Egyptian pair Shenawy and Ayman book Bermuda Open semi-final spots
Egyptian pair Kenzy Ayman and Seif Shenawy were among the early players to book semi-final spots in the Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships today.
Ayman, the No 6 women’s seed, defeated Nadia Pfister, of Switzerland, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8 in the opening quarter-final match as the latter put up some resistance in the third game in the hopes of sending the tie into at least a fourth game.
“I’m so happy to win today and so excited to be playing tomorrow,” Ayman said. “I’m feeling great, in the game I was not so happy because she didn’t shake my hand.
“I’m enjoying the tournament, I’ll go back to the hotel and rest and recover before I play tomorrow when I will do my best to win.’
Shenawy, who knocked out top-seed Faraz Khan, of the United States, in Wednesday’s second round, defeated No 5 seed Robert Downer, of England, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11, as Downer came closest to winning a game in the third game when he led late, 11-10, before Shenawy fought back to tie it up and then clinch victory.
“I’m really happy to win today, it was a real hard match,” said Shenawy who lost to Downer in a recent match in England. “He beat me three weeks ago in a match in Birmingham so I’m really happy to get my revenge here today in Bermuda.
“I’m happy to win here in such a beautiful place and amazing venue and hopefully I can make it to the final tomorrow.”
The match was at times a tense affair with both players questioning the referee’s decisions, Downer more so as frustration began to sink in.
“It’s part of the game, he was talking too much and I was trying to focus on the match,” Shenawy added. “It was tough in the last game, I’m really happy I got through to the semi-finals. There was a lot of emotion in the game.”
Shenawy will meet No 6 seed Juan Camilo Vargas, of Colombia in today’s semi-final after Vargas was forced to dig deep to overcome a battling David Baillargeon, of Canada, seeded third, in one of the most exciting matches.
The match lasted 66 minutes and was the longest of the day, going five games before Vargas prevailed 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-5 after leading 1-0 and then trailing 2-1 as Baillargeon fought back.
“Right now I feel amazing, I was 2-1 down and things were not going my way,” a relieved Vargas said.
“Even though I lost that third game to go 2-1 down I felt I was physically a bit better than him after that game because the end was really, really tough.
“In the fourth game I played well, I think he, maybe, took that game to reset and take a breather, and then the fifth I just pushed with all I had and I’m so happy I managed to win.”
Midway through the deciding game it was still close at 4-4, and 6-5 to Vargas before he stepped up a gear to win the next five points and secure his place in the semi-finals.
The 18-year-old Ayman will meet Karina Tyma, the No 4 seed, in today’s opening semi-final match at 6pm. Tyma, of Poland, had the perfect 22nd birthday, beating Australia’s Alex Haydon 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 to secure her spot in the final four.
“It’s a good birthday win, I felt solid out there, it was quite humid and I really had to preserve some energy, I guess,” Tyma said. “A 3-0 win is always nice, I’m into the semis and I feel very switched on after last night’s performance.”
Tyma, the fourth seed, defeated Lojayn Gohary, of Egypt, in four games after coming from a game down. Now she is hoping to reward herself with a well deserved break, though not before today’s semi-final with Ayman.
“I haven’t been to the beach yet, but I’m hoping maybe tomorrow after my game,” she said. “The beaches here are amazing!”
In the remaining men’s quarter-final matches, Rory Stewart, of Scotland, the fourth seed, beat eighth-ranked Tom Walsh, of England, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9, while the other men’s match saw Ronald Palomino, of Colombia, defeat Owain Taylor 3-1, (15-17, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4) in a contest lasting 55 minutes.
In the remaining women’s matches, Grace Gear of England, beat Kaitlyn Watts, of New Zealand, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 and top seed Georgia Adderley of Scotland got by Diana Garcia of Mexico 3-1 (11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-6).
Stewart will play Palomino in the other men’s semi-final while Adderley, the No 1 women’s seed, will meet Gear in the other women’s semi-final.
Ronald Palomino (COL) bt Owain Taylor (WAL) 15-17, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4
Georgia Adderley (SCO) bt Diana Garcia (MEX) 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-6
Rory Stewart (SCO) bt Tom Walsh (ENG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9
Grace Gear (ENG) bt Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9
Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt David Baillargeon (CAN) 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5
Karina Tyma (POL) bt Alex Haydon (AUS) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6
Seif Shenawy (EGY) bt Robert Downer (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 13-11
Kenzy Ayman (EGY) bt Nadia Pfister (SUI) 11-7, 11-3, 11-8