Sunday, July 14, 2024

Tough task for Tesni Evans as she tackles Nicol David in British Open

Tesni Evans in action in the qualifiers
Tesni Evans in action in the qualifiers

Welsh number one faces Hull of a battle as she meets world champion in British Open
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Welsh champion Tesni Evans has boosted home interest in the women’s draw of this week’s Allam British Open Squash Championships after leading eight players from eight countries to success in today’s dramatic qualifying finals of the WSA World Series event in Hull.

Evans, the world No.31 from Rhyl, ensured herself a place in the main draw of the world-renowned event for the second year in a row after recovering from a game down to beat Belgian teenager Nele Gilis 3-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 in 54 minutes.

Evans will now face the toughest possible test in the first round where the Cardiff-born 22-year-old has been drawn to face Nicol David, the defending champion from Malaysia who is seeded to win the title for the sixth time since 2005.

Teenagers Sabrina Sobhy and Yathreb Adel will both be celebrating their British Open debuts after qualifying successes. Sobhy, a 19-year-old from New York, provided unexpected US interest in the main draw after upsetting higher-ranked Misaki Kobayashi, the world No.37 from Japan, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9.

“I’m thrilled and surprised,” admitted the soon-to-be High School senior later. “I didn’t think that was going to happen!”

Adel, a 19-year-old UK-based Egyptian, was taken the full distance before overcoming England’s 23-year-old Millie Tomlinson 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 11-6, 15-13 in 75 minutes.

Malaysia’s Delia Arnold had to fight back from 2/0 down to beat experienced Irish opponent Aisling Blake 8-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 in 63 minutes, while another intense five-game battle saw South African champion Siyoli Waters claim a place in the main draw after beating USA number two Olivia Blatchford 11-6, 15-17, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 in just over one hour.

Canadian champion Samantha Cornett will make her fourth successive appearance in the first round after defeating England’s European Junior Champion Georgina Kennedy 11-6, 11-5, 11-9.

Donna Urquhart, a former world No.13 from New South Wales who is playing her way back onto the Tour after foot surgery last year, doubled the Australian interest in the main draw when she beat Welsh opponent Deon Saffery 11-9, 11-6, 11-9.

Denmark’s world No.28 Line Hansen became the highest-ranked player to qualify after seeing off France’s Coline Aumard 12-10, 11-5, 11-5.

Allam British Open Squash Championships, Hull, England.

Women’s qualifying finals:
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (33m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 (29m)
Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-6, 15-17, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 (62m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 (54m)
Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (25m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 11-6, 15-13 (75m)
Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Deon Saffery (WAL) 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (30m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 8-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (63m)
Updated 1st round draw:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[14] Emma Beddoes (ENG) v Natalie Grinham (NED)
[13] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Joshana Chinappa (IND)
[16] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN)
[10] Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [WC] Victoria Lust (ENG)
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) v Joey Chan (HKG)
[9] Dipika Pallikal (IND) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[15] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [Q] Siyoli Waters (RSA)
[4] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) v [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS)
[11] Annie Au (HKG) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
[12] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [Q] Line Hansen (DEN)

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