Lucy Turmel meets Rowan Elaraby in battle of the giant killers
By SEAN REUTHE – Squash Mad Correspondent
Nour El Tayeb and Joelle King, the 2018 finalists, fell to shock defeats against World No.20 Rowan Elaraby and World No.19 Nadine Shahin on day two of the 2020 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family at the University Club of Chicago.
El Tayeb, the defending champion, had put together a superb run of form in Chicago, which saw her win the 2018 title while she also reached the final of the PSA Women’s World Championship when it was held at Union Station last season.
However, the World No.5 cut an increasingly frustrated figure as she surrendered a one-game lead against Elaraby. The two-time World Junior Champion had never beaten El Tayeb on the PSA World Tour, but that all changed as the 19-year-old cemented her credentials as a future challenger to the world’s elite, winning 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 to send shockwaves through the draw of this $250k PSA Platinum tournament.
“It feels amazing, this win means a lot to me,” said Elaraby. “It actually gave me confidence that I can beat top 10 players, and I’m really happy with this win. It’s totally different than the Nationals, there is more of a vibe here.
“I’ve never been here playing at this venue, and I feel comfortable playing on this court. The crowd is amazing as well, so I’m very happy playing here.”
In the next round, Elaraby will play England’s Lucy Turmel, who is through to the third round of a PSA Platinum event for the first time courtesy of a surprise 3-2 win over No.13 seed Victoria Lust.
Meanwhile, Shahin will take on United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne next as both players aim to reach their first Platinum quarter-final. Shahin went up against King on the traditional plaster court rather than the glass, and that seemed to suit her game as she took an 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 victory in just 22 minutes.
Elsewhere, World No.1 Raneem El Welily kickstarted her attempts to win a fourth Windy City Open title after recovering from a slow start to beat England’s Julianne Courtice by an 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 scoreline.
After beating Canada’s Danielle Letourneau in the previous round, Courtice vowed to take the game to El Welily, and she certainly did that in the early stages, playing some well-constructed rallies to go 6-2 ahead. El Welily soon found her range though, taking eight of the next 10 points to go a game to the good and she followed that up with further wins in games two and three to reach the last 16.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, but I’m definitely happy with the match today,” said El Welily. “I’ve seen her results, I know what she is capable of, but being on court with her is definitely something different. I’m very pleased to be through with a 3-0 win and I wish her all the best.”
United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy will join El Welily in the third round after quickly dispatching Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling, while there were also wins for World No.2 Nouran Gohar, World No.3 Camille Serme and World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry.
In the men’s event, World No.17 Omar Mosaad achieved his first win over French veteran Gregory Gaultier at the 12th attempt after coming through a brutal 71-minute battle. Gaultier marked his comeback from a 15-month spell on the sidelines with victory over Mosaad at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions last month, while he also defeated the former World No.3 to win the 2015 PSA Men’s World Championship.
However, Mosaad finally ended his hoodoo against the former World No.1, coming back from 2-1 down to win 7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 in 71 minutes.
“We played last month at the Tournament of Champions and it was 3-2 there, so I tried as much as I could to calm down and to start well [in the fifth], but he took the first three points,” said Mosaad afterwards.
“I had to try and just keep going, to keep playing my game, and I did a good job to come back to win, especially against such an experienced player like Greg.”
Mosaad will line up against No.1 seed Ali Farag for a place in the last eight after Farag survived a tough test against Hong Kong’s Leo Au.
It wasn’t a straightforward match for the World No.2, who won the PSA World Championship title in Chicago 12 months ago at Union Station. Farag saw a one-game lead wiped out as Au grew into the match and showcased his impressive retrieving abilities in the second, but he ultimately came through to win 11-6, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5.
“I’m very happy. Leo injects pace without injecting pace in a very weird way,” said Farag, who was playing his first match since losing the World No.1 spot to Mohamed ElShorbagy on February 1.
“The subtleties he has with the height on the front wall and the attacks with a basic line are really deceptive. The court for some reason is a lot faster this year, and it’s hard to adapt to. I was so scared to go short so he doesn’t go and flatten it out, so I was a little too passive.”
ElShorbagy made a winning start to life at World No.1 after axing England’s Daryl Selby in straight games, while his younger brother Marwan fell to a surprise defeat against World No.37 Youssef Soliman.
France’s Mathieu Castagnet also upset the seedings as the World No.22 downed India’s World No.13 Saurav Ghosal after 100 minutes of action, while World No.3 Tarek Momen is also through after defeating Germany’s Raphael Kandra in straight games.
England’s Declan James and Adrian Waller both won through in the bottom half of the draw and face challenging ties against (5) Paul Coll and (7) Simon Rosner tomorrow after a rest day today. Joel Makin (Wales) overcame Gregoire Marche and meets (6) Diego Elias today in a thorough examination of the best of British talent.
All the action from the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
2020 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family, University Hall, Chicago, USA.
PSA $250k Platinum Men’s Second Round:
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-6, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5 (38m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2: 7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (71m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (63m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (38m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 (49m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 13-11 (47m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-2: 12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 5-11, 11-6 (63m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 12-10 (31m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (47m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 14-16, 15-13, 12-10 (100m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8 (54m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (73m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (53m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-1: 11-9, 12-10, 13-15, 11-9 (70m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 12-10 (37m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (30m)
Men’s Third Round (Top Half today):
 Ali Farag (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Joel Makin (WAL) v  Diego Elias (PER)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half tomorrow, March 1):
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Declan James (ENG)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
PSA $250k Platinum Women’s Second Round:
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (26m)
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (29m)
 Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (29m)
Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (22m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-1, 11-0, 11-4 (17m)
 Annie Au (HKG) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-2: 11-13, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 (51m)
 Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3 (57m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (25m)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (36m)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt  Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9 (55m)
 Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-1 (32m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Melissa Alves (ENG) 3-0: 14-12, 12-10, 11-8 (37m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-3, 1-0 rtd. (15m)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (44m)
Donna Lobban (AUS) bt  Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-1: 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 (23m)
Women’s Third Round (Top Half today):
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Nele Gilis (BEL) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half tomorrow, March 1):
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Lucy Turmel (ENG)
 Yathreb Adel (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Donna Lobban (AUS) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA