Egyptian qualifiers reach last 16 of new $100,000 event
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Local qualifiers Kanzy Emad El Defrawy and Mariam Metwally secured unexpected places in the last 16 round of the Women’s Alexandria International after masterminding straight games upsets over seeded opponents on the opening day of main draw action in the WSA International 100 squash event in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
The new $100,000 Alexandria International has attracted a star-studded field, led by Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David and including nine Egyptians from the world top 30 and eight from the host city itself.
El Defrawy bagged the biggest scalp, taking down England’s No.10 seed Sarah-Jane Perry 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 in 41 minutes.
“I’m happy with the way I played today and so excited to be playing on the glass court tomorrow,” said the 21-year-old world No.37 from Cairo – ranked 25 places lower than her opponent.
“I’m especially so grateful that I won 3/0, which was really far-fetched, thinking how great a player she is – truly one of the best players in the world.”
Alexandria-born-and-bred Metwally saw off compatriot and fellow 18-year-old Salma Hany Ibrahim, the 14th seed, 12-10, 11-3, 11-4.
“I’m so happy to get to the second round, especially her in front of my friends and family, my mum and my dad,” said the world No.39, now the lowest-ranked player in the draw.
“Tomorrow, I hope I can play well – then I’m back to school for my exams on Sunday!”
Both Defrawy and Metwally progress to face fellow countrywomen for places in the quarter-finals. El Defrawy takes on Nour El Tayeb, the fifth seed from Cairo, while Metwally meets seventh seed Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 29-year-old former world No.4 who survived the day’s longest and most dramatic match – finally emerging victorious in an 11-6, 7-11, 11-13, 11-3, 16-14 scoreline over the event’s sole Australian Donna Urquhart.
Nicol David, back in Tour action after leading a highly successful WSF Ambassador Programme visit to Serbia, Romania and Croatia, cruised to an 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 win over England’s Victoria Lust and will now line up against rising Egyptian star Nouran Gohar, the 17-year-old No.11 seed who despatched 16-year-old Egyptian qualifier Zeina Farid Mickawy in just 23 minutes.
The Egyptian attack is being led by world No.2 Raneem El Welily. But the Alexandria-born and now Cairo-based 26-year-old was given a mighty scare by Emily Whitlock when the new world No.20 from England took the opening game and forced the second to a tie-break.
The experienced El Welily weathered the storm, however, to clinch the second game before closing out the match 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4 after 42 minutes to claim her anticipated place in the next round.
Ninth seed Amanda Sobhy was enjoying her first appearance on the WSA World Tour since graduating from Harvard University last month.
The 21-year-old from New York overcame Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin 11-2, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5 and will now face England’s former world No.2 Jenny Duncalf for a place in the last eight.
Women’s Alexandria International, Alexandria, Egypt.
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (30m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [Q] Zeina Farid Mickawy (EGY) 11-3, 11-9, 11-2 (23m)
[Q] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (41m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (32m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-6, 7-11, 11-13, 11-3, 16-14 (58m)
[Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt  Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 12-10, 11-3, 11-4 (31m)
 Habiba Mohamed (EGY) bt [Q] Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (38m)
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (33m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 12-10 (50m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY) 11-2, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5 (36m)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (25m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (20m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-9, 14-12, 11-5 (42m)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (34m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [WC] Hana Ramadan (EGY) 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (32m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)
2nd round line-up:
 Nicol David (MAS) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v  Habiba Mohamed (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Dipika Pallikal (IND)
Picture from Squash Mad archive by MARIAN KRAUS (Windy City Open).
No images supplied by the WSA or the tournament