The top eight men’s and women’s seeds all prevailed on the second day of Oracle NetSuite Open match play Friday at Bay Club San Francisco, Olympic Club and the University Club of San Francisco.
Defending champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Sarah-Jane Perry both opened their title defenses with victories.
Perry had the more decisive match of the two, dispatching Salma Hany in three games at the University Club. ElShorbagy, world No. 1 and top seed, made a lively start to his PSA season with an hour-long, four-game encounter against France’s Gregoire Marche at Bay Club San Francisco.
“I knew the danger of playing against him in first game of season, I had to be sharp and I had to play well to beat him today,” said ElShorbagy, who will now face Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the last eight. “I started well here last year and proved a lot of things to myself during the season. But I have more to prove and I want to get better every day. I know what it feels to lose the number one spot and I want to make sure that I only lose it again when someone raises the bar over me, not because of me losing hunger or motivation like before.”
The men’s side produced the two closest matches of the day. Saurav Ghosal carried his momentum from a 3-0 first round win into his match against three seed Tarek Momen, earning a 2-1 lead against the Egyptian. Momen clawed his way back into the match by winning the fourth, and even executing an uncharacteristic dive, and clinching the match in five games and seventy-one minutes. Momen now faces Egyptian teammate Karim Abdel Gawad Saturday night on the Embarcadero.
“We play a very similar game,” Momen said. “He’s a very tough opponent so I’m just very pleased to get through today. It was my first match of the season and it’s sometimes hard to get into the zone so I’m really happy that I was able to regroup mentally at the end. Last year was the best season I’ve had on Tour. A couple of wins at the beginning gave me some confidence and I was consistent throughout. I’m hoping to build on that momentum this season and hopefully go further and winning some titles.”
The other five-gamer of the day came at the University Club of San Francisco, where Peru’s Diego Elias clinched his third straight Oracle NetSuite Open quarterfinal appearance, coming back from 2-1 down against France’s Mathieu Castagnet in eighty-five minutes.
“It’s my lucky tournament, I’ve always done well here,” Elias said. “I really like the people and atmosphere, and I’m really happy to reach the quarterfinals. It was my first match of the season, there is always nerves and it’s tough to feel confident. It was a long and tough match, he’s a warrior, and tough to beat.”
Elias will face world No. 2 and two seed Ali Farag on the Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess Court during the Sunday night session, after Farag followed on court to put on a clinical three-game performance against 2016 finalist and former world No. 1 James Willstrop.
Bay Club of San Francisco fielded the two of the closest women’s matches of the day and the only women’s matches to extend to four games. 2016 Champion Laura Massaro needed thirty-five minutes to advance against Australia’s Donna Lobban during the afternoon session. Making her San Francisco debut, world No. 5 Camille Serme avenged her recent Women’s World Team Championship loss against Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy in four games. Serme got the best of the American in forty-one minutes, including coming back from 7-9 down in the fourth game to end hopes of a second title run for Sobhy.
“When I saw the draw I thought ‘that’s a tough one’,” Serme said. “She beat me a few weeks ago in the team championship, and I learned from that match, but I knew it was going to be a battle—both physically and mentally. I told myself just to enjoy it, and it was a great battle.”
Three women’s quarterfinal matches commence match play Saturday afternoon at Bay Club San Francisco from 1pm local time. All three Bay Club matches are streaming and scoring live on oraclenetuiteopen.com/live.
The Oracle NetSuite SuiteSuccess Court enters the fold on the Embarcadero Saturday night, featuring two men’s quarterfinals and one women’s quarterfinal from 7pm local time.
For tickets visit oraclenetsuiteopen.com/tickets.