Skip to content

Glass court

CIB World Champs Day Six: Player Reaction

The last 16 of the CIB PSA World Championships continues tonight in Cairo as another 16 players look to reach the quarter finals of the biggest event of the season.

Action will be taking place across two glass courts for the second night as play starts at both the Club S Allegria and the Egyptian National Museum of Civilization at 18:45 (GMT+2).

Both courts will be streamed on SQUASHTV and you can also stay up-to-date with all the live scores from the tournament here.

Both No.2 seeds will be in action at the Museum as Ali Farag takes on dangerous compatriot Youssef Ibrahim for the first time on the PSA World Tour and Nour El Sherbini faces in-form Belgian Tinne Gilis.

At the Club S Allegria, Qatar Classic Champion Diego Elias will be in action against Egyptian Youssef Soliman, whilst England's No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry will take on surprise RD3 player Sabrina Sobhy.

Order of play
Museum

Order of play

Club S Allegria

Order of play

El Tayeb beats Subramaniam to reach her fifth World Champs quarter final

Nour El Tayeb in action

Opening play on the glass court at the Club S Allegria was Egypt’s former World No.3 Nour El Tayeb and Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam.

The Egyptian dominated the early proceedings and settled the better of the two on the outdoor glass court. She took the ball in with great accuracy and ran away with the first game, taking it 11-5 in no time at all.

Subramaniam managed to find her feet in the following game and took the game to El Tayeb. The Malaysian took time away from her opponent and started to take her chances at the front of the court. The World No.20 levelled at 1-1.

The match kept a scrappy element to it with neither player able to find the rhythm that has seen them reach the last 16. El Tayeb showed her experience and after some topsy turvy rallies, closed out the game 11-5 and looked confident once again.

The end came quickly for the Malaysian as El Tayeb was back to her clinical self and punished several loose shots from Subramaniam to move towards the finish line. Despite a spirited comeback from the Malaysian, El Tayeb played the big points better to win 13-11 and move into her fifth World Championship quarter final.

After the match, El Tayeb said:

“Siva is one of those players, in the fourth game I was winning then she started to let loose and let her hands go and play like she’s not interested, but not intentionally of course, and this can get in your head and I think about if I’d like to play like that or not.

“Then I started to get a bit edgy with the ref with some double bounces but I'm happy I held my nerve in the last game.

“Since the end of the fourth game, I was preparing myself for a fifth but I'm very glad I'm standing here rather than playing another game.

“I was confident throughout the fourth game because I was playing well and then I started to doubt myself because she was coming back and I was edgy playing my shots to the front and maybe with some experience on my side I think she went for some shots at 11-11 so I'm glad that luck was on my side.

“My training has changed a lot since having [given birth to my daughter] Farida, I used to train three times a day, one in the gym and two on court, but now I just do one gym and one court session. Sometimes it's just one session as well. Some days I don't sleep well because she's up all night so I can’t push myself too hard on court otherwise I’ll get injured. I think I'm enjoying it more and more because when I leave to go and train, it's my fun time and my hour-and-a-half, so I'm enjoying practice so it's changed in a good way and I'm enjoying it.”

Result
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [28] Sivasangari Subramaniam 3-1: 11-5, 4-11, 11-5, 13-11 (43m)

El Hammamy Holds Off Kennedy

El Hammamy in action

World No.3 Hania El Hammamy took a step closer to a maiden PSA World Championship title as she overcame England’s Georgina Kennedy in straight games.

El Hammamy had beaten Kennedy en route to her Allam British Open triumph back in March but started the slower of the two tonight at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation as Kennedy stormed to a 7-3 lead in the opening game.

El Hammamy was uncharacteristically passive in the opening exchanges as Kennedy hit her targets, but the Egyptian soon settled and was much more proactive in the closing stages of the opening game as she recovered to take a one-game lead.

It was a tightly-contested beginning to the second game, but a confident El Hammamy soon took control to double her advantage.

Kennedy came back at her opponent in the third, scampering around the court to pick up El Hammamy’s shots and responding with some winners of her own to lead 7-5. However, El Hammamy’s accuracy was ultimately just too much for the Englishwoman, and she closed out the win by an 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 scoreline to reach the last eight.

El Hammamy will take on former World No.3 Nour El Tayeb for a place in the semi finals, and will look to avenge her defeat to her compatriot during March’s CIB Black Ball Open.

