The 2023 VITAGEN Singapore Squash Open got under way today with sixteen first round matches at the OCBC Arena and Kallang Squash Centre.
With today’s winners going through to face the seeded players in Round Two, most of the matches went according to seeding, with just Egypt’s Nour Aboelmakarim and Brits Curtis Malik and Georgia Adderley ousting 9/16 seeds, and both Singapore wildcards falling.
The evening session at the OCBC Arena saw the demise of both Singapore wildcards as in-form Malaysian Rachel Arnold beat Au Yeong Wai Yhann and Canada’s David Baillargeon beat Marcus Phua, both in straight games. Melissa Alves and Eain Yow Ng were also straight games winners.
Things were more dramatic at the Kallang Centre, where Leandro Romiglio delighted the watching Argentinian Ambassador with a lengthy three-game win over France’s Lucas Serme.
Malik’s four-game win over former world junior champion Karim El Hammamy was at times fractious, but Malik was certainly pleased with the victory :
“Really happy,” said the Englishman, “that’s feels like my biggest win, up there with beating Yow – I’ve never played a gold event before so this feels really special. I was pleased with how I backed up mentally, I made a few errors but attacked at the right times, and I think I broke him a bit mentally and physically at the end.
“Dessouki next, on the glass court and SquashTV, it’s about time!”
The VITAGEN Singapore Squash Open 2023 got underway this afternoon at both the OCBC Arena and Kallang Squash Centre with four matches taking place at each venues in the afternoon session of the PSA Gold event.
Two women’s matches opened up play at the OCBC Arena as Tomato Ho and Sivasangari Subramaniam confidently booked their places in round two after straight games wins over Salma Eltayeb and Emilia Soini. Whilst over at the Kallang Squash Centre, Hong Kong duo Henry Leung and Tsz Kwan Lau were defeated 3-0 by France’s Sebastien Bonmalais and Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim. The latter was forced to battle hard and saved a game ball in the third game to close out the match, a 100th tour win for the 24-year-old.
Canada’s Hollie Naughton was next to book her place in the next round over at the Kallang Centre as she overcame Malaysia’s Aira Azman in straight games. After taking a comfortable opener, Naughton then found herself 10-2 down in the second game but mounted an impressive comeback to win the next ten points and double her lead. She then converted the match, winning 11-2 in the third.
Meanwhile at the OCBC Arena, Indian duo Saurav Ghosal and Ramit Tandon came through tricky encounters to book their places in round two. Ghosal recovered from a game down to defeat USA’s Todd Harrity, finding his rhythm in the last three games despite constant pressure from Harrity. Tandon competed the afternoon session as he hung tough in the business end of all his games against Scotland’s Rory Stewart.