Skip to content

Sarah-Jane Perry (right) takes on Hollie Naughton (left) on day one of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open

Oracle NetSuite Open - Day One: As it Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction from the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open, the PSA M100 and PSA W50 which gets under way in San Francisco today (September 26).

All matches from the first round take place today and there are some real crackers in store, with World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy meeting former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez, while 2016 runner-up James Willstrop meet Qatar's Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.

Defending champion Laura Massaro begins her tournament against wildcard Aisling Blake in the women's event, with legendary Malaysian Nicol David also in action against Egypt's Heba El Torky.

LIVE action from the Oracle NetSuite Open will be shown on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player from the quarter-finals onwards.

Check out our live scoring page in the meantime.

Draw – Men's First Round:
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) v [7] Daryl Selby (ENG)
[8] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [4] James Willstrop (ENG)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Diego Elias (PER) v [6] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
[WC] Faraz Khan (USA) v [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Draw – Women's First Round:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL)
[Q] Nikki Todd (CAN) v [8] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
[7] Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN)
[Q] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[4] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v [6] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[5] Victoria Lust (ENG) v [Q] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
Heba El Torky (EGY) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)

Perry Downs Naughton to Reach Quarter-Finals

Sarah-Jane Perry (left) v Hollie Naughton (right)

England’s World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry earned her place in the last eight of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open after she overcame Canadian qualifier Hollie Naughton in four games at the Bay Club San Francisco.

Perry, the runner-up at this tournament in 2015, dominated the first two games, controlling the tempo and forcing a number of errors from Naughton – who she was playing for the first time since 2013 – to win them both by an 11-4 margin.

The momentum stayed with Perry at the beginning of the game three as she went 5-2 ahead after punishing some loose efforts from Naughton at the front of the court.

But errors then began to come from the racket of the Englishwoman as World No.40 Naughton finally found her length and she halved the deficit after converting her first game ball to take it 11-9.

The opening stages of the fourth were nip and tuck as both players took turns to put points on the table. A resilient Perry dug in though to resume control of the match and she closed out an 11-7 victory to claim a third successive win over Naughton.

“A few years ago, you used to see a qualifier and think that’s an alright draw but now they’re really tough,” said Perry.

“I started alright but then Hollie really got going in that third game. I managed to get it back in the fourth there but Hollie was still playing really well.

“Me and Hollie are good friends, I’ve seen her play some awesome squash and she took it really well when I switched off for a game.

“My length dropped off a little bit maybe. It was good in the first two games but then she stepped up a bit and I was trying to hit some shots that weren’t really on. I had to wrestle back the control and I think I did that in the last game, although I did switch off for a couple of rallies and then she was right back in it.

“It will be a tough match whoever I play tomorrow, so now it’s time to get some rest and come back again tomorrow night.”

Perry will take on either Australian number seven seed Donna Urquhart or Naughton’s compatriot, Samantha Cornett, for a place in the semi-finals.

[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [Q] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-1: 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 (37m)

Selby Prevails Against Grayson

Daryl Selby (left) v Campbell Grayson (right)

World No.12 Daryl Selby moved through to the quarter-final stage at his first Oracle NetSuite Open appearance since 2013 after the 34-year-old saw off the threat of Kiwi qualifier Campbell Grayson in a gruelling three-game encounter.

Selby and World No.37 Grayson were meeting for just the second time on the PSA World Tour, with their only other fixture seeing Selby prevail in the 2010 PSA Men’s World Championship.

A brutal 100-shot plus rally set the stall out for an attritional contest with Selby, a two-time Oracle NetSuite Open semi-finalist, having the better of the opening exchanges as he pulled Grayson around the court with some accurate hitting to go a game ahead.

Grayson put up a real fight in the second game as he continued to scrap and battle for every point but he cut an increasingly frustrated figure as the match went on, with Selby edging ahead to double his lead.

The Englishman stayed on top for the majority of the third game, driving the ball deep to restrict Grayson to the back corners but, at 8-5 up, some tinned shots offered his opponent a glimpse of hope as Grayson came back to level at 8-8.

Selby held on though and, with the match creeping towards the hour mark, forced the win over the line to take it 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 in 55 minutes.

