly shot out to an 11-3, 11-4 lead. "I did not want to lose this match," said Massaro later. "I was a touch flat in the beginning, but I stayed calm and finally started getting good length and hitting my targets."

After winning the third game 11-7, Massaro fell behind in the fourth, 1-5 and 2-6. "I always feel like I can come back and that helps me dig deep," explained the 31-year-old from Preston. Recovering to 6-7, Massaro suddenly displayed more spring in her step and reeled off the next seven points to force the match into a fifth game.

The decider was nip and tuck through to 6-5, after which Massaro surged ahead to win the match 11-7.

El Welily dismissed young American star Amanda Sobhy in four games. "Last year I was little overwhelmed by the ToC - all the people, all the noise - and I lost in the first round," El Welily commented later. "This year, I am much more comfortable here."

Comfortable might be an understatement: 21-year-old Sobhy played well, yet lost decisively. "I have a lot to do to get the No.2," said the Harvard senior after the match. "Raneem had an answer for everything I threw at her today."

Sobhy did in fact win the third game 11-2 - after El Welily asked for, and got, a new ball which the New Yorker started smacking into the nick for winners.

The 25-year-old Egyptian re-asserted her authority in the fourth to clinch the match 11-5, 11-5, 2-11, 11-4.






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Alison Waters (pictured above with Nicol David) will play Nour El Sherbini (Below) in the Semi Finals

England's world No.3 Laura Massaro. The Englishwoman needed five games and 72 minutes to defeat Camille Serme

Raneem El Welily dismissed young American star Amanda Sobhy in four games

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1st Round

David Defence Underway At Grand Central

Malaysia's world number one Nicol David successfully began her defence of the Women's J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title in New York with a four-game victory over career-long rival Rachael Grinham in the first round of the WSA International 100 squash event at Grand Central Terminal.

Incredibly, it was the 36th WSA World Tour battle between the pair since April 2000 - more than three years before Australian Grinham began her own 16-month run at the top of the WSA world rankings.

In the first game, Grinham marshalled some of the skills and speed that earned her four British Open titles to jump out to a 7-4 lead and win the game 11-6.

"I had to find my way in," said David, who has been number one in the world for 105 months (102 consecutively). The "way in" that the 31-year-old Malaysian superstar found was to lift the ball up on the front wall, establish her position in front of Grinham and extend the rallies.

"I was starting to feel a little oxygen debt after the second game," Grinham confessed after the match.

In each of the second and third games, David took the lead on the first point and never relinquished it. Grinham looked like she might have found her second wind in the fourth as she battled back to 5-6 and 6-7, but David calmly closed out the match with an 11-7 fourth game win.

"It is good to be back at the Tournament of Champions in Grand Central," said the 2014 champion after her 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 victory.

"It is such a landmark and you can feel the appreciation of the crowds who are quite knowledgeable, which gives the players more energy."

When asked what keeps her going after 14 years on the professional tour, and nearly nine years as the No.1 player in the world, the Malaysian superstar answered: "The game itself has so many dimensions that there are always small details that you can keep improving. And I love to play on the glass show court!"

David progresses to face Alison Waters, the fifth seed from England, for a place in the semi-finals.

In the match-up between two rhythm players who patiently await their openings, it was Londoner Waters who quickened the tempo to claim victory over Mexican qualifier Samantha Teran to claim a spot in the quarter-finals. Teran had played three tough qualifying matches to get to the ToC glass court, and, in the first game, that proved to be an advantage.

The 33-year-old from Mexico gained the upper hand at six-all, reeling off five straight points to take the early lead. "It is very tricky to play someone who plays the same style of game as you do," said Waters.

In the second game, which she won 11-6, Waters found her comfort zone, hitting the ball slightly more crisply and using the volley attack with more frequency. By the last two games, the four-time British National Champion was in high gear, closing out the match 11-3, 11-5.

In a repeat of last year's ToC semi, Waters and David will mark their 25th career Tour meeting, with the Englishwoman looking to double her victory tally over the dominant Malaysian.







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Grinham (pictured above with David, foreground)

Waters (pictured above, right, with Teran)

1st Round

Sobhy Sinks Low In Grand Central Upset

Unseeded US squash star Amanda Sobhy defeated world No.7 Low Wee Wern of Malaysia in five games to provide unexpected home interest in the women's quarter-finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the WSA International 100 event at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

"I knew that I had to be mentally prepared to get everything back, because Wee Wern is a great mover and super consistent," said the 21-year-old Harvard University senior. Sobhy started strong, winning the first game 11-7, but dropped the next two by the identical scores, 5-11, 5-11.

Down 4-7 in the fourth, the Long Island native was undaunted, reeling off seven straight points to win the game. "I have been working on my fitness, and I got a second wind," Sobhy remarked. "I usually play better when I am behind."

That come-from-behind courage was called upon in the fifth game as the seventh-seeded Malaysian took a 7-5 lead - but Sobhy once again refocused and ran off six straight points to earn a return trip to the iconic ToC glass court.

"I am so happy to have won in front of the home crowd cheering me on," said the jubilant US No.1, who played her match in front of a capacity crowd.

In her fifth quarter-final appearance in the event since 2003, Sobhy will face Raneem El Welily, the world No.2 from Egypt who eliminated her countrywoman Omneya Abdel Kawy in four games.

Egyptian interest in the semi-finals is already guaranteed as two compatriots - Nour El Tayeb from Cairo and Nour El Sherbini from Alexandria - face each other in the quarter-finals. Both are university students as well as top 10 squash players.

El Tayeb overcame surprise English qualifier Victoria Lust. The 21-year-old Egyptian - who leapt from the lower reaches of the world top 30 to No8 during last year - controlled the contest from start to finish.

