News from the 2018 Carol Weymuller Open

WATCH: World no. 3 Nour El Tayeb's post-match interview with New York sports journalist Nate Chura. El Tayeb defeated world no. 8 Sarah-Jane Perry, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8, to win the 2018 Weymuller Open Squash Championship. The win is El Tayeb's first Brooklyn title.
 
The final is set. World no. 3 Nour El Tayeb of Egypt will face world no. 8 Sarah-Jane Perry, a.k.a. "SJ," of England, for the 2018 Carol Weymuller Open title. In this interview, SJ recaps her semifinal win over Egyptian rising star Salma Hany, 15-17, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9, and previews her Brooklyn encounter with El Tayeb with sports journalist Nate Chura at The Heights Casino.
 

Egyptian squash star and current world #3 Nour El Tayeb has won four career titles on the pro tour, including the US Open Championship last year, but never advanced past the quarterfinals at the Weymuller Open, until today. Tayeb's win over Joshna Chinappa of India, 11-4, 4-11, 11-3, 11-2, earned the world #3 her first career semifinal berth in Brooklyn. Hear what Tayeb had to say to sports journalist Nate Chura about The Heights Casino courts and her semifinal opponent, former Weymuller Open champion, Alison Waters, of England.

 
Welsh squash star and current world #12 Tesni Evans defeated Zeina Mickawy of Egypt, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, to reach the quarterfinals of the Weymuller Open in Brooklyn for the first time. Hear what Evans had to say about her big win and her upcoming match against Salma Hany in her post-match interview with sports journalist Nate Chura.
 

American No. 1 Squash Star Olivia Blatchford advanced to her second career quarterfinal at the Carol Weymuller Open in Brooklyn. The current world #16 and #6 seed defeated Canadian challenger Hollie Naughton, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11, in a thrilling comeback. In her post-match interview with sports journalist Nate Chura, Blatchford spoke about how live coaching helped her turn the match around and her outlook heading into her next match against #3 seed Alison Waters.

 

After American squash star Amanda Sobhy's victory over Danielle Letourneau in the first round of the 2018 Carol Weymuller Open in Brooklyn, the former world #6 spoke about the Achilles tendon rupture that sidelined her for nearly a year and her recent comeback on the PSA World Tour.

Watch the full interview with New York sports journalist Nate Chura at The Heights Casino. And for more on the Weymuller Open go to psaworldtour.com and carolweymulleropen.com

 
The 45th annual Carol Weymuller Open begins on Wednesday, October 17 and runs through October 22, 2018. WATCH: Brooklyn squash star Haley Mendez talks about playing in her hometown tournament with New York sports journalist Nate Chura at The Heights Casino on the eve of opening day.
 
