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Sivasangari Subramaniam celebrates her win against Alison Waters

U.S. Open RD2 Side Courts - Subramaniam Causes Waters Upset

The FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships continued today with second round action as Drexel University and the Racquet Club of Philadelphia hosted side court matches for the final time at this year’s event.

British Open champion Nouran Gohar, Peruvian World No.7 Diego Elias, Sivasangari Subramaniam and Miguel Rodriguez all booked their third round berths – here’s what happened.

Gohar Comes Through Gilis Test

Nouran Gohar (right) v Nele Gilis (left)

British Open champion Nouran Gohar was tested by Belgium’s Nele Gilis before eventually coming through to achieve a 3-1 victory against the World No.19.

Gohar, who began her season with a semi-final finish at the J.P. Morgan China Open last month, came storming out of the traps as she blew her opponent away, dropping just a solitary point as she opened up a one-game lead.

Gilis steadied the ship in the second though as she finally got the grips with the bouncy court and she was able to put points on the board, eventually drawing level by taking it 11-5.

The momentum shifted again in Gohar’s favour as she restored the one-game cushion for the loss of two points. Gilis looked to get herself back into it in the fourth, taking an early 5-2 lead, but she was unable as Gohar stormed back to seal her place in the third round, where she will take on Egypt’s Salma Hany.

“I’m really happy, last year I lost in the second round [to Yathreb Adel], so they’re always tricky here,” said Gohar.

“The court is really bouncy out there, so it was really hard, especially against a player that gets everything back. I’m pleased that I was positive today, even if I wasn’t playing my best, but I’m really pleased with it.

“It’s not actually really good to win the first game easily because you’re not into it, you’re winning really quick points. She was playing really well in the second, so I had to refocus, start fresh, tell myself that it was level and start again.

“It’s always tough to play against Egyptians because we train together a lot and we know each other’s games really well. Salma is one of the most talented players on tour and you have to be ready from the very first point.

Salma Hany

Hany defeated Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern 3-0 and said: “I’m very happy with my performance today. Wee Wern’s been playing great since she game back from injury.

“Last time we played in March, she beat me in three and I was looking forward to this match and was very prepared for it.  I stayed solid from the first point to the last rally. I’m looking forward to playing on the glass, I’m enjoying being here in Philly.”

Yathreb Adel narrowly got the better of England’s Julianne Courtice at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia despite surrendering a 2-0 lead and she will line up against reigning champion Raneem El Welily tomorrow at the glass court inside Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Yathreb Adel (right) v Julianne Courtice (left)

“Always in the first match of the tournament you have to start getting into your game,” Adel said.

“I had to concentrate from the start with her and I knew what to expect. She’s a very strong player and whenever she dominates the ’T’ area, she goes for it. She’s improved a lot recently and has had some really good results.

“To be honest, the U.S. Open for me has been the best tournament in my career, so I’m always happy to come play here. Last year, reaching the quarter-finals was a hell of a ride. It’s exciting to come back again and see what happens this year, I’m very up for it.”

Results
[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 11-1, 5-11, 11-2, 11-9 (45m)
[13] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (25m)
[15] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-2: 11-3, 11-9, 6-11, 4-11, 11-5 (47m)

Elias Dispatches Parker to Set up Makin Clash

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Peru’s World No.7 Diego Elias got his 2019/20 campaign off to a winning start as he got the better of England’s George Parker to set up a mouthwatering third round clash with World No.12 Joel Makin.

Elias was lining up at a PSA World Tour event for the first time since June’s CIB PSA World Tour Finals, while World No.40 Parker defeated World No.23 Tom Richards in his first round match yesterday.

The two had never played before on the PSA Tour – although they did come across each other in the junior ranks – and it was Elias who had the better of the early stages, playing some controlled squash at the front of the court to go a game up.

Parker upped the physicality in the second as he narrowly snuck it 11-9, but the Englishman fell away over the course of the next two games to ensure that Elias moves into the next round.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match against George, I’ve played against him for a long time because we are almost the same age, so we played in juniors a lot.

“I’m really happy to start the season with a win because this is my first tournament, so I’m really happy with my performance.

“I want to enjoy it, play my best and I think I’ve been training really hard before this tournament, so I know I can have huge results this season. I’m going to try my best, enjoy it and try to win a big tournament.

“He’s [Makin] been playing really good squash, he had a good tournament in France and he had good results last season. I think it’s going to be a tough match, so I just have to recover from this match and get ready for tomorrow.

“It’s going to be a tough match, but I’m feeling really good.”

Makin overcame Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu in four games, while Frenchman Gregoire Marche moved will face World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad in the third round after he beat Mexico’s Cesar Salazar, who retired through injury when four match balls down in game four.

Joel Makin (right) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu

“On these sort of courts Iker can be hard to break down,” said Makin.

“He moves really well and is a great athlete, and I know he’s been improving and did well towards the end of last season. He’s starting to step up at these major tournaments, I knew it was going to be hard. In the third game he got a good run and he went for a few more shots and got back into it.

“I felt the work I had done over the first three games had slowly broken him down and I was able to run away with it in the fourth. The conditions on the glass will be completely different but I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

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Marche is looking forward to appearing on the glass court, saying: “It’s great to be back in the next round of the U.S. Open. It’s been a while since I’ve played on the glass court.

“I think I’m playing much better than last year and I’m enjoying my game much more so I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow.”

Results
[7] Diego Elias (PER) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 (47m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-1: 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-2 (55m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1:  8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 10-6 retired (61m)

Subramaniam Upsets Waters to Ensure Best Ever Platinum Result

Sivasangari Subramaniam (right) v Alison Waters (left)

Malaysia’s World No.48 Sivasangari Subramaniam claimed the biggest win of her career to date as she upset World No.13 Alison Waters to reach the third round of a PSA Platinum event for the first time.

The 20-year-old outplayed her opponent – 15 years her senior – to claim an 11-5, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9 victory and her reward is a last 16 matchup with World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry.

“I feel really happy, this means a lot,” Subramaniam said.

“I haven’t played much PSA since I started college so I feel really happy. All this hard work I’ve been putting in over the past few weeks with [coach and former World No.1] David Palmer, it all paid off. I do love playing on the glass, but most PSA players are good on there and they’ve played on there a lot more than me. I’m just going to give it my best and let’s see how it goes.”

Perry earned her round three spot courtesy of a comfortable 3-0 win against Canada’s Hollie Naughton.

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She said: “Hollie’s been improving a lot and you can see that with not only her ranking but the people that’s she’s beating. She had a very comprehensive win yesterday against Alex fuller, I played Alex the other week and I know how tough she is.

“I would like to have been a little bit sharper, but I managed to get the intensity up to where I wanted it to be and played some decent stuff. I’m always happy to come off in three, especially when my next round is tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that and where I love to play, on the glass.”

World No.10 Annie Au also earned her spot in the last 16 as she dispatched Australian veteran and former World Champion Rachael Grinham in four games.

Results
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt [10] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9 (41m)
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (29m)
[9] Annie Au (HKG) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4 (39m)

Rodriguez Ousts Pilley

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Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez overcame Australia’s Cameron Pilley by a 3-1 margin to ensure he will take on either Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet or Pilley’s compatriot Ryan Cuskelly in the next round.

The opening two games were closely-contested as Rodriguez struggled to break a tenacious Pilley down, but an attacking onslaught from the Colombian saw him surge to an 11-1 triumph in the third to restore his lead.

He kept up a frantic pace of hitting in the fourth too to finally vanquish Pilley and ensure that he will compete on the glass court tomorrow.

“Today was a little bit physical at the end, I was better, changed strategy and played really well in the first and third game,” said Rodriguez.

“Cameron Pilley is an experienced player, he’s coming back from an injury, he played really well yesterday and I had to use all my experience and all my physical power to beat him today.

“It was a fair match and I had to dig deep and play with a fast pace. I found later he was getting a bit tired, and that was the key at the end of the match. I tried to focus on the strategy, in the first game I was volleying, I was being very offensive, playing boasts, drops, lobs, low drives and it started working.

“At the beginning of the third game, I think he gave up and wanted to save some energy in the fourth. He got a two point in the fourth, but then I think I had to play my game and I’m happy to reach another round at the U.S. Open again.

“All the players aim to play on the glass court and to advance to the next round. So far, so good or me this season, I made semi-finals last week in San Francisco, so I’ve been feeling positive about my results these last two weeks.”

Elsewhere, maverick Egyptian Mazen Hesham played some superb squash as he came back from two games down to upset former World No.3 Omar Mosaad, winning 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4 to reach the third round here for a fourth time.

Mazen Hesham

“It feels amazing, I felt that it was really hard to beat him in that fashion,” Hesham reflected.

“The first two games were so hard, he was playing really well and very accurately. I haven’t seen him play this well for so long, so to make the comeback is a very good accomplishment for me. I’m really happy with how I kept digging and digging until I found my way through the third and fourth.

“I think this season is going better than last season. I think I’m starting better every match, I’m playing better, and I hope it just goes up from here.

“It doesn’t matter if the match is inside or outside, any time there’s a crowd I enjoy it. I look forward to recovering and getting ready to play again.”

New Zealand’s Paul Coll or India’s Saurav Ghosal will await Hesham in the last 16, while Germany’s Raphael Kandra will join them there after defeating Fares Dessouky 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7.

Raphael Kandra (left) v Fares Dessouky (right)

“I feel relieved and satisfied with my performance,” said Kandra, who will play World No.3 Tarek Momen next.

“I’m playing well at the moment. I had good results in San Francisco and I’ve kept it going and need to play more at that level now. The glass court is always a good opportunity to show off how much my training work from this summer.

“I’ve never beaten him, he’s always been a bogey man for me. I have a similar game as him but he’s just a bit more powerful and bit more skillful than I am. I worked a bit on my skill level. I think I was more ready today than he was.”

Results
[8] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 5-11, 11-1, 11-7 (49m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4 (61m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (59m)

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