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Castagnet breaks into U.S. Open quarters

Castagnet Conquers Golan In US Open Upset

RESULTS: PSA World Series Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA

2nd round (top half of draw):
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-1, 11-4, 11-7 (29m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [7] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 (105m)
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (37m)
[4] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-5, 11-2, 12-10 (44m)

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet recorded his first ever victory over a world-top-ten-ranked player when he upset seventh-seeded Spaniard Borja Golan in the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the fifth PSA World Series event of the year at Drexel University inPhiladelphia.

World No30 Castagnet went into the match with a 0-3 head-to-head record against the world No9 from Santiago de Compestela – losing out in five games over 110 minutes in their most recent meeting.

And the latest clash also took more than 100 minutes as the unseeded Frenchman bid to make his breakthrough against Golan in his first appearance in the US Open.

Castagnet took the opening game but Golan struck back to lead 2/1. From four-all in the fourth, the Frenchman opened up a lead before eventually forcing the decider.

In the fifth Castagnet again made a good start, 3-0 and 8-5 – but Golan battled back to eight-all. A Spanish drop into the tin took the underdog to 9-8, then a drive that died in the back corner to 10-8, before mishit winner gave Castagnet his career-best scalp in an 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 scoreline after 105 minutes.

“I have no words, I’m so happy,” said 26-year-old Castagnet. “I was injured for three months before the world teams and couldn’t shake it off. I really considered ending my career then, but I’m so glad I worked hard to recover.

“It feels so good to be playing again, and to be winning a match like this is unbelievable.

“If I end up playing Greg (Gaultier) in the quarters, it will be great for France but a very tough match for me. But playing anyone now would be tough, I need to get some rest and recovery!”

A speedy 29-minute win by the top seed later did give Castagnet the opponent he predicted when Gregory Gaultierdismissed Englishman Adrian Waller 11-1, 11-4, 11-7.

“Today I was really focused from the first point,” said Gaultier, the world number two, now a step closer to his second successive appearance in the final. “I really had to play fast and bring something. In the first round I wasn’t quite there mentally, so I tried to raise my pace today.

“It’s just motivation at the end of the day. I’ve been a month on the road and haven’t seen my family and my kid. I turned up at the junior tournament downstairs, and I was also quite impressed with the level of the juniors here.”

The other confirmed quarter-final line-up will also be a clash between two fellow countrymen when Egypt’s fourth seedKarim Darwish takes on fifth seed Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Darwish, the 32-year-old world No5 from Cairo, stopped the French invasion when he beat Gregoire Marche, a 23-year-old from Aix-en-Provence, 11-5, 11-2, 12-10 in 44 minutes.

“It’s always best to win these early rounds as quick as possible,” commented Darwish, seeded to make the semi-finals for the first time since 2007. “But these days that’s getting much harder. The third game today was like three games.”

Elshorbagy delighted the crowd with his dazzling shot-making as he ousted top-ranked Scot Alan Clyne 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 in 37 minutes. Within the first five points, the Egyptian was hitting winners between his legs from the back court, rolling over his backhand volley for nicks.

The 22-year-old from Alexandria put on an impressive array of drop-shots that left the crowd gasping and Clyne shaking his head.

“I was too passive in my last match, so I knew I had to increase the pace today,” said Elshorbagy. “I used my rest day well yesterday, and I’m really happy with my performance today.

“Yesterday I just chilled and had a massage. I know if I play Karim Darwish next I’ll be looking for revenge because he beat me 3-0 in Malaysia the last time we played.”

Official website: www.usopensquash.com

 

Patchy Waters Makes US Open Quarters

RESULTS: Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA

2nd round (top half of draw):
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [10] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (36m)
[8] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [15] Line Hansen (DEN) 6-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-8 (41m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [12] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 (58m)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt [13] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (31m)

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, theWomen’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event which – for the first time ever – is providing equal prize money to the men’s event.

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 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 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!”

Event website: www.usopensquash.com

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