Egyptians dominate US Open with Mazen and Zahed beating Barker and Pilley
By NATHAN CLARKE in Philadelphia
The second round of the 2015 Delaware Investments US Open will feature a total of 12 Egyptians across both the Men’s and Women’s PSA World Series tournaments after players from the North African country dominated play on day two of first round action at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
With players keen to impress new national coach Amr Shabana, it was a day of huge significance for Egyptian squash.
But the biggest shock of the day came as South African Steve Coppinger overcame No.4 seed Miguel Rodrigue in a dramatic first round encounter.
The tall Coppinger produced one of the biggest wins of his career to remove his regular training partner Rodriguez in straight games, winning 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 in 70 minutes.
Coppinger now meets England’s Daryl Selby in a momentous battle for a quarter-final spot after Selby ended home hopes by beating America’s Chris Gordon 11-5, 11-8, 11-6.
A quintet of Egyptian players, led by World No.7 Omar Mosaad and No.8 Tarek Momen – who will face each other for a place in the quarter-finals – moved into the second round of the men’s draw to join World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and world champion Ramy Ashour, who had secured their passage during the opening day of action. Also progressing were a trio of rising stars in the guise of Mazen Hesham, Zahed Mohamed and Fares Dessouki.
Hesham was sublime as he saw off England’s World No.11 Peter Barker 3-0 to set up a second round clash with Dessouki – who came through a titanic battle against World Junior Champion Diego Elias in what is certain to be a match-up that will dominate the PSA World Tour for years to come – with Mohamed upsetting the odds with a stunning display to defeat Australian World No.17 Cameron Pilley 3-1.
“I’m really happy to be here and win my first round match,” said 21-year-old Hesham.
“Fares and I have played a lot and we know each other’s game a lot – we’ve come through the juniors together. It’ll be a tough match and hopefully we can put on a good show for the crowds.”
In the women’s event, World No.6 Omneya Abdel Kawy swept past American wildcard Sabrina Sobhy while World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar beat compatriot Kanzy El Defrawy to set up a second round clash with defending US Open champion Nicol David of Malaysia.
Gohar and David clashed at the China Open in September when the 18-year-old star stunned the World No.2 at the quarter-final stage but David, who beat Hong Kong’s Joey Chan 3-0, will be confident of overturning that result as she bids to win a record fourth consecutive US Open crown.
“It feel great to be back on court in Philadelphia – it’s always nice to be back here,” said David.
“I’m really excited about this week and hopefully I can keep improving match by match. Getting off to a 3-0 win is important as you just want to get in and get your game together.
“I had to step up and play the big points well against Joey and I did that so I’m happy and I can go and enjoy the rest day now especially because I have my team here with me to work on me and help me perform at my best against Nouran in the next round.”
America’s Amanda Sobhy hit the home headlines with a positive, powerful performance to overcome England’s No.14 seed Sarah-Jane Perry.
The US number one, with former men’s number one Thierry Lincou in her corner, will need to deliver play of a similar calibre in the next round when she faces former world champion Laura Massaro, this week’s No.5 seed who overcame Egypt’s Heba El Torky in straight games.
After winning the Macau Open, Massaro surprisingly slipped up in the first round of the Carol Weymuller Open in Brooklyn, losing to Egyptin qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim, but is aiming to get back on track by playing her best squash here in Philadelphia.
There was double delight for Indian players Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa in the Women’s event as they defied the odds against top ranked opposition to reach the second round of the US Open for the first time ever.
“With Joshanna winning today as well is great for Indian squash,” said Pallikal after her win over former World No.4 Joelle King. “We’re both continually pushing each other to improve and I think women’s squash in India is at it’s best right now so hopefully we can keep performing well in this tournament.”
Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.
Women’s First Round, Bottom Half:
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7 (55m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [Q] Joelle King (NZL) 3-2: 8-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9 (63m)
Joshana Chinappa (IND) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (28m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 (30m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (30m)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (35m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [Q] Kanzy El Defrawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (28m)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (33m)
Draw – Second Round:
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
 Emma Beddoes (ENG) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS)
 Delia Arnold (MAS) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v  Dipika Pallikal (IND)
Joshana Chinappa (IND) v  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Nicol David (MAS)
Men’s First Round, Bottom Half:
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (70m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (38m)
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (50m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Lauren Jan Anjema (NED) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (44m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt  Peter Barker (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (34m)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) bt [Q] Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 (72m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1; 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 (63m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (66m)
Draw – Second Round:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Alister Walker (BOT)
Tom Richards (ENG) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Fares Dessouki (EGY)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA and US Open