A number of seeded players are set to fight it out for a main draw berth in the final round of qualifying at the Women’s GillenMarkets Irish Squash Open, PSA W5 tournament after seven of the top eight seeds advanced through the first qualifying stage.
Number eight seed Sarah Mekhalfi was the only seed to miss out on a place in the next round after she fell to Eva Fertekova in three games. Fertekova took the first two games by narrow margins, before going up a gear in the third to wrap up a 13-11, 11-9, 11-5 victory.
Fertekova will be gearing up for a tough fixture against Nia Davies up next, with the number three qualifying seed hoping to take advantage of her fresh legs after receiving a bye in round one of qualifying.
Elsewhere, India’s Harshit Jawanda had to be wary of a strong challenge from Irish junior Hannah Craig. Craig went a game ahead after triumphing on a dramatic tie-break but Jawanda battled back, taking three games without reply to seal her spot in the next round. She will take on Nadia Pfister for a place in the main draw with the Swiss World No.125 also being the recipient of a bye.
England’s Rachael Chadwick, meanwhile, is also through to the next stage of the competition thanks to a 3-0 win over Ciara Moloney and Spain’s Marina de Juan Gallach will stand between her and a place in the main draw after she too was given a bye.
Spanish duo Marta Latorre Ramirez and Xisela Aranda make up the other final qualifying round fixture, with the former seeing off Sophie O’Rourke and the latter also receiving a bye.
Results – First Qualifying Round: Women’s GillenMarkets Irish Squash Open 2016
Nadia Pfister (SUI) (bye)
 Harshit Jawanda (IND) bt [L] Hannah Craig (IRL) 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (30m)
 Eva Fertekova (CZE) bt  Sarah Mekhalfi (FRA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-5 (35m)
 Nia Davies (WAL) (bye)
 Xisela Aranda (ESP) (bye)
 Marta Latorre Ramírez (ESP) bt [L] Sophie O’Rourke (IRL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (26m)
 Rachael Chadwick (ENG) bt [L] Ciara Moloney (IRL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (16m)
 Marina de Juan Gallach (ESP) (bye)
Draw – Final Qualifying Round
Nadia Pfister (SUI) v  Harshit Jawanda (IND)
 Eva Fertekova (CZE) v  Nia Davies (WAL)
 Xisela Aranda (ESP) v  Marta Latorre Ramirez (ESP)
 Rachael Chadwick (ENG) v  Marina de Juan Gallach (ESP)