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ToC: Plain Sailing for Seeds on Day Four

The fourth day of action at the 2019 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, PSA Platinum event saw all 12 matches go the way of the higher-ranked player, with World No.1s Raneem El Welily and Mohamed ElShorbagy among the winners at New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

El Welily is appearing in her first PSA Tour event since overtaking fellow Egyptian Nour El Sherbini at the summit of the PSA Women’s World Rankings at the beginning of December. The 30-year-old kickstarted her title challenge with a resounding 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 victory over World No.23 Mariam Metwally in the second round of the women’s event.

“When I got to No.1, I was just trying to enjoy myself on court and to do my best in every single game,” said El Welily

“To stay in the same form, I have to do the same things that got me to No.1, so I am still trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

“It is definitely good to be back in New York at Grand Central Station. It is one of my favourite tournaments all year, and I am just happy to be through to the next round.”

India’s Joshna Chinappa stands in El Welily’s way in the next round after the World No.14 got the better of Belgium’s Tinne Gilis in straight games.

2017 champion Camille Serme also got her tournament under way as she claimed an 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 win over World No.36 Milou van der Heijden in 30 minutes.

The World No.5 – who two years ago became the first Frenchwoman ever to win this tournament – will go up against England’s Victoria Lust for a place in the quarter-finals after the No.13 seed toppled Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling.

“When I came on the court for the warm-up, I was like a child,” said Serme.

“I was excited and happy to be back here. I love playing in Grand Central station, it’s my favourite tournament and I just want to keep playing here.”

World No.4 Joelle King also claimed a victory on day four as she defeated Zeina Mickawy in four games, and she will play 2014 champion Nicol David in a mouthwatering third round fixture. Eight-time World Champion David dispatched current World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby by a 3-0 margin.

World No.8 Nouran Gohar and World No.12 Annie Au were the other victors on day four as they axed Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern and Hong Kong’s Joey Chan, respectively.

The top half of the men’s third round was also contested today, with ElShorbagy and defending champion Simon Rösner advancing to the quarter-finals after respective triumphs against Egypt’s Zahed Salem and Max Lee of Hong Kong.

ElShorbagy’s 11-2, 12-10, 11-9 win over Salem will see him line up against World No.11 Diego Elias in the last eight. Elias dispatched Australia’s Cameron Pilley and will look to replicate the form that saw him upset ElShorbagy in November’s Qatar Classic.

“Diego has been playing well this season,” ElShorbagy said afterwards.

“We played once this season in Qatar where he got the better of me, it was the first time he got the better of me. He is someone who is going to keep me playing for so many years to come. There is no doubt he is a future No.1 and future World Champion.”

Meanwhile, Rösner will clash with World No.5 Karim Abdel Gawad, with Gawad coming through in five games to dispatch compatriot Fares Dessouky.

Rösner said: “I love Grand Central, I love New York and I love playing on this glass court.

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“Hopefully I can get another win, but no matter how I go I am just enjoying being out here.”

The second round of the women’s event and the third round of the men’s continues tomorrow (Sunday January 20). Play will get under way at Grand Central Terminal at 12:00 (GMT-5) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Results – Men’s Third Round (Top Half): 2019 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 12-10, 11-9 (39m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7 (55m)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4 (86m)
[3] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (48m)

Draw – Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played January 20th
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Greg Lobban (SCO) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[7] Paul Coll (NZL) v Saura Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Draw – Men’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played January 21st
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [3] Simon Rösner (GER)

Results – Women’s Second Round (Top Half): 2019 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (20m)
[14] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 13-11 (37m)
[10] Annie Au (HKG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 12-10 (29m)
[6] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6 (39m)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (30m)
[13] Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 16-14, 11-8, 11-8 (30m)
[11] Nicol David (MAS) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 13-11 (33m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-1 (39m)

Draw – Women’s Second Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played January 20th
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [12] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v [8] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Yathreb Adel (EGY)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v [15] Salma Hany (EGY)
[16] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) v Nele Gilis (BEL)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

Draw – Women’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played January 21st
[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [14] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[10] Annie Au (HKG) v [6] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) v [13] Victoria Lust (ENG)
[11] Nicol David (MAS) v [4] Joelle King (NZL)

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