US outsider overcomes No.3 seed in NetSuite marathon
By NATHAN CLARKE in San Francisco
American number two and World No.37 Olivia Blatchford produced the performance, and shock, of the day during the first round of main draw action at the Women’s PSA W25 NetSuite Open, as she surged to an impressive 3-2 win over Indian number three seed and World No.17 Dipika Pallikal.
Blatchford stormed into an early two-game advantage in San Francisco only to see Pallikal show her resolve to level the match and force a decider – which she entered with momentum and confidence on her side.
But Blatchford gathered herself and showed impressive composure as he held her nerve in a tense fifth game to take the match 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9 to record a huge upset.
She was joined in the quarter-finals by compatriot and top seed Amanda Sobhy, who ruthlessly saw off Mexican Samantha Teran in just 20 minutes as she bids to add a 14th PSA World Tour title to her name – where she could line up against PanAm Games team-mate Blatchford in the semi-finals if they both prevail in their last eight encounters.
In two all-England matches qualifiers Millie Tomlinson and Fiona Moverley fell to Victoria Lust and Sarah-Jane Perry. Both scoreless were 3-1, but Tomlinson forced Lust to battle for an hour with two tight games going to 13-11.
Wales number one Tesni Evans, the number eight seed, fought back from two games down to beat Kanzy El Defray 11-6 in the fifth after 67 minutes of fierce combat. Denmark’s Line Hansen took one minute longer to see off Pakistan’s Maria Toorpakai Wazir in a see-saw contest.
In another five-setter, Egypt’s No.4 seed Habiba Mohamed beat New Zealand qualifier Amanda Landers-Murphy 13-11 in the decider.
The quarter-final action continues tomorrow, Saturday September 26, with Sobhy set to take on Evans on the stunning all-glass show court situated on Justin Herman Plaza overlooking San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.
No.2 seed Perry meets the lively Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana, who overcame the American wild card, Reyna Pacheco, in straight games.
2015 NetSuite Open, San Francisco, USA.
PSA W25 First Round:
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-0: 11-5, 11-0, 11-3 (20m)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (67m)
 Line Hansen (DEN) bt [Q] Maria Toorpakai Wazir (PAK) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 (68m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 3-2: 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9
 Habiba Mohamed (EGY) bt [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 13-11 (50m)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) bt [Q] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 13-11 (60m)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [WC] Reyna Pacheco (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-4
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [Q] Fiona Moverley (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 (36m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Line Hansen (DEN) v Olivia Blatchford (USA)
 Habiba Mohamed (EGY) v  Victoria Lust (ENG)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)