8:13 pm
25 May 2024

Jaume Jettisons No.4 Seed In Cleveland To Reach First World Tour Semi

9 Mar 2024

On the second day of quarter-final action at Squash in the Land Presented by Greater Cleveland Squash, Spain's Bernat Jaume earned a place in a first PSA World Tour semi-final after fourth seed Nathan Lake in the men's PSA World Tour Bronze event in Ohio, USA.

Meanwhile, home hope Olivia Weaver survived a difficult test in Farida Mohamed; Egypt's Youssef Ibrahim put on a masterful display to beat Muhammad Asim Khan; and world No.8 Nour El Tayeb celebrated her birthday with a win over Emily Whitlock.

In the longest match of the night, Jaume claimed a career-first victory over England's world No.22 Nathan Lake to set up a last-four encounter against Egyptian Youssef Ibrahim.

The first game saw bursts of quality from both players as Lake drew level with a reactionary forehand drive to make it 3-3. Neither player could pull away from the other and it was the Spaniard that had the first chance at game ball after a pin-point accurate drop at 9-9. The Englishman levelled the tie break with his own drop into the same corner as the point before, and earned his first game ball with front-court boast. The pair struggled to convert their game balls until a well-placed backhand drop won the game for Jaume 15-13.

A renewed Lake battled back to draw level before taking the third to move ahead in the match.

The early stages of the fourth game saw the pair trading points to 4-4, but a string of points gave Jaume the lead and Lake couldn't recover from the deficit as the match continued into a fifth game after the Englishman hit the tin at 10-5.

The No.4 seed looked exhausted as his Spanish opponent kept piling on the pressure to take a quick 9-3 lead. Lake had a late resurgence as he brought the score to 7-10, but the early deficit was too much to overcome as Jaume claimed his five-game upset over the No.4 seed to reach his first semi-final on the World Tour.

"He's a good very player and what I did in the fourth and the fifth, I wasn't able to do in the first game because he wasn't letting me," said Jaume after the match.

"For the most part he controlled it very well. I was edgy and he was making me feel uncomfortable, but I was able to push through and I'm very happy about that. My brother plays too and he's a left hander. Of course, you have to be aware of his forehand, so maybe I would play more on this side of the court than I normally would."

Jaume will now face Youssef Ibrahim after the No.2 seed from Egypt earned his place in the semi-finals following a dominant display over Pakistan's Mohammad Asim Khan.

In the women's draw, USA's Olivia Weaver survived difficult test as she defeated Egypt's Farida Mohamed to keep hopes alive of a third successive Silver-event win.

It was a fairly tentative start between the two top 20 players, but Mohamed was the player that found her footing in the match first, going from a 5-4 lead to a resounding 10-5, with the highlight coming from a backhand boast from deep in the back-left corner to make it 6-4. Weaver began to find her length, and began to show her incredible physicality as she avoided making mistakes and won five successive points to take the match to a tie break. Both players traded points, unwilling to take an major risks until Weaver sent the Egyptian the wrong way at 13-12 to take the first game.

Mohamed again started strong in the early phases of the second game, creating a 7-4 lead while playing with fast, attacking intent. Weaver fought back, but Mohamed again found herself with five game balls at her disposal. The No.2 seed battled on, and cut the deficit to 7-10 with a drop into the nick, but the gap was too much to overcome a second time as the World No.17 take her first game on her seventh opportunity.

Despite her earlier dominant phases, Mohamed couldn't keep up with the renewed athleticism of her opponent, and Weaver marched to a 10-3 lead. The American played conservatively until a mistake from the Egyptian gave her a 2-1 lead in the match.

Weaver looked composed as she picked up successive points off a fading Mohamed in the beginning of the fourth game, and the Egyptian didn't have an answer to the world No.7's physicality as she earned seven match balls. The US No.2 only needed one however and took her place in the semi-finals where she faces No.3 seed Nour El Tayeb.

"Playing Farida is not comfortable," said Weaver after the match. "She's so aggressive and dangerous. If you leave anything open, she punishes you immediately. You're not going to have as may long rallies as you might with other players, but I look at playing her as a different challenge."

Egypt's Nour El Tayeb progresses to the semi-finals after a commanding performance over Wales' Emily Whitlock.