US Open History, Drexel University, USA, Oct 11, 2013: For the first time in the history of the event, five home players will compete in the main draw of the Women’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship after impressive straight games victories by New Yorkers Olivia Blatchford and 16-year-old Sabrina Sobhy in the qualifying finals of the Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Blatchford ousted Dutch opponent Milou van der Heijden 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 in 27 minutes while US Junior champion Sobhy became the one of the youngest players to make the main draw when she despatched higher-ranked Australian Melody Francis 11-8, 13-11, 11-1 in just 22 minutes.
Sabrina, who will now line-up alongside her older sister Amanda Sobhy, the 16th seed, in the main draw, is drawn to face Egypt’s No14 seed Nour El Tayeb.
But it was Egypt’s Nouran Ahmed Gohar who became the youngest player to make the first round after removing Czech opponent Lucie Fialova 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11. Gohar, who only celebrated her 16th birthday a week ago, will face New Zealand’s No5 seed Joelle King.
Australia’s Sarah Cardwell (pictured in US Open action above) gave herself the best possible 22nd birthday present by outlasting higher-ranked Pakistani Maria Toorpakai Wazir 11-2, 11-8, 2-11, 3-11, 11-8 in 46 minutes.
“I didn’t mean to change my game after going 2-0 up,” said the world No76 from Melbourne. “But I tried to finish it too quickly. At 5-1 down in the fifth I just about got it back in time!”
Other winners were Tesni Evans, of Wales, who beat US wildcard Elizabeth Eyre; Egypt’s Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy, who upset Czech opponent Olga Ertlova; England’s Lisa Aitken who dismissed Brazil’s Thaisa Serafini in straight games; and New Zealander Kylie Lindsay who beat England’s Georgina Stoker in four games.
Before the draw was made, a delighted Lindsay (pictured in US Open action below) said: “It’s good to get through to play one of the top girls in my first U.S. Open. It’s the biggest tournament I’ve ever made the main draw of.”
Rather than ‘one of the top players’, the Kiwi was drawn to face THE top player – Malaysia’s world number one and title-holder Nicol David!
RESULTS: Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA
Lisa Aitken (ENG) bt Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 11-3, 11-9, 11-2 (33m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Olga Ertlova (CZE) 10-12, 13-11, 16-14, 11-9 (59m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Elizabeth Eyre (USA) 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4 (42m)
Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt Maria Toorpakai Wazir (PAK) 11-2, 11-8, 2-11, 3-11, 11-8 (46m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (27m)
Nouran Ahmed Gohar (EGY) bt Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11 (64m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Melody Francis (AUS) 11-8, 13-11, 11-1 (22m)
Kylie Lindsay (NZL) bt Georgina Stoker (ENG) 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10 (40m)
Updated 1st round draw:
 Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Kylie Lindsay (NZL)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Samantha Cornett (CAN)
 Line Hansen (DEN) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
 Madeline Perry (IRL) v [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Aisling Blake (IRL)
 Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
 Sarah Kippax (ENG) v Latasha Khan (USA)
 Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Nouran Ahmed Gohar (EGY)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v [Q] Sarah Cardwell (AUS)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v Samantha Teran (MEX)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [WC] Kristen Lange (USA)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) v [Q] Lisa Aitken (ENG)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG). —- WSF