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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Evans above: Tesni is top of the Brit parade

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By MICHAEL CATLING

BRITISH qualifier Tesni Evans continued a running trend of upsets to stun Australian Kasey Brown in the first-round of the Hong Kong Open and set-up a last-16 meeting with Alison Waters.

The 21-year-old, from Rhyl in Wales, twice fell behind against the world number 11, before eventually prevailing 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 in 81 minutes – the longest match of the tournament.

Evans, who had previously failed to progress past the first-round stage in any World Series Gold event this year, pinpointed her gung-ho approach as the key in her victory at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

“At the end, I think it’s probably the fact that I didn’t have much experience and that I just went for it, with nothing to lose, that made the difference,” said the world number 39.

World number one Nicol David began her quest for a ninth successive title in Hong Kong, with a straightforward 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 victory over Canadian qualifier Sam Cornett.

SermeThe 30-year-old Malaysian will now face ninth-seed Camille Serme (pictured right) in a repeat of their second-round match at the US Open, after the French player quelled a spirited performance by teenager Emily Whitlock to win in four games.

But while Whitlock exited the tournament early, English duo Alison Waters and Jenny Duncalf advanced into the second-round with varying degrees of difficulty.

World number seven Duncalf was pushed hard by home-favourite Joey Chan, before breaking local hearts to triumph 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 in 45 minutes.

But while Duncalf endured a difficult afternoon, Waters had little trouble in beating an out-of-sorts Misaki Kobayashi as she romped to an 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 success.

The Japanese number one struggled to assert control amid Waters’ powerful hitting and despite displaying an exemplary touch at the front of the court, she eventually succumbed in just 24 minutes to the world number four.

Elsewhere, Indian Joshna Chinappa produced a second shock of the day as she knocked out number seven seed Natalie Grinham in straight games.

Chinappa, who is ranked 26th in the world, dominated the Dutch number one from start-to-finish to triumph 11-8, 11-8, 11-4. The 27-year-old will now meet Line Hansen for a place in the quarter-finals, after the Swede powered past England’s Sarah Kippax 11-6, 12-10, 11-9.

Earlier in the day, 16th seed Nicolette Fernandes battled into the last 16 with a hard-fought 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 success over world number 20 Donna Urquhart.

Despite easing through the opening game, the second and third games were much tighter affairs before Fernandes eventually capitalised on Urquhart’s unforced errors to book a second-round meeting with Duncalf.

Click here for Monday’s first-round action.

Round One – Women’s Top Half Results:

[16] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 3-0 Donna Urquhart (Aus) 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (38m)
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 3-1 Joey Chan (Hkg) 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 (45m)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn) – 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (24m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) 3-2 [10] Kasey Brown (Aus) 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 (81m)
[9] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 Emily Whitlock (Eng) 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 (42m)
[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 [Q] Sam Cornett (Can) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (35m)
[15] Line Hansen  (Den) 3-0 Sarah Kippax (Eng) 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (44m)
Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 3-0 [7] Natalie Grinham (Ned) 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (31m)

Round Two – Women’s Draw:

[1] Nicol David (Mas) v [9] Camille Serme (Fra) – 18:45pm
[16] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) v [5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) – 18:00pm
[4] Alison Waters v Tesni Evans (Wal) – 19:30pm
[15] Line Hansen (Den) v Joshna Chinappa (Ind) – 20:15pm
[8] Madeline Perry (Irl) v [11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) – 16:30pm
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) v [3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) – 17:15pm
Emma Beddoes v [12] Annie Au (Hkg) – 15:00pm
[13] Rachael Grinham (Aus) v [2] Laura Massaro(Eng) – 15;45pm

Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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