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University Club of Chicago

World Champs Day One: As it Happens - Side Courts

The 2020-21 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family begin today at the University Club of Chicago with the action split across the glass court inside Cathedral Hall as well as three ‘traditional’ courts housed elsewhere in the building.

You can follow all of the action from the side courts here as the likes of former World Champion Gregory Gaultier, former World No.1 James Willstrop, England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry and India’s Joshna Chinappa get their title challenges under way at the world’s most prestigious squash tournament.

Keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Schedule – Court One
(All times are local GMT-5)
11:30 [10] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Tessa ter Sluis (NED)
12:15 [15] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT)
13:30 Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (ITA) v [27] Melissa Alves (FRA)
14:15 Ramit Tandon (IND) v George Parker (ENG)
15:30 [19] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v Marina Stefanoni (USA)
16:15 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
17:30 Cristina Gomez (ESP) v [16] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
18:15 Ivan Yuen (MAS) v [8] Diego Elias (PER)

Watch action from court one here:

Schedule – Court Two
(All times are local GMT-5)
11:30 [23] Coline Aumard (FRA) v Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
12:15 Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v Christopher Gordon (USA)
13:30 Vanessa Chu (HKG) v [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
14:15 [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Henry Leung (HKG)
15:30 [13] Nele Gilis (BEL) v Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
16:15 Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
17:30 Sana Ibrahim (EGY) v [25] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
18:15 Vikram Malhotra (IND) v [13] Gregoire Marche (FRA)

Watch action from court two here:

Schedule – Court Three
(All times are local GMT-5)
11:30 [30] Milou van der Heijden (NED) v Tze Lok Ho (HKG)
12:15 [16] James Willstrop (ENG) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
13:30 Menna Hamed (EGY) v [14] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
14:15 Declan James (ENG) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
15:30 Emilia Soini (FIN) v [31] Mayar Hany (EGY)
16:15 Aditya Jagtap (IND) v [10] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
17:30 Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) v [22] Nada Abbas (EGY)
18:15 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Adrian Waller (ENG)

Watch action from court three here:

Chinappa, Aumard and Tze Lok Ho Secure Round Two Berths

Joshna Chinappa

Indian No.10 seed Joshna Chinappa earned a first round victory at the PSA World Championships as she overcame Dutch player Tessa ter Sluis in just 18 minutes.

It was the pair’s first meeting on the PSA World Tour and World No.11 Chinappa completed an 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 victory to set up a second round meeting with either France’s Melissa Alves or Italy’s Bruna Marchesi Petrillo.

“It’s the biggest tournament for us in the calendar and I just wanted to start really strongly,” Chinappa said.

“I’ve never played Tessa before but at this level everyone is very solid. You try and watch some games from before so you can get an idea of how each person plays. You try and come as prepared as you can.

“I’m excited to be here and excited to play. Travelling is quite a challenge at the moment, so for this tournament to be held is amazing and I think we’re very fortunate to be here in Chicago playing the World Championships. I’m really excited to be playing good squash here.”

Meanwhile, Aumard defeated Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling in straight games, while Liu’s compatriot – World No.45 Tze Lok Ho – fared better as she upset World No.37 Milou van Der Heijden.

Results:
[10] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (18m)
[23] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
Tze Lok Ho (HKG) bt [30] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (37m)

Ibrahim Takes Out Willstrop

Youssef Ibrahim

Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim battled to his first victory over 2010 World Championship runner-up James Willstrop to secure his spot in the last 32.

World No.24 Ibrahim had lost 3-0 to Willstrop in both of their previous meetings but played the big points well to win 13-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 and he will play USA’s Shahjahan Khan in the next round.

“I’m really happy, playing James is such an honour, I’ve played him two times before and I lost both times 3-0,” said Ibrahim.

“He’s so experienced in the crucial times and I’m very happy with how I played. Every game was almost a tie-break, so to play someone as experienced as James and to be able to get those last three points is very big for me mentally.

