By JANE BALL (Squash Mad Reporter)
World No.29 Jasmine Hutton won an all-English encounter against Lucy Beecroft to book a second-round clash with Georgina Kennedy in the inaugural South Western Women’s Open in Houston, Texas.
Their first round tie in this new PSA Gold event was a repeat of this year’s British National Championships final which was also won by Hutton. The match oozed quality from the outset with both players utilising all four corners of the court at different paces.
With the score level at 1-1, it was Hutton who found the better length and used that to set up several attacking opportunities. She took full advantage to win the third and fourth games both 11-6 to take the match.
Thinking ahead to meeting Commonwealth Games champion and No.4 seed Kennedy, Hutton said: “I’m very happy to start my season with a win. It’s different tactics against Gina – you know it’s going to be really physical.
“Against Lucy, you know you will be retrieving a lot because she attacks a lot. With Gina, it will be more rhythmical with longer rallies, but I’m just looking forward to going for it.”
American duo Olivia Clyne and Sabrina Sobhy safely made their way through to round two in the event after beating Finland’s Emilia Soini and Latvia’s Ineta Mackevica respectively.
Clyne wasted no time as she stormed to victory in just 21 minutes. Her changes of pace and angles proved to be too much for Mackevica, who struggled to find the accuracy to trouble the American World No.21.
Sobhy was in fine form in the opening match of her season and despite losing the third game, she returned to her accurate and fast-paced game to close out the fourth game 11-1.
Sobhy said: “It’s always nerve-racking, the first match of any PSA and the first of the season especially, you feel a little off because you haven’t done it in a few months.
“She was attacking a little bit more and I felt like I lost my length. The court is a little tricky but once you get into the match it can be quite quick.
“She is a tricky player and has a lot of good short shots and flicks, so she had me on a lot of those and the nerves started to pile up and my accuracy left me. But I was happy to get stuck into it in the fourth and win.”
Round one also saw three Egyptian winners as Sana Ibrahim, Mariam Metwally and Hana Ramadan all scored victories to earn a second round place. Ibrahim and Ramadan needed just three games to overcome compatriots Nour Aboulmakarim and Fayrouz Aboelkheir to move into the last 16.
Metwally had to battle hard to defeat Canada’s Nicole Bunyan in a five-game thriller to set up an all-Egyptian clash with No.3 seed Rowan Elaraby.
Hong Kong’s Ka Yi Lee claimed the only upset on day one. Yi Lee defeated compatriot and 9/16 seed Tomato Ho in an entertaining five-game battle to secure her place in the second round.
She will face a tough test today as she comes up against No.1 seed and World No.1 Nouran Gohar for a place in the final eight.
The action continues from the South Western Women’s Open today as the four top half matches take place and will be shown live on SQUASHTV from 16:30 (GMT-5).
South Western Women’s Open, Houston, Texas, USA.
Ka Yi Lee (HKG) bt Tomato Ho (HKG) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-6 (46m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-1: 11-3, 11-6, 11-13, 11-1 (35m)
Sana Ibrahim (EGY) bt Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (28m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-2: 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 (57m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 (45m)
Olivia Clyne (USA) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (21m)
Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt [WC] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (33m)
Second Round (top half, September 7):
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Ka Yi Lee (HKG)
[9/16] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v  Olivia Fiechter (USA)
 Emily Whitlock (WAL) v [9/16] Sana Ibrahim (EGY)
[9/16] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v  Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
Second Round (bottom half, September 8):
 Georgina Kennedy (ENG) [Bye] v [9/16] Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
[9/16] Olivia Clyne (USA) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Salma Hany (EGY) v [9/16] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[9/16] Hana Ramadan (EGY) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
Pictures courtesy of Collin Poon Kong via PSA World Tour