Day TWO : Sin Yuk and Eleinen gatecrash the quarters
Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk and Egypt’s Aly Abou Eleinen scored the only upsets in round two of the Oracle NetSuite Open 2022 to gatecrash the PSA World Tour Silver event quarter finals, beating Olivia Clyne and Youssef Soliman.
Report Continues below the draws …
World No.36 Chan Sin Yuk has been in impressive form heading into this week’s event, winning her previous two events in Australia in convincing fashion. After defeating wildcard Riya Navani in round one, Sin Yuk continued her fine form as she came up against USA’s Olivia Clyne for a place in the last eight. Sin Yuk wasted no time in taking the ball short as she dominated the middle of the court and forced Clyne into several tough movements in the front corners.
Clyne tried her best to get into the match but the accuracy of her younger opponent was simply too good. After just 15 minutes, the 20-year-old secured her place in the biggest quarter final of her career, winning 11-5, 11-7. She had this to say after her win:
“This is the first time I’ve made it through to a PSA Silver event quarter final so that’s really big for me and I’m really pleased with this result. I’ll play either Amanda [Sobhy] or Sana [Ibrahim] tomorrow but I always watched Amanda on SQUASHTV and I love watching her play so I’m hoping I get to play her.”
Sin Yuk’s hopes came true later in the evening as top seed Amanda Sobhy secured her place in the quarter finals after a confident 2-0 win over Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim. Earlier in the day, second seed Joelle King booked her place in the final four as she beat Hong Kong’s Tomato Ho in straight games to progress. King’s opponent will be USA’s Sabrina Sobhy, who overcame Egyptian Zeina Mickawy in a 20-minute 2-0 to move into her first Silver event quarter final.
The top four men’s seeds all advanced on the all-glass court at Pier 70 in San Francisco in different styles.Third seed Mazen Hesham was first to book his place in the last eight as he overcame India’s Ramit Tandon in a hard-fought three games with errors from Tandon at a crucial time in the third game heavily aiding the Egyptian. Both ElShorbagy brothers Mohamed and Marwan recorded business-like straight sets victories over Mahesh Mangaonkar and Cesar Salazar, whilst top seed Diego Elias was in sumptuous form as he cruised to victory over USA’s Faraz Khan.
The play was again spread across different venues in round two with matches taking place at the University Club, Olympic Club and Squash Zone Club in the afternoon. Egypt’s Aly Abou Eleinen scored an upset in round one beating Qatar’s Abdulla Al Tamimi and continued his run in the event by taking out compatriot and seventh seed Youssef Soliman in a mammoth three-set match at the Olympic Club to reach the quarter finals.
Eleinen took the first game, which have been described by players as crucial in the best of three format, by hitting his targets accurately to the back of the court to set up attacking opportunities. Soliman responded in the second to equalise and after a scrappy third game, it was Eleinen who kept his concentration best to close out a nail-biting third game 14-12.
“It feels amazing,” said Eleinen. “I had ten good days of training before this tournament to prepare and coming into a silver event, I didn’t feel any pressure, Its on the more experienced guys. I just wanted to enjoy my squash and give it my best.
“I’ve actually played both Al Tamimi and Soliman before and against Soliman, I lost a close 80-minute match and this time I just wanted to give it my best. Given the best of three, I had to warm up well to give myself the best chance. At 12-12 in the third game, I had to just try and stay tough and control the controllables. Being in the quarter finals of a Silver event is massive for me and regardless of who I play, just want to enjoy the moment and give it my all.”
Over at the University Club, Canada’s Hollie Naughton had to dig deep to overcome in form Malaysian Rachel Arnold to progress to the last eight, winning 11-9 in the third game. The pair had played twice before on the PSA World Tour with Arnold winning the most recent encounter back in February this year. Naughton was sharp from the outset and by mixing the pace, pinned Arnold in the back corners and attacked intelligently to take the opening game 11-4. Despite the Malaysian equalising, Naughton was able to maintain her focus and play the big points well to take the final game 11-9 and advance.
Just two matches took place at the Squash Zone Club in Redwood City, with both seeded players progressing to the next round. India’s Saurav Ghosal overcame England’s George Parker in a three-set encounter just shy of the hour mark, whilst Scotland’s Lisa Aitken needed all three games to defeat France’s Marie Stephan to advance to the quart finals.
