Blake & Perry go out in Chicago

RESULTS: Women’s METROsquash Windy City Open, Chicago, USA

1st round:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (34m)
Annie Au (HKG) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 (57m)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt [6] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 (80m)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 12-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (52m)

Beddoes Blows Down Perry In Windy City Upset

English qualifier Emma Beddoes pulled off her first win over Ireland’s world No7 Madeline Perry in six Tour meetings over the past six years when she upset the sixth seed in the first round of the Women’s METROsquash Windy City Open, the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Gold 50 event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.

Beddoes, the world No23 from Leeds, took the opening game after fighting back from 8-6 down. But the experienced Perry, winner of her 14th Irish national title in December, regained control in the second to draw level.

Underdog Beddoes responded well in the third, however, and regained the lead.

“The fourth was a scorcher, everyone wondering if a qualifier could pull off a victory against a world number seven,” said event spokesman Jim Wellington. “She almost did – going up 9-5, and earning two match balls at 10-8. Stroke to Beddoes: she did!”

After the 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 52 minutes, MC Kerry Fliss asked Beddoes what’s it looking like, moving forward: “All of the matches are going to be tough,” said 28-year-old Beddoes. “I just have to stay focused.”

Beddoes will now face fourth seed Joelle King for a place in the semi-finals. The world No5 from New Zealand beat Irish wild card Aisling Blake 11-5, 11-4, 11-6.

Another upset produced an unexpected quarter-finalist when Hong Kong’s unseeded Annie Au ousted Australia’s No8 seed Kasey Brown 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.

Fliss complimented Au on taking the pace off the ball and exerting so much control: “Yes, that’s my game,” responded the 25-year-old world No11. “I have to play like that because I’m a little bit short so I don’t have the power that some of the other players have.”

Au will now line up against event favourite Laura Massaro, the world No2 from England who beat compatriot and former stable-mate Emily Whitlock, a 20-year-old qualifier, 11-7, 11-4, 11-2.

When asked about her upcoming clash with the Hong Kong left-hander, 30-year-old Massaro replied: “She beat me and a few weeks ago in Cleveland, so I’m looking forward to the rematch.”

There will be English interest in a third quarter-final when No3 seed Alison Waters takes on France’s Camille Serme. Londoner Waters defeated Hong Kong qualifier Joey Chan 11-8, 11-7, 11-5, while seventh seed Serme battled for 57 minutes to see off Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10.

Dipika Pallikal‘s bid to reach the final for the second time since 2011 was halted by Asian rival Low Wee Wern when the No5 seed from Malaysia overcame the Indian number one 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 in a hard-fought 80-minute encounter.

Wee Wern will now face Raneem El Welily, the No2 seed from Egypt who ended English qualifier Sarah Kippax‘s run 12-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Annie Au (HKG)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) v [7] Camille Serme (FRA)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS)

27 February 2014

Chicago will host its richest women’s squash event ever when the Women’s METROsquash Windy City Open gets underway tomorrow at the University Club of Chicago in the largest city in the US state of Illinois.

The Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Gold event – the third of the year – boasts a star-studded field featuring eight of the top ten players in the world. It is significant from an Irish point of view in that Ireland has its top 2 players in the main draw. It is great to see Aisling Blake back playing again, as she has been off injured since November last. She is a wildcard entry and faces Joelle King from New Zealand. Madeline Perry is up against a qualifier. So here’s hoping both players have a successful first round where they would meet each other in the last eight. this would be a rematch they didn’t have in the Irish Nationals last December with Aisling being injured. The previous March Aisling beat Madeline in the Irish Championships to give her a first national title.

The top seed is England’s world No2 Laura Massaro.”I’m really excited to be heading to Chicago for the first time in my career,” said the 30-year-old from Preston in Lancashire who is seeded to win the 13th Tour title of her career.

“It’s fantastic it’s on the WSA calendar at Gold level and the promoters have done brilliantly raising the money to get the top women to The Windy City Open,” added the reigning British Open champion.

“I’ve heard Chicago is a fantastic city so I’ll look forward to exploring the city if I have time and it’s not too cold!”

Massaro begins her Windy City campaign against a qualifier and is likely to face fellow WSA board member Kasey Brown, the newly-elected President ranked 13 in the world, in the quarter-finals.

The draw predicts a semi-final clash with England team-mate Alison Waters, the No3 seed, before a possible final showdown against Raneem El Welily, the world No3 from Egypt.

Asian interest is led by Low Wee Wern, the fifth seed from Malaysia. But Wern has a tough opener against regional rival Dipika Pallikal, the world No10 from India.

1st round draw:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier
[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) v Annie Au (HKG)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) v Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[6] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Qualifier
[4] Joelle King (NZL) v [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL)
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Qualifier