The 2013 Delaware Investments U.S. Open women’s squash championships women’s qualifying draw has been released.
16 players – including three Americans – will be vying for eight available positions in the first U.S. Open women’s main draw of 32 competing for a historic equal prize money purse of $115,000.
The single round of qualifiers will play out Thursday, October 10 at Drexel University, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia, Merion Cricket Club, and Germantown Cricket Club.
The eight seeded qualifiers are led by English world No. 46 Lisa Aitken, who will be on court at Germantown Cricket Club against former Germantown teaching professional and Brazilian Thaisa Serafini. Germantown will also host 20-year-old American Olivia Blatchford who earned bronze and gold representing the United States in September’s Pan American Federation Cup individual and team competitions, respectively. Blatchford, who reached a career-high world ranking of 53 in September, will face world No. 61 Milou van der Heijden of the Netherlands, recent finalist in September’s Nash Cup WSA 5.
College Squash Association individual finalist and Trinity number one Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy will face Czech Republic international Olga Ertlova at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
Although Ertlova failed to qualify for the Carol Weymuller Open, the 27-year-old world No. 45 will hope to regain the form of her first round performance in last month’s Abierto Mexicano De Raquetas WSA 15 in which she toppled one seed and world No. 25 Donna Urquhart.
The Racquet Club of Philadelphia will also host home interest in the form of the tournament youngest player: 16-year-old American Sabrina Sobhy, who reached her highest world ranking of 60 this month.
Sobhy led the United States to a second place finish at the Women’s World Junior Championships this summer, which was followed by a semifinal appearance in the Squash Revolution National Capitol Open WSA 10 in August.
Sobhy will look to join her older sister, world No. 23 Amanda Sobhy, in the main draw when she faces Australian world No. 48 Melody Francis. Princeton University senior Elizabeth Eyre returns to Merion Cricket Club, where she learned the game as a junior squash player, to face Wales international and world No. 39 Tesni Evans.
Drexel University will host local pre-qualifier and Squash Professional at Berwyn Squash and Fitness Georgina Stoker, who is up against qualifying two seed Kylie Lindsay from New Zealand.
Maria Toorpakai Wazir (pictured) will look to emulate her performance at the Nash Cup that culminated in the Pakistani’s third WSA title. Coached by former PSA world No. 1 Jonathan Power, Toorpakai Wazir’s main draw qualification will be determined at Drexel against Australian world No. 76 Sarah Cardwell.
Drexel University is open access for all qualifying matches with first come, first serve seating. Other host clubs are restricted access for tickets through those clubs only, contact the clubs directly to inquire about admission.
Feature image courtesy of the Nash Cup