Nicol David leads seeds through to Windy City quarter-finals
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
World champion Nicol David led the four seeds through to the quarter-finals on day three of the Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, a spectacular WSA World Series event with equal prize money at the University Club of Chicago, USA.
It was a revenge win for fourth seed Nour El Sherbini when the 19-year-old Egyptian made up for the shock defeat by Hong Kong’s Annie Au in last month’s Cleveland Classic in Ohio.
El Sherbini, the world No.4 (pictured above, left, with Au) in her maiden appearance in the Chicago championship, needed 45 minutes to see off the tenth-seeded left-hander 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8.
“Even when I was 2/0 it wasn’t easy today against Annie,” admitted the Alexandria-based teenager afterwards. “She came back well in the third and then was playing really positive in the fourth so I’m happy I was able to hang in there.
“We played just a few weeks ago and she beat me so I felt like I needed to win today to make sure I don’t lose to her twice in a row and I’m happy to win.”
El Sherbini will now face compatriot Nour El Tayeb to ensure Egyptian interest in the semi-finals. In the opening match of the day, the 21-year-old No.8 seed from Cairo defeated 13th seed Madeline Perry, the 38-year-old world No.14 from Ireland, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in a victory which brings the pair’s career head-to-head tally to three wins apiece.
Revenge will be in the air in the other quarter-final line-up settled after straight games wins by Nicol David and Alison Waters.
Top seed David, the world No.1 from Malaysia, defeated qualifier Heba El Torky, the world No.26 from Egypt, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.
“She’s Egyptian so you have to expect her to be shooting from all over the court and you just have to be prepared to work hard throughout all the rallies,” explained the 31-year-old from Penang (pictured above at full stretch against El Torky) who is poised to reach the 99th WSA World Tour final of her career in Chicago.
“I knew I had to be sharp from the start and I’m really pleased to win three love today.
“It’s fantastic that the organisers and the sponsors here at the Windy City Open have managed to make prize money at this event equal for women and it’s a great boost for all the girls. It’s my first ever time here in Chicago so I’m looking forward to trying my best to win here this week.”
Waters, the world No.5 from England, also ousted a qualifier – in this case compatriot Victoria Lust in a 13-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory in 32 minutes.
It was earlier this year, at the Tournament of Champions in New York, that Waters produced one her finest performances on a squash court to beat David in only her second win over the eight-time world champion in 25 meetings.
Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, Chicago, USA
Women’s 2nd round (top half of draw):
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (27m)
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Victoria Lust (ENG) 13-11, 11-5, 11-4 (32m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8 (45m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (34m)
Pictures by MARIAN KRAUS