It was a another late night in Toluca as the semi-finalists of the Abierto Mexicano were decided, the last match going onto the glass court at quarter past midnight!
The day started with the delayed women’s first round – which saw a reshuffle due to the withdraws of top seed and local favourite Samantha Teran – with all eight seeds going through to the quarter-finals.
The first pair of those were both upsets as Sarah-Jane Perry and Nicolette Fernandes won in five and four games respectively. Fernandes will meet new top seed Line Hansen, while Perry faces second seed Lauren Briggs whose match against Kylie Lindsay started after midnight.
In between were the men’s quarter-finals. Fourth seed Peter Barker was first through with a 3/1 win over Nicolas Mueller, then Simon Rosner beat Borja Golan in a particularly tough four games, the German winning both of the last two games 12/10.
Top seed Gregory Gaultier saw off the challenge of Mohamed El Shorbagy 3/1, although the Egyptian had a game ball to take a 2/1 lead. The final match was an all-Egyptian affair which saw Omar Mosaad oust second seed Kari Darwish 12/10 in the fifth.
Arthur reports on the Quarters
After a relaxing break it was on to the first two Women’s Quarter Finals, still here in Zinacantapec.
Sarah Jane Perry (ENG) beat  Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11/13, 8/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/8. 47 mins.
First up were two young ladies who have been showing great form recently, especially Sarah Jane’s boosted confidence from her great victory last week in Tuckahoe, and her travelling problems which meant she only arrived here late last night. Samantha seemed more at ease to start as she has been here a few days, but there was little difference between the two in the first two games, as SJ got the first game ball at 10/9 but Sam fought hard to take the game 13/11, and then continued in fighting mood to take the second at 11/8. SJ must have then adjusted to the pace and the altitude as she took the upper hand but only slightly, as she took the next two games to level and take the match to a decider. Sam got on top early taking a 6/3 lead, SJ pulled back to lead 9/6, Sam pulled back to 8/9 but that was not enough to stop SJ taking the game 11/8 and the match 3 – 0. A really fine match for the supporters played in a great spirit.
Nicollette Fernandez (GUY) beat  Siyoli Waters (RSA) 10/12, 11/7, 11/3, 11/4. 38mins.
Each time I watch Nicolette recently she seems more and more to be getting back to her best once again after her long struggles with injury, and this was no exception, but Syoli showed that she is advancing towards the top with a good showing, and she held Nicollette up well in the first until Nico got game ball at 10/8, but she fought back to take the game 12/10. Nicollette then started to put pressure on Syoli, not allowing her much room and running all over the court with excellent grace, and took the next three games, not comfortably under pressure from Syoli, but a great win in the end.
After this match it was a quick dash to the Glass Court venue to catch the start of the men’s quarter finals.
 Peter Barker (ENG) beat Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11/8, 7/11, 11/3, 11/6. 53 mins.
In the first Peter took a good lead to get to game ball at 10/4, and despite Nicolas saving four game balls Peter served out for the game at 11/8. Nicolas worked much harder in the second staying just in front to take the game 11/7. Peter then took a grip on the match to take the next two games 11/3 and 11/6 to move into the semi finals.
Simon Rosner (GER) beat Borja Golan (ESP) 11/7, 5/11, 12/10, 12/10. 71 mins.
After a fairly slow and even start Simon took a grasp on the game to ease out to 11/7, then Borja took the initiative in the second and eased out to take the game 11/5. From here on this match turned into a battle of attrition, with both players giving everything. Borja got into a 9/5 lead and got game ball at 10/9 but Simon kept up the pressure to take the game 12/10, and in a similar vein Borja got to game ball first again at 10/7 but Nicolas in one last desperate surge took the game 12/10 again.
 Line Hansen (DEN) beat  Thaisa Serafina (BRA) 11/3, 5/11, 11/5, 11/5. 34 mins.
Next up came the first of the Women’s quarter finals with the now top seeded Line Hansen up against the young Brazilian lady Thaisa Serafina, and Line’s experience and strength showed all the way through as, despite Thaisa taking the second game comfortably, Line came through 3 games to 1 for her place in the semis.
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) beat Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 7/11, 11/5, 13/11, 11/4. 81 mins.
Back to the Men’s tournament as top seed Greg took on Mohamed for a place in the semis. After a great battle in the first Mohamed came out on top surprisingly 11/7, then in the second with Greg leading 6/3, we had a five minute break while Greg had a damaged finger seen to, after which he seemed fine to easily take the game 11/5. From this point onwards the match seemed to take on the appearance of a farce, with both players showing great appreciation of each other, at times in face rather like a mutual appreciation society for two, then with many and long discussions with the referees and themselves, and drawing the breaks between rallies to another level, allowing the match to crawl along to the annoyance of some of the huge crowd. However Greg managed to take the third game 13/11 in the end, then kept up the lead in the fourth to take the game 11/4, with Mohamed giving up on the last two points. Finally a long drawn out battle had ended with Greg taking his place in the semis.
Omar Mossad (EGY) beat  Karim Darwish (EGY) 9/11, 13/11, 11/6, 2/11, 12/10. 64 mins.
The final men’s quarter final was an all Egyptian affair, which went to five games but in a much quicker and friendlier manner, with the higher seeded Karim just taking the first game at 11/9. After some brilliant squash from both players in the second Karim got to game ball at 10/8, but Omar battled bravely to take the game 13/11. Omar then quickly got into a 9/3 lead and eventually took the game 11/6. In the fourth Omar appeared either to tire or take a slight rest for the final game as Karim won that one 11/2. The final game was very closely contested until Karim got to match ball at 10/8, but Omar refused to give in and with four straight points took the final game 12/10 for a marvellous victory against his fellow countryman and on to a place in the semi final against Simon Rosner, which means that an unseeded player will take a place in the final.
 Lauren Briggs (ENG) beat  Kylie Lindsey (NZL) 11/6, 11/9, 11/5. 26 mins.
In the final match of the day these two ladies were brought on to court at 15 minutes past midnight in the freezing cold and although Kylie did not up a really hard fight all the way through the extra experience and her recent training in Amsterdam with Liz Irvine showed from Lauren, despite her being one of the player’s arriving only late last night, as she took the match in 3 after just 26 minutes, bringing the day’s play finally to an end at 00.40 am.