TUE 13th OCT – Round Two complete

SH0506

The quarterfinals were confirmed today as the second round—bottom half of the draw—matches took place at Drexel.

It was the end of home hopes as Laura Massaro – one of three English winners – beat Amanda Sobhy, and three more Egyptians progressed along with defending champion Nicol David and India’s Dipika Pallikal with the best win of her career.

Delaware Investments U.S. Open – Round Two (bottom halves) [16] Dipika Pallikal (IND) d [4] Alison Waters (ENG)  9-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-1, 11-6 (50m)
[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) d Joshana Chinappa (IND) 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 (29m)[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-1 Amanda Sobhy (USA)  11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 (49m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) d [12] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (34m)[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) d Tarek Momen (EGY)  15-13, 11-7, 15-13 (81m)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) d Mazen Hesham (EGY) 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (55m)

Daryl Selby (ENG) d Steve Coppinger (RSA) 2-11, 13-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 (96m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) d [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY)  11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (38m)

Massaro ends home hopes, David avenges China defeat

SH0503England’s Laura Massaro, champion here in 2011, ended home hopes as she beat US number one Amanda Sobhy in four games.

Massaro, the fifth seed, stayed just ahead through a well-contested first game, taking it 11-8, but Sobhy, digging the ball out of the back corners to good effect, grabbed an early lead in the second and stayed ahead to level 11-7.

SH0505With some typically determined play, though, Massaro was quickly out of the blocks in the third, building on a 3-0 start to retake the lead 11-4. The Englishwoman continued to dictate the play in the fourth, fending off attempted comebacks from Sobhy—from 3-7 to 6-7 and from 7-10 to 9-10—to take the match 11-9 on a drive that dribbled out of the front wall.

SH0507“As soon as the draw came out I knew that this could be a really tough match for a second round,” said Massaro. “So I’m really happy to win that one, and happy that my attention to detail in the game plan paid off.

“It felt like Amanda was attacking the whole match and I was having to react—I needed to adapt the plan as the match went on but thankfully that worked out.”

SH0513Three-time defending champion Nicol David is one step closer to retaining her title after avenging September’s China Open loss to world junior champion Nouran Gohar.

The world No. 2 from Malaysia needed just thirty-four minutes to defeat her Egyptian adversary 11-6, 11-7, 11-7.

SH0510“She certainly a strong competitor and she’s been doing really well the past few months,” David said of Gohar. “You just want to get in there and win and I was focusing on my game today. I went out there and played my best squash. It was a different day and different match. She’s going to keep fighting back, even those last few points she was coming back. You have to make sure that you stay on your game and play all out.”

David sets up a repeat of the 2013 U.S. Open final against Massaro, and said quarterfinal matchups such as this are a testament to the strength of the tour.

“It’s great. As you can see, everybody is really picking up their game. Facing Laura in the quarterfinals is a treat for the crowd.”

SH0475

Big win for Dipika, Kawy eases through

SH0458The opening match of the day was a see-saw affair that ended in a big win for India’s Dipika Pallikal over fourth-seeded Englishwoman Alison Waters.

Pallikal started stongly, taking 3-0, 6-2 and 9-6 leads in the first game, but Waters took five points in a row to take the game 11-9, and then received treatment on her back during the interval.

SH0460The momentum swings continued for the rest of the match as they took turns to dominate—11-5 Pallikal, 11-3 Waters, 11-1 Pallikal and we were into a decider.

The start of the fifth was even with Waters—who was now grimacing in pain when moving forward—ahead at 5-4, but from there it was all Pallikal as she secured her best-ever win 11-6.

SH0462“I’m really happy,” said a delighted Dipika. “Coming here from two tournaments where I didn’t play my best, to beat two top players to make the quarterfinals is great—I’ll have to do some laundry now, I didn’t expect to get this far!”

“I’ve been working with Amir [Wagih] since I was 13, and he just kept telling me to think it was the first point of the first game. I’ve come close to beating some of the top players, but never quite made it before, so I’m delighted.”

Egyptian world No. 6 Omneya Abdel Kawy defeated India’s Joshana Chinappa to set up a quarterfinal with Pallikal.

SH0470Kawy took the match in three games and twenty-nine minutes but endured an uneasy first game where she squandered five game balls up 10-5, before earning the early advantage 12-10. Kawy’s trademark shot-making was on point, and saw her through to the next round.

