Tesni Evans Makes Historic US Open Semi
12 Oct 2018
After a career-first victory over British rival Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter-finals of the FS Investments US Open, world No.12 Tesni Evans made history by becoming the first Welsh player of either gender to reach the event's semi-finals.
Then 25-year-old from Rhyl had lost to England's world No.8 Perry in 10 previous meetings over the past seven years - the most recent defeat coming in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals in Australia in April.
But at the Drexel University Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia, Evans finally achieved her goal after putting in a magnificent performance to fight back from 2/1 down to beat the higher-ranked Perry - which sees her become the first Welsh player since coach David Evans in 2001 to reach the last four of a major PSA Tour event.
"I'm really pleased with my performance today," said Tesni.
"I'm a very proud Welsh person anyway, so it makes me really happy that I can break records as much as I can. I'm so happy that I'm the first one to do it at this event and I hope there are many more after me.
"I've only played one tournament before this and I wasn't quite sure where my level was at, but to beat two world-class players in three days is an amazing achievement. It's one of my favourite events that I have been to. I love the place, I stay with a really good family and I feel really good here."
El Welily was a losing finalist at this tournament in 2012 and 2017 and will look to extend her unbeaten run over Evans to seven matches as she bids to reach the final of this tournament for a third time.
"It was 3/0 but as you can see from the scoreline it was close, especially in the third," El Welily said afterwards.
"Laura was really getting me all around the court. Maybe I played safe a little bit, maybe I wanted to win too much so that put a bit of pressure on me, but overall I'm very happy to come out as the winner today and it was a good match."
After four appearances in the quarter-finals since 2013, world No.5 Simon Rösner became the first German to reach the men's semi-finals after a masterclass 3/0 victory over world No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
A breathtaking performance saw the Paderborn-based 30-year-old down Colombia's Rodriguez by an 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 margin and he will line up against defending champion Ali Farag for a place in the final - where he would become the first German to reach the US Open final since Sabine Schoene finished as runner-up in the women's event in 1997.
"I feel amazing," said Rösner.
"I'm really happy with my performance, especially tactically today. I needed to slow down the pace every once in a while, get into the corners better and I think I managed to do that by chipping it up high in the air from the left-side corner to the right-side corner, and after that I was able to counter-attack."
Farag, who won this title alongside wife Nour El Tayeb in 2017, earned his place in the last four of this tournament for a second successive year after he outlasted three-time champion Gregory Gaultier after 74 minutes of intense squash.
Despite sporting a significant amount of strapping on his right knee, 35-year-old Gaultier tested Farag throughout the fixture and twice took a one-game lead, but the unrelenting pressure from world No.2 Farag eventually took its toll as the Egyptian powered to a fifth-game victory.
"I have to give a huge amount of respect to Greg," said Farag.
"I'm glad I had Nour [El Tayeb] in my corner, who kept telling me to keep pushing and that I would find a way somehow. I don't know how I did it, but it just happened and I'm so relieved to be in the semi-finals again."