“I used to live in the States for a couple of years to study but now I live in Egypt and I get to train with all the top players consistently. I’ve managed to play a lot of practice matches, I haven’t won those my whole career, so now I’m able to play tough matches and beat top 10 players and I think that I can beat the best players and I think that’s making a difference mentally.

“I have belief in myself, I just need to work on the consistency and I’m getting better every tournament. I came here very prepared since El Gouna and have put some good work in my training. I feel confident in my body, my physicality and my game, and I’m giving 100 per cent in every match and I’m hoping to go far in this tournament.”

2015 World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad is also through courtesy of a 3-0 victory against Syed Azlan Amjad, while Mohamed ElSherbini overcame USA’s Christopher Gordon.

Results:
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt [16] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 (61m)
[15] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (24m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (32m)

Perry Takes Out Chu as Gilis and Alves Claim Victory

Sarah-Jane Perry

England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry has booked her spot in the last 32 alongside Belgium’s Tinne Gilis and France’s Melissa Alves.

Perry, the World No.6, started on the back foot as Hong Kong’s Vanessa Chu took command in the opening game of their encounter.

But the 31-year-old old soon felt her way into the match and won the next three matches in a row to seal her place in the next round.

“I don’t think it would go down as my best performance by any stretch, but at this stage the goal is to get through to the next round,” said Perry.

“I struggled a bit getting used to the court at the start and Vanessa came out firing and really brought the game to me. I found my game a bit and it was still a bit patchy but it definitely got better as the match went on and hopefully I’ll be comfortable in a couple of days’ time.”

Coline Aumard will be Perry’s round two opponent, and the Kenilworth star is anticipating a tough match.

“We’ve been playing since juniors, I think, but we haven’t played for a while now. She’s come back from a serious injury, so she’ll be at it and raring to go and loving being back on court, which we all are. She’s a good player and she’s had a solid win today, so I hope to be able to up my level for that match.

“I was really pleased with how I finished at the World Tour Finals, I was in good shape physically and maybe didn’t play to my strengths in those first two matches, but I wasn’t a million miles away from those top players. I managed to get a win to finish it out, I know it’s in there, I just have to bring it to the service at the right time, which is now.”

Gilis required two tie-breaks to overcome the threat of Egypt’s Menna Hamed, and she will take on USA’s Olivia Fiechter in the next round. Meanwhile, Alves beat Italy’s Bruna Marchesi Petrillo in 16 minutes and will take on India’s Joshna Chinappa next.

Results:
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Vanessa Chu (HKG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (33m)
[14] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Menna Hamed (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7 (55m)
[27] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (ITA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-3, 11-2 (16m)

ElShorbagy Axes Leung as Soliman Fights Tooth and Nail to Beat James

Youssef Soliman

2017 World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy booked his spot in RD2 with a comfortable win over Hong Kong’s Henry Leung – while his compatriot Youssef Soliman required 106 minutes to beat England’s Declan James following a lengthy injury break.

Soliman fought tooth and nail – literally – to win a match which saw him lose a couple of teeth after being caught by James’s backswing, with the scores locked at 8-8 in the fourth after the Egyptian had taken a 2-1 lead in games.

Soliman returned to court after around half an hour to seal the win, and he will go up against World Champion Tarek Momen in the next round.

Marwan ElShorbagy

Meanwhile, ElShorbagy will take on Mohamed ElSherbini after he beat USA’s Christopher Gordon earlier in the day.

“I’m happy with my performance, the first round is always tricky, especially on the back courts,” said ElShorbagy.

“He surprised me, especially in that second game, but I’m happy overall and I’m looking forward to my next match.

“He’s a very good player and we come from the same generation but we haven’t actually played before. I’m looking forward to it, he’s a very good friend of mine and he’s made a lot of progress over the last couple of years. He made it to the top 100 and then the top 50, and I’m looking forward to being on court with him.

