2023 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions

January 18 - 26, 2023 at Grand Central Terminal - 25th Anniversary

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ToC Quarterfinal Lineup Set As Kennedy Produces Five Game Upset

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January 23, 2023
by Chris McClintick

Georgina Kennedy

The 2023 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions quarterfinal lineup is set following the completion of the second half of the third round, and England’s Georgina Kennedy producing the only upset Sunday, January 22, at Grand Central Station.

Sunday featured special themes including Kids and Family Day presented by Dunlop and Nicol Squash, a doubles exhibition with legends of the game returning to one of the courts that defined their legacies, and women’s night presented by Open Squash.

During Women’s night, Kennedy was interviewed about balancing life on and off court, the importance of academics, and her newfound love of the New York City squash community as an Open Squash professional. Earlier that afternoon, Kennedy demonstrated her ability on court with her second five-game comeback win of the tournament, knocking out Egypt’s seven seed Rowan Elaraby 8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2 in fifty-two minutes.

“My goal coming into this was was to at least reach the quarters so I’m proud of myself for reaching my goals. I’m not going to be content with that, I’m going to push as far as I can. It feels great to be out there competing this what we train for, we train for moments like. There’s a balance of enjoying the occasion but also stepping up to the occasion as well. The crowd really helped me get through that. I’m so lucky to be a part of Open Squash. I already feel at home here because I studied here for four years and I love coming back. Now being a part of Open Squash I feel even more at home, maybe I’ll have to move to America.”

Elsewhere in women’s draw, world No. 5 Amanda Sobhy reached her fourth career ToC quarterfinal, outlasting compatriot Olivia Blatchford Clyne in a close four-game contest. Egypt’s Three-time ToC champion Nour El Sherbini and three seed Hania El Hammamy both comfortably progressed in three games.

The afternoon session featured a special doubles exhibition including former ToC champions and World No. 1’s Peter Nicol, Jonathan Power, Gregory Gaultier and Nick Matthew, who put on a dazzling show for the ToC crowd.

Diego Elias

Later that afternoon, two top five players in Diego Elias and Paul Coll took to the court in hopes of getting one step closer to reaching the same world No. 1 mantle and maiden ToC title.

The Peruvian Puma, who reached the 2022 final in May, came through an entertaining encounter with Egypt’s world No. 30 Mohamed ElSherbini, who took the second game off Elias to his frustration. Elias recovered to decisively win in the third and fourth games to seal passage to the quarters where he will face veteran Tarek Momen.

“I knew it would be tough, we played in Hong Konng and I won pretty easy so knew he would come here and try and beat me and do his best,” Elias said. “He played a lot better than in Hong Kong and I’m just happy to win. I’ll just focus on the next round. I’m excited for the next round, I just want to play better go further in the tournament.”

Paul Coll, who would reclaim the world No. 1 ranking with his first ToC title, put on a strong performance against France’s Sebatien Bonmalais, including a stellar rally where both players were diving on opposite ends of the court. Coll will face Egypt’s world No. 9 Fares Dessouky who dispatched Qatar’s Abdulla Al Tamimi in three games.

Monday will see the top half of the quarterfinals play out with match play starting at 5pm local time.