Qualifiers face baptism of fire as they await first appearance in one of squash’s most majestic venues
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
England’s Victoria Lust and Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim will make their debuts on the all-glass court at Grand Central Terminal in New York after contrasting qualifying successes in the Women’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions.
Lust, the world No.32 from Luton (pictured above) who is now based in Canada, despatched Egyptian teenager Mariam Metwally 11-7, 11-5, 11-5, and will now face another Egyptian, eighth seed Nour El Tayeb, in the first round of the WSA Gold 50 squash event.
It was an easier ride for Ibrahim, who became the youngest player in the main draw without striking a ball after her higher-ranked English opponent Emma Beddoes withdrew following illness.
The 18-year-old world No.25 from Alexandria (pictured below) will meet No.2 seed Laura Massaro, the world No.3 who was runner-up in the 2014 championship.
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy provided further Egyptian success in the qualifying finals after upsetting compatriot Heba El Torky, the world No.25 from Alexandria, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 in 63 minutes.
Cairo-based El-Defrawy, the world No.66 and now the lowest-ranked player in the main draw, will line up against Camille Serme, the sixth seed from France.
In a battle between two stalwarts of the WSA World Tour, Samantha Teran ensured Mexican interest in the main draw for the first time for three years after upsetting England’s former world No.2 Jenny Duncalf 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8 in 56 minutes.
Teran, the reigning Pan American champion, ranked 33 in the world, will take on England’s No.5 seed Alison Waters for a place in the event’s quarter-finals.
Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David is seeded to retain the title she won in her maiden appearance in the championship in 2014. In what will be the pair’s 36th Tour meeting since April 2000, David will face Australia’s former world number one and world champion Rachael Grinham in the opening round.
Women’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, New York, USA
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (43m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (63m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) w/o
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8 (56m)
Updated 1st round draw:
 Nicol David (MAS) v Rachael Grinham (AUS)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Annie Au (HKG)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Victoria Lust (ENG)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
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Pictures courtesy of WSA