The second day of the Odense Open, the first of four qualifying events for the 2021-2022 PSA World Championships in Cairo, saw plenty of surprises, with no less than five seeded players being knocked out in the last 16, including two of the top four seeds.
England’s Katie Malliff caused an upset for the second straight day, as she got the better of another Egyptian. After overcoming Kenzy Ayman on Tuesday, the young Englishwoman defeated No.5 seed Nour Aboulmakarim to book her spot in the quarter finals of the Challenger 10 level tournament.
The pair had never played on the PSA World Tour before, but the Egyptian came in as the favourite, sitting 40 places above Malliff in the updated March World Rankings. That looked to be the case in the first game, as Aboulmakarim was able to take a close 11-9 win to hold the advantage in the match.
However, from there, the 18-year-old Englishwoman would go on to take the victory, winning the next three game quite comfortably to keep her great run of form going in Odense. She eventually won out 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 in 38 minutes, and will face another Egyptian, in No.4 seed Menna Hamed in the second round, after she defeated New Zealand’s Kaitlyn Watts in a lengthy five-game battle.
“I am really pleased to get a 3-1 victory. I wasn’t sure what to expect again, but I knew it would be a close game!” Mallliff said.
“In the second game, I knew I had to try and volley everything and make the rallies long. I have been working on my fitness quite a lot, so I have been working on the advantage of having a better physicality than my opponent, so I was trying to make it as long as I could.”
Malliff will be joined in the quarter finals by compatriot Anna Kimberley, after the World No.85 overcame Switzerland’s No.3 seed Nadia Pfister in straight games on the glass court at the Odense Squash Club.
Ana Kimberley (left) and Nadia Pfister (right) on court in Odense
The pair had met once before, at the Czech Open in November, with Kimberley running out the winner on that occasion as well. She came in to this match full of confidence after defeating fellow Englishwoman Katie Wells, and she spent just 33 minutes on court on the second day, winning 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 to set up a meeting with Egypt’s Malak Khafagy in the last eight.
“I feel good about that win. Last time I played her was in November time and we had a close battle, where I won in four. Coming into it, I was thinking whether it would go the same,” Kimberley said.
“I know she is quite strong across the middle, so any time that I put it on her volley, she was quite good at playing short kills and putting the ball away. I knew I had to get the ball high, and with the lights, if you get a good lob through, it can make it a bit awkward. I just made sure the ball got to the back and did the simple stuff across the middle.”
The men’s event saw a pair of shocks in the second round, with an unseeded player now guaranteed to make it into the last four of the Challenger 10 level tournament. Argentina’s Leandro Romiglio claimed the biggest scalp of the day, beating Portuguese No.1, and the competition’s No.4 seed, Rui Soares, in a tight four-game battle on the glass court.
Leandro Romiglio (fore) during his second round encounter with Rui Soares
The pair were meeting for the first time on the PSA World Tour, after a tight first game, it was the World No.61 who took it on a tie-break 13-11. However, from there it was Romiglio, the World No.140, who was able to take control of the contest, to advance to the quarter-finals after 66 minutes of fast-paced action. The Argentinian will now face Hungary’s Balazs Farkas in the last eight, after he defeated England’s No.5 seed Ben Coleman on Wednesday.
“I am feeling great! Firstly to have the opportunity to be streamed on SQUASHTV is great, a lot of family and friends in Argentina have been watching,” Romiglio said.
“It was a good match. I have never played him before but I have known him for a long time. He is a tough player so I am happy to get through that one!”
The Odense Open continues on Thursday, March 3, with quarter final action starting at 14:00 (GMT+1). All the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV.
Men’s Second Round Results: Odense Open
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Temwa Chileshe (NZL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (42m)
 Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt Emyr Evans (WAL) 3-2: 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10 (77m)
 Sam Todd (ENG) bt Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) 3-0: 16-14, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
 Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 14-12 (35m)
Leandro Romiglio (ARG) bt  Rui Soares (POR) 3-1: 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (66m)
Balazs Farkas (HUN) bt  Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (61m)
 Robert Downer (ENG) bt Yannik Omlor (GER) 3-1: 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6 (67m)
 Faraz Khan (USA) bt Yuri Farneti (ITA) 3-2: 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4 (83m)
Men’s Quarter Final Draw: Odense Open (To Be Played Thursday, March 3)
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v  Juan Camilo Vargas (COL)
 Sam Todd (ENG) v  Yahya Elnawasany (ENG)
Leandro Romiglio (ARG) v Balazs Farkas (HUN)
 Robert Downer (ENG) v  Faraz Khan (USA)
Women’s Second Round Results: Odense Open
 Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt Saran Nghiem (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6 (39m)
Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP) bt  Nadeen Kotb (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (27m)
 Malak Khafagy (EGY) bt [WC] Klara Møller (DEN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (22m)
Anna Kimberley (ENG) bt  Nadia Pfister (SUI) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (33m)
 Menna Hamed (EGY) bt Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) 3-2: 5-11, 11-1, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7 (47m)
Katie Malliff (ENG) bt  Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (38m)
 Salma Eltayeb (EGY) bt Katerina Tycova (GER) 3-0: 11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (20m)
 Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt Saskia Beinhard (GER) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 13-15, 11-0 (41m)
Women’s Quarter Final Draw: Odense Open (To Be Played Thursday, March 3)
 Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP)
 Malak Khafagy (EGY) v Anna Kimberley (ENG)
 Menna Hamed (EGY) v Katie Malliff (ENG)
 Salma Eltayeb (EGY) v  Julianne Courtice (ENG)