8:08 am
17 Jun 2024

Clyne Leads Top Three Seeds Cull In Detroit

10 Feb 2023

The top three seeds crashed out in the quarter finals of the DAC Pro Squash Classic as No.1 seed Joelle King fell to the USA's Olivia Clyne, No.2 seed Rowan Elaraby went down to England's Georgina Kennedy and No.3 seed Nele Gilis lost to Egypt's Salma Hany.

In the day's first match at the Detroit Athletic Club, 2019 champion Clyne continued her spectacular recent form in a brilliant performance that saw her reach her third DAC Pro semi-final.

The world No.17, who had never beaten the Kiwi in five previous attempts on the tour, played immaculately from the beginning, racing away from 5-5 to an 11-5 win in game one.

Clyne, whose reading of King was excellent all night, took a 2/0 lead thanks to an 11-9 win, but was pegged back by the inevitable response of the Kiwi, who took the third game 11-6.

Clyne, playing in her 350th Tour match, did not appear concerned, and resumed the aggressive and accurate approach that served so well last week in Cleveland and in Detroit to take the match with a deserved 11-6 win in game four.

"This felt like my 350th match this week!" Clyne joked afterwards.

"I feel fantastic. At this point, I wake up and do the same thing every day. It seems to be working, so hopefully match 351 is very similar to today!"

In a rematch of the Cleveland Classic semi last week, the 30-year-old will face compatriot and US No.2 Olivia Fiechter, who was given a far tougher test by Nada Abbas than she may have expected after taking the opening game 11-1.

Despite the crushing opening game defeat, Abbas fought back well to level at 1/1 before going 2/1 down. The Egyptian appeared to have battled back yet again when she had two game balls at 10-8 in the fourth, but could not convert, with Fiechter hanging tough to edge the contest with a 13-11 victory.

In the other half of the draw, Kennedy continued to build on her impressive Cleveland Classic title win with a straight games victory over Elaraby.

The first two games were tight affairs that could have gone either way, with both players having game balls in each.

It was Kennedy, however, who was able to marshal her nerves best to take both, with the No.8 seed then pressing on to take the third game 11-7.

"Today was one of those days when I felt really good, even though the rallies were really tough in that and we were moving each other around, I felt like I had so much energy and I could have carried on forever at that fast pace!" Kennedy said afterwards.

Hany, Kennedy's opponent tomorrow, also progressed in three games, with the attack-minded world No.12 getting the better of Belgian world No.10 Gilis, who appeared to be lacking her usual relentless energy.