Friday, May 24, 2024

America’s Marina Stefanoni hits the Heights in debut appearance at the Carol Weymuller Open

By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor

America’s Marina Stefanoni won a tight fifth game against Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim to advance to the second round of the Carol Weymuller Open at Heights Casino in Brooklyn.

The 19-year-old Harvard student opened up a two-game lead but Ibrahim fought back to win the next two before Stefanoni regained control to claim the fifth 11-8.

She now meets Malaysia’s No.6 seed Sivasangari Subramaniam in the second round as the top eight seeds enter the draw.

World No.66 Stefanoni said: “I feel great. I’ve never played this tournament before so it’s really nice to play and win the first round. I thought I played well. Sana takes advantage of all opportunities so I had to be very tidy and I fought hard.

“I’ve had a couple of five-gamers recently so it’s nice to know that I can push to the end. I am excited to play Siva next.

“I played her in the College Nationals in the semis and lost in three but towards the end it was close, so I am excited for a rematch.”

Yale’s Lucy Beecroft is the only English player in the second round and she faces Egypt’s Farida Mohamed after receiving a walkover against Hong Kong’s Tze Lok Ho, who was suffering from a foot injury.

Karina Tyma in action against Tessa ter Sluis

Poland’s Karina Tyma overcame Netherlands’ Tessa ter Sluis in four games, winning the third 12-10 and clinching the fourth 11-7 to book a place in the second round against Australia’s Donna Lobban.

Drexel student Karina said: “This is a big win for me – the second biggest, actually. I felt pretty smooth out there. Tessa is quite difficult to play as she doesn’t give you any rhythm.

“I felt pretty strong and I felt mentally up for it and I think that is what pushed me over the line.

“I’m excited to play Donna. It’s going to be a bit different as she is a leftie. I’m really excited about getting the experience and playing these higher ranked players.”

Nicole Bunyan beat England’s Lily Taylor 11-8, 11-1, 11-5 in just 16 minutes to set up an all-Canadian second round battle against Hollie Naughton, the No.4 seed.

Taylor was suffering the effects of a stomach bug and Bunyan said: “I was trying to lengthen the rallies. I could tell that Lily wasn’t quite right from the beginning.

“I am happy to get through, a bit unexpected as Lily is a solid player, but she was clearly under the weather today. I play Hollie next and I lost to her in the semi-finals in Canada last week, so I am excited to have another crack at her.”

Wild card Akanksha Salunkhe from India beat Hong Kong’s Tsz-Wing Tong in five to book a place against top seed Rowan Elaraby, the world No.8 from Cairo.

America’s No.2 seed Olivia Clyne faces Egypt’s Hana Moataz, who beat Switzerland’s Nadia Pfister in four games.

$51,250 Women’s Carol Weymuller Open 2022, Heights Casino, Brooklyn, New York, USA.

First round:
[1] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bye
[WC] Akanksha Salunkhe (IND) bt [9/16] Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 11-13, 11-7 (57m)
[9/16] Ineta Mackevica (LAT) bt Julia Le Coq (FRA) 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)
[7] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bye
[8] Donna Lobban (AUS) bye
Karina Tyma (POL) bt [9/16] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7 (34m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) bt [9/16] Ka Yi Lee (HKG) 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 (33m)
[3] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bye
[4] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bye
[9/16] Nicole Bunyan (CAN) bt Lily Taylor (ENG) 11-8, 11-1, 11-5 (16m)
Marina Stefanoni (USA) bt [9/16] Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8 (50m)
[6] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bye
[5] Farida Mohamed (EGY) bye
Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt [9/16] Tze Lok Ho (HKG) w/o
[9/16] Hana Moataz (EGY) bt Nadia Pfister (SUI) 11-2, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8 (28m)
[2] Olivia Clyne (USA) bye

Second Round:
[1] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [WC] Akanksha Salunkhe (IND)
[7] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [9/16] Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
[8] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Karina Tyma (POL)
[3] Nadine Shahin (EGY) v Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)
[4] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
[6] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v Marina Stefanoni (USA)
[5] Farida Mohamed (EGY) v Lucy Beecroft (ENG)
[2] Olivia Clyne (USA) v [9/16] Hana Moataz (EGY) 

Pictures courtesy of Jean Ervasti 


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