Day Three Roundup : Sabrina gatecrashes quarters

USA’s  Sabrina Sobhy made sure there would be two American in the quarter finals as she defeated England’s seventh seed Georgina Kennedy in straight games to join older sister Amanda in the last eight at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.

The pair had met twice already on Tour this year, with Sobhy still awaiting her first victory over the Englishwoman. However, she changed that in Singapore, with a confident performance against the struggling Kennedy.

The opening game was high quality with some long and intense rallies, and in the end, it was the American that came out on top to take the lead in the contest thanks to her solid and consistent length to the back of the court.

With the No.7 seed evidently struggling, Sobhy powered on and continued to move the ball into space to test the movement of Kennedy. The end came quickly for the Englishwoman as the World No.18 moved through the gears to win both second and third games 11-4 to upset the seedings and reach the last eight.

“Gina is one of my best friends on tour, she has been so inspiring, we played in college together and I’ve seen her rise up throughout the rankings beating top players and knowing that she has been my teammate and friend for so many years, she’s a huge inspiration,” said Sobhy.

“I knew it would be a tough one, obviously Gina is hurting physically, and I only wish her the best to get back on tour, the tour needs her. She’s such a strong presence and without her, it feels a little empty so this was not a great feeling of a win. Obviously, I’m pleased to win but you never want to win when someone is injured so I feel for her.

“I feel good. I didn’t anticipate this. I was due to fly out tomorrow so I’ll have to change this. I’ve been away for over a month now and I’ve been battling this feeling of wanting to go home but also wanting to compete and play my best squash, so I guess I’m sticking around for at least another day.”

After beating the English #2 Sobhy will now take on the #1 in Sarah-Jane Perry, after the fourth seed overcame the challenge of fellow Brit Emily Whitlock in a tight four-game battle.

Welsh #2 Whitlock started in great style and took the game to Perry from the very start of the match. Loose balls from the Englishwoman were being picked off with fantastic winners from Whitlock and the lower ranked player, deservingly, took the first game 11-8.

Perry started to settle in the second game, but the short, sharp rallies remained. The Englishwoman managed to hang on well in the second game despite more Whitlock pressure and took the game 11-9. As the score reached 5-5 in the third game, errors started to come from the racket of the Welshwoman. Perry recognised this and capitalised fully to take the next two games 11-7 and 11-8 to move into the quarter finals.

“Just pleased to get through that match. Emily is always a tough opponent. Every opponent at this level Is really tough. Every win is a good day,” she said.

“I just tried to get settled, Emily settled quicker than I did and found her marks on the court, I was leaving the ball around the middle a lot more than I wanted and she’s lethal when the ball is there so I had to improve.”

The other two women to make it through on day three were New Zealand’s Joelle King and Belgian No.1 Tinne Gilis. The pair both won in three and will now meet in the quarters.

Meanwhile, it was a day of wins for the seeds in the men’s event. Egypt’s Mostafa Asal and Mazen Hesham join Peru’s Diego Elias and Frenchman Victor Crouin in making the last eight.

MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open 2022 : Day THREE, Round TWO (bottom)

Women’s R2
[2] Joelle King
(Nzl) 3-0 [9/16] Hollie Naughton  11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (26m)
[8] Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-0 [9/16] Salma Hany (Egy)  11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (34m)
[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-1 [9/16] Emily Whitlock (Wal)  8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (42m)
[9/16] Sabrina Sobhy 3-0 [7] Gina Kennedy (Eng) 3-0  11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)

Men’s R2
[2] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Patrick Rooney (Eng)  11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (36m)
[8] Victor Crouin(Fra) 3-1 [9/16] Gregoire Marche (Fra)  11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-2 (58m)
[3] Diego Elias
(Per) 3-0 Moustafa El Sirty (Egy)  11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (38m)
[7] Mazen Hesham (Egy) 3-0 Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)  11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)

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