Sunday, February 25, 2024

Australian Open: Sobhy downs Duncalf

Amanda Sobhy on the attack against Jenny Duncalf

Unseeded Sobhy claims biggest scalp while Urquhart wins all-Aussie battle

More surprise results dominate the headlines from the Hi-Tec Australian Open in Canberra as 19-year-old Havard studentAmanda Sobhy beat another seeded player to progress to the quarter-finals of the WSA World Tour Gold45 event.

The former World Junior Champion beat No.2 seed Jenny Duncalf in four games, a feat that she previously attained at the Cleveland Classic in February, when the world No.3 was forced to retire injured.

Sobhy will now face Dipika Pallikal, who also upset the seedings by defeating No.6 Camille Serme of France in four games.  The Indian international came from a game behind to get the better of Serme and record the biggest win of her career to date.

Two Australian hopefuls looking for a title win on home soil were drawn to face each other in round two, the experiencedRachael Grinham against Donna Urquhart.  It was the 25-year-old from Yamba, New South Wales who started the match quicker of the two, and Urquhart sprang away to a 2-game lead.  Grinham’s resolute and clever play saw her claw a game back in her favour but the younger player held her nerve and closed out the match, ending the former world No.1’s hopes of a second Australian Open title.

Urquhart progresses to face No.3 seed Laura Massaro who, despite being forced to an early first-game tiebreak, played a steady game to see off young teenager and fellow Englishwoman Emily Whitlock.

Also holding hopes of a home title win, Kasey Brown came from a game down to beat Joelle King of New Zealand.  The No.8 seed will now face the experienced Irishwoman, Madeline Perry who, after a tie-break second game, beat Emma Beddoes in three games to book her quarter-final place.

Alison Waters continued to make short work of her seeded opponents as she got the better of No.5 seed Annie Au, gaining some revenge for her defeat at the hand of the Hong Kong international at the Allam British Open second round back in May.

Waters will face the biggest test of her injury comeback to date, as she is faces World Open Champion and world No.1Nicol David in the next round.  After dropping a game to Welsh youngster Tesni Evans in the first round, David was in a clinical mood as she dispatched fellow Malaysian Low Wee Wern in 32-minutes, dropping just 11 points in the whole match. 

Quarter-final matches:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Alison Waters (ENG)

[4] Madeline Perry (IRL) v [8] Kasey Brown (AUS)

[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [12] Donna Urquhart (AUS)

Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [11] Dipika Pallikal (IND)


2nd round results:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [10] Low Wee Wern (MAS)      11-4, 11-1, 11-6 (32m)

Alison Waters (ENG) bt [5] Annie Au (HKG)         11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (32m)

[4] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [16] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-8, 13-11, 11-2 (37m)

[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [9] Joelle King (NZL)   7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (50m)

[12] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [7] Rachael Grinham (AUS)       11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4 (34m)

[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG)          14-12, 11-8, 11-9 (35m)

[11] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [6] Camille Serme (FRA)     3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (43m)

Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)           11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6

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