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Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2017 Women's U.S. Open

The first PSA Platinum tournament of the season will take place this week when the world’s best players descend on Philadelphia, America for the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships.

Action begins this Saturday, October 6 with the action from the glass court LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

To get you in the mood for what is sure to be an enthralling week of squash, we take a look back at the story of last year’s women’s U.S. Open.

Round One
[9] Annie Au (HKG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 14-12, 11-9 (36m)
[14] Victoria Lust (ENG) bt [Q] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 19-17, 11-4, 11-7 (44m)
[10] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Kanzy El Defrawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-1, 11-1 (25m)
[12] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (58m)
Salma Hany (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-3, 12-14, 11-6 (55m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (24m)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-1: 11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5 (40m)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (32m)
[13] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (45m)
[8] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 (38m)
[11] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-3, 13-11, 11-8 (34m)
[15] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 17-15 (40m)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-1: 11-2, 13-11, 4-11, 11-7 (33m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [WC] Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-8 (25m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-2: 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-9 (53m)
[16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [Q] Madeline Perry (IRL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)

England’s recent NetSuite Open winner Sarah-Jane Perry suffered a surprise defeat to Egyptian Salma Hany in the first match of the day.

The Egyptian played free flowing attacking squash to come through 11-7, 11-3, 12-14, 11-6.

Former World No.1 Raneem El Welily used a get out of jail card to keep her tournament hopes alive after a Jekyll and Hyde performance against Canadian qualifier Hollie Naughton.

El Welily could do nothing to stop Naughton in the early stages of their encounter as she played inspired squash and took a two-game lead. The Egyptian then hit her own purple patch and restored parity on the scoreboard to take the match into a fifth, where Naughton squandered a golden opportunity late on to gift the match to the Egyptian.

Elsewhere, there were straightforward wins for all seeded players including top seed Nour El Sherbini, who dismantled Mariam Metwally 3-0 in just over 20 minutes.

Round Two
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [12] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)
[10] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 14-12, 13-11, 11-6 (56m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [14] Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-2, 7-2 retired (11m)
[9] Annie Au (HKG) bt [6] Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7 (56m)
[5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [13] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-1: 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (57m)
[11] Joelle King (NZL) bt [3] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 11-5, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11 (66m)
[8] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [16] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (60m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [15] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (28m)

Hong Kong’s Annie Au recorded the biggest win of her career to defeat eight-time World Champion Nicol David for the first time ever and secure an unexpected berth in the quarter-finals.

In 17 PSA World Tour matches, spanning almost a decade, the Hong Kong player had only ever taken three games from David in total – the last of which coming in 2012 – but the then World No.9 put on a short-game masterclass against David to move into the next round.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Joelle King showed impressive poise and composure to come through a nerve-racking 66 minutes battle with then-World No.3 Camille Serme that saw her end the Frenchwoman’s title defence.

Quarter-finals
[10] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1: 13-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7 (47m)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [9] Annie Au (HKG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (38m)
[11] Joelle King (NZL) bt [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 (43m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (46m)

World No.1 El Sherbini saw her title hopes dashed after compatriot Nour El Tayeb put in a polished performance that saw her outmanoeuvre El Sherbini and prevail 13-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7 to reach the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, King also ensured she would compete in the semi-finals of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time in over three years after she downed England’s Alison Waters 3-1 to secure a last four berth.

Semi-finals
[10] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [4] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-3 (47m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [11] Joelle King (NZL) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 (40m)

El Tayeb, in a repeat of the 2015 U.S. Open final which she lost 3-2, put in a performance of pure class as she dismantled England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro with a shot masterclass to come through 3-1 and book her place in the final, alongside husband Ali Farag who reached the men’s final.

Egypt’s El Welily made sure it would be an all-Egyptian affair in the women’s final after she defeated New Zealand’s King to also reach the final.

Final
[10] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5 (52m)

El Tayeb, alongside husband Ali Farag, wrote their names into sporting history as they achieved an iconic victory at the U.S. Open to become the first married couple in sporting history to win the same major title on the same day.

The Egyptian continued to play some of the best squash of her career after she defeated compatriot and former World No.1 El Welily in a breathtaking five-game affair that saw her twice come from a game behind to take the spoils.

“I’ve been dreaming about it and working really hard for the last two and a half years,” said El Tayeb following her historic win.

“I’ve been improving every single tournament – it feels amazing to back up wins against top four athletes – it’s amazing and I hope this is just the start.”

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