Big day for Egyptians as Nour downs Duncalf in US Open
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Egyptian teenager Yathreb Adel created the biggest second round upset in the Women’s Delaware Investments US Open when she despatched eighth seed Annie Au in straight games to celebrate her first appearance in the quarter-finals of a WSA World Series event.
The 18-year-old qualifier from Cairo – the lowest-ranked player in the draw – frustrated the Hong Kong international who never held a lead throughout any of the three games in the WSA World Series Platinum event at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
“I’m very thrilled to be in the quarter-finals of the US Open,” said the world No74 (pictured right in action with Au) after her 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 triumph in 28 minutes. “It’s such a prestigious event, and it’s the first time I’ve played here.”
Adel, the only qualifier to make the last eight, admitted she was happy to turn around the result from her only previous encounter against Au in the Hong Kong Open in December.
“It was last year so I think I improved a lot maybe, and this year I had a different plan and it worked. Last year was the first time I played her so I was used to her shots. I was more concentrated today than I was then.”
Adel now faces French international Camille Serme for the first time. The No4 seed from Creteil made it to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011 after ending the run of unseeded Tesni Evans – the Welsh player who upset 13th seed Kasey Brown in the opening round.
“I didn’t feel on top of my game physically, so that was a tough day at the office,” said world No6 Serme after her 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory. “She made it very tough despite having a long match in the last round, so I’m very pleased to win that in three games.”
Nour El Sherbini ensured Egyptian interest in three out of the four quarter-finals when she beat England’s Jenny Duncalf 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 – not only avenging her defeat by the former world No2 from Harrogate in their last meeting in January 2013, but also moving ahead 3/2 in their career head-to-head tally.
“It’s been a long time since I played a big match on a glass court and Jenny’s not the type of player you want to meet in this sort of match.
“It feels amazing to be back, and I’m really pleased and excited that I could be able to come and play here. I know I’ll be playing another Englishwoman next, and either Laura [Massaro] or Sarah [Kippax] will be tough, so good luck to them and I hope we have a good match on Thursday.”
In the last match of the day, it was second seed Laura Massaro who claimed the final quarter-final slot when she beat England team-mate Sarah Kippax 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3 to repeat the result of their previous meeting only a week ago in the Carol Weymuller Open in New York.
“It’s really tough whenever you’re playing a teammate and friend,” said world champion Massaro later. “We played first round in Brooklyn last week, and we practiced together in between, so we played each other a fair bit recently.
“It’s always hard because you know each other’s games and you’re trying to adapt what you’ve learned so it was good to come out with the win.”
Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA.
2nd round (lower half of draw):
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (28m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (38m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (27m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Sarah Kippax (ENG) 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3 (48m)
 Nicol David (MAS) v  Low Wee Wern (MAS)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
US Open images courtesy of www.usopensquash.com
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Pictures courtesy of WSA and US Open Squash