Defending champion Nour El Sherbini begins her defence of the prestigious Carol Weymuller Open title in Brooklyn, New York today (October 20) with the likes of recent U.S. Open winner Camille Serme, former World No.3 Alison Waters and Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa also involved in a superb draw.
World No.1 El Sherbini is seeded to meet Serme in the final, but it is the latter of the two who boasts the strongest form coming into the tournament following Serme’s impressive victory over the Egyptian in the final of the U.S. Open just last week in Philadelphia.
World No.6 Serme enters this year’s tournament as the number two seed and she will line up against Indian No.2 Dipika Pallikal Karthik in round one – a player whom Serme has beaten in their past three meetings.
El Sherbini, meanwhile, will kick her tournament off against Kanzy Emad El Defrawy, where a win could see her pitted against former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf in the last eight.
The woman El Sherbini beat in last year’s final, New Zealander Joelle King, also returns to Brooklyn and the Kiwi – who last month won the Macau Open – has been drawn in an intriguing Trans-Tasman match up in round one, where she will face Australian Donna Urquhart in one of standout first round matches.
A trio of English players are also involved, with Jenny Duncalf and Sarah-Jane Perry facing Olivia Blatchford and Mariam Metwally in round one, while former World No.3 Alison Waters, who is the number three seed, will come up against Delia Arnold of Malaysia.
Waters lifted the Carol Weymuller Open in 2014 but crashed out at the first hurdle in last year’s event at the hands of King and she will be hoping to rediscover her title-winning form as she looks to reclaim her title.
Elsewhere, United States player Haley Mendez has been handed the tournament wildcard and the World No.232, who majored in Human Evolutionary Biology at the prestigious Harvard University, will face off against Hong Kong’s Annie Au in round one of the event which is held in her hometown of Brooklyn.
Main Draw – First Round: Carol Weymuller Open 2016
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Delia Arnold (MAS)
Donna Urquhart (AUS) v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Annie Au (HKG) v [WC] Haley Mendez (USA)
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
Watch live action from the first round of the Carol Weymuller Open below
Draw – First Round (Top Half) – To be played Thursday October 20
(All times are local GMT-4)
17:30  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY)
18:15 [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v  Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
19:00  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
19:45 [Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
Draw – First Round (Bottom Half) – To be played Friday October 21
(All times are local GMT-4)
17:30  Alison Waters (ENG) v Delia Arnold (MAS)
18:15 Donna Urquhart (AUS) v  Joelle King (NZL)
19:00  Annie Au (HKG) v [WC] Haley Mendez (USA)
19:45 Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
The 2016 Carol Weymuller Open takes place between Thursday October 20 – Monday October 24 and entry to every match is free of charge.
By Sam Allsop