Delaware Open 2023

CSC Delaware Open 2023 : FINAL

[2] Kenzy Ayman (Egy) 3-1 [1] Lee Ka Yi (Hkg)   13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4 (37m)

Ayman wins maiden PSA title

The 2023 CSC Delaware Open wrapped up on Sunday with a big win for Kenzy Ayman, who took down top seed Ka Yi Lee, in front of an appreciative crowd.

The players left the crowd in awe of their  hot making abilities however it was the Egyptian who just seem to have another gear after a see-saw first game. Ayman never allowed Lee to settle into her game and cut any ball off that wasn’t tight to the wall or width was loose. The pace seem to catch Lee off guard which with Lee making many unforced errors which was unthinkable earlier in the tournament.

All credit to Lee for sticking to it and pulling out the third game, however this was a short-lived victory, as Ayman responded by racing out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth before cruising to her first PSA tour victory. The sky is the limit for the 18 year old from Cairo.

Overall, another great week of squash for the Wilmington community and we look forward to having the event again in two years.

Ray Chan-A-Sue

Semis : Lee and Ayman to battle for title!

[1] Ka Yi Lee (Hkg) 3-1 Kaitlyn Watts (Nzl)
[2] Kenzy Ayman (Egy) 3-1 [8] Xin Ying Yee (Mas)

Semi-finals night at the 2023 CSC Delaware Open did not disappoint as the four players brought their “A” games and provided great entertainment for the members of the Vicmead Hunt Club.

The first match on for the evening featured the number one seed Lee Ka Yi Lee and unseeded Kaitlyn Watts. This match started out with some gruelling rallies and after an initial lead by Lee, Watts clawed her way back into the game and aided by some uncharacteristic errors by Lee, manage to win the first game given up by Lee this tournament. However, Lee came out in the second and quickly established a lead while moving Watts to all four corners of the court using a deadly drop from the back court and and even more painful lob to work her opponent corner to corner. To Watts credit she just did not give up and was able to counter with some of her own cross drops. However, she just gave up too much of a lead each game and although managing to crawl back into the game, it just required her to do too much work with no breathing room to spare. Other than a tight fourth game, which Lee always seem to have her nose just in front enough to pull out the match.

The second semi final between Kenzy Ayman and Xin Ying Yee seemed to be a rout with the Egyptian taking a commanding two game lead built on hitting with pace and then using a deft drop to catch Yee flatfooted on any loose returns. However, in the third game Yee came out and changed her game plan and start to vary her lengths while mixing in her deft cross court nicks which started to take some of the wind out of Ayman. This allowed her to race out to a lead which she would never relinquish and take the third game. The match suddenly became a bit more even and Ayman trying to force the pace while Yee keep counter attacking and using the pace of Ayman to create great angles. After saving a match ball with a return of service winner to the front left, Ayman manage to keep her composure and close out the match with a 12-10 score.

This sets up another great clash in the finals, matching two distinct styles and players at different spectrums of their careers. Will it be the 18year old from Egypt or the 29 year old from Hong Kong, Stay Tuned!

Quarters :

[8] Xin Ying Yee (Mas) 3-2 Wen Li Lai (Mas)

First match of the quarter finals did not disappoint with two players who seem to know each other games well. Yee stormed out to a 2-0 lead led mainly on solid precision squash and some unforced errors from Lai. However, the next two games saw complete reversal as Lai cut down her unforced errors and started to work the Lai backhand. With the match all tied up at two games, the match came down to who had enough in the tank to claim a spot in the semi-finals. As it turned out Yee, held her composure to claim the first spot in the semi-final.

Kaitlyn Watts (Nzk) 3-0 Low Wee Wern (Mas) 

A matchup between the sentimental favorite Low Wee Wern and up and coming Kiwi Kaitlyn Watts, seem to have all the making of a classic however, Low could not keep up with the excellent movement of Watts and ability to get back the next ball finally broke down Low’s resistance and won in three games and on to the semi-final.

[1] Lee Ka Yi (Hkg) 3-0 [6] Chan Yiwen (Mas)

The first game of this match saw shot making of the highest order with both players attacking the front court early in the rallies. However, in the end, Lee just managed to win the first game. However, from that point on, she keep the pressure up Yiwen, using a combination of deception and length to keep her off balance enough to either garner the unforced error or claim the outright winner.

[2] Kenzy Ayman (Egy) 3-0 [5] Akanksha Salunkhe (Ind) 

Another match up of contrasting styles , power and aggression against quick and deceptive. However on this night power and aggression reinded as Ayman never allowed Salunkhe to settle and won the match in three game

Round One : Malaysians Dominate Day One

After four years which included a global pandemic, the CSC Delaware kicked off day one of the event at the Vicmead Hunt Club in Wilmington, Delaware with a litany of upsets and some high-level squash.

This was led by the Malaysian quartet of Low Wee Wern, Wen Li Lai, Chan Yiwen, and Xin Ying Wee.

The first two creating upsets of the seeding by dispatching the number seven seed Karina Tyma (Poland) and number three seed Sarah Cardwell(Australia). Not that being beaten by Low Wee Wern should be considered an upset, the former world number five, making her last stand as she comes back from multiple knee surgeries. The class was very evident in her play tonight, against the Polish
number one and current senior at Drexel University. She absorbed all Tyma had to offer and then countered with her own arsenal of tight drives and deft drop shots, aided by some unforced errors from Tyma.

Wen Li Lai, faced a different challenge, she w as matched up against the assistant coach of the college she is attending in the US (Cornell). However, the Malaysian kept her composure and dominated every facet of the match to come away with a three zero win over the Aussie.

Another upset was created when Kaitlyn Watts of New Zealand dispatched the number four seed Rana Ismail of Egypt, countering the Egyptian’s pace with movement and deception.

Overall, a great night of squash with some interesting match ups coming up in the

Ray Chan-A-Sue