Alan Clyne and Jenny Duncalf reach Windy City main draw
By ALAN THATCHER and ELLIE MAWSON
The final day of qualifying at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company saw four English players fail to win through to the main draw. Jenny Duncalf flew the flag for England’s women and will meet New Zealand’s Joelle King in the first round.
Adrian Waller, Tom Richards, Chris Simpson and Nathan Lake were the four Englishmen who all fell to higher-ranked opponents.
Richards lost in five to Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi as the top eight seeded players all negotiated a safe passage through to the first round at the University Club.
Scotland’s Alan Clyne came through a tough 72-minute encounter against Lake. Clyne held his nerve to come from a game down to seal an 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 victory and will now face Australia’s Cameron Pilley in round one.
Lucas Serme lost a hard opening game to Waller before winning the next three by a comfortable margin. Chris Simpson is working his way back into the Tour after surgery and possibly needed a longer rest following his excellent run at the National Championships in Manchester, losing 3-1 to Tsz Fung Yip of Hong Kong.
The top men’s qualifying seed, Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller, beat Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng in straight-games to book a main draw slot, where he will line up against U.S. Open winner and number two seed Ali Farag in round one.
They will be joined in the main draw by Gregoire Marche (France) Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and Hong Kong pair Max Lee and Tsz Fung Yip.
England’s Nick Matthew and James Willstrop (right) flew out to America after competing in a thrilling British National Championship final on Sunday, when Matthew claimed his 10th title in Manchester.
In Chicago, No.5 seed Matthew faces an equally tall order, literally, in the shape of Egyptian Omar Mosaad. Willstrop, meanwhile, has been drawn against American wild card Chris Hanson.
Their Commonwealth Games team-mate, Daryl Selby, who emerged from Manchester nursing an injury, will hope to be in reasonable shape as he confronts the tricky Ali Fathi at the University Club.
Declan James, whose place at 26 in the world rankings means he did not have to face the ordeal of qualifying, has been drawn against top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy, who returns to the top of the PSA rankings on March 1.
There were upsets in the women’s draw as Belgian World No.59 Tinne Gilis reached her first World Series main draw, while older sister, Nele, and Canada’s World No.35 Hollie Naughton missed out.
World No.28 Nele Gilis fell to a straight-games defeat in just 28 minutes against Canada’s World No.42 Danielle Letourneau on the final day of qualifying for the World Series event, while her younger sister, Tinne, successfully made it past World No.40 Milou van der Heijden by a 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 scoreline to reach her first ever World Series main draw.
The 20-year-old Belgian will now face World Champion Egypt’s Raneem El Welily in round one, with the latter aiming for her fourth successive Windy City Open title at this year’s tournament.
Elsewhere on the women’s draw, Canadian favourite Naughton could not find a way past Egyptian 17-year-old Nada Abbas, who prevailed in straight games by an 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 margin to book her place in the main draw where she will take on the new British national champion Tesni Evans in round one.
Alison Waters, who lost to Evans in Sunday’s final in Manchester, faces Joey Chan of Hong Kong. Former world champion Laura Massaro, who came second to Evans in the National semi-finals after a shock defeat in the World Championships in the same city, tackles Australia’s Donna Urquhart.
Emily Whitlock plays French qualifier Coline Aumard, while Victoria Lust and Sarah-Jane Perry have been drawn against American sisters Amanda and Sabrina Sobhy.
And there will be plenty of cross-border rivalry when Canada’s Samantha Cornett takes on America’s Olivia Blatchford.
Main draw matches held on the glass show court inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.
2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company.
Women’s Qualification Finals:
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt  Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-1: 16-14, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (51m)
 Nada Abbas (EGY) bt  Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 (30m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (19m
 Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt  Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt  Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
 Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
 Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt  Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (28m)
 Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt  Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (25m)
Draw – Women’s First Round:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
[Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) v  Olivia Blatchford (USA)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) v [Q] Nada Abbas (EGY)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Nadine Shahin (EGY) v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Salma Hany (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Nicol David (MAS) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Joey Chan (HKG) v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Men’s Qualification Finals:
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt  Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 14-12, 11-5 (33m)
 Lucas Serme (FRA) bt  Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (48m
 Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt  Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 5-11, 11-5 (58m)
 Max Lee (HKG) bt  Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4 (45m)
 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt  Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (55m)
 Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (54m)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt  Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (44m)
 Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-1: 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 (72m)
Men’s First Round:
 Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
James Willstrop (ENG) v [WC] Chris Hanson (USA)
Leo Au (HKG) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Diego Elias (PER) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Max Lee (HKG)
Paul Coll (NZL) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Declan James (ENG) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of England Squash