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The El Gouna Squash Complex hosts the first four matches of the day.

El Gouna International Day Three: Player Reaction - Side Courts

It's day three of the 2022 El Gouna International and the first half of today's play will be held at the El Gouna Squash Complex, before play moves to the El Gouna Conference and Culture Center at 18:45 (GMT+2).

We’ll have reports and reaction from the players in action at the Complex right here, while you can also stay up-to-date with our live scoring page

Schedule – El Gouna Squash Complex
(All times are local GMT+2)
13:00 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
13:45 [8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
15:00 Lisa Aitken (SCO) v [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
15:45 [WC] Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)

Watch the action below:

El Tayeb Halts Kennedy

Nour El Tayeb (right) takes on Georgina Kennedy (left)

World No.28 Nour El Tayeb held off an attempted comeback by England’s Georgina Kennedy to book her place in the quarter finals of the El Gouna International for the first time since 2019.

It was their first meeting on the PSA Tour and the Egyptian took a tight opening game by a 12-10 margin after coming back from 8-6 down to take the lead.

The second game also went the way of El Tayeb as she dominated. Kennedy couldn’t live with El Tayeb’s shot-making talents and most times the World No.9 was able to get herself ahead in a rally, she would strike the tin with a drop shot.

However, the momentum flipped completely in the third as Kennedy turned those errors into winners and she stormed into a 10-1 lead. El Tayeb was able to save five game balls, but couldn’t prevent Kennedy from converting.

The Englishwoman’s momentum continued into the fourth game too as she quickly established a 5-2 lead, but El Tayeb kept scrapping away to bring herself back into contention, eventually recovering from an 8-6 deficit to complete the win in four.

“After beating Rowan, I told Ali [Farag] yesterday that the uphill battle was won, I won the hard one,” said El Tayeb.

“I didn’t think that today was going to be easy, but because it’s a different type of squash I kept watching Georgina’s matches where she was beating top players so I could put myself into the frame of mind that she is very hard to play and hard to beat. I think I managed to do that well in the first two, but then I think I lost a bit of energy in the third. Maybe I felt that I was 2-0 up and I could start going for it.

“I’m not used to playing three tough matches in a row, and she’s the type of player where there have to be rallies, I can’t win on a flick or two. Even if she tins some of the crucial points, it has to be at the end of a rally. Maybe I wasn’t prepared mentally for this, but in the fourth I was thinking already about my flight back home to Farida [daughter], and I think this made me relax a bit.

“I was trying to tell myself that losing is not the end of the world, you can still go home and have a nice day. Maybe I worked harder in the fourth without being too overwhelmed about whether I was going to lose after being 2-0 up. I lost a few when I was 2-0 up and it breaks a part of your confidence, so I’m not confident like I should be when I am 2-0 up.

“I’m lucky that at 8-6 in the fourth she had a clear cut stroke which she didn’t ask for, I think 9-6 from 8-7 is a huge difference, especially psychologically for someone who is down in the game. I’m happy I dug in, in the fourth. You get the reward when you dig in and work hard, I got a few tins from her and one stroke.

“I’m glad to be in another quarter final, I’m super happy to have a day off tomorrow, I need to relax and take some time off before I can go again in two days. I want to win matches like this rather than lose and go back with less confidence. Winning this match gives me a lot of confidence, even though it wasn’t the best squash in the world.”

Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 3-1: 14-12, 11-3, 6-11, 11-9 (41m)

Dessouky Comes Back to Beat Masotti

Fares Dessouky in action

Egypt’s Fares Dessouky came back from a game behind to get the better of World No.21 Baptiste Masotti.

The pair had met just once previously on the PSA World Tour – with Dessouky winning that match en route to the CIB Black Ball Squash Open title back in 2020 – and Frenchman Masotti started the better of the two as he put Dessouky on the back foot.

The skilful Dessouky soon perked up though in the second and third game as he took them fairly comfortable, profiting off a loss in focus and a series of errors from Masotti.

Masotti went toe-to-toe with the Egyptian in a tightly-contested fourth game, but Dessouky held firm to record a 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 victory which will see him face either World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy or Spain’s Borja Golan next.

“Tactically, I took a step forward because I know that he kills the ball very well from the back of the court,” said Dessouky.

“Especially on the forehand, so I was very awake and ready for whatever shot he was going to play. He took the first game and it was very hard. I was expecting that I would win the first game because I was 9-7 ahead and I thought he would give up, but he played very well and that was silly from me.

“It was a very good game and I’m happy.

“I’m going to watch [ElShorbagy and Golan] and I have a rest day tomorrow after I played two tough games back to back. [One of his best memories in El Gouna is] Beating Mohamed in the quarter finals, that was a good one.”

[8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (55m)

Perry Downs Aitken

Sarah-Jane Perry (left) takes on Lisa Aitken (right)

World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry defeated close friend Lisa Aitken to continue her title charge, winning 11-8, 11-5, 16-14 in 40 minutes.

