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Olivia Blatchford pulled off the biggest upset of the 2015 NetSuite Open first round Friday night, defeating India’s three seed Dipika Pallikal at Bay Club Redwood Shores in San Francisco.
Blatchford, world No. 37, pulled through a five-game victory over Pallikal, world No. 17, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9, to complete one of the American’s biggest upsets of her young career.
The twenty-two-year-old from Wilton, CT, now faces Danish world No. 26 Line Hansen at Bay Club San Francisco in Saturday’s quarterfinals at 2:45pm local time, 5:45pm ET. Bay Club San Francisco matches are streaming live on U.S. Pro Series Live.
Blatchford’s Pan American Games teammate Amanda Sobhy kicked off her campaign as the top seed with a 3-0 victory over Mexico’s Samantha Teran. Sobhy, world No. 19, will play the first women’s match on the NetSuite Challenge Court Saturday against Welsh international Tesni Evans at 8pm local time, 11pm ET. All glass court matches are streaming live on SquashTV starting at 7pm local time.
On the men’s side, world champion Ramy Ashour returned to the tour with a three-game victory over English qualifier Tom Richards.
Harvard graduate Ali Farag provided defending champion Greg Gaultier with a scare, pushing the French world no. 3 into a five-game opening match.
Australian’s Ryan Cuskelly, world No. 29, and Cameron Pilley, world No. 16, both upset higher-ranked opponents in the form of Mathieu Castagnet, world No. 9, and Peter Barker, world No. 8, respectively.
The top half of the men’s quarterfinals will be contested Saturday, while the draw’s bottom half will be contested Sunday.