Quarter-final crunch on the cards
By SEAN REUTHE – Squash Mad Correspondent
The draws for September’s Oracle NetSuite Open, PSA World Tour Gold tournament have been released today, with United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy and World Championship runner-up Nour El Tayeb predicted to reignite their burgeoning rivalry at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza.
Held on the glass Squash Engine Court in the shadow of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building, the Oracle NetSuite Open will be staged between September 24-30, and 2015 champion Sobhy will be the highest ranked US player in action throughout the week.
The 26-year-old from Boston is fresh off the back of a triple gold medal winning campaign at the Pan American Games in Lima and receives a bye in round one, meaning she opens up her tournament against either Egypt’s Mariam Metwally or Milou van der Heijden of the Netherlands in the second round.
A win there could see her face World No.5 Nour El Tayeb in the quarter-finals in what would be their first meeting of the 2019-20 campaign. They played out a trio of enthralling five-game battles last season – with Sobhy winning two of them – and they are seeded to square off in an enthralling last eight encounter.
The winner of that match is seeded to play World Champion Nour El Sherbini – who makes her Oracle NetSuite Open debut – in the semi-finals, while World No.1 Raneem El Welily is predicted to play defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter-finals on the opposite side of the draw.
Meanwhile, wildcard Haley Mendez of the USA takes on Belgium’s Nele Gilis in round one, with the victor set to play El Sherbini.
In the men’s draw, 2017 winner Mohamed ElShorbagy is seeded to play Germany’s Simon Rösner in the semi-finals, with World Championship runner-up Tarek Momen and World No.9 Miguel Angel Rodriguez seeded to play in the semi-final fixture on the bottom side of the draw.
Men’s United States No.1 Todd Harrity begins his tournament against Egyptian up-and-comer Mostafa Asal and will look to keep up the form that saw him win two gold medals in Lima.
Stamford, CT-based World No.121 Faraz Khan is the men’s wildcard and he will play Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in round one, with a last 16 berth against Momen up for grabs for the winner.
This year’s Oracle NetSuite Open boasts record prize money, with $242,000 split equally between the men’s and women’s events, while a best-of-three games scoring format will be used up to and including the semi-finals. The final will revert to the traditional best of five scoring used elsewhere on the PSA Tour.
All round one and two matches will be split between the Bay Club San Francisco, SquashZone, the Olympic Club and The University Club. All matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be held on the Squash Engine Court at Embarcadero Plaza.
Tickets start from $25 and are available through the tournament’s official website. Stay up-to-date with news from the Oracle NetSuite Open by following the tournament on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Fixtures from the Squash Engine Court at the Embarcadero Plaza will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
2019 Oracle NetSuite Open, San Francisco, USA.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye] Ramit Tandon (IND) v [9/16] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[9/16] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) [bye]  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [9/16] Tom Richards (ENG)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
 Simon Rösner (GER) [bye]  Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [bye] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [9/16] Arturo Salazar (MEX)
[9/16] George Parker (ENG) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
 Declan James (ENG) [bye]  Joel Makin (WAL) [bye] Todd Harrity (USA) v [9/16] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
[9/16] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [WC] Faraz Khan (USA)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) [bye]
Lisa Aitken (SCO) v [9/16] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)
[9/16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) [bye]
 Joelle King (NZL) [bye]
Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[9/16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Olivia Fiechter (USA)
 Camille Serme (FRA) [bye]
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) [bye]
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[9/16] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) [bye]
 Tesni Evans (WAL) [bye]
Coline Aumard (FRA) v [9/16] Salma Hany (EGY)
[9/16] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [WC] Haley Mendez (USA)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) [bye]
Article by SEAN REUTHE (PSA). Edited by ALAN THATCHER.
Pictures courtesy of PSA