Monday, May 20, 2024

Top trio Miguel Rodriguez, Saurav Ghosal and Salma Hany all bow out on day of shocks in New Zealand

By DAVE WORSLEY (Squash Mad Correspondent in Tauranga)

The form book was turned upside down on day two of the New Zealand Open as Miguel Rodriguez, Saurav Ghosal and Salma Hany all fell at the first hurdle as they entered the fray at the second round stage.

In the men’s event, sponsored by Robertson Lodges, Canada’s world No.69 David Baillargeon claimed the biggest win of his career as he overcame world No.13 and No.4 seed Rodriguez.

Argentina’s Leandro Romiglio also caused a big upset against No.5 seed Ghosal, while women’s No.3 seed Hany fell to the steadily improving world No.48 Satomi Watanabe from Japan.

Baillargeon is clearly feeling at home after a week of play on the glass court at the Trustpower Baypark Arena.

He produced a sublime performance, showcasing his fighting spirit as well as his skills with the racket, to overturn four games balls in the first and third games to complete the win after three tiebreak games, winning 16-14, 12-10, 16-14.

“I trained super hard for that over the years,” said Baillargeon. “Especially this year, it hasn’t gone my way at at the beginning of this season, but I’m so happy I got a huge win like this. The win was 3-0, but I think it was close to 65 minutes, it was a super long with a few tie-breaks.”

Canada’s David Baillargeon controls the ball at the front of the court against Miguel Rodriguez

Over at the Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre, which hosted some of the early round fixtures today and yesterday, Argentina’s Romiglio caused a big upset against India’s No.5 seed Ghosal, winning 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7 to set up a last eight clash with No.2 seed Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Romiglio said: “I knew from that the beginning it would be tough, because Saurav is so talented, and a legend of the game.

“It is going be tough with ‘The Beast’ (ElShorbagy). We have been training in Prague a bit since he has been training with Greg (Gaultier). We have been hitting a lot and we all know that Mohamed is Mohamed, so I look forward to spending time with him on court and I am going to go for the win, why not?”

ElShorbagy got the better of fellow Englishman Charlie Lee, while top seed Paul Coll overcame USA’s Timothy Brownell, also in straight games.

Leandro Romiglio celebrates his victory over Saurav Ghosal

Japan’s Watanabe claimed the biggest win of her career earlier today in Tauranga as she sent No.3 seed and world No.10 Salma Hany crashing out of the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Open in the second round stage.

It was just yesterday in her post-match interview that Watanabe said she had fallen just short of beating top 20 players recently, but the 23-year-old claimed a statement win over Hany today, completing an 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 victory to gain her first win over a top 10 player.

She said: “I still can’t believe that I’ve just done that. I’m really happy with my performance today. At the end, I was just trying to play the longest rally I could ever play because when I tried to win the points, I usually made mistakes. Next, I need the consistency of winning at this level.

“I’m really happy with my result today, but I don’t want to be overly happy about it. I want to keep training and focus on the next match.”

Watanabe, who is the only unseeded player to reach the last eight of the women’s draw, will now appear in the quarter-finals of a PSA World Tour Silver event for the first time and will take on No.5 seed Tinne Gilis after the Belgian dispatched USA’s Olivia Clyne in straight games.

The New Zealand Open moves into the quarter-final stage tomorrow (November 10). All of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV.


2022 Robertson Lodges Men’s New Zealand Open

Second Round:
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Timothy Brownell (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (42m)
[6] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7 (43m)
[7] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Balazs Farkas (HUN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (27m)
David Baillargeon (CAN) bt. [4] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 16-14, 12-10, 16-14 (63m)
[3] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt. Henry Leung (HKG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-4 (28m)
Andrew Douglas (USA) bt [8] Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (39m)
Leandro Romiglio (ARG) bt [5] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2: 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7 (67m)
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt Charlie Lee (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 (36m)

Quarter-Finals (Top Half, November 10):
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) v [6] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[7] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v David Baillargeon (CAN)

Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half, November 11):
[3] Victor Crouin (FRA) v Andrew Douglas (USA)
Leandro Romiglio (ARG) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG)

2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s New Zealand Open
Second Round:
[1] Joelle King (NZL) bt Jessica Turnbull (AUS)3-0: 11-3, 11-9, 11-6 (28m)
[8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Ka Yi Lee (HKG) 3-2: 8-11, 13-15, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 (49m)
[5] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 (33m)
Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt [3] Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (48m)
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 (27m)
[7] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Malak Khafagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4 (37m)
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [WC] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 (28m)
[2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Tomato Ho (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)

Quarter-Finals (Top Half, November 10):
[1] Joelle King (NZL) v [8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[5] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v Satomi Watanabe (JPN)

Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half, November 11):
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [7] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour 


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