“Campbell is a good solid player and he has improved a lot over the past year or two,” said Selby.

“It was a good hour of hard squash, I had to work really hard for each point, so the rallies were harder than the scores suggest because it was hard.

“I’m happy to win in three because he’s come through qualifying pretty fresh and he’s a good player. He hits some great winers and I maybe didn’t feel as comfortable with the ball because, if I gave him an inch, he would come steamrolling through.

“I had to play quite conservative squash because he punished me when I left things loose. I had to play a slightly different game but it was solid and I got the job done.

“I’ll take it one match at a time and now I get the privilege of playing on the glass court [at Justin Herman Plaza]. We’re privileged to play around the world in great settings, so that was a huge motivation for me today to get to the glass court.”

Either World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy or former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez will await Selby in the quarter-finals.

[7] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (55m)

Urquhart Sees Off Cornett in Five-Game Thriller

Donna Urquhart (right) v Samantha Cornett (left)

Australia’s Donna Urquhart rose to a 3-2 victory over Canada’s Samantha Cornett to book her quarter-final berth – where she will take on World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry for a place in the last four.

Cornett fought back from a game down on two occasions but a strong start from Urquhart in the decider gave her enough momentum to see out the win by an 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-8 scoreline.

“I was struggling a little bit to find my own game at times and when I did, Sam was just putting them away,” said Urquhart.

“When I was a little bit off, she was just punishing me. I had to fight to find the right game plan, so I’m happy I managed to do that.

“Even when I was 10-4 up, I knew that Sam was going to keep fighting, so I had to stay calm and take each point as it came but she’s such a fighter that she’s never out until she’s out

“I feel relieved because Sam was playing really well and it was tough to beat her today. It was nice to get through that and there is nothing to lose from here.”

It was the first time the two players had met in the main draw of a PSA World Tour event – with their two previous meetings also coming on United States soil and seeing Urquhart triumph in the qualification stages of the U.S Open and Carol Weymuller Open.

A strong start from World No.18 Urquhart saw the 30-year-old storm 7-3 ahead in game one but she was forced to resist a strong fightback from Cornett and eventually scraped ahead with an 11-9 victory.

The momentum shifted completely in a one-sided second game as Cornett levelled for the loss of five points and she looked on course to take the lead after going 5-1 to the good in game three.

Incredibly, she served out in the next point which allowed Urquhart a way back into the game and disrupted the Canadian’s rhythm, with Urquhart getting the better of her by an 11-8 margin to restore her lead.

Cornett came out all guns blazing in the fourth game as she dropped just two points en route to wiping out Urquhart’s lead once more but Urquhart built on a 9-2 lead in the fifth to close out the win on her Oracle NetSuite Open debut.

[7] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 3-2: 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-8 (52m)

Cuskelly Axes Salazar

Ryan Cuskelly (right) v Cesar Salazar (left)

Australian No.1 Ryan Cuskelly will join Selby in the last eight of the men’s tournament after he came through in straight games against Mexico’s Salazar.

The World No.15 had won the two most recent meetings between the pair but he found Salazar difficult to break down at the outset of the match as neither player was able to string together a run of points.

Cuskelly managed to engineer some breathing space for himself at the back end of the opener to take the lead, while the two players drew loud applause from the spectators in the second game after a series of high-octane exchanges.

Cuskelly’s superior accuracy when going for winners saw him pull ahead once more to double his lead but a resurgent Salazar took the third game, with the Mexican’s impressive speed around court and retrieval abilities seeing him build up an 8-6 lead – at which point a frustrated Cuskelly lost his focus when he was denied a let by the referee, with the Australian claiming a fly distracted him mid-rally.

Unfazed by the unwelcome guest, Salazar held on to claw a game back and send the match into a fourth, where Cuskelly stepped it up and held Salazar at bay to record an 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 triumph.

“It was tough, it’s very hot on there,” said Cuskelly, who will meet either James Willstrop or Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi in the next round.

“I haven’t played a professional match for about four or five months, so it’s hard [to get back into it]. We all train and have practice matches but it’s not the same as the PSA.

