United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford claimed a second successive win over former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf to seal her place in the quarter-final stage of the 2016 Carol Weymuller Open, PSA W50 tournament taking place at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn.
World No.32 Blatchford only just made it through qualification after coming back from two games down to defeat England’s Mille Tomlinson in the final round, and the 23-year-old raised her game to put in an assured display against Duncalf.
The duo had met just once previously, with Blatchford also causing an upset on that occasion, and the American dominated the ‘T’ and forced Duncalf into the back corners to take an 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 victory.
“My dad always used to say, ‘Act the way you want to feel’, so I did,” said Blatchford.
“I thought that if I went out there and executed the game plan, which was to go deep and attack short when I could, win or lose I would have to be proud.
“I watched Jenny at this tournament years ago beating [former World No.1] Natalie Grainger and I was in awe with the way she struck the ball. It was a pleasure to play her on the court that I first saw her play on.”
Blatchford will have the distinction of facing defending champion Nour El Sherbini in the next round after the Egyptian rose to a win in straight games against compatriot Kanzy Emad El Defrawy.
El Sherbini, the current World No.1 and World Champion, quickly rose to a two-game lead, before going 8-2 up in the third. A resurgent El Defrawy found her way back into the game and briefly threatened a comeback, but El Sherbini held firm to close out the win by an 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 margin.
Nour El Sherbini takes on Kanzy Emad El Defrawy
“I’m feeling good, the first round is never easy and Kanzy is never easy [to play against],” explained El Sherbini, who last week reached the final of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open.
“I haven’t played Kanzy in a long time, but we used to play all the time in the juniors since we were seven years old. It’s my first time to play on the court this tournament and it’s hard to connect between two big tournaments, so I just wanted to go in and get used to the court.
“The last game I got used to the court more and tried more shots. Maybe I relaxed a little and went for my shots. I was trying all the shots to get used to the court but maybe it wasn’t the best time to try them.”
Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa and World No.11 Sarah-Jane Perry were the other victors on the opening day of main draw action after they defeated Egyptian qualifiers Salma Hany Ibrahim and Mariam Metwally, respectively.
Chinappa and Perry will face each other in the last eight in what will be their first meeting since 2014, with Perry winning on that occasion.
2016 Carol Weymuller Open – First Round Results (Top Half)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-8
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-6
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8
Watch live action from day two of the Carol Weymuller Open below
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)