New Zealand’s Joelle King progressed to a last-16 US Open squash encounter with India’s Joshna Chinappa, courtesy of her 3-0 win against Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam.
In the men’s competition, three-time U.S. Open champion Mohamed ElShorbagy recovered from a slow start to get the better of Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng.
The first game was tight between Sivasangari and King, with the former taking advantage of King’s slow start. The 33-year-old, though, was able to claw her way back into the game, securing it 14-12 after an intense battle.
The subsequent games were more routine for the No.6 seed and she saw off her her 22-year-old opponent with 11-7 and 11-4 victories.
Speaking after the match, King said: “Siva is obviously very talented and it could potentially have been a banana skin, so I’m really pleased to have come off as well as I did. I think the first game made the way for the rest of the match, she started better than me and I just tried to find a way to win that first one and then began to feel a bit more confident.”
On her next opponent, Joshna Chinappa, she said: She’s been training in Bristol and we’ve played and trained together quite a bit. It’s hard when you’re playing someone you haven’t played, but we’ve played many times over the years and I’d Harte to know what our head-to-head is! It’s going to be a tough battle!”
ElShorbagy, the World No.2 and a U.S. Open winner in 2014, 2016 and 2018, found himself 10-3 down in the opening game amidst a confident start from his opponent.
However, ‘The Beast’ launched a superb comeback to rattle off a series of points, halting Eain Yow’s momentum in the process.
That looked to drain Eain Yow’s confidence as ElShorbagy stormed into a two-game lead, but the Malaysian refocused and rediscovered the length he was hitting in the early stages of the match to halve the deficit.
Eain Yow, who trains with ElShorbagy in Bristol, briefly threatened to take the match into a fifth as he forced the Egyptian to a tie-break, but there was to be no stopping ElShorbagy as he closed out an 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10 victory in 48 minutes.
Meanwhile, 38-year-old Englishman James Willstrop rolled back the years as he achieved a hugely impressive 3-1 victory over World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy to reach the third round.
World No.31 Willstrop, a former World No.1, has this month dropped to his lowest World Ranking since November 2003 but proved that class is permanent as his impeccable ball control was too much for ElShorbagy to handle.
The Yorkshireman closed out a 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 47 minutes to ensure that he will take on Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I feel in shock a bit at the minute,” Willstrop said after the match.
“I haven’t been anywhere near that level really. I think experience counts for a lot, but he’s a great champion. I thought the way he played today and handled himself [was great].
“It’s not easy being on the wrong end of it. I was playing well and he just handled himself so well at the end there, really lost in a champion’s way and I admire that, he was a top man today.”
ElShorbagy wasn’t the only seeded player to bow out of the men’s event in round two as his compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad – the No.6 seed – suffered a 3-0 defeat to World No.9 Joel Makin.
Makin will take on Sebastien Bonmalais next after the World No.58 upset World No.20 Omar Mosaad to reach the third round of a PSA World Tour Platinum event for the first time in his career.
“Gawad’s obviously been in and out of form and with his body, but that doesn’t make any difference to me,” Makin said.
“He’s a class player when he’s on and is so dangerous. I knew I had to be aggressive with him and get across the middle and hit him off the ball, get on top of him and I couldn’t let him play his shots. I wanted to inject pace and be aggressive. When I did that, I got on top of him.”
Defending champion Ali Farag got his title challenge under way with a 3-0 win against India’s Saurav Ghosal, and he will play fellow Egyptian Mazen Hesham for a place in the last eight.
In the women’s event, World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry completed a spectacular comeback against Egypt’s World No.33 Zeina Mickawy, recovering from a 2-0 deficit and then overturning four match balls to book her place in the last 16.
Following her 12-14, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 victory, Perry will line up against Wales’ Emily Whitlock in the third round.
“I’m not quite sure how I won that,” Perry said afterwards.
“For patches I got in front, but I didn’t think I was actually taking advantage, I was just trying to keep pushing and pushing and [thinking] ‘come on, you can do it’. When I’d saved those match ball in the third and the fourth, I just kept saying in the fifth ‘keep going, there’s a chance after those games that she’s going to get edgy’. For a lot of the match, there was zero edginess in anything she was doing, and quite a lot in mine.”
Meanwhile, defending champion Nouran Gohar got her title challenge under way with a comfortable 3-0 win over USA’s Sabrina Sobhy and she will play England’s Alison Waters in the next round.
“Usually when you come back to a tournament it’s the same venue and you’re only defending champion for one year, not two,” said Gohar.
“In a way, I feel like it’s a different tournament. It’s good in a way as it’s a fresh start, you have good memories in the back of your mind, but you don’t take it for granted.”
Perry’s compatriot, Georgina Kennedy, will appear in the third round of a Platinum event for the first time in her career after the World No.51 stunned World No.10 Rowan Elaraby in just 25 minutes in the day’s biggest upset. USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy also appeared on day two, beating Hong Kong’s Ka Yi Lee in straight games, while World No.1 Nour El Sherbini beat Tsz-Wing Tong.
Second Round Results
Men’s:  Ali Farag (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (37m); Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (60m); Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 (70m); Joel Makin (WAL) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 14-12, 11-8 (59m); James Willstrop (ENG) bt  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (47m); Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5 (35m); Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-2: 7-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5, 13-11 (66m);  Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (31m);  Paul Coll (NZL) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (42m); Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-1: 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 (66m); Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 6-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-9 (56m);  Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 14-12 (49m);  Diego Elias (PER) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (32m); Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Vikram Malhotra (IND) 3-2: 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5 (58m); Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-2, 12-10, 11-2 (36m);  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Ng Eain Yow (MAS) 3-1: 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10 (48m)
Women’s:  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (23m); Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-1: 11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 (45m); Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (43m); Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 (25m);  Joelle King (NZL) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-0: 14-12, 11-7, 11-4 (32m); Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Anna Serme (CZE) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 (20m); Nada Abbas (EGY) bt [WC] Marina Stefanoni (USA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-2, 12-10 (29m);  Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 11-4, 13-11, 11-6 (35m);  Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Ka Yi Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-9 (23m); Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (20m); Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (41m); Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 19-17, 11-7 (36m);  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-2: 12-14, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 (58m); Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Farida Mohamed (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-0, 11-0 (31m); Alison Waters (ENG) bt Tze Lok Ho (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 (30m);  Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (28m)