The Windy City Open 2022 presented by the Walter Family starts today from the University Club of Chicago.
Keep up to date with everything that takes place across the three side courts, with 24 matches taking place on the traditional courts over the course of the first day.
12:00 – Tze Lok Ho (HKG) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
12:45 – Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
14:00 – Lisa Aitken (SCO) v Anna Serme (CZE)
14:45 – Alan Clyne (SCO) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
17:00 – Cristina Gomez (ESP) v Tinne Gilis (BEL)
17:45 – Victor Crouin (FRA) v Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
19:00 – Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v Emilia Soini (FIN)
19:45 – Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) v Patrick Rooney (ENG)
12:00 – Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
12:45 – Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v Declan James (ENG)
14:00 – Marie Stephan (FRA) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
14:45 – Ramit Tandon (IND) v Todd Harrity (USA)
17:00 – Lucy Turmel (ENG) v Yathreb Adel (EGY)
17:45 – Lucas Serme (FRA) v Borja Golan (ESP)
19:00 – Enora Villard (FRA) v Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
19:45 – Tayyab Aslam (PAK) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
12:00 – Nicole Bunyan (CAN) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
12:45 – Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
14:00 – Donna Lobban (AUS) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
14:45 – Arturo Salazar (MEX) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
17:00 – Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v Aifa Azman (MAS)
17:45 – Greg Lobban (SCO) v Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
19:00 – Hana Ramadan (EGY) v Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
19:45 – Adrian Waller (ENG) v Ivan Yuen (MAS)
Tomlinson, Abbas & Lok Ho advance
In one of three opening matches of the tournament, England’s Millie Tomlinson was in phenomenal form as she defeated Latvia’s Ineta Mackevica in 24 minutes to advance to the second round of the Windy City Open.
In what is only Tomlinson’s second tournament since 2020, the Englishwoman was fast out the blocks in the first game pushing up the court and not allowing Mackevica any time on the ball. Tomlinson took the first game confidently 11-2.
She carried this momentum into the second game, exploiting the space on the court with aggressive hitting to the back of the court to set up attacking opportunities. In the blink of an eye, the game was won 11-3 and Tomlinson had a two game lead.
Tomlinson continued to work and stretch her taller opponent and booked her place in the second round with an 11-6 third game.
“I’m very relieved to have won. I played a practice match with a training partner, Tom, and got chopped, so, to win in the way I did today was a big relief,” said Tomlinson.
“My game plan going into the match was to be aggressive and take the ball in short a lot more, which isn’t my usual style, but I thought I did it really well today.”
Millie Tomlinson in action
On court 3, Egypt’s Nada Abbas wasted no time as she defeated World No. 48, Nicole Bunyan, from Canada 3-0, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 in 29 minutes.
The pair had only played once previously on the PSA World Tour with the same result happening at the El Gouna International Open 2021.
The Egyptian was confident from the start as she immediately forced her opponent to do tough movements into all corners of the court.
Abbas will now face compatriot Nadine Shahin in round two for a place in the last 16.
On court 1, Tze Lok Ho got the better of Egyptian Zeina Mickawy in an exciting five-game battle.
Lok Ho trailed 2-1 in the match as she was up against some amazing attacking skills from Mickawy. After having four game balls, the World No.36 won a crucial fourth game in a tiebreak 13-11 to force a decider.
Lok Ho showed her mental strength in the fifth game, winning 11-6 to book her place in the second round.
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-0 :11-3, 11-2, 11-7 (24m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (29m)
Tze Lok Ho (HKG) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-2: 1-7, 6-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6 (58m)
James, Bernabeu & Castagnet through to RD2
In one of the first men’s matches of the tournament, England’s Declan James produced an excellent performance to defeat World No. 19 Baptiste Masotti in four games.
The Frenchman started the stronger of the two, counter attacking well and using his movement to attack James, especially on the backhand side. Masotti gained a 1-0 lead 11-7.
James responded however and started to assert his dominance around the middle, restricting Masotti’s opportunities and took the second and third games confidently 11-5, 11-7 to lead 2-1 and put one foot In the second round.
His momentum continued in the fourth game. Continued pressure from James forced Masotti into unforced errors which allowed James to book his place in round two, winning the fourth game 11-6.
“A tough one, yeah. He’s in the top 20 now, he’s had some great seasons and has improved a lot since we last played so was always going to be tough.” James explained.
“I had a slow start and made some nervous errors in the first game but got more into it as the match went on and I think he’s struggling with his body slightly so he slowed down a little bit. It’s a lot different than the glass court up here on the side courts, but they suit my game quite nicely. They take a good ball into the front so it’s not a court where you can’t hit winners.”
“Next round is an opportunity for sure. Ramit Tandon or Todd Harrity, but as we know, there are no easy games at this level so just taking it one match at a time and hopefully produce the same quality as today.”
