The fiercely contested WSA Gold Series Carol Weymuller Open in New York yielded few surprises in round one at Heights Casino last night, but a number of close results proved for an exciting opening day of competition.
The only big surprise of the first round came as unseeded Joelle King moved past eighth seed Rachael Grinham in straight games, attributing to the Australian’s second successive first round exit. The New Zealand international King will progress to face last week’s Malaysian Open champion Raneem El Weleily, who beat King’s compatriot Jaclyn Hawkes.
With the draw for the Carol Weymuller Open being completed last month, newly promoted world No.9 Alison Waters still had to qualify for the event based on her previous months world ranking. The former world No.3 faced fifth seed Madeline Perry in their first round clash, the player's third meeting of 2012. Waters recorded her third successive win over the Irish international in four games. She will now face Nicol David in the quarter finals after the world No.1 beat Australian Kasey Brown in straight games.
Other Englishwomen joining Waters in the quarters are Laura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf who played contrasting games to ensure their progression. Third seed Duncalf dismissed qualifier Dipika Pallikal of India in three games, whilst Massaro faced world No.10 Low Wee Wern of Malaysia in a five-game thriller.
The Englishwoman stormed back from two games down to draw level, before closing out the win to advance to the quarters where she will face Annie Au of Hong Kong. Au also faced a difficult start to the competition as she twice came from behind to overcome a resilient Donna Urquhart in five games.
Teenaged prodigy Nour El Sherbini started her first Carol Weymuller campaign with five-game battle against unseeded Frenchwoman Camille Serme. Like Au, Sherbini was also forced to come from behind twice to force the fifth and final game, in a contest that couldn’t have been much closer. With very little separating the pair, a tie-break was forced which went in favour of young Egyptian, 14-12 and the 17-year-old will have little time to recover before facing Duncalf in the next round.