6:17 pm
15 Dec 2018

Tested Tesni Takes Up Historic US Open Quarter-Final

10 Oct 2018

After overturning a two-game deficit against world No.5 Joelle King in the third round of the FS Investments US Open at Drexel University in Philadelphia, world No.12 Tesni Evans became the first Welsh woman in history to secure a place in the prestigious event's quarter-finals.

Evans had beaten the Commonwealth Games gold medallist from New Zealand in May's Allam British Open in May, but found herself down in the opening two games after a bright start from King.

However, a virtuoso fightback from Evans saw her play some spell-binding squash as she took control and came back to record a 7-11, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 victory. The 25-year-old from Rhyl will face world No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry for a place in the semi-finals.

"I was getting completely outplayed for the first two games, she had me everywhere and was all over me, so something had to change," Evans said afterwards.

"I tried to change my game a little bit and luckily it paid off in the end.

"I'm not going to lie, if you look at the head-to-head [against Perry] then I'm not looking very good. I've never beaten her before but it's another opportunity to have another go. I'm really looking forward to the quarter-finals and I will give it everything in that match."

Perry earned her quarter-final place courtesy of a comfortable 3/0 victory over India's Joshna Chinappa, while there were also wins for England's Laura Massaro and last year's runner-up Raneem El Welily, with the duo seeing off Malaysia's Nicol David and US No.1 Olivia Blatchford, respectively,

World No.7 Massaro and eight-time World Champion David have contested an enthralling rivalry over the past 13 years and were meeting for the 34th time on the PSA Tour, with David leading the head-to-head record 23-10 coming into the match.

It was their third meeting of the season - with both players taking a win apiece before today - but Massaro prevailed by a 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7 margin despite squandering a two-game advantage.

"Before the fifth, [three-time World Champion] Nick Matthew came over to me and said 'you need to get your body language up, you've got to hit the ball the way you know you can hit it and it comes down to whether you want it or not'," said Massaro, who will play El Welily for a place in the last four.

"Sometimes it just needs to be simplified like that and I just went on there and tried to fight, [there were ] a few more fist pumps and I just tried to get myself moving and that transferred into how snappy I was. It was tight but I'm just happy to get over the line in the end."

In the men's tournament, world No.2 Ali Farag continued the defence of the title he won alongside wife Nour El Tayeb last year as he overcame Welshman Joel Makin in straight games.

World No.33 Makin tested Farag at times during the fixture and even forced him into a tiebreak in the second game, but the Egyptian was able to close the win out by an 11-5, 13-11, 11-5 scoreline and will now play three-time US Open champion Gregory Gaultier in the next round.

"I'm delighted," said Cairo-born Farag.

"You can see how hungry he is, he never gives up on any ball and never gives you any cheap points, which is great to see. On court with him it is never easy and being 9-2 up in third he still caused me problems. I think the second game was crucial, I think if he had won that then the dynamics of the match would have changed and I got away with a 3/0 win."

Gaultier will aim to end a four-match losing streak against the Egyptian in their quarter-final match, and he earned his place in the last eight after beating Farag's compatriot Zahed Salem 3/1.

"I didn't play amazing squash," Gaultier said afterwards.

"It's the first time I have played on this court and it was quite difficult, the ball moves quite fast, I just needed to get my mark and find my length. I was judging my game all the time and couldn't get my short game [working], but at the end of the day I did what I had to do, just win, and that's all I care about."

The other men's quarter-final in the bottom half of the draw will be contested by Germany's world No.5 Simon Rösner and Colombia's World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez after they enjoyed respective wins over England's George Parker and Mexican Cesar Salazar.