"Last year I couldn't even get into the qualifying draw and now I am in the quarterfinals," said El Tayeb after the match. "During the past year, I have been working on my movement, position to the ball and fitness. The biggest difference is that a year ago I could beat a top 10 player but then lose to a much lower-ranked player in the next match. Now I am more consistent."

El Tayeb will need that consistency against El Sherbini, who last year rocketed from 27 to 4 in the rankings. The 18-year-old, who is juggling her first year of college studies with playing professional squash, had to take her exams a week early to be able to play in the ToC.

The academic course-load does not seem to have affected the teenager's game; she dismissed Hong Kong's world No.10 Annie Au in just 21 minutes. "The start of the match was very good for me, and gave me confidence, and that was really important," said El Sherbini.

France's Camille Serme had her hands full with 20-year-old Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy, the acrobatic 20-year-old Egyptian who gives the term playing with abandon new meaning. Fearlessly diving to the floor to return her opponent's shots, the Trinity junior - ranked just 66 in the world - delighted the crowd with here energetic, never-say-die, play.

Although El-Defrawy took the first game, world No6 Serme confidently claimed the next two in commanding style. Down 2-7 in the fourth, the 25-year-old Frenchwoman remained calm, patiently chipping away until she took the game 12-10 to win the match.

"Glad, happy and relieved," was how the Serme described her feelings after the match. "I was a little surprised at how much energy Kanzy had, because she played three tough qualifying matches before today."

Serme progresses to face second seed , played with authority as she defeated 18-year-old Egyptian qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim, 11-4, 11-4, 11-3.

"The last time we played, it went to five, so this first round was a potential banana peel," said the world No.3. "I am glad to get it out of the way."





"I am so happy to have won in front of the home crowd cheering me on,"
said Amanda Sobhy the jubilant US No.1 (pictured above)

Nour El Sherbini from Alexandria, Egypt

Laura Massaro. The Englishwoman, runner-up in 2014


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Qualifying Finals

Lust & Ibrahim Make ToC Debuts After Qualifying Successes

England's Victoria Lust and Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim will make their debuts on the all-glass court at Grand Central Terminal in New York after contrasting qualifying successes in the Women's JP Morgan Tournament of Champions.

Lust, the world No.32 from Luton who is now based in Canada, despatched Egyptian teenager Mariam Metwally 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 - and will now face another Egyptian, eighth seed Nour El Tayeb, in the first round of the WSA Gold 50 squash event.

It was an easier ride for Ibrahim, who became the youngest player in the main draw without striking a ball after her higher-ranked English opponent Emma Beddoes withdrew following illness.

The 18-year-old world No.25 from Alexandria will meet No.2 seed Laura Massaro, the world No.3 who was runner-up in the 2014 championship.

Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy provided further Egyptian success in the qualifying finals after upsetting compatriot Heba El Torky, the world No.25 from Alexandria, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 in 63 minutes.

Cairo-based El-Defrawy, the world No.66 and now the lowest-ranked player in the main draw, will line up against Camille Serme, the sixth seed from France.

In a battle between two stalwarts of the WSA World Tour, Samantha Teran ensured Mexican interest in the main draw for the first time for three years after upsetting England's former world No.2 Jenny Duncalf 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8 in 56 minutes.

Teran, the reigning Pan American champion, ranked 33 in the world, will take on England's No.5 seed Alison Waters for a place in the event's quarter-finals.

Malaysia's world number one Nicol David is seeded to retain the title she won in her maiden appearance in the championship in 2014. In what will be the pair's 36th Tour meeting since April 2000, David will face Australia's former world number one and world champion Rachael Grinham in the opening round.





England's Victoria Lust (above) and Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim (below) will make their debuts on the all-glass court at Grand Central Terminal



1st Round Qualifying

Egyptians Rule In ToC Qualifying Shocks

Egyptians claimed the lions' share of places in the qualifying finals of the Women's JP Morgan Tournament of Champions after major upsets on the second day of qualifying action in the WSA Gold 50 squash event in New York, USA.

Ireland's Madeline Perry was the highest-ranked player to suffer at the hands of a lower-ranked opponent from Alexandria. The world No.15 from Belfast, twice a semi-finalist in the prestigious WSA World Tour championship at New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal, went down 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 in 52 minutes to Mariam Metwally, the 18-year-old world No.46.

Fellow Alexandrian Heba El Torky also claimed an unexpected place in the final qualifying round after despatching Sarah-Jane Perry, the world No.16 from England, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 - also in 52 minutes.

World No.27 El Torky will now face compatriot Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy for a place in the main draw after the 20-year-old world No.66 from Cairo became the lowest-ranked player to survive when she upset Guyana's world No.21 Nicolette Fernandes 6-11, 11-2, 13-11, 11-1.

Meanwhile Metwally will line up against Victoria Lust, the 25-year-old world No.32 from England who claimed one of the biggest scalps of her career by overcoming Indian hope Joshana Chinappa, ranked ten places higher, 13-11, 18-16, 12-10.

Mexican star Samantha Teran became the oldest player to win a place in the qualifying finals after surviving a 65-minute battle against England's Sarah Kippax, the world No.20.

Teran, the world No.33 and reigning Pan American champion, clinched a 14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-6 victory to set up a play-off against England's world No.19 Jenny Duncalf. The former world No.2 from Yorkshire is one step away from a fifth appearance in the Tournament of Champions' main draw after beating Canadian Hollie Naughton 10-12, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7.

England's Emma Beddoes denied home hopes of a qualifying success - and became the highest-ranked player to survive in the process - after beating New York's Sabrina Sobhy 11-7, 11-7, 11-9.

The 29-year-old world No.18 from Leeds will now face Egypt's 18-year-old Salma Hany Ibrahim for a place in the main draw.





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