3:32 am
15 Apr 2024

Egyptians Dominate At Drexel

12 Oct 2015

A total of twelve Egyptians will line up in the second round of the 2015 Delaware Investments US Open - across both the Men's and Women's PSA World Series events - after players from the North African country dominated play on day two of first round action at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Cairo's Mazen Hesham (pictured) provided the country's most unexpected success after seeing off England's No.8 seed Peter Barker. Hesham was sublime as he saw off the world No.11 from London in straight games to set up a second round clash with fellow countryman Fares Dessouki.

The 21-year-old from Alexandria came through a titanic battle with Peruvian World Junior Champion Diego Elias in what is certain to be a match-up that will dominate the PSA World Tour for years to come.

"I'm really happy to be here and win my first round match," said 21-year-old Hesham.

"Fares and I have played a lot and we know each other's game a lot - we've come through the juniors together. It'll be a tough match and hopefully we can put on a good show for the crowds."

There were further successes for world No.7 Omar Mosaad and No.8 Tarek Momen - who will face each other for a place in the quarter-finals - who moved into the second round of the Men's draw to join world No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World Champion Ramy Ashour.

In the Women's event, world No.6 Omneya Abdel Kawy swept past American wildcard Sabrina Sobhy while World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar beat compatriot Kanzy El Defrawy to set up a second round clash with defending US Open champion Nicol David of Malaysia.

Gohar and David clashed at the China Open in September when the 18-year-old star stunned the former world number one at the quarter-final stage. But second seed David - not the event favourite for the first time since July 2006 - beat Hong Kong's Joey Chan 3/0 and will be confident of overturning that result as she bids to win a record fourth consecutive US Open crown.

"It feel great to be back on court in Philadelphia - it's always nice to be back here," said the 32-year-old from Penang.

"I'm really excited about this week and hopefully I can keep improving match by match. Getting off to a 3/0 win is important as you just want to get in and get your game together.

"I had to step up and play the big points well against Joey and I did that so I'm happy and I can go and enjoy the rest day now especially because I have my team here with me to work on me and help me perform at my best against Nouran in the next round."

There was also double delight for Indian players Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa as they defied the odds against top-ranked opposition to reach the second round of the US Open for the first time ever.

"With Joshana winning today as well is great for Indian squash," said Pallikal after her win over former world No.4 Joelle King. "We're both continually pushing each other to improve and I think women's squash in India is at its best right now so hopefully we can keep performing well in this tournament."

US Open image courtesy of www.squashpics.com