“It’s the biggest event of the year, everyone is here to win the title and I reached the final in 2017 and was just a few points away from winning the title against my brother. I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m just going to take it step-by-step and focus on my match in two days against Sherbini.”

England’s George Parker was the other victor as he overcame India’s Ramit Tandon in straight games to set up a round two match with 2015 World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad.

Results:
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 14-12, 11-7 (34m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (106m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-6 (45m)

Gilis, Letourneau & Soini Move into Last 32

Nele Gilis

Belgium’s Nele Gilis continued the impressive form which saw her win the Squash On Fire Open earlier this month in Washington as she overcame Canada’s Nicole Bunyan in straight games.

Gilis, who has reached the second round of the sport’s pinnacle event on one previous occasion, won the match in 24 minutes by an 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 scoreline that will see her take on either Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam or Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim in the next round.

“I’m very happy with my performance, I had some nerves because it’s the first round of the World Champs,” said Gilis.

“Everyone wants to do well here and I’m very happy to be through to the second round. I’m just trying to focus on myself and on every single match, to give it my all and see where that takes me.

“I feel very confident, especially because I won the tournament last week on Washington, and that’s given my extra confidence for this week.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s Danielle Letourneau overcame 18-year-old Marina Stefanoni in straight games and she will take on fellow Canadian Hollie Naughton in the next round.

Soini, the World No.50, upset World No.39 Mayar Hany to ensure she will line up against reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini.

Results:
[13] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (24m)
[19] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt Marina Stefanoni (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 (25m)
Emilia Soini (FIN) bt [31] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)

Naughton Sends Out Odense Qualifier Gomez

Hollie Naughton

Canada’s Hollie Naughton got the better of Spain’s Cristina Gomez to set up an all-Canadian affair with Danielle Letourneau in the last 32.

Gomez qualified for the World Championships after winning the Odense Open in June, and she tested World No.19 Naughton, but the Barnsley-born 26-year-old kept her focus to win 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 and she is one win away from a first World Championship last 16 berth.

“I’m just happy to get out to a 3-0 start to be honest,” Naughton said.

“She’s a good player, I’ve never played her before, and you never know what to expect when you play someone new. She’s got some great hands and great shots that she can pull out from anywhere. If you’re slightly missing those targets she goes for it, so I’m happy to get out with a 3-0 win.

“I watched a little bit of her last tournament, the Odense Open, where she qualified for the Worlds, but you play differently against everyone. You get a little bit of understanding by watching her, but you need to get out there and see how she plays.

“I think it’s always difficult playing a countrywoman, so it’s going to be a tough battle on the mental side. I’ll prepare, get out there and do the best I can.”

Naughton will be joined in the second round by Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam – who beat Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim – and Nada Abbas – who got the better of Tsz-Wing Tong.

Subramaniam will take on Belgium’s Nele Gilis next, while Abbas will play home favourite Amanda Sobhy.

Results:
[16] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (25m)
[25] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 (33m)
[22] Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (35m)

Elias Returns with a Win

Peru’s Diego Elias made his first PSA World Tour appearance of 2021 as he completed an 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 victory over Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen.

The World No.8 has struggled for fitness since his last appearance – at the CIB Black Ball Open in December of last year – but looked composed as he closed out a win which will see him play France’s Mathieu Castagnet in the next round.

“I was a bit nervous because I hadn’t played all year, but at the end I found my game a bit more and I ended up enjoying it a little bit,” said Elias.

“I had a bit of an injury at the end of last year and it took me a while to recover. But now I feel good and I’m back to 100 per cent, so I’m happy to be playing again.

“I always want to do my best and try to win the tournaments. That’s what I want here and to enjoy being back on court.”

Elsewhere, Frenchman Gregoire Marche dispatched India’s Vikram Malhotra, while Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng beat England’s Adrian Waller.

Results
[8] Diego Elias (PER) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (32m)
[13] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Vikram Malhotra (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5 (54m)

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