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Hollie Naughton in action against Rowan Elaraby

CIB Black Ball Open: Naughton Takes Huge Win Over Elaraby

Canada’s World No.20 Hollie Naughton produced a big upset to take out Egypt’s World No.14 Rowan Elaraby, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 and advance to the second round of the CIB Black Ball Open.

Naughton has been troubling players ranked above her at recent events but has struggled to get over the line, however, the Canadian made no mistake this time as she played to her best to down two-time World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby.

The Egyptian took a tight first game, but Naughton was able to express her dominance from then on, playing disciplined squash to get back level before fighting back from 7-3 down in the third to take the lead.

Naughton showcased her flair and ability to pick stylish winners out at the right moments in the fourth as she claimed the 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 victory in 40 minutes.

Up next for Naughton will be New Zealand’s World No.8 Joelle King.

“I’ve been playing these girls that are ranked above me and just narrowly missing out,” said Naughton.

“So, to come out on the other side is a great relief and something that I’ve been working for. I’ve been trying to work on my variation and the front court, I feel that’s something I’ve lacked and isn’t natural to me. I’ve always been able to hit it hard and be comfortable on the volley but I’ve been trying to add those front shots to make the other girls worried.

“You’re aiming to get the top of the rankings, but I’ve been working on it with my coaches and sports psychologist to ultimately push that back and if you play, you can take out anyone.”

Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt [13] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (40m)

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