Day TWO : Mead takes out top seed as upsets abound at Edgbaston
Another busy day at Edgbaston Priory, with 24 semi-finals which produced a number seeding upsets, plus eight English and five Malaysian players through to tomorrow’s finals.
The afternoon session saw big upsets in the Women’s draw as the top two seeds were beaten – home favourite Alicia Mead came from a game down to beat top seeded Egyptian Nardine Garas, and Malaysia’s Ainaa Amani despatched German second seed Saskia Beinhard in straight games.
“I thought I was going to bet bageled in the first,” said Alicia. “I had to calm, down and try to find a length, I was getting pummelled across the middle. The second was so crucial, I knew I needed a big push to try ant take it, I thought it would change the momentum of the match. I came out in the third with a lot of momentum and with familiar faces in the crowd and everyone cheering me on I was really into it. Buzzing, just buzzing!”
There was success for Germany as Katerina Tycova came through a second gruelling match in a row, holding off a comeback from Austria’s Jacqueline Peychar to win in four games.
“I’m so, so tired,” said Karina. “It was a big effort to win the first two games, I just needed a rest in the third, and she played better too. My coach told me to just push and push in the fourth, to just think about the final ten minutes.”
In the finals Mead will meet eighth seeded Spaniard Marta Dominguez while Tycova and Amani will play for a qualifying spot. Third seed Aira Azman eased through to the finals where she will face Egypt’s Menna Hamed.
There were no upsets on the men’s side as seeds Curtis Malik, Martin Svec and Abhay Singh won through to finals against Yannik Omlor, Simon Herbert and Ben Coleman.
13/24 seed Coleman, celebrating his birthday today, is through to the finals with two straight game wins.
“I’m really pleased to get through both matches in three,” said Coleman. “I’m feeling relaxed and positive on court and my eyes are fully set on a place in Chicago. It’s been a great week and I’m excited about tomorrow.”
The evening session opened with a second successive five game victory for England’s James Peach – both against higher seeded Malaysians! Having saved match balls in the fifth yesterday, today he came from two games down to oust seventh seed Addeen Idrakie.
“Two tough games for sure,” said Peach, “I was in difficult situations in both. Today I just had to stay strong and strangely enough once I was two-nil down I started playing some good squash, feeling good on my touch and accuracy. Happy to be through, but it’s going to be tough tomorrow …”
Tomorrow Peach comes up against Egypt’s former World #6 Mohamed Abouelghar.
That was far from the end of the upsets, as France’s Edwin Clain continued his fine run to beat third seed Muhammad Asim Khan and US-based Englishman Tom Walsh squeezed past ninth seeded Egyptian Ibrahim Elkabanni in a fierce five game tussle.
In the women’s draw Malaysia’s Chan Yiwen came from a game down to beat Swiss sixth seed Nadia Pfister, while Egypt’s Malak Khagafy beat fifth seeded Aussie Jessica Turnbull in five.
European U19 champion Asia Harris reached the finals with a five-game win over compatriot Anna Kimberley, making her one of eight English players winning through to tomorrow’s finals, including Finnlay Withington, who was last on for the second day in a row.
Today Finn beat 11th seeded Spaniard Edmon Lopez in four games to set up a meeting with Ivan Yuen, one of five Malaysians through to the final.
“Yes, two tough games, it’s always hard going on last it doesn’t help your preparations,” said Withington. “It will be tough against Ivan, I saw him slotting in a few nicks in his match, but I’m looking forward to the chance of getting a spot in the Chicago draw.”
Finals start at 12.00 tomorrow, on two courts.
The World Championship Qualifying Event continues at Edgbaston Priory with semi-final matches in the twelve groups. The top six Men’s and Women’s seeds play their first match, alongside yesterday’s winners, who all went home with $500.
Today’s losers will receive $625 while both finalists will earn $750, but only one will get that precious qualifying spot.
You can Watch Live from all four courts, follow on Live Scoring, the draws and the Gallery, and we’ll have a roundup at the end of the day.