Thursday, November 30, 2023

Mohamed ElShorbagy and Lisa Aitken the only Brits to cross the bridge into San Francisco quarter-finals

By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

Mohamed ElShorbagy and Lisa Aitken are the only British players to reach the quarter-finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco.

The top four men’s seeds all advanced on the all-glass court at Pier 70 in San Francisco in different styles, with ElShorbagy looking confident and composed as he overcame the challenge of talented Indian opponent Mahesh Mangaonkar.

After the match ElShorbagy was highly complimentary about his opponent’s courtcraft and told the crowd the reasons for his recent switch f allegiance from Egypt to England.

“I have lived in England for almost 20 years. I went to school and university there and have always had English coaches.”

But it was the end of the pier show for fellow England players George Parker and Nick Wall, who lost to Saurav Ghosal and Miguel Rodriguez respectively.

Wall’s coach Nick Matthew looks at this season as one where the player will absorb a huge amount of knowledge and experience playing in the bigger tournaments.

Coming up against an incredibly talented and athletic opponent like Rodriguez will be part of that learning curve.

Wall played well and went close to an upset in the first game before losing a tiebreak 13-11 and the Colombian won through by taking the second game 11-7.

No.3 seed, Mazen Hesham was first to book his place in the last eight as he overcame India’s Ramit Tandon in a hard-fought three games with errors from Tandon at a crucial time in the third game heavily aiding the Egyptian.

Nick Wall goes out to Miguel Rodriguez

ElShorbagy’s brother Marwan also recorded a business-like victory over Mexico’s Cesar Salazar, while top seed Diego Elias was in sumptuous form as he cruised to victory over USA’s Faraz Khan.

Two matches took place at the Squash Zone Club in Redwood City, with both seeded players progressing to the next round.

Parker put up a strong fight against Ghosal before the No.5 seed won through 11-6, 13-15, 11-3 in a match lasting 57 minutes, while Aitken needed all three games to defeat France’s Marie Stephan to advance.

Saurav Ghosal volleys against George Parker

Aitken won 11-3, 6-11, 11-7 and now meets No.3 seed Farida Mohamed, who beat England’s Lucy Beecroft in two tight games, winning 12-10, 11-9.

Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk and Egypt’s Aly Abou Eleinen scored the only upsets in round two, beating Olivia Clyne and Youssef Soliman respectively.

World No.36 Chan Sin Yuk has been in impressive form heading into this week’s event, winning her previous two events in Australia.

Clyne tried her best to get into the match but the accuracy of her younger opponent was simply too good. After just 15 minutes, the 20-year-old secured her place in the biggest quarter final of her career, winning 11-5, 11-7.

After winning she told the crowd that she loved watching top seed Amanda Sobhy play and that’s who she meets next after the American gained a confident 2-0 win over Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim.

Lisa Aitken wins through to the quarter-finals

No.2 seed Joelle King booked her place in the final four as she beat Hong Kong’s Tomato Ho in straight games. King’s opponent will be Sabrina Sobhy, Amanda’s younger sister, who overcame talented Egyptian Zeina Mickawy 2-0 to move into her first Silver event quarter final.

The play was again spread across different venues in round two with matches taking place at the University Club, Olympic Club and Squash Zone Club. Egypt’s Aly Abou Eleinen scored an upset in round one beating Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and continued his run in the event by taking out compatriot and No.7 seed Youssef Soliman, winning 11-8, 7-11, 14-12 in a tussle lasting 72 minutes at the Olympic Club.

Eleinen now meets top seed Diego Elias. After winning the third-game tiebreak, Eleinen said: “It feels amazing. I had 10 good days of training before this tournament to prepare and coming into a silver event, I didn’t feel any pressure. It’s on the more experienced guys. I just wanted to enjoy my squash and give it my best.

Chan Sin Yuk beats Olivia Clyne

“At 12-12 in the third game, I had to just try and stay tough and control the controllables. Being in the quarter finals of a Silver event is massive for me and I just want to enjoy the moment and give it my all.”

Over at the University Club, Canada’s Hollie Naughton had to dig deep to overcome in form Malaysian Rachel Arnold to progress to the last eight, winning 11-9 in the third game. The pair had played twice before on the PSA World Tour with Arnold winning the most recent encounter back in February this year.

All of the quarter final action from the Oracle NetSuite Open will be played on the all-glass court at Pier 70, starting again at 12 noon local time (GMT-7) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV.

Oracle Netsuite Open 2022, Pier 70, San Francisco, USA.

Men’s second round:
[1] Diego Elias (PER) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 2-0: 11-2, 11-6 (21m)
Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) bt [7] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 2-1: 11-8, 7-11, 14-12 (72m)
[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Nick Wall (ENG) 2-0: 13-11, 11-7 (34m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 2-0:
[3] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 2-1: 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (35m)
[8] Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 2-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
[5] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt George Parker (ENG) 2-1: 11-6, 13-15, 11-3 (57m)
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 2-0: 11-9, 11-6 (26m)

Women’s second round:
[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 2-0: 11-8, 11-1 (15m)
Chan Sin Yuk (HKG) bt [6] Olivia Clyne (USA) 2-0: 11-5, 11-7 (15m)
[7] Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 2-0: 11-7, 11-0 (15m)
[4] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 2-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-9 (26m)
[3] Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 2-0: 12-10, 11-9 (23m)
[8] Lisa Aitken (SCO) v Marie Stephan (FRA) 2-1: 11-3, 6-11, 11-7 (33m)
[5] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 11-4 (20m)
[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt Tomato Ho (HKG) 2-0: 12-10, 11-6 (23m)

Men’s Quarter Finals:
[1] Diego Elias (PER) v Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY)
[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[3] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v [8] Shahjahan Khan (USA)
[5] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG)

Women’s Quarter Finals:
[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Chan Sin Yuk (HKG)
[7] Hana Ramadan (EGY) v [4] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
[3] Farida Mohamed (EGY) v [8] Lisa Aitken (SCO)
[5] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [2] Joelle King (NZL)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour


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