SH0472“It’s my game, I like to play attacking shots, drop shots, and kind of killing shots,” Kawy said of her dangerous style of play. “It wouldn’t work if I don’t get her in the back corners first before I attack my shots.

“If I get her in front of me, she smacks the ball really hard and it will be very fast and a problem for me. I had to get her to the back of the court, then attack my shots confidently and it worked.”

SH0532

Mosaad grinds out a win, Dessouki quietens Mazen

SH0492In the first of two all-Egyptian men’s matches, Omar Mosaad beat Tarek Momen in three games that took a mammoth 81 minutes to complete.

It wasn’t all out attack Egyptian style, but neither was it a let fest as two players who know each other so well—and are ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the world—played out a series of tough rallies.

SH0494Momen had his chances. He led 9-6 in the first and 10-7 in the third, but in the end his unforced error count—23 compared to Mosaad’s 14—cost him, the final long rally in which Momen finally went for a boast that clipped the tin being typical.

“I’m really happy to win that, especially in three games,” said Mosaad. “My matches with Tarek are always close, usually 3-2. The first game was very important for both of us, I lost my focus then managed to get it back and was very happy to take that one.”

SH0496After established Egyptian professionals Mosaad and Momen exited the ASB GlassCourt, rising Egyptian stars Mazen Hesham and Fares Dessouki entered for their first encounter on the PSA tour.

SH0495The first two games produced entertaining rallies with both players’ flair on display, and resulting in a 1-1 scoreline. Dessouki, world No. 19, pulled away in the third game stringing together six consecutive points from 3-3 to 9-3, and earned the advantage 11-4.

Hesham, world No. 20, capitulated again in the fourth with unforced errors and Dessouki winners proving the difference as Dessouki earned his second consecutive appearance in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

SH0501“He was really difficult today,” Dessouki said of his fellow twenty-one-year-old. “I was playing today with some pressure to make the right shots at the right time, and to win this game.”

“Nothing changed between games actually when I lost the first, I was playing with the same plan and pace, but I was selecting the right shots. I was staying focused.”

English double to finish as Selby outlasts Coppinger

SH0529When South Africa’s Steve Coppinger took the first game 11-2 against Daryl Selby, it looked as though we might be in for a quick match. Coppinger had stifled fourth seed Miguel Rodriguez in a first round upset, and looked to be doing the same to Selby, the Englishman seemingly inable to find a way to get Coppinger out of his comfort zone.

SH0530Find it he did though, quickly taking a 6-2 lead in the second and holding off Coppinger’s comeback to level 13-11, then easing through the third 11-4 – ‘easing’ referring to the score, rather than the length and competitiveness of the rallies.

The fourth witnessed another swing as Coppinger took a 4-0 lead and held it to level the match 11-5, setting up a brutal decider which was decided as Selby came from 6-8 down with a run of five points, ending in another monster rally that left both players hunched over, exhausted.

SH0523“100 minutes? If you’d asked me before the match I might have told you it would take longer to beat him,” said Selby. “He’s a great player, the tenacity and will to win he shows is something everyone should learn from.

“I’ve been playing well but that was so hard, I’m delighted to win that one – he beat me in the worlds last year, and he’s higher ranked than me now so that’s a good win.”

SH0528World No. 2 Nick Matthew was in fine form defeating Egyptian qualifier Zahed Mohamed after a rocky start to his tournament with a five-game opener against Chris Simpson.

The 2007 U.S. Open champion needed thirty-eight minutes to defeat the Egyptian world No. 34 11-3, 11-6, 11-6.

SH0537“I think in the third game there is the best I’ve played all season, it felt good,” Matthew said. “It’s the first time I felt I was in my flow and rhythm. It’s been a little bit of a struggle at times this season to find my rhythm so I’m delighted with that. The key now is to not get ahead of myself, I still need to work on my game and keep improving.”

Matthew now faces Dessouki in a rematch of their 2014 U.S. Open quarterfinal, which Matthew won in three games and thirty-six minutes.

“Fares has a bit more of a mix to his game, he has a bit of English basic stroke on top of his flair. He’s incredibly tough. It’s about time these young Egyptians beat us old timers! I’m looking forward to it.”

TODAY at the U.S. Open 2015 – Daily Reports