Declan James in action
Recent Squash on Fire Open semi-finalist Iker Pajares Bernabeu was in action on court 3 as he defeated Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann 3-0, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 in 50 minutes to secure his second round slot.
Bernabeu showed no signs of his injury that forced him to withdraw against Mohamed ElShorbagy in Washington D.C. Known for his athleticism, Bernabeu was constantly asking questions of his opponent and gave Steinmann no time to settle into a rhythm.
The Spanish No.1 has set up a second round meeting with No.5 seed Diego Elias, in what should be an exciting affair.
Experienced Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet was in fine form as he beat Egypt’s Karim ElHammamy in a 54 minute 3-0.
Despite El Hammamy’s audible frustration, Castagnet managed to keep focused throughout the match and restrict the attacking opportunities of the Egyptian. Pushing him deep into the back corners before attacking accurately.
In round two, Castagnet will face newly crowned Squash on Fire champion Mohamed ElShorbagy on the all glass court.
Declan James (ENG) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (50m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-1, 11-8 (54m)
Lobban, Metwally & Aitken book second round places
Australian Donna Lobban booked her second round place after a 3-1 win over Dutch No.1 Milou van der Heijden on court 3 at the University Club of Chicago.
Van der Heijden took a tight first game 13-11 with structured attacks and a few errors from the racket of Lobban.
The Australian responded, however, and was able to get in front of her opponent and attack with more purpose to the front of the court. Lobban won the second and third games both 11-9 to give herself a 2-1 lead.
More quality attacking play followed from Lobban. Hitting with great weight of shot to the back of the court gave numerous volleying opportunities that Lobban took full advantage of in the fourth game. She took the game 11-7 to win the match in 37 minutes.
“I’m relieved to win that one, I wasn’t very happy with my performance last week in Washington so just relieved to get a win in 2022,” Lobban admitted.
“I felt like for the first game and a half my tactics weren’t right. I was attacking too soon in the rallies and it felt forced. But when I started winning the length battle and getting in front, I was setting rallies up better and that made the difference,
I was never comfortable on there and Milou is such a competitor, we were always within a few points of one another all the time and she was playing really well so I’m happy with the way I closed it out in the end.”
Donna Lobban in action
Egyptian Mariam Metwally secured her second round place with a competitive win over France’s Marie Stephan.
Metwally was able to close out a tight first game 12-10, a game that saw both players battling for dominance around the middle of the court and looking to volley at any opportunity.
The Egyptian regained this dominance early in the second and third games and used it to full advantage to win the next two games 11-7 and move through to round two, where she will face England’s Millie Tomlinson.
Meanwhile, on court 1, Scotland’s Lisa Aitken made her way through to the second round as she claimed a victory over Anna Serme in 34 minutes.
Aitken started strongly as she took the opening two games 11-5, 11-6 using her hold to stop the movement of Serme and find space on the court. A slight lapse of concentration allowed Serme a route back into the match, which Serme took full advantage of. A tight third game was won by the Czech Republic No.1 12-10.
Aitken refocused in the fourth game, however, and took the game 11-4 to move through to round two.
Donna Lobban (AUS) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (37m)
Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Anna Serme (CZE) 3-1: 11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-4 (34m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Marie Stephan (FRA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
Kandra, Harrity & Salazar advance
World No.25 Raphael Kandra comfortably booked his place in the second round of the Windy City Open as he beat Mexico’s Arturo Salazar 3-0 in just 22 minutes.
Kandra took the pace to Salazar immediately in the first game and recognised that his movement wasn’t what it usually is. The German took the first game 11-3 and continued to apply pressure on the struggling Kandra.
More of the same followed in the second and third games as Kandra showed no mercy against his Mexican opponent.
“I expected a tough match today. I know how skilful he is but after the first two or three rallies he wasn’t looking to move to the front so I knew pretty quick what state he was in,” Kandra explains.
“I’m not one of the youngest players on the tour so I know how to adapt to that, I think about myself and that’s all I can do.”
“I got chopped against Ali in Houston but I feel that prepares me better for this match. But I’ve never seen him as good as he was in Houston so I don’t think there was much I could have done anyway but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Raphael Kandra in first round action
Home favourite Todd Harrity was victorious in his opening match of this year’s Windy City Open as he advanced against talented Indian Ramit Tandon.
Harrity was looking strong and sharp in the opening two games of his match and won them 11-7, 11-4 to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
Tandon showed signs of struggling with his back and unfortunately was forced to withdraw in the third game, sending Harrity through to round two.
Mexico’s Cesar Salazar needed 51 minutes to defeat Scotland’s Alan Clyne in his opening match of the tournament.
With the score level at 1-1, Salazar managed to seal two tiebreak third and fourth games 12-10 to move through to the second round.
Salazar will face Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip for a place in the last 16.
