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U.S. Open Round One

The Delaware Investments U.S. Open is under way in Philadelphia – round one results and reports …

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Round One Photo Collage
Round One bottom half Photo Collage

Dessouki And Mueller Come Through Epics In US Open

 20-year-old Egyptian Fares Dessouki and 25-year-old Swiss star Nicolas Mueller came through epic first round encounters against Saurav Ghosal and Stephen Coppinger, respectively in the first round of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open in Philadelphia.
Victory for Dessouki over Ghosal sees him move into the second round of a PSA World Series event for only the third time in his career where he will face compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad, the man he beat in the first round of the Allam British Open in May.
During that competition Dessouki made it to the quarter-finals before falling to World Champion Nick Matthew and he’ll be hoping to reach that stage again by emulating the performance that saw him conquer number eight seed Ghosal, taking the Asian Games Gold medal winner out with an 88-minute 11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7 victory.
“I’m very happy with that win,” said Dessouki afterwards.
“Saurav is a very good player who is really fast around the court and a dangerous opponent.
 
“I had to give it everything I had to get past him and keep my focus at 100 per cent for the whole match but I’m delighted to have got the win.”
Swiss squash star Mueller came through an even more brutal encounter with South African national champion Coppinger in their first round encounter, eventually prevailing 3-2 in a 95-minute thriller.
Just three places separate the pairing on the PSA World Rankings, with 25-year-old Mueller the higher ranked at World No.21, and there proved to be little between them on court, with epic rallies aplenty in a match which had the duo playing out of their shoes, literally.
In a rare incident Coppinger was forced off court during the final game after tearing through the soles of his shoes such was the ferocity of movement demanded of both players but it was Mueller who held on to claim an impressive victory, coming through 6-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-7, 11-9.
“That was probably the most brutal match I’ve ever played in my life,” said Müller afterwards.
“Steve was a true warrior throughout the whole encounter and we both really dug deep. I had to dig in and find some extra energy and luckily I managed to find a hidden reserve and come out with the win.”
Second seed Matthew eased his way into the second round with a comfortable 3-0 win over compatriot Eddie Charlton in his first encounter on the PSA World Tour since losing the final of the Allam British Open in May.
The Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner showed no signs of rustiness as he sealed an 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 win which will see him take on Chris Simpson in the second round, after the man from Guernsey got past South African Shaun Le Roux 3-0.
Elsewhere there were wins for Amr Shabana, Max Lee and Omar Mossad.

Evans Outlasts Retiring WSA President Brown

Unseeded Welsh 21-year-old Tesni Evans denied 13th seed Kasey Brown any further action in the 2014 Women’s Delaware Investments US Open when she beat the retiring WSA President on the second day of first round action in the WSA World Series Platinum event at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Runner-up in 2011 and a quarter-finalist for the past two years, Australian Brown had announced this week that she would call it a day at the 2014 championship in Philadelphia, bring to an end a glittering 12-year career on the WSA World Tour.

And the 29-year-old from New South Wales had a second round match in her sights after she built up a two-game lead over her younger opponent.

But Evans kept plugging away, keeping Brown working hard, and pulling away from the middle of the third and fourth game to level the match. And the Cardiff-born underdog did the same in the decider – pulling away from four-all and raising a fist in the direction of the small Welsh contingent in the crowd as she took the game to win the match 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 after 76 minutes.

“I knew it would be tough – we had a 3/2 last time we played,” said world No28 Evans. “So at two-nil down I had to believe I could still win, but it’s always good to win close matches like that.”

Evans later admitted to her Twitter followers: “Was tough to play @kaseybrownSQU today as she retired from the tour! Wish you all the best in the future!”

As Brown came off court for the last time she said: “It’s been a great twelve years on the tour, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s probably a good time to get out now, with all these young kids coming through!”

Evans, now in the US Open last 16 for the first time, will face Camille Serme, the fourth seed from France who ended domestic interest in the event when she beat US wildcard Sabrina Sobhy 11-6, 11-4, 13-11.

Another seed bit the dust when Egyptian qualifier Yathreb Adel emerged unscathed from a physical match against England’s Sarah-Jane Perry. The 17-year-old world No74 from Cairo – the lowest-ranked player in the draw – defeated 14th seed Perry 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 in 49 minutes.

“It was such a battle for me,” said Adelmafter her first meeting with the world No17. “It’s the first time I played the US Open and playing in the main draw.

“I was really looking forward to the match and was trying to keep focused as much as I can and not trying to get involved in what’s happening on court, so I’m glad I did it!”

Adel will now meet Annie Au after the No8 seed from Hong Kong beat English qualifier Victoria Lust 11-4, 11-8, 11-8.

Adel was joined by compatriot Nour El Sherbini in the second round. Playing in her first Tour event since a shock first round defeat in the British Open in May, seventh seed El Sherbini was drawn against her victor Emma Beddoes – and was after revenge over the English player.

Beddoes has enjoyed a good Tour run over the past few months and currently boasts a career-high world No20 ranking. But El Sherbini, the 18-year-old former world No4, was focussed on her task and after 42 minutes wrapped up her 11-4, 6-11, 11-1, 11-8 victory.

“Actually for me it was a revenge match because my last match against her I lost in the British Open,” reiterated El Sherbini. “So when I saw the draw I knew I needed to win this match. I kept the plan and I’m happy to be through.

“My Egyptian teammates mean to me everything when I see them sitting outside,” added the talented teenager. “Without them I’m never going to win any match so thank you everyone for being here!”

El Sherbini progresses to a second round clash with England’s No11 seed Jenny Duncalf. The 2009 champion, competing in her ninth US Open since 2002, denied further Egyptian interest in the last 16 when she beat Alexandria’s Heba El Torky 11-2, 11-5, 11-6.

