12:43 pm
19 Jul 2024

Tesni Takes Out No.2 Seed Perry To Reach NZ Open Semis

11 Nov 2022

Welsh world No.14 Tesni Evans made it back-to-back wins over world No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry today as she sent the No.2 seed from England out of the quarter-finals of the women's Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Open at the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.

Evans had beaten Perry over a best-of-three games scoring format at the Grasshopper Cup last month, but hadn't defeated the Englishwoman over a best-of-five format Tour event since May 2019.

However, the 30-year-old, who beat wildcard Kaitlyn Watts in the previous round, produced a superb performance to nullify Perry, running out an 11-9, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5 winner after 59 minutes. Evans will now face Belgium's Nele Gilis for a place in the final.

"I'm really looking forward to that," said Evans afterwards.

"It's going to be very tough, she's in very good form. She played great last week and great this week already. I played her in Nantes in September, so at least I've played her pretty recently, but it's going to be very tough. It's a completely different game style to today, but I'm well up for it and I'm going to give everything I've got for tomorrow."

Gilis defeated Canada's Hollie Naughton 11-3, 14-12, 11-7 in 42 minutes.

"I'm basically playing in front of my home crowd because Paul's [Coll, Gilis's partner] entire family is here and I love them as much as I do my own," Gilis said.

"It kind of added an extra pressure and I was actually very nervous at the start. It means a lot to me to play in front of them. I spend most of my day with them, just hanging around them, and I feel the love and it really helps my game on court. I just feel so relaxed and happy at the moment with them around."

In the men's Robertson Lodges New Zealand Open, world No.4 Mohamed ElShorbagy booked his spot in the last four for a third successive PSA event after he dispatched training partner Leandro Romiglio.

Romiglio, the Argentinian No.1, was coming off the back of a superb win over No.5 seed Saurav Ghosal in the previous round and more than played his part in an entertaining match, which went the way of Englishman by an 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 margin.

"It can be a good thing or a bad thing [playing a training partner] because a lot of the players, when you play them for the first time on tour, I would have enough experience to know how to play them because of the stage, but it's the first time he's on a really big stage on the PSA World Tour," ElShorbagy explained.

"I'm super happy for him. He's one of the nicest guys I've met and I'm really happy to see him having a big win and playing that big stage. Hopefully that'll inspire more Argentinian players to come through the rankings at some point. He's leading the way for them right now."

ElShorbagy will lock horns with world No.10 Victor Crouin in the next round in what will be a repeat of the Qatar Classic final, which ElShorbagy won to take the first Platinum title of the season.

Crouin faced USA's Andrew Douglas in his semi-final and, while he took the first two games in comfortable style, he was up against it in the third as some attacking play from Douglas saw him break the Frenchman's rhythm.

However, Crouin was able to recover to wrap up an 11-2, 11-7, 13-11 victory to reach his fifth semi-final of the season.

"I'm very happy, though it's quite late - I'm usually already in bed by 9pm," said Crouin.

"I'm going to go back and get a good night's sleep, then tomorrow I will do some video analysis. We [Crouin and ElShorbagy] have played a few times, but I've watched him thousands of times on SQUASHTV. I need to remind myself of my strengths instead of playing on his weaknesses because he doesn't have many of them."