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1:11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 12-10 (51m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Ramit Tandon (IND): 3-0 11-7, 11-4, 0-1 retired (30m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (22m)
Gilis, Alexander & Turmel advance to round two
Belgium’s Tinne Gilis stormed through to the second round of this year’s Windy City Open as she wasted no time defeating Spain’s Cristina Gomez in just 22 minutes.
The Belgian got off to the perfect start, winning the first game 11-3, always moving the ball away from her opponent and forcing errors from her opponent’s racket.
This pattern continued in the next two games for Gilis as she continued to twist and turn her fellow European opponent by stepping up the court and volleying short to great effect.
Gilis explained that playing her recently helped her prepare for today’s match.
“I played her a few weeks ago in Cincinnati, also in the first round, it was a lot closer then so I expected it to be tough. We’ve been playing each other for years coming through juniors so we know each other’s games. She’s a really good player with a lot of shots so I’m very pleased to get through this one in three
“I’m still coming back from my calf injury so just really happy to be back at a level that I’m happy with.”
Belgium’s Tine Gilis in action
England’s Lucy Turmel was in great form as she moves through to the second round of the tournament, defeating Egypt’s Yathreb Adel in four competitive games.
Turmel held on well in the first game and closed it out 14-12 with nothing between the two players until the closing stages. Adel showed her quality in the second game, displaying her attacking qualities and equalised 11-5.
However, Turmel was not to be denied a second round place as she started the stronger of the two in the third game and carried that momentum right through to take the third and fourth games 11-8, 11-5 to take the match 3-1 in 51 minutes.
On court 3, World No.41 Alexander Fuller claimed a five game victory over Aifa Azman of Malaysia. With the Malaysian ranked ten spots higher than Fuller, this is one of Fuller’s best results on the PSA World Tour.
Fuller found herself 2-1 down in games before winning a crucial tie break fourth 12-10 to set up an exciting decider. The determination of Fuller was rewarded as she remained solid and clinical in the fifth game, winning 11-4 to move to the second round.
Fuller now plays Australian Donna Lobban in the next round.
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-0: 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 (21m)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 14-12, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 (51m)
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 11-5, 4-11, 12-10, 11-4 (45m)
Lobban survives scare whilst Cardenas and Golan advance
Scotland’s Greg Lobban survived a great first round battle with up and coming Egyptian Moustafa El Sirty. Lobban played precise, accurate squash to earn himself a 2-0 lead against the Egyptian.
El Sirty kept pushing the Scot, however, dominating the middle of the court and volleying at any opportunity he got. With several stoppages and discussions with the referee, the Egyptian managed to level the match at 2-2 winning the third and fourth games 11-9, 13-11.
Lobban started the better of the two in the fifth game, minimising the interference by hitting a lot straighter and tighter to the side walls. At 10-6 Lobban had earned himself 4 match balls and converted the first time of asking to take the match 3-2 in 76 minutes.
Lobban had this to say about the match.
“I started really well, I felt in control of myself and hitting good targets, trying to keep the ball out the middle and minimise the interference” explains Lobban.
“The third and fourth became really messy and I didn’t enjoy/understand the lines he was taking off the ball and it made it really difficult. But I knew I had to just control my game and regroup for the fifth and get back to playing good squash.
“I’ve seen him play a few times and seen the style he plays. He’s young and I don’t know if he knows how to move off the ball properly so I had to be ready and just be able to hit good targets to counter that.
“It’s really difficult to dig in when you’ve been 2 up then lost the next two games so I just had to refocus and play my game as best I could.”
Greg Lobban in action
A surprise win for 22-year-old Mexican Leonel Cardenas has earned him a place in round two. Cardenas, who had plenty of vocal support, fired off several winners on his way to take the first game 11-7.
The winners kept flowing for the Mexican in game two and despite the 24 place ranking gap, Cardenas continued to pile pressure onto the Frenchman and take a 2-0 lead. The end came quickly for Crouin, the Mexican won 11-5 in the third and has set up a second round meeting with talented Egyptian Youssef Ibrahim.
On court 2, Borja Golan won an all-European battle against France’s Lucas Serme to advance to round two.
The recent Spanish National Champion used all of his experience and quality to take a commanding 2-0 lead, exposing the space on the court by using height and angles. Winning 11-6, 11-5.
Serme, renowned for his fighting qualities and never-say-die attitude, battled back in the third game and took it 11-9, disrupting the play of Golan and asking questions of the Spaniard in all areas of the court.
Golan regained control in the fourth game and pinned Serme deep in the back corners before working the ball into the front of the court, stretching the Frenchman to his limits. Golan ran away with the game 11-4 to move into round two where he will play Egypt’s Mazen Hesham.