“It’s good to get the lungs going but the conditions are going to be different on the glass court. I’ll have to be very accurate and aggressive going short, so that should suit my game a bit more.”

[8] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 (63m)

Ibrahim Beats Todd to End Canadian Interest

Salma Hany Ibrahim (right) v Nikki Todd (left)

Egyptian number eight seed Salma Hany Ibrahim ended Canadian interest in the draw after she defeated World No.62 Nikki Todd 3-0.

Ibrahim and Todd had met just once previously on the Tour, with Ibrahim prevailing in a brutal five-game encounter, but the 21-year-old required just three games this time around.

The match began with some rapid exchanges as points were traded with gusto. Todd caught Ibrahim out at the front of the court with some well placed drops and boasts but Ibrahim’s expert width and length helped her force Todd away from the ’T’ to open up a one-game lead.

Todd continued to move well in the second and third games but Ibrahim showed some deft touches to rack up points and, after doubling her lead in the second, moved ahead to claim three match balls in the third.

A valiant fightback from Todd saw her come back to within touching distance of her Egyptian opponent but a simple tin from the Canadian at match ball down handed the match to Ibrahim, who will take on either top seed Laura Massaro or tournament wildcard Aisling Blake in the quarter-finals.

“I'm so excited to be here in San Francisco for the first time,” said Ibrahim.

“I enjoyed how I played and I’m looking forward to the next round. I had to make sure I kept the ball tight to the wall and didn’t give her any chances to go short because she has a pretty good selection of shots.

“I’m glad I managed to execute my game plan and closed out the third game because she was getting stronger every time I had a lead. She was proving she was a very dangerous player.

“When I was 10-7 up I relaxed for a bit and she was going for every shot and everything was hitting the nick. I was lucky she tinned that last one.”

[8] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt [Q] Nikki Todd (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (32m)

Willstrop Avoids Shock Defeat to Al Tamimi While Matthew Beats Golan

James Willstrop (right) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (left)

Last year’s runner-up James WIllstrop twice came back from a game down to avoid a shock defeat against Qatari World No.42 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.

A capacity crowd at the Bay Club San Francisco were treated to a series of fast-paced rallies, with Al Tamimi’s shot-making talents and incredible retrieval skills seeing him go 2-1 ahead, only to see Willstrop take control in the final two games to emerge from the fixture unscathed.

“I don’t think you’ll get any easy games on the club courts compared to the glass in the cooler weather,” said Willstrop.

“I knew about that and knew about him, thankfully, because he is very fast and very skilful. It’s also the first match of the season for me and it was a bit cloudy in my head. I have to thank my dad [Malcolm] because I wasn’t calm out there.

“There’s no time to think in squash and you’re under quite a lot of duress with the oxygen debt, so it’s difficult to think clearly and stay calm.

“I just had to psychologically tell myself to be aware that my shots would come back, so I had to be prepared that I may have to hit two or three shots to win the rally.

“It’s that balance about knowing when your shot is on and when not to go for it when you’re under pressure. He was putting me deep and I was having to counter him. That’s the brilliant thing about squash, its about rally construction and choosing the right shots to play at the right time.”

Al Tamimi has, at times, lacked the consistency to go with his undoubted racket skills as he has risen up the World Rankings but he put in a mature, composed display in the opener, working Willstrop all over the court and picking his opportunities well to take it 11-7.

But Willstrop – who comfortably dispatched Al Tamimi in just 27 minutes in their only other meeting on the PSA World Tour – took control in the second as ‘The Marskman’ dictated the tempo and Al Tamimi became more erratic as he began to find the tin, which led to Willstrop drawing level.

Al Tamimi’s incredible speed around the court drew rapturous applause from a captivated audience at the Bay Club San Francisco but Willstrop’s accuracy and shot selection saw him continue to have things his own way and the 34-year-old went 9-6 up in the third to put himself on the brink of taking the lead.

Al Tamimi clung on though and reeled the Yorkshireman back in, hitting some superb winners as he took five points in a row to claim an unlikely 2-1 lead.

He couldn’t hang on though as Willstrop resumed control in the fourth to level the scores once more and the Englishman kept a cool head in the climactic fifth game to see it out by a 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 margin.

