Egypt Nour Heikal scored the biggest upset of her young career today, beating #3 seed Emilia Soini (ranked 47, hence 59 places above her) in straight games.
The 19-year old from Egypt – who likes to attack from every corner of the court – started very strongly and never put her foot off the gas.
“I’ve had some injuries and haven’t played many events in 2022, it’s only my third tournament outside of my country actually,” she said after the match.
Tomorrow, she will face fellow Egyptian Menna Hamed, who ended the run of wildcard Nour Ramy in three close games.
Soini was the only seeded player to fall today in Monte Carlo. Lucy Turmel and Mélissa Alves eased their way into the tournament with comfortable 3-game wins over France’s Taba Taghavi and Elise Romba, respectively.
There will be more French interest in the quarters with Marie Stéphan, but the world #49 had to overcome a brave resistance from Germany’s Katerina Tycova.
“A first match in a tournament is never easy,” Stephan said. “I had a slow start, and then in games 2, 3 and 4 I had big leads but I switched off and played at fast pace at the back of the court, which she’s very good at. I am sure it’ll be better tomorrow …”
She will be up against England’s Alicia Mead, who’s been in good form lately and dispatched another French player, Léa Barbeau, in straight games. Besides Hamed v Heikal and Stéphan v Mead, the two other quarters will be Mélissa Alves against English teenager Torrie Malik – who recently clinched her first two titles on the Challenger Tour – and Lucy Turmel versus Rana Ismail, who only needed 17 minutes to beat Ali Loke.