All of the quarter final action from the Oracle NetSuite Open will be played on the all-glass court at Pier 70, starting again at 12:00 (GMT-7) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV.
Day One : Eleinen scores biggest Round One upset
The Oracle Netsuite Open got underway with World No.58 Aly Abou Eleinen scoring the biggest upset on day one as he defeated World No.30 Abdulla Al Tamimi in straight games to advance to round two of the PSA World Tour Silver event.
The Egyptian has risen 70 places in the PSA rankings from this time last year and now sits at World No.58. He displayed his excellent deception and touch from the outset against Qatar’s Tamimi at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, testing the movement of his higher ranked opponent every time he took the ball short. The Qatar No.1 was forced into making numerous errors by the smart and accurate play of Eleinen and after securing the crucial opening game 11-8, he repeated the scoreline in the second game to claim the victory.
“Coming in, I had a little bit of confidence because we just played at the QSF 4 event in Qatar and I was able to win in five games, but at the same time, he just had such an incredible run at the Qatar Classic, beating Paul Coll. I had to be patient and trust myself. In the past month, I’ve put in a lot of work for this tournament and I just had to trust my training. The best of three is a little bit tricky and the first game is so important to make sure to start well. In terms of preparation, I woke up early at 7:30 because I couldn’t sleep, so I had a good breakfast, I’m going to prepare and do my best, and it worked out.
“Soliman and I have only played once before in El Gouna, he won in four games and it was such a good match, we played good squash. There’s no pressure on me, he’s World No.11, I’m going to enjoy it and give it everything I can.”
Another ranking upset came earlier at the Olympic Club as England’s Nick Wall needed just 14 minutes to dispatch Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam and book his place in round two. The Yorkshireman possesses great strength around the middle of the court and used this to full effect in only his fifth World Tour appearance. He now faces No.6 seed and PSA Tour veteran Miguel Rodriguez tomorrow for a place in the quarter finals.
The sole USA win of the day came from World No.53 and USA No.3 Faraz Khan, who overcame Hong Kong’s Henry Leung in a tight two games to advance to round two. Khan was able to use his speed to attack Leung and pounced on his loose attacks at the front to punish the Hong Kong No.1. He took the games 11-7, 11-8 in 36 minutes to set up a round two encounter with the tournament’s No.1 seed Diego Elias on the all-glass court.
Three different squash clubs hosted matches across round one with six women’s matches taking place at The University Club in the afternoon. England’s Lucy Beecroft scored the first upset at this venue, taking out France’s Enora Villard in three games. Beecroft started the match in great form, picking off her opponent with devastating attacks at the front of the court and after taking the first game 11-3, looked sure to be moving through in straight games. Despite dropping the following game 12-10, Beecroft shook of the nerves that the best of three format can create and returned to business, winning the final game 11-5 to advance.
“It was so nerve-racking,” admitted Beecroft after her win. “I won the first and felt great, then I had a lead in the second but tensed up and she started to get some points back and get into the match. But I’m just glad I calmed down in the third and managed to get control of the match back and got through.
“I just felt quite edgy. It felt like you had to really take any opportunity, It shouldn’t be any different as it’s just trying to win points, the same as any other match. But it just feels tenser on there with the best of three. Hopefully I can feel okay tomorrow against Farida [Mohamed], she’s a very attacking player. We’ve played before and she beat me 3-0 but who knows what will happen tomorrow and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Finland’s Emilia Soini was next to score an upset as she recorded a convincing win over Czech Republic’s Anna Serme to advance to the second round in San Francisco. With just three places between the two in the latest rankings, this was a big opportunity for both players to score a win and advance to the second round of a Silver event. Soini took this opportunity with both hands, using good height to constantly keep Serme on the back foot and stay in front. Soini seemed to grow in confidence with every point and after taking the first game 11-8, remained clinical to close the match out 11-4.
The third venue used in round one was the SquashZone Club in Redwood City which saw wins for seeds George Parker, Cesar Salazar and Chan Sin Yuk, who all won comfortably in straight games. The only upset came from new French National Champion Marie Stephan, who defeated Canada’s Nicole Bunyan 2-0 to book her place in a Silver event second round for only the second time in her career. Her reward is a last-16 clash with Scotland’s No.8 seed Lisa Aitken on the same court tomorrow.
Second round action from the Oracle NetSuite Open will be split across four different venues tomorrow as the glass court and top seeds enter the frame.