Willstrop will be joined in the next round by fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew, who recovered from a game down to beat Spain's Borja Golan.

Matthew, the 37-year-old from Sheffield, is appearing at his first tournament since it was announced last week that the 2017/18 campaign will be his last season on the PSA World Tour but things didn’t start well for the two-time runner-up after a strong start from Golan saw the Spaniard go a game ahead.

But World No.4 Matthew came out firing in the next three games as he took an 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 victory in 65 minutes to set up a quarter-final clash with Peruvian two-time World Junior Champion Diego Elias, who saw off Fares Dessouky.

[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (64m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (65m)

Massaro & David Book Quarter-Final Berths

Laura Massaro (left) and Aisling Blake (right)

Defending champion Laura Massaro booked her place in the last eight after she dispatched tournament wildcard Aisling Blake in just 25 minutes.

Massaro, the number one seed, was unbeaten in five matches against Blake ahead of their encounter in San Francisco, while 36-year-old Blake was making her first main draw appearance at a Tour event since 2015 after retiring from the sport two years ago.

A one-sided first game went the way of the player from England but Blake, a former World No.21, went toe-to-toe with the 2013 World Champion in the second game, with Massaro ultimately closing it out 11-9.

That was the closest Blake came to sneaking a game as Massaro ramped up the pressure in the third, dropping just two points to seal an 11-5, 11-9, 11-2 victory that will see her take on Egypt’s Salma Hany Ibrahim in the next round.

“I thought Aisling played well considering she's been retired for two years,” said Massaro.

“I’m excited to be back, China [the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions] didn't go according to plan but I’ve put in a a few changes in training since then, so hopefully I can do well here ahead of going to the U.S. Open [next month].

“Being in San Francisco is really relaxing, so I feel at home here.”

Number two seed Nicol David also earned her place in the last eight courtesy of a straightforward 3-0 win over Egypt’s Heba El Torky.

The eight-time World Champion will line up against England’s Victoria Lust, who beat 2007 World Champion Rachael Grinham, in tomorrow’s quarter-final.

Elsewhere, Dipika Pallikal Karthik and United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford will go head-to-head in the quarter-finals after they achieved respective wins over Emily Whitlock and Millie Tomlinson.

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-2 (25m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (32m)
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt [4] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (52m)
[6] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (28m)

ElShorbagy and Gawad Advance to Quarters

Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (right)

World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy and World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad claimed opening day wins in San Francisco as they overcame former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and tournament wildcard Faraz Khan, respectively.

Both Egyptians were making their first appearances of the season and ElShorbagy came into his clash with Rodriguez looking to make it eight wins on the bounce against the ‘Colombian Cannonball’.

The pair engaged in some lengthy rallies, with ElShorbagy coming out on top more often than not to build up a two-game lead.

Rodriguez began to find his accuracy more in the third game and was rewarded with a 7-2 lead. ElShorbagy continued to scrap but Rodriguez held his nerve to send the match into a fourth which saw both players go hell for leather in a bid to establish their superiority in the match,

As the game went on, the intensity of the matches grew while there were frequent discussions with the referee as the duo refused to give in. Rodriguez forced a tie-break where he overturned two match balls but the gruelling nature of the rallies eventually too its toll on the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ as ElShorbagy’s power won out in the end.

“I thought today was a perfect first match of the season for me,” said ElShorbagy, who meets Daryl Selby next.

“Today, I was tested physically and mentally playing Miguel on the bouncy, traditional courts and I passed that test today. You’re playing probably the best player in these kind of conditions, so it was a challenge.

“I knew he was going to play well, he didn’t play well last season but he will have had some good summer training and I haven’t seem him play that well in a while. I’m really proud with the win.

“I thought I played well in patches, maybe I lost some focus at times and I didn’t start very well in the third game. I was little bit unlucky because I was 10-9 down in the third game when he hit a lucky winner at the end but they are the kind of things you have to get past.

“Overall, I’m really happy and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Second seed Gawad, meanwhile, overcame Khan 3-0 with 11-9 victories in all three games and he will line up against compatriot Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals.

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1: 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 14-12 (75m)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [WC] Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (28m)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour