Canadians Nikki Todd and Nicole Bunyan boosted North American interest at the Gaynor Cup after they scored respective round one wins over England’s Jasmine Hutton and Latvia’s Ineta Mackevica as the PSA World Tour Bronze tournament got under way in Cincinnati.
World No.64 Todd produced one of the upsets of the day in a five-game thriller with World No.48 Hutton. The Canadian took a close first game, before reeling off eight successive points to come from 10-4 down in the second and double her lead. However, Hutton battled back from the brink of defeat after looking down and out at 8-4 in the third, she was given a lifeline to reduce the deficit before eventually drawing level in the fourth.
Todd did well to regain her focus in the fifth though as she closed out the 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 4-11, 11-6 victory and set up a second-round clash with USA No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne.
Todd’s compatriot Bunyan was also on the winning side as she came from 2-1 down against higher-seeded Mackevica and will now face top seed Amanda Sobhy for a place in the quarter finals.
The Latvian looked to be on course for a second consecutive appearance in the last 16 at the Gaynor Cup as she took a convincing first and third game, before some loose hitting allowed Bunyan back into the match.
At 10-8 in the fifth, it looked as though Mackevica was going to seal her place in the next round, but World No.65 Bunyan had other ideas and rattled off four consecutive points to advance.
In the longest match of the day, Australia’s Jessica Turnbull narrowly missed out on the chance to be amongst the upsets as she fell 15-13, 2-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8 in 54 minutes to Egypt’s Menna Nasser, who will now face Belgium’s No.5 seed Nele Gilis in round two.
Joining their fellow Egyptian in the second round are Nada Abbas and Mayar Hany after they claimed wins over India’s Sunayna Kuruvilla and Colombia’s Catalina Pelaez. Abbas will face former World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby in round two, while Hany faces England’s No.2 seed Sarah-Jane Perry.
Other victories in round one came for Australia’s Sarah Cardwell, France’s Enora Villard and Finland’s Emilia Soini.
Cardwell was forced to hold off a comeback from Netherlands’ Tessa ter Sluis in an entertaining 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9 battle, which means the Australian will come up against Malaysia’s No.8 seed Low Wee Wern in round two.
Straight-games victories for both Villard and Soini over Switzerland’s Cindy Merlo and wildcard Weenee Low mean that they will face Belgium’s Tinne Gilis and defending champion Hania El Hammamy, respectively, in the next round.
There will be live scoring from the event and you will also be able to watch the action at the Gaynor Cup’s YouTube channel here.
Gaynor Cup: Round One – Results
Nicole Bunyan (CAN) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-2: 4-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10 (47m)
Menna Nasser (EGY) bt Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 3-2: 15-13, 2-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8 (54m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Sunayna Kuruvilla (IND) 3-2: 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6 (41m)
Emilia Soini (FIN) bt [WC] Weenee Low (MAS) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (18m)
Nikki Todd (CAN) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-2: 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 4-11, 11-6 (47m)
Enora Villard (FRA) bt Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (27m)
Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-2: 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9 (44m)
Mayar Hany (EGY) bt Catalina Pelaez (COL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-6 (22m)
Gaynor Cup: Round Two Draw – To be played February 21
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
Menna Nasser (EGY) v  Nele Gilis (BEL)
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
Emilia Soini (FIN) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
 Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) v Nikki Todd (CAN)
Enora Villard (FRA) v  Tinne Gilis (BEL)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Sarah Cardwell (AUS)
Mayar Hany (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)