 Photo: PSA World Tour   One-on-One with US Squash #1 Olivia Blatchford-Clyne    By Paulina Rojek      You are playing the Carol Weymuller Open for the first time as the US #1 at the club that you grew up at. How inspirational was this tournament for you as a kid?   It was incredibly inspirational. I honestly looked forward to the Carol Weymuller from the moment that the previous Weymuller ended. It gave me an appreciation for clinics because I was that kid who was in awe about the person who was on court with me. I now volunteer for clinics at tournaments to try and give that to another kid. My family also used to billet many former players.   This if the first time that there are three American women in the main draw (you, Amanda Sobhy and Haley Mendez), what does this say about American women’s squash and American squash in general?   This just shows the rise of American squash and the fact that there is a broadening of the base of squash. Squash is no longer just for the wealthy or the underprivileged. You are starting to see the middle class come into it, which is very exciting. Kids are no longer just playing squash to get into college.   What is your opinion on the new PSA World Tour format which got rid of the qualifying rounds?   In all honesty, things need to change and change is good. This format is good for the top 24 in the world and it solidifies their place in the world rankings. It is very nice to receive hotel bonus from the beginning, as well as pay from the beginning, but you still feel as though you have to “qualify,” since there are either 8 or 16 seeds who are getting a bye into the next round. In order for a format like this to make sense, you would need to have more events on the PSA world tour. I know the PSA is working very hard to achieve this, but it doesn’t seem as though they have enough, quite yet.   You got married to your boyfriend of six years, Alan Clyne this summer. How helpful has it been to have Alan by your side while you play?   Well, when I met Alan I wasn’t even playing professionally. I was coaching at Chelsea Piers, mostly juniors. What was nice was that we bonded over things that had nothing to do with squash. As I went to see him at a few more events, it made that fire burn in my belly again which got me thinking that maybe I could do this [play professionally]. It is also really nice to have someone who understands what you are going through on a daily basis, even if sometimes I wish he wouldn’t try to reason with me.   What keeps you coming back to the Carol Weymuller Open at the Heights Casino?   I keep coming back, because honestly it feels like home. The people who run the tournament, you, Linda, Cristian, give so much to make us players feel at home. That is what keeps people [and me] coming back. I think that the Carol Weymuller Open embodies Women’s Squash, especially with the fact that it is much more intimate than any public-facing tournament. I love the fact that the Weymuller always gets a strong draw and that is such a testament to the work that the club [and the Weymuller committee] put into taking care of the players and making sure it goes well.    For scores, updates, news, and more follow the action on Facebook, Instagram, and twitter at CarolWeymullerOpen or on our website at www.carolweymulleropen.com.

Photo: PSA World Tour

One-on-One with US Squash #1 Olivia Blatchford-Clyne

By Paulina Rojek

You are playing the Carol Weymuller Open for the first time as the US #1 at the club that you grew up at. How inspirational was this tournament for you as a kid?

It was incredibly inspirational. I honestly looked forward to the Carol Weymuller from the moment that the previous Weymuller ended. It gave me an appreciation for clinics because I was that kid who was in awe about the person who was on court with me. I now volunteer for clinics at tournaments to try and give that to another kid. My family also used to billet many former players.

This if the first time that there are three American women in the main draw (you, Amanda Sobhy and Haley Mendez), what does this say about American women’s squash and American squash in general?

This just shows the rise of American squash and the fact that there is a broadening of the base of squash. Squash is no longer just for the wealthy or the underprivileged. You are starting to see the middle class come into it, which is very exciting. Kids are no longer just playing squash to get into college.

What is your opinion on the new PSA World Tour format which got rid of the qualifying rounds?

In all honesty, things need to change and change is good. This format is good for the top 24 in the world and it solidifies their place in the world rankings. It is very nice to receive hotel bonus from the beginning, as well as pay from the beginning, but you still feel as though you have to “qualify,” since there are either 8 or 16 seeds who are getting a bye into the next round. In order for a format like this to make sense, you would need to have more events on the PSA world tour. I know the PSA is working very hard to achieve this, but it doesn’t seem as though they have enough, quite yet.

You got married to your boyfriend of six years, Alan Clyne this summer. How helpful has it been to have Alan by your side while you play?

Well, when I met Alan I wasn’t even playing professionally. I was coaching at Chelsea Piers, mostly juniors. What was nice was that we bonded over things that had nothing to do with squash. As I went to see him at a few more events, it made that fire burn in my belly again which got me thinking that maybe I could do this [play professionally]. It is also really nice to have someone who understands what you are going through on a daily basis, even if sometimes I wish he wouldn’t try to reason with me.

What keeps you coming back to the Carol Weymuller Open at the Heights Casino?

I keep coming back, because honestly it feels like home. The people who run the tournament, you, Linda, Cristian, give so much to make us players feel at home. That is what keeps people [and me] coming back. I think that the Carol Weymuller Open embodies Women’s Squash, especially with the fact that it is much more intimate than any public-facing tournament. I love the fact that the Weymuller always gets a strong draw and that is such a testament to the work that the club [and the Weymuller committee] put into taking care of the players and making sure it goes well.

For scores, updates, news, and more follow the action on Facebook, Instagram, and twitter at CarolWeymullerOpen or on our website at www.carolweymulleropen.com.