An English quarter-finalist will be assured after No2 seed Laura Massaro and 15th seed Sarah Kippax face each other in the second round. World champion Massaro eased to an 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 win over South African qualifier Siyoli Waterswhile world No18 Kippax was taken the full distance by Line Hansen before defeating the Dane 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 12-14, 11-8.

“Obviously Line’s a big fighter, and it’s always tough to come back when you’re two love down,” said a relieved Kippax afterwards. “She always has the capability of doing that. It’s quite edgy when you get to that stage, when you’ve been 2/0 up and it’s two all, so I had to just stay calm and stick to my tactics.”

World No2 Massaro was upbeat after her first round win: “I love it here,” said the 2013 runner-up. “This new court looks and plays great – it’s a great way to showcase the women’s game.

“US Squash has worked hard to get parity for this event and hopefully others will follow suit.

“Last year’s semi and final were pretty brutal,” added the 30-year-old from Preston. “I hope I can go one better this year.”

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Round One top half photo collage
Round One top half photo collage

Waller Claims Biggest Career Win At US Open

England’s Adrian Waller, the 24-year-old from Enfield, pulled off the biggest win of his career to date to knock World No.7 Borja Golan out of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open during the opening round of action at Philadelphia’s Drexel University earlier today.

The World No.27 scraped through what was a tense and attritional 92-minute battle against the Spanish national champion, coming from behind early in the encounter to hold his nerve in a nail biting final game and eventually seal an impressive 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 victory that sees him beat a top ten ranked player on the PSA World Tour for the first time in his career.

“That was definitely the biggest win of my career to date,” said Waller. “I’ve never beaten a top ten player before in my career, so to do that in the opening round of a major tournament like the US Open is very big for me.

“I’ve been in good situations before against big players and it’s never gone the right way for me. You have to just try and keep focused on your own game, not get too caught up in the moment and it was great to come out on the winning side.

“I’m really looking forward to the second round now. In many ways the pressure is off me so I’m going to enjoy the match and hopefully I can put in another good performance.”

Waller will now take on Egyptian Mazen Hesham in the second round on Monday after the 20-year-old survived a tough battle with Frenchman Lucas Serme during an opening day that also saw Leo Au of Hong Kong and Scotland’s Alan Clyne, who was bumped into the main draw following the withdrawal of World No.10 Karim Darwish ahead of the tournament, pull off surprise upsets against higher ranking opposition

Clyne, the World No.38, claimed one of the biggest scalps of the day in the opening match of the tournament to see off England’s World No.23 Adrian Grant in emphatic fashion, taking the match 11-2, 13-11, 11-7, while Au, ranked World No.41, stunned World No.29 Gregoire Marche to take an equally impressive 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 win.

Elsewhere during the opening day of action Simon Rösner came through an epic battle against Mathieu Castagnet to secure his place in the second round while Australian Cameron Pilley saw off compatriot Ryan Cuskelly and the top two seeds, Gregory Gaultier and Mohamed Elshorbagy, eased through their opening match-ups against Mohamed Abouelghar and Greg Lobban, respectively.

Scores Settled In US Open Openers

Revenge was the name of the game on the opening day of action in the Women’s Delaware Investments US Open when four of the eight matches in the WSA World Series Platinum event at Drexel University in Philadelphia gave players the chance to avenge recent defeats.

Nicolette Fernandes, the world No22 from Guyana elevated to 16th seed following the withdrawal of US number one Amanda Sobhy, beat Irish qualifier Aisling Blake 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 to reverse the straight games defeat she suffered at the hands of the Dublin-born world No37 in their previous Tour meeting two years ago.

“This is the farthest I’ve been in the US Open,” said the delighted 31-year-old later. “It’s such a huge event and there is a real vibe to the whole thing, it makes you want to do well here.

“The season’s only just begun, but there have been lots of tournaments already,” Fernandes continued. “I had to miss the Caribbean Games, which my Federation didn’t like, but to get through in an event like this makes it worth it.”

Fernandes will now face Low Wee Wern, the No6 seed from Malaysia who also settled a score when she ousted Joey Chan – the world No23 from Hong Kong who came out on top last time on Wee Wern’s home soil.

The Malaysian number two battled for 46 minutes to overcome Chan 11-5, 14-12, 7-11, 11-6 in her first Tour match since recording a career-high world No5 ranking two weeks ago.

“I think Joey played really well today,” said Wee Wern. “I was in and out. Mentally, after I lost the third, I was thinking, ‘I really need to hold her back and get into the fourth game because you can’t give Joey anything with her hands.’ So mentally I think it was really hard to get back in the match again after being 2/0 up.

“I love the US Open. It’s a great tournament, and it’s my fourth time here. I’ve played a few tournaments leading up to this so I’m looking forward to one more go before I take a quick break.”

England’s Alison Waters arguably had the biggest score to settle: Just a month ago, in the China Open, the experienced world No7 went down in four games to 18-year Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim.

But, fresh from her biggest Tour title success last week at the Carol Weymuller Open in New York, 30-year-old Londoner Waters despatched qualifier Ibrahim 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 to earn a place in the second round for the fifth time in a row since 2007.

“After China I knew it would be tough, and I wasn’t taking it lightly,” said Waters. “I like stepping up the court and volleying and that was working well today, so I’m delighted to come off with a three-nil. She’s going to be a real handful over the next few years.”

But there was revenge success for another Egyptian teenager when unseeded Nouran Gohar defeated seasoned campaigner Madeline Perry, the 37-year-old ninth seed from Ireland, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9.

The 17-year-old from Cairo will celebrate her first appearance in the event’s second round by taking on Waters.

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