“It was very tough and very physical with Gina, as always,” said El Hammamy.

“I really enjoyed the match today. I had to be as accurate as I could be to get through in three. To beat her in three gives me a lot of confidence and I’m looking forward to my next match.

“This venue is absolutely amazing. It’s our first time here, so it gives us a lot of motivation to perform well. Hopefully I can go a few steps further in this tournament and try to get the title.

“I’m going to be very focused, I’ll watch the last match [against El Tayeb] to learn from what I did wrong and hopefully I can change that.”

Result
[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [9] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (44m)

Elias eases past Soliman

Diego Elias on his way to victory

‘Peruvian Puma’ Diego Elias wasted no time in moving though to the quarter finals of the PSA World Championships as he comfortably beat Youssef Soliman in just 37 minutes restricting him to just nine points in the entire match.

Elias effortlessly moved round the court, nullifying all of Soliman’s strengths and making the Egyptian do plenty of work himself. Once the Peruvian found his length into the back of the court, the writing was on the wall for Soliman, and Elias took the opening game 11-4.

More of the same followed in the second game, Elias was working the ball around the court nicely and capitalising on loose shots from Soliman with a few errors and a drop of the head from the Egyptian to see the second and third games out 11-2, 11-3.

“I felt pretty good today,” said Elias.

“Youssef is a great player, we played in the finals of world juniors so we’ve known each other for a long time and know our games well. I'm happy with this performance. After ToC, my body was a little tired but it's feeling better and better with every round.

“After playing in ToC in then coming straight here and playing five games in the first round on the normal courts, the rest days help and I feel better and better every day I came here to win the tournament so let's hope that happens.”

Result
[5] Diego Elias (PER) bt [15] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-3 (37m)

Farag powers past Ibrahim

Ali Farag in action

Defending champion Ali Farag made short work of third round opponent Youssef Ibrahim to book his place in the last eight of the PSA World Championships for the sixth time.

Ibrahim battled to a 3-2 victory over Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi in the previous round and wasn’t at his best physically against a dominant Farag, requiring treatment on his quad between matches.

World No.2 Farag – a two-time World Champion – cut a composed figure and remained focused on his task to complete the win in just 29 minutes.

“We always want everyone to be fully fit, we saw a couple yesterday and Youssef here,” said Farag.

“I think it is the heaviness of the season so far and obviously with it being the World Champs. You saw the five-game battle he played in the last round, maybe it hurt his quad. It was a shame really because I was ready for a big battle, but even Youssef with one leg can be extremely dangerous.

“I knew if I had given him a sniff in the beginning of any of the games, he would have gotten into his groove. Sometimes with the adrenaline you can forget about any injuries, so I had to be very focused, I had a clear game plan from the very beginning and I think I was very disciplined to execute it well.

“The pressure is gone, I’ve already won it, so anything from here is a bonus. There is pressure in terms of that I want to win every tournament I play in, but I’m not desperate anymore, thankfully, so I can enjoy my time. This venue and this crowd, it doesn’t get any better than this.

“Thanks to CIB as always, I know we say it enough but it’s not enough. Thanks to Karim Darwish again, the promoter and my own mentor as well.”

Farag will play either 2017 runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy or Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in the next round and gave his thoughts on the upcoming fixture between the pair.

He said: “They’re very different players. Nicolas is very attacking, likes to take the ball early and doesn’t really have any rhythm.

“Marwan is the extreme opposite, he likes to play in a rhythm, he’s very astute tactically. It’s going to be a brilliant match later this evening, I’m going to be watching, and hopefully, I’ll be ready for whoever wins.”

Result
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [11] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-1, 11-2 (29m)

Perry battles past Sobhy

Sarah-Jane Perry

Next onto court was England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry taking on USA’s Sabrina Sobhy for a place in the last eight.

Sobhy scored a big victory against compatriot and No.10 seed Olivia Fiechter to reach the last 16 and continued that form right from the start in today's match. The US No.3 is renowned for her physical fitness and attritional style and didn't give Perry time to play her accurate brand of squash.

After losing the first game, Perry responded. The England No.1 stepped up the court and pinned Sobhy in the back corner before working accurate attacks into the front two corners. This style of play partnered with disguise and hold was forcing the young American into doing lots of work. Perry went onto to lead 2-1 winning the second and third games 11-7, 11-8.

