Sunday, March 3, 2024

Emily Whitlock beats Alison Waters in British Open shock

Emily Whitlock celebrates victory

Now for top seed Nour El Sherbini


England’s World No.15 Emily Whitlock will join compatriots Laura Massaro and Nick Matthew in the quarter-final stage of the prestigious 2017 Allam British Open for the first time in her career after she upset fellow Englishwoman Alison Waters in their second round fixture at Hull’s Airco Arena.

Whitlock played with accuracy and intelligent shot-selection to stun the three-time British Open semi-finalist, claiming an 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 victory to set up a last eight meeting with defending champion and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, with El Sherbini seeing off Annie Au.

“I just didn’t think I’d win, I’m pretty chuffed about it,” said Whitlock. “I’ve beaten Alison once before in practice, but it’s never the same, tournament wins are just amazing.

“And winning 3-0 is just a joke as I’ve never won a first round match here – so to win two matches is just a bonus, it’s been a good week.”

The 2013 champion Massaro, the World No.5, also moved through to the quarter-finals after she defeated Egyptian qualifier Mayar Hany.

The 33-year-old had to be patient in the early stages and was forced to overturn a 4-1 deficit in game one after a strong start from Hany, who upset World No.11 Joelle King in the opening round.

But the experienced Englishwoman soon found her rhythm after a slow start and, after claiming a two-game lead, she closed out the third to wrap up an 11-5, 11-1, 11-9 triumph – sealing her place in the quarter-finals of the sport’s longest-running tournament for an eighth consecutive year where she will meet World No.3 Raneem El Welily, who beat Joshna Chinappa.

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Massaro said: “She came out quite attacking and it took me a few rallies to calm things down a little bit. I needed to get some longer rallies into the game, she gave me a few errors to help me get momentum in the first.

“In the second, I just tried to get on the volley, take the ball early and just keep the pace really high. She didn’t come off court after the second, so I thought she was going to be firing on all cylinders, and fair play to her she changed the plan a little bit.

“It’s really nice to play in front of a home crowd, it really does pick you up. We get that against us everywhere we play in the world, so it’s nice to have that on our side and hopefully the crowd can really get into the quarter-finals.”

Three-time Men’s champion Nick Matthew moved one stage further than last year after he defeated German No.1 Simon Rösner.

The Englishman, who lost out to Egypt’s Ali Farag in round two of the 2016 instalment, dispatched the World No.10 by an 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3 margin to set up a quarter-final meeting with Tarek Momen, who dispatched World No.16 Paul Coll.

“I was prepared to work really hard against Simon, the last couple of times against him it’s been a tough four or five game match,” said Matthew.

“Everyone I play is going to be a tough match and I’m looking forward to playing Tarek. He’s a different style of player to Simon’s power. Tarek has the speed and the touch so it will be a different challenge, but I’ve got a day and a half to prepare for it and a chance to recover.”

Defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy took one step closer to a third successive British Open title after he saw off England’s Daryl Selby – avenging his first round defeat to the World No.15 in December’s Channel VAS Championship.

Selby held two game balls in game one, but some chest-thumping bravado from ElShorbagy helped him to take four straight points to go ahead – and he refused to relinquish his lead from that point onwards, completing a 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 victory to keep his hopes of lifting a third straight British Open crown alive.

“That’s the hunger I used to have when I was climbing up the rankings,” said ElShorbagy, the World No.1.

“When I got to No.1, I wanted to win everything, which I haven’t, so I am still hungry. I was pumping myself after every point, I wasn’t angry with anyone else just myself, I told Daryl it wasn’t about him, it was me. I was happy to see him playing well, that’s nice for him.”

He will take on compatriot Ali Farag – four months after their feisty quarter-final clash in November’s PSA Men’s World Championship – after Farag progressed courtesy of a 3-0 win over Tsz Fung Yip.

2017 Allam British Open, Hull, England.

Men’s Second Round (Top Half):
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (37m)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (30m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 20-18 (62m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3 (62m)

Men’s Second Round (Bottom Half, to be played on March 23):
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Max Lee (HKG)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Men’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half, to be played on March 24):
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [7] Ali Farag (EGY)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)

Women’s Second Round (Top Half):
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [10] Annie Au 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
[13] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-9 (29m)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [12] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (27m)

Women’s Second Round (Bottom Half, to be played on March 23):
[Q] Nada Abbas (EGY) v [15] Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Tesni Evans (WAL) v [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) v [14] Joey Chan (HKG)
[11] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [2] Camille Serme (FRA)

Draw – Women’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half, to be played on March 24):
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [13] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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