There are two very contrasting draws at the Sekisui Open in Kriens, Switzerland, as the top seeds all made it through in the women’s event, while only one of the top four will feature in the men’s semis, with three unseeded players making it through to the semi-finals.
England’s Charlie Lee caused the biggest upset of the day, as he got the better of the tournament’s No.2 seed, Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany, in a four game contest. The first two games were very one-sided, with both players losing a game heavily. The third was more of a battle, but an 11-9 win for the Englishman helped him carry the momentum into the fourth, which he won comfortably. Lee will now face Portugal’s Rui Soares, the only seeded player to make it through, after he defeated Switzerland’s Robin Gadola in a five-game battle.
The men’s final is guaranteed to have an unseeded player in it on Saturday, as Switzerland’s Yannick Wilhelmi and Israeli No.1 Daniel Poleshchuk will go head-to-head in the last four. The latter defeated No.7 seed Curtis Malik to make it into the semis, in a five-game battle that including an 18-16 tie-break which went the way of Poleshchuk.
Meanwhile, Wilhelmi continues to make the most of playing on home soil, after he defeated the Czech Republic’s Viktor Byrtus, coming from behind after losing the first game to win in four, and securing his spot in the semi-finals of the Challenger 10 level competition.
The quarter finals of the women’s event saw no surprises, with only two games dropped between the top four seeds, as they all safely made it through to the last four of the Challenger 10 level tournament.
Top seed Cindy Merlo, playing on home soil in Switzerland, got the day’s play underway with her quarter final against Egypt’s No.8 seed Rana Ismail. The Swiss No.1 won the first game on a tie-break 12-10, before seeing the young Egyptian fight back to win the second. However, it would be Merlo that got the job done in four, advancing to the semi-finals of the competition. She will face another Egyptian, in No.4 seed Nadeen Kotb, in the last four, after she got the better of Denmark’s Klara Møller.
The other semi-final will see No.2 seed Malak Khafagy and No.3 seed Salma Eltayeb go head-to-head in an all-Egyptian battle. Khafagy needed four games to overcome young Englishwoman Torrie Malik, while Eltayeb got the better of Spain’s Marta Dominguez Fernandez in straight games.
The semi-finals of the Sekisui Open will take place on Friday, April 8, as the remaining four players in both draws aim to reach Saturday’s finals in Kriens.
Men’s Quarter Final Results: Sekisui Open
Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) bt Viktor Byrtus (CZE) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2 (37m)
Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR) bt  Curtis Malik (ENG) 3-2: 18-16, 4-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8 (63m)
 Rui Soares (POR) bt Robin Gadola (SUI) 3-2: 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 10-12, 11-4 (59m)
Charlie Lee (ENG) bt  Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) 3-1: 11-1, 2-11, 11-9, 11-2 (41m)
Men’s Semi-Final Draw: To Be Played Friday, April 8
Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) v Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR)
 Rui Soares (POR) v Charlie Lee (ENG)
Women’s Quarter Final Results: Sekisui Open
 Cindy Merlo (SUI) bt  Rana Ismail (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 (42m)
 Nadeen Kotb (EGY) bt Klara Møller (DEN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (26m)
 Salma Eltayeb (EGY) bt  Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (24m)
 Malak Khafagy (EGY) bt  Torrie Malik (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10 (37m)
Women’s Semi-Final Draw: To Be Played Friday, April 8
 Cindy Merlo (SUI) v  Nadeen Kotb (EGY)
 Salma Eltayeb (EGY) v  Malak Khafagy (EGY)