London, Oct 10, 2013: Malaysia’s Nicol David is seeded to become the first player for more than 20 years to successfully defend the Women’s Delaware Investments US Open title when the 2013 Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event gets underway tomorrow at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
David, who won the title last year for the first time, is back in top form. After her shock British Open final defeat in May, the world number one from Penang bounced back with successive title triumphs in September’s Malaysian Open on home soil and last week’s Carol Weymuller Open in New York.
The 30-year-old begins her defence against a qualifier – with her likely second round opponent being France’s Camille Serme in a repeat of the Carol Weymuller climax.
David’s toughest assignment en-route to the final is likely to be in the semi-finals – against fourth seed Alison Waters, the world No4 from England who was runner-up in 2009.
2011 champion Laura Massaro is the event’s No2 seed. The world No2 from England lost out to Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily in last year’s semi-finals – and is scheduled to meet the world No3 from Cairo at the same stage next week.
But first, 29-year-old Massaro faces compatriot Victoria Lust in the opening round – and a predicted clash with England team-mate Jenny Duncalf, the 2009 champion, in the quarter-finals.
Amanda Sobhy leads US interest in the championship. Promoted to 16th seed following the withdrawal of England’s injured Sarah-Jane Perry, 20-year-old New Yorker Sobhy has a tough first round opponent in Nicolette Fernandes, the new world No19 from Guyana.
Qualifying gets underway today in Philadelphia, where Sabrina Sobhy will be hoping to join her older sister in the main draw for the first time after taking on Australian Melody Francis.
Main draw 1st round:
 Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Samantha Cornett (CAN)
 Line Hansen (DEN) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
 Madeline Perry (IRL) v Qualifier
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Aisling Blake (IRL)
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) v Qualifier
 Sarah Kippax (ENG) v Latasha Khan (USA)
 Joelle King (NZL) v Qualifier
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Qualifier
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Qualifier
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v Samantha Teran (MEX)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [WC] Kristen Lange (USA)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) v Qualifier
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Qualifier
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Qualifying finals draw:
Lisa Aitken (ENG) v Thaisa Serafini (BRA)
Olga Ertlova (CZE) v Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
Tesni Evans (WAL) v Elizabeth Eyre (USA)
Maria Toorpakai Wazir (PAK) v Sarah Cardwell (AUS)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) v Olivia Blatchford (USA)
Lucie Fialova (CZE) v Nouran Ahmed Gohar (EGY)
Melody Francis (AUS) v Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Kylie Lindsay (NZL) v Georgina Stoker (ENG). —- WSF