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) 3-2: 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-13, 11-6 (76m)
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4 (53m)
Hutton, Letourneau and Ramadan seal second round slots
World No.32 Jasmine Hutton has moved through to round two of the Windy City Open, confidently beating France’s Enora Villard 3-0 in 28 minutes.
The Englishwoman was able to twist and turn her opponent from the start of the match and gave minimal opportunity for the Frenchwoman to make any inroads into the match. Hutton took the first game 11-6.
Villard came out firing in the second game and pushed the pace to Hutton who struggled to dominate as well as she did in the first game. Villard held a healthy lead before Hutton fought her way back to take the game 11-9 and hold a 2-0 lead.
Hutton closed the match out comfortably 11-3 in the third game but wasn’t completely pleased with her performance.
“I’m pleased to get through in three games,” said Hutton.
“I felt like the match was quite scrappy, on my behalf. I wasn’t finding my length as well as I should have but once I found that and I started attacking more I started to feel better on there and the end of the games were the most important thing and I played well in those moments.”
Hutton will play compatriot Lucy Turmel in the next round, the two recently played in the E.M. Noll Classic 2022 final with Hutton winning on that occasion 3-1. Hutton is looking forward to playing Turmel but knows it won’t be easy.
“It’s never easy playing such a good friend but that’s the way it is sometimes. Although I got a win against her recently, I’ll go into it with no pressure as she’s still higher ranked than me but im looking forward to it.”
Jasmine Hutton in round one action
Canada’s Danielle Letourneau was on fire as she quickly despatched Finland’s Emilia Soini in just 22 minutes.
Letourneau started strongly, moving Soini to all four corners of the court. Giving her no time to settle.
After winning the first game 11-5, Soini started to gain confidence in the second game and the rallies became much more competitive. However, there was no stopping the Canadian as she closed the game out in a tiebreak 13-11 before going on to win the third game 11-7 to take the match 3-0.
Letourneau has set up a second round clash with World No.2 Nouran Gohar.
On court 3, Egypt’s Hana Ramadan was in sublime form as she booked her second round place by beating Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling in straight games.
Ramadan’s attacking style of play was difficult for Tsz-Ling to deal with from the start of the match. The Egyptian raced to a 2-0 lead in no time at all, winning the first two games 11-9, 11-4.
Tsz-Ling was more competitive in the third game but ultimately was unable to deny Ramadan her second round place as she won 11-8 and progressed through to the next round in 24 minutes.
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (28m)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 (22m)
Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (24m)
Europeans Rooney, Waller and Mueller advance to round two
England’s Patrick Rooney claimed revenge over France’s Sebastien Bonmalais as he reversed the result from the recent Motor City Open where the Frenchman won 3-0. In tonight’s final match on court 1, Rooney was moving the ball around the court with great accuracy and forced Bonmalais into some extreme movements.
After taking the opening game 11-6, Bonmalais came out fighting in the second game and raced out to a 7-3 lead and looked sure to equalise. Rooney had other ideas however and showed his quality and determination to win the next eight points and take a commanding 2-0 lead.
The World No.28 stepped it up further in the third game and comfortably closed out the 35-minute match by winning 11-3 in the third game.
“Seb is a tough player to play, he’s beaten me twice in a row now so that gave me a lot of motivation to get the win today,” Rooney explains.
“Playing Joel Makin tomorrow will be a tough one. I feel like I’m playing well and feeling quite confident so I’ll do my best to take it to him and see what I can do.”
Patrick Rooney in action
On court 2, Swiss Nicolas Mueller was in action as he defeated Pakistan No.1, Tayyab Aslam, in four games.
‘The Swiss Rocket’ was in formidable form as he was firing off winners left, right and centre to take the opening two games 11-6, 11-5 and looked on course to close the match out in three games.
Aslam responded in the third however and took a 7-0 lead by stepping up the court and forcing errors from Mueller’s racket. Aslam closed out that game 11-6 and gave himself a lifeline in the match.
Mueller regrouped in the fourth game and put together a structured and sensible game to win 11-5 and book his place in the Windy City Open second round, where he will play ‘The Baby faced Assasin’ Karim Abdel Gawad.
Court 3 was hosting a high-quality affair between England’s Adrian Waller and Malaysian Ivan Yuen.
It was the World No.27 Waller who started the stronger of the two, dominating the middle of the court, using his reach to intercept Yuen’s drives and work the ball in short. Waller won the first two games 11-8, 11-3 to take one step into the second round.
Yuen bounced back in the subsequent two games and started to stretch the tall Englishman and make life a lot less comfortable for him. Yuen started to attack the front of the court a lot more and forced a decider by equalising at 2-2, winning 11-8, 11-9 in the third and fourth games.
Waller got a good start in the fifth game and never surrendered the early lead that he earned and booked his second round slot by winning 11-6 in the fifth game.
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (35m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-1: 11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5 (38m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-2: 11-8, 11-3, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6 (56m)