Sobhy wasn’t deterred, however, and continued to rush Perry and always force one more shot. The accuracy of Perry started to dwindle which only gave confidence to Sobhy as she forced a decider.

With only one point between the two at 5-4, it was anyone’s guess as to who was going to take the match. From this point, it was the World No.6 who used all of her experience to pick off some loose drives and set herself up with four match balls. Despite a small comeback from Sobhy, Perry closed the match out to reach another World Championship quarter final.

“For some reason, I have a good record in five-setters, I’m not quite sure why, maybe because I just refuse to lose a lot of the time, I had no right to win that match today,” said Perry.

“You've got to hit harder to get to the back, hit higher too, if you just push the drops in you get punished so I tried to not push too many in. She wasn't giving me many opportunities so I was just taking what I could get really.”

Result
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [22] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 11-8 (57m)

El Sherbini sees off Gilis

Nour El Sherbini

Reigning women’s World Champion Nour El Sherbini put in an assured display to see off the threat of World No.13 Tinne Gilis in straight games.

The pair’s previous two meetings resulted in epic five-game battles, with World No.2 El Sherbini narrowly getting the better of her Belgian opponent in the decider.

This time around, El Sherbini was in full flow as ‘The Warrior Princess’ nullified Gilis, who didn’t quite find her range at the front of the court.

Gilis also lacked the dynamism that she had displayed in previous matches against the former World No.1, and El Sherbini took full advantage to claim victory by an 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 scoreline.

“I’m glad she wasn’t on her finest form, everyone knows what happened in the last two meetings,” said five-time World Champion El Sherbini.

“I learned from those matches and tried to be prepared and mentally ready for this match. It was very important for me to win 3-0. I think the court suited me more, I was more comfortable and relaxed playing on this court today.

“It’s amazing to be here, it’s a very special event for me and having my family, my team and everyone coming to support me means a lot to me. It helps keep me motivated to win and I’m really happy to be playing at this venue, the new court by the museum.”

Result
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [23] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)

Asal Axes Ghosal

Mostafa Asal celebrates his win

World No.4 Mostafa Asal continued his title challenge with a confident 3-0 victory over India’s Saurav Ghosal, ensuring all four of tonight’s fixtures at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation ended in straight games wins.

21-year-old Asal overpowered his opponent and was immaculate throughout the 34-minute contest as he completed an 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 victory.

Up next for Asal is a meeting with Peru’s Diego Elias, and the Egyptian will look to claim a fourth successive win over the current World No.5.

“I’m coming here to perform and to win match by match,” said Asal.

“Me and my coaches are looking at videos to see how I can play against the player. I focused on lots of things today and I love playing in front of the crowd. I’m here to perform and I’m here for the title as well.

“We’re on a huge stage, so I should perform well here.”

Result
[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 (34m)

ElShorbagy inflicts revenge on Mueller

Marwan ElShorbagy in action

In the final match of the night’s play No.7 seed Marwan ElShorbagy overcame Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller in straight games to advance to the next round in this year’s PSA World Championships.

Mueller had gotten the better of ElShorbagy in the previous two meetings between the two but ElShorbagy wasn’t to be denied on this occasion. He moved the ball around with severe accuracy from the first point and made the Swiss do a lot of work into the back corners before finishing the rally off.

The younger ElShorbagy brother weathered the Mueller onslaught several times in the match and soaked up the pressure that ‘The Swiss Rocket’ is always capable of inflicting on his opponents. ElShorbagy’s counter drops were the best they have been for some time which made Mueller second guess his usual playing style. ElShorbagy took the opening two games both 11-8.

Mueller looked to be feeling the pace of the game and struggled at the back end of the second game. He held on, however, and managed to keep close to the Egyptian on the scoreboard by firing off several exquisite winners. As the score reached a tiebreak, ElShorbagy took the match on his fifth match ball to secure his place in the last eight.

ElShorbagy had this to say after his win:

“I've played Nicci a couple of times and he beat me twice in one week just six weeks ago so coming to today's match I know how confident he is and I know how dangerous he is. It's really good to see him playing so well, he's such an exciting player and I have so much respect for him, I'm not happy because he beat me a few times but it's nice to see him getting to the later stages of events.

“I had to be a little more aggressive, in other matches, he didn't give me many chances but this is the World Championships, I had four weeks to prepare for this event and I haven't had a very good season but I want to end it on a high level and I'm really looking forward to playing at the museum in two days time.”

Result
[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 16-14 (41m)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour