Brown brushes aside Duncalf in US Open upset

Drexel University, USA, Oct 14, 2013: Australia’s Kasey Brown produced a resounding upset in the second round of the Women’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship when she despatched seventh seed Jenny Duncalf in straight games to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event which – for the first time ever – is providing equal prize money to the men’s event.

Brown, the US-based world No11, went into the match 1/8 down in her head-to-record with Duncalf – her only win against the world No6 from England coming exactly three years ago.

A series of unforced errors by Duncalf gave Brown, the runner-up two years ago (pictured above featured in action with Duncalf), the opening game.

Duncalf settled after that, taking a lead of 4-1 in the second. The 28-year-old from New South Wales drew level at five-all before going on to extend her lead to 2/0.

Duncalf again led in the third, but Brown caught up at six-all before racing on to match-ball at 10-7. Duncalf won the next three points to level, but a powerful drive took Brown to the brink again before a stroke sealed the upset.

“This place holds a special place in my heart,” admitted a delighted Brown after her 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 victory in 41 minutes. “After 2011, and being sponsored by Delaware Investments, plus I always seem to play well on this court.

“It feels great to be able to pull it out today. I’ve been working on a few things to help me out in tight matches like this and that certainly helped me pull through at the end.”

Brown moves on to meet her third successive English opponent – second seed Laura Massaro – in a repeat of the 2011 final.

World No2 Massaro recovered from a game down to beat Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb 6-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-7.

“I hadn’t played Nour for such a long time and she took me by surprise in the first,” admitted Massaro later. “I was pretty terrible in that game though! After that it turned into a bit of a catfight, I had to really gee myself up to stay in it.

“I’m happy to get through that one, hopefully I can refocus for the quarters now.”

US interest in the championship ended when Low Wee Wern, the No6 seed from Malaysia, defeated New Yorker Amanda Sobhy 2-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5.

600_WeeWern_AmandaSobhy_USOpen13a“Playing on the glass court is so different,” said Low (pictured above with Sobhy) after her first ever meeting with the US number one. “And if you give Amanda anything loose she’ll punish you.

“I just couldn’t get it past her in the first, but with Nicol giving me advice I started to step up more – playing a bit more like she does! This court is punishing if you get stuck at the back, so I’m glad I was able to change it around.”

Wee Wern will now meet Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily for a place in the semi-finals after the world No3 from Cairo survived a five-game battle with compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, a former world No4.

Abdel Kawy twice came from behind to force a decider, but last year’s runner-up El Weleily held her nerve to clinch an 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 victory after 50 minutes.

“Playing a friend is the hardest thing you can do in a tournament,” said victor El Weleily. “I was so nervous, just trying to stop making mistakes and I was so, so, lucky in the end.”

RESULTS: Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA

2nd round (lower half of draw):

[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [16] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 2-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (40m)

[3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (50m)

[9] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [7] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (41m)

[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [14] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 6-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)

Quarter-final line-up:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [8] Madeline Perry (IRL)

[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v [5] Joelle King (NZL)

[3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [6] Low Wee Wern (MAS)

[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [9] Kasey Brown (AUS). —- WSF

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