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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

How they line up in Philly tonight

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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US OPEN quarter finals (part 2)

Women’s Quarterfinals:

5:00 [3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [6] Low Wee Wern (MAS)
6:00 [2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Kasey Brown (AUS)

Men’s Quarterfinals:

7:00 [2] James Willstrop (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
8:00 [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [6] Peter Barker (ENG)

Match Previews

El Weleily v Low (5-0)

SH631SH640Finalist here last year, Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily is a double world junior champion. Now 24 years of age and having entered the world’s top ten almost three years ago, she is firmly established in the world’s top three. She has six WSA titles to her name—from fifteen finals—and many more are sure to be added.

Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern was also a top junior, but missed out on her best chance of world junior success due to a birthday that came a week too soon! Nevertheless, the 23-year-old from Penang made rapid strides in the senior ranks, and currently stands at No. 7 having just completed a full year in the top ten. She also has six titles from fifteen WSA final appearances.

In their WSA matches, El Weleily leads 5-0, from three meetings in Malaysia, one in Hong Kong and most recently here in Philadelphia last year.

Massaro v Brown (3-2)

SH629SH630The second women’s match is a repeat of the 2011 final here. England’s Laura Massaro, champion then and seeded two this year, made her debut in the top ten in the middle of 2008 and has been there ever since—and continuously in the top three for over a year. She has truly had a spectacular couple of years, and is the reigning British Open champion, one of twelve WSA titles in her locker, from twenty-four finals.

Kasey Brown, now resident in the U.S., famously beat Nicol David on the way to the 2011 final. After being in the top ten for all of 2011, she has hovered just outside since the end of 2012, but results here will surely see her retun. She boasts eleven WSA titles, from twenty-four finals.

Massaro leads their WSA meetings 3-2, but they haven’t met since the 2011 final.

Willstrop v Rosner (4-0)

SH635SH636Second seed James Willstrop spent eleven months of 2012 as world number one thanks to a spectaculer run of three World Series wins to end 2011. A former world junior champion, Willstrop, now 30, has been in the world’s top ten for 103 of the last 106 months, and permanently in the top five for the last four years. He has won seventeen PSA titles from thirty-six final appearances and famously won the deciding match in this year’s World Teams final in France.

Simon Rosner is Germany’s highest-ever ranked player, and at 25 is on the verge of entering the world’s top ten. A finalist in the recent European Individual Championships, he has six PSA titles from eleven finals, and this is the furthest he has reached in five U.S. Opens.

Willstrop is unbeaten in their four PSA meetings, and has yet to drop a game.

Matthew v Barker (20-2)

SH633SH634Nick Matthew, 33, has won everything—three British Opens, five British Nationals, two World Opens, two Commonwealth Gold, World Games gold, World Teams, and many more among his twenty-six PSA titles from fifty-four finals—including the 2007 U.S. Open. He entered the world’s top ten in May 2004 and has been there for all but three months ever since, spending the whole of 2011 at number one.

Fellow Englishman Peter Barker has, along with Willstrop and Matthew, been a fixture on the England squad for many seasons and has been in the world’s top ten since June 2008. At 30, he has fifteen PSA titles from twenty-three finals.

In their PSA meetings, Matthew leads 20-2, Barker’s successes coming in Hing Kong in 2010 and in their last meeting, this year’s Canary Wharf semifinal.

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