Sunday, July 14, 2024

Greg Lobban takes out Max Lee in US Open shock

Greg Lobban (right) celebrates his moment of victory
Greg Lobban (right) celebrates his moment of victory

Flying Scot faces top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy in US Open
By NATHAN CLARKE in Philadelphia


Scotland’s Greg Lobban continued his giant-killing in the first round of the 2015 Delaware Investments US Open in Philadelphia. After beating Hong Kong’s Leo Au in the qualifying competition, he overcame world No.13 Max Lee, also from Hong Kong, to set up a second round meeting with the top seed, Mohamed Elshorbagy from Egypt.

World No.1s Elshorbagy and Raneem El Welily got their US Open campaigns off to successful starts at Drexel University yestoday with comfortable 3-0 wins in their respective first round encounters.

Defending men’s champion Elshorbagy came through a testing match-up with tenacious Mexican Cesar Salazar to book his place in the second round.

The 24-year-old from Alexandria, who is based in Bristol, England, was forced to draw on plenty of big match experience as he came from behind to rescue both the first and second games against the No.30 before eventually pulling away to complete an 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 victory.

Mohameds Elshorbagy turns up the power against Cesar Salazar
Mohamed Elshorbagy turns up the power against Cesar Salazar

“It’s good to be back here in Philadelphia especially because this is where I first got the World No.1 ranking last year,” said Elshorbagy, who topped the November 2014 PSA World Rankings courtesy of his semi-final victory over Grgeory Gaultier en route to taking the title here 12 months ago.

“Cesar played really well and I know how dangerous he can be. I knew I couldn’t afford to take him lightly and I’m glad I was lucky enough to take those crucial points at the end of each of the first two games.

“I’m looking forward to a rest day and coming back here again on Monday for the next match.”

Elshorbagy will now take on Lobban in the second round after the 23-year-old World No.38 produced the upset of the round to defeat World No.13 Max Lee in a thrilling 65-minute encounter.

After comfortably defeating Hong Kong’s number two Leo Au to secure his place in the main draw Lobban inflicted further misery on the Far Eastern country by defeating Lee, the Hong Kong number one, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-7.

Greg Lobban sets up a backhand against Max Lee
Greg Lobban sets up a backhand against Max Lee

“I’m pretty exhausted to be honest,” said Lobban afterwards. “I had a tough one against Leo (Au) last night and I knew it was going to be tough again against Max. He likes to keep the pace really high and it was a different kind of match today.

“I played Elshorbagy last year at this event and lost three nil but I’m looking forward to it, it’s good to play these top guys – it’s why I play these big events.”

In the Women’s event World No.1 Raneem El Welily, who comes into the event as the top seed for the first time in her career, began her campaign to dethrone incumbent champion Nicol David – the women she knocked off the World No.1 ranking spot in September – with an imposing 3-0 win over Emily Whitlock.

El Welily took just 28-minutes to defeat her English opponent during a day of action that was dominated by Egyptian stars, with Nour El Sherbini and Nour El Tayeb also progressing to the second round.

Raneem Elwelily on the attack against Emily Whitlock
Raneem ElWelily on the attack against Emily Whitlock

“I’m trying to play sharper than I did last week and keep my focus throughout each match in this tournament and I’ve started well so hopefully I can keep that going now,” said El Welily, who lost to El Sherbini in the semi-finals of the Carol Weymuller open last week.

“I enjoy playing this event; it’s a great venue, great court and great tournament so I’m excited to keep improving each day I play. I’m the top seed but there’s no pressure on me here. I’m not thinking about any pressure, I’m just focusing on each match.”

The first round continues on Sunday October 11 with action from the bottom half of the draw taking centre stage in Philadelphia with all the action being shown live and exclusively on SQUASHTV at text here 

Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.

Results – Women’s First Round, Top Half:
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0:11-4, 11-3, 11-5 (28m)
[15] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12 11-7, 11-8 (44m)
[10] Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 (47m)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 5-11, 11-3 (66m)
[7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [13] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-6
[11] Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (29m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (40m)

Draw – First Round, Bottom Half: To Be Played Sunday October 11
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
[Q] Joelle King (NZL) v [16] Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[9] Annie Au (HKG) v Joshana Chinappa (IND)
[WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [14] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[12] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [Q] Kanzy El Defrawy (EGY)
[Q] Joey Chan (HKG) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)

Results – Men’s First Round, Top Half:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (50m)
[Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-7 (65m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (46m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (33m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-4 (69m)
Alister Walker (BOT) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCOT) 3-2: 11-8, 12-10, 4-11, 5-11, 11-7 (73m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 14-16, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (61m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 12-10 (57m)

Draw – First Round, Bottom Half: To Be Played Sunday October 11
[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA)
Tarek Momen (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Lauren Jan Anjema (NED) v [6] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[8] Peter Barker (ENG) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [Q] Diego Elias (PER)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 

Pictures courtesy of PSA and US Open


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