Upsets at squash's SA Open as semi-finalists confirmed
Cape Town - In a surprise for the Cape Town crowd at the V&A Waterfront, both women’s quarter-finals went against the seeding to set the scene for some exciting semi-finals.
Local South African favourite Milnay Louw continued her good form from the SA Nationals to upset fourth seed Cindy Merlo (SUI) in straight games.
With just seven places separating the players on the world rankings it was thought that the match would be a tight affair, but in front of a home crowd Louw showed why she is highly rated to take the win 11-7, 11-6, 11-6.
After witnessing her husband stroll through to the semi-finals the previous evening, second seed Anna Serme (CZE) was looking to do the same as she came up against sixth-seed Marie Stephan (FRA). However, Stephan was in inspired form and showed some brilliant shot making ability to the win in straight games 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.
In contrast to the women’s results, the men’s results went as expected.
First on court was third seed Ahmed Hosny (EGY) up against compatriot Hazen Helmy and Hosny showed just why he is ranked just outside the top 100 to take the victory 11-4, 12-10, 11-9.
Helmy had produced an upset in the round of 16, but couldn’t match that in his quarter-final. He will however take great experience from his performance and showed his potential in games 2 and 3 to lose by just 2 points to his much higher ranked opponent.
In what was certainly the game of the day, Youssef Ibrahim came back from two games down against fellow Egyptian Khaled Labib to win 3-2 and progress to the semi-finals.
Labib started very strongly and showed great agility to keep the point alive when it seemed a Ibrahim drop shot would be enough to win the point, to take the first two games 11-9 and 11-6. Losing the first two games seemed to energise Youssef and he raised his game to another level as he bounced back to win the next three games 11-7, 11-6, 11-5.
Friday's action will see the final 8 players take the court in the semi-finals, with action starting at 15:30 at the V&A Waterfront.
2019 SA Open results - Day 4
(3) Ahmed Hosny (EGY) beat Hazem Helmy (EGY) 11-4, 12-10, 11-9
(2) Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) beat (8) Khaled Labib (EGY) 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5
(5) Milnay Louw (RSA) beat (4) Cindy Merlo (SUI) 11-7, 11-6, 11-6
(6) Marie Stephan (FRA) beat (2) Anna Serme (CZE) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9
2019 SA Open semi-finals:
Friday, August 9
Semi-final 1 - (3) Ahmed Hosny (EGY) vs (2) Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) - 16:30
Semi-final 2 - (1) Lucas Serme (FRA) vs (4) Tristan Eysele (RSA) - 18:30
Semi-final 1 - (5) Milnay Louw (RSA) vs (6) Marie Stephan (FRA) - 15:30
Semi-final 2 - (1) Salma Youssef (EGY) vs (3) Menna Hamed (EGY) - 17:30
Schedule: 2019 SA Open
August 9 (Semi-Finals) 17:30-21:00 - V&A Waterfront
August 10 (Finals) 15:30-18:00 - V&A Waterfront