Perry had won both of their previous matches in straight games, and the Englishwoman made it a hat-trick of 3-0 wins as she utilised her control and pinpoint accuracy to take a 2-0 lead.

Aitken came close to halving the deficit after taking a 9-6 lead in the third, before holding two game balls.

Perry came back to force a tie-break, where both players were unable to make the most of their game ball opportunities – match ball in Perry’s case – until a boast which caught Aitken flat-footed brought an end to the fixture.

“The ball was just flying around, so I couldn’t make the court big like I like to,” said Perry.

“We’re very good friends and it’s always difficult playing someone when you are good friends, but I know the danger she possesses, particularly when she gets the temperature in the ball and was flying around like she did today. She was getting on the ball early and she has been working hard on her short game. She’s a great athlete too, so there is no reason why she can’t keep going up the rankings, she had a good win yesterday.

“I had to find the weight of shot to the back so I could get control of the middle. In patches I did that, then in patches she was trying to stop me doing that, and she’s not just going to sit back and let me do it.

“She’s far too much of a fighter to do that. Every time I got control, she was trying to stop me doing that and get onto the ball as early as she could to hold me and change my movement up. That’s what players try and do against me and I have to play well enough and in the right way to contain that.

“It’s a good win and I was trying to concentrate at the end of the last game, play the right shots, and not give it to her easily.

“I always back myself at the end of the games. I think, historically, I imagine I’ve won quite a lot of close games. Even in a lot of the ones I haven’t, I was trying to do the right things.

“I’m not called ‘The Gladiator’ for nothing. I still had plenty of confidence that I was doing the right thing, but Lisa was throwing everything at me there at the end. I backed myself to keep the ball out of the tin at the crucial times and I did that today.

“I think I’ve played some decent matches here, I’ve never done really well but I’ve got plenty of good memories in Egypt. There are a few boat trips that we’ve been on after the tournament which have been fun, me and Lusty [Victoria Lust] got a bit out of our depth swimming in the sea, it was a bit past our swimming level, but Joelle ‘The Dolphin’ King had a fun time laughing at us.

“It’s always fun here in Gouna, it’s a really chilled place and I’ll enjoy going for some dinner at the Marina later, it’s a really nice place to be.”

[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 16-14 (40m)

Momen Eases Past Eleinen

Tarek Momen (right) takes on Aly Abou Eleinen (left)

Egypt’s Tarek Momen eased past compatriot Aly Abou Eleinen to book his spot in the last eight courtesy of a 3-0 win in 27 minutes.

Momen, the World No.6, is aiming to win his first El Gouna International title this week and followed up his first round defeat of England’s George Parker with an 11-4, 11-7, 11-1 victory which ends Eleinen’s giant-killing run.

World No.76 Eleinen had toppled former World No.3 Omar Mosaad and World No.17 Saurav Ghosal in his two previous rounds but came up short against a dominant Momen, who attacked the front of the court well and dictated the tempo of the match.

“Ali is everything I would like to see in a junior coming up,” said Momen.

“He’s no longer a junior, but he’s a young up-and-coming player who I admire so much. Not only the way he conducts himself on court, he’s just a total professional on and off court. I wish I was as professional as he was when I was his age.

“I have nothing but respect for him, he had a great run at this tournament, beating Mosaad and Saurav is an incredible achievement at such a young age and he had just graduated from university, he’s not even a full-time player. With the way he conducts himself, I’m pretty sure he will go very far in this sport and he will be a great ambassador for Egypt and for squash.”

Momen will continue his tournament against either World No.1 Paul Coll or Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller. Momen last played Coll at last week’s CIB PSA World Championships, with the New Zealander eventually prevailing after a gripping 122-minute battle.

Momen continued: “There is a potential rematch with Paul after tomorrow if he wins against Nicci tonight. I’m very much looking forward to it, I know the conditions will be difficult, we don’t know how hot or humid it will be, but the good thing is it’s going to be at 9pm, so maybe the temperature will drop a bit.

“I hope it will be a good match, but I really hope it doesn’t last two hours again. I’ll do my best to play even better than last time.

“On a personal level, I don’t have the best memories [of El Gouna]. I’ve had some good matches here and I wish I could make it to the final this year, it would be a first for me. The good memories are related to Raneem [El Welily] when she won her titles here.

“El Gouna is a nice place anyway, even if I don’t do well at least I enjoy my time here.”

Eleinen said: “I’m just a bit disappointed that I couldn’t give 100 per cent effort today.

“I think it was just a mix of things, one being the occasion. The past couple of days have been a bit too emotional. I came into today expecting myself to give 100 per cent, I tried a little bit in the first and then Tarek was just too good.

“I just got sponsored by Dunlop, they’ve sent me a lot of rackets and I haven’t had a chance to string them because I’ve just graduated and then headed straight to Gouna. My favourite racket broke and I just got distracted by that because all the other ones were not strung to the tension that I like. It’s such a great opportunity to be on court with Tarek, it’s an honour to be on court with him.

“I’ll be back.”

[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [WC] Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-1 (27m)

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