NetSuite Open Women’s Semifinals to be Contested by Top Four Seeds

David against El Tayeb
David against El Tayeb (images: squashpics.com)

The 2016 NetSuite Open women’s semifinals will be contested by the top four seeds after all four quarterfinals were decided in three games Wednesday at Bay Club of San Francisco and the NetSuite Challenge Court in Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco.

The draw’s top half semifinal will be contested between top seed and world no. 2 Laura Massaro and four seed and world No. 11 and four seed Joelle King who won the first two matches of the day in three games against Victoria Lust and Heba El Torky respectively.

“I’m pretty happy with that, as I said yesterday the court conditions are tough being on the back court because the rallies are a little bit longer,” said Massaro. “But I’m happy to be off in three and I’m looking forward to getting on the glass court tomorrow.”

Massaro has had a mixed start to the season after losing out in the quarterfinal stage of the Hong Kong Open last month before bouncing back to take the plaudits at the China Open a week later.

The 32-year-old now feels that she has some match fitness under her belt and she is looking forward to appearing in her maiden NetSuite Open semifinal Thursday evening.

“I wasn’t massively happy with the quarters in Hong Kong. But I lost to the winner and had a couple of match balls, so I felt it was a good match. I was really happy with the way I came back in China and how I played there.

“It’s just about getting some match play in and getting into the season. Hong Kong is tough because it’s the first tournament of the season, but I feel like I’m playing quite well and I’m match sharp now. Playing the semis tomorrow is exciting.”

Massaro (r) against Lust. (image: squashpics.com)
Massaro (r) against Lust. (image: squashpics.com)

The draw’s bottom half semifinal will see defending champion Amanda Sobhy take on eight-time world champion Nicol David in Friday’s semifinal. Sobhy defeated Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in three games after a close second game that extended to 12-10.

“I’m happy to get off in three today, I can conserve some energy for the semi-finals on Friday,” said Sobhy.

“I think my length dropped off in the second game and she was able to dominate the middle and she was pretty deadly from there. I just told myself to put her behind me and I was glad that it worked and I got off to a good lead in the third.

“I didn’t really want it to go to an extra game, so I’m just happy that regrouped well after the second and played well in the third,” Sobhy continued. “It’s nice to be back here playing and I hope to defend my title and keep it on home soil. [Playing in front of a home crowd] helps tremendously, I love playing at home and having all the supporters around the country rooting for me.

“It’s amazing and being in San Francisco is great, the crowd is spectacular. There are so many people that I don’t know, but who are here supporting me, the support has been amazing.”

David took on Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb in on the NetSuite Challenge Court in the evening. What began as an extremely entertaining match ended in unfortunate circumstances with El Tayeb retiring midway through the third game.

Women’s Quarterfinal results:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 (32m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [8] Heba El Torky (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (31m)
[3] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [7] Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 12-10, 11-2 (24m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [6] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 7-0 ret. (24m)