Allam British Open, O2 Arena, London.
Women’s second round:
(7) Annie Au (HK) bt Alison Waters (Eng) 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (59m)
(16) Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt (4) Madeline Perry (Ire) 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-5 (45m)
(5) Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Dipika Pallikal (Ind) 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7 (51m)
(2) Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Donna Urquhart (Aus) 11-2, 11-13, 11-4, 12-10 (45m)
By ALAN THATCHER
Egypt’s teenage squash sensation Nour El Sherbini sprang a major surprise by beating No.4 seed Madeline Perry in the second round of the women’s event.
The 16-year-old from Alexandria fought back from 2-1 down to beat one of the most experienced players in the women’s professional game 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-5 in 45 minutes.
El Sherbini, who won her first world junior under-19 title at the age of 14, combines life on the WSA Tour with six hours of school work each day. She certainly did her homework on her Irish opponent as she reached the quarter-finals of this $95,000 event.
She said: “I am studying five days a week as a Grade 10 student alongside my squash activities.”
El Sherbini gained revenge for a semi-final defeat in the recent Irish Open and explained: “At 2-1 down I had to be focused. I got my confidence back and played a lot of drops. That seemed to be working well but first of all I had to get Madeline to the back of the court.
“I love the atmosphere here at the O2 Arena and it is so exciting to be playing here. It helps you to play your best squash. I am so happy to win.”
In the quarter-finals El Sherbini meets Annie Au, the No.7 seed from Hong Kong, who recovered from two games down to beat England’s wild card Alison Waters, a former world No.3 from London who is returning to action after a long injury break.
Waters began strongly, driving the ball firmly, but when Au got used to the cool court conditions she began to cut the ball in short, taking Waters out of her comfort zone and into the deepest areas of the court.
Au finally edged past a tiring Waters 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 in 59 minutes.
England’s No.2 seed Jenny Duncalf beat battling Australian Donna Urquhart 12-10 in the fourth game and now faces Egyptian Raneem El Weleily, who beat Indian No.1 Dipika Pallikal in another five-game marathon.