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The El Gouna International Squash Open takes place this week

El Gouna International Day Four: Player Reaction - Side Courts

It's day four of the 2022 El Gouna International and the first half of today's play will be held at the El Gouna Squash Complex for the final time this week, before play resumes at 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 Olivia Fiechter (USA) v [5] Joelle King (NZL)
13:45 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [5] Diego Elias (PER)
15:00 Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v Donna Lobban (AUS)
15:45 [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)

Watch the action below

King Downs Fiechter

World No.5 Joelle King marched into the quarter finals of the El Gouna International for the first time since 2019 after an impressive showing against USA’s Olivia Fiechter at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

King was coming off the back of a disappointing third round exit at the CIB PSA World Championships a fortnight ago but was much improved this time out as she battled to an 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 victory to book her spot in the last eight.

It was a free-flowing match, with both players displaying a solid base game and hitting fine attacking shots into the front of the court. King was up for the majority of the first and second games and needed to brace herself against attempted comebacks from Fiechter in both.

Fiechter got off to a good start in the third and led 5-2, but the World No.10 was pegged back by King and it will be the Kiwi who lines up against either World No.3 Hania El Hammamy or World No.37 Rachel Arnold in the next round.

“If you look at all of Liv’s results lately, I personally think she’s more dangerous when she’s down,” said King.

“Match ball means absolutely nothing to her, she plays like it’s the first point of the match. You’re in control but you can’t get away from the person and you know that they’re mentally strong, especially when they’re down, you never feel relaxed. At the end of the game there were a lot of lets because it got really edgy.

“Even though it was 2-0 and match ball to me, you just know there is danger there with her. She’s such an amazing player, I love watching her play and I’ve been following her results very closely. Especially after the disappointment at the World Champ for me, I’m so glad to come back this week.

“It was quite tough to go out early, but I’m extremely proud of myself that after something so disappointing I’ve been able to come back and beat Sana, in my first match, 3-0 and then someone like Liv as well.

“Whoever I play in the next round, it will be clean with free-flowing squash. Now it’s later in my career, I think I appreciate it a lot more when someone is playing well against me. When you’re young, you hope they don’t play well against you so you can have an easier time, but I’m enjoying playing in these big events and playing players like Olivia and Hania [El Hammamy] at their best.

“It’s a pleasure to be on court with them, so I’m enjoying my time.”

[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (40m)

Elias Recovers to Beat Marche

Diego Elias (left) takes on Gregoire Marche (right)

Peru’s Diego Elias overturned a one-game deficit to overcome World No.13 Gregoire Marche and book his spot in the El Gouna quarters for the first time in five years.

The 25-year-old came into the match with an eight-match winning run over Marche but started sluggishly and made a number of errors to hand Marche a one-game lead.

The ‘Peruvian Puma’ came alive in the second though and Marche lost the accuracy in his attacking shots as Elias came back to level. The third game featured a number of long rallies, with Elias eventually winning the battle for control of the ’T’ as he came back from 4-1 behind to take the lead for the first time.

Marche came through a gruelling 91-minute battle with Mohamed ElSherbini two days prior, and that clash looked to take its toll in the fourth game as an increasingly tired Marche seemingly had nothing left in the tank as Elias completed a 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 victory.

The World No.5 will play either No.4 seed Mostafa Asal or Welshman Joel Makin for a place in the semi finals.

“I didn’t feel very good today,” said Elias.

“My body was a bit stiff in the first game, every time he went short I was struggling to run. I’m happy that I could start moving after the first game and started attacking more. When I was behind him, I was so slow to react and had to get in front of him and start moving him.

“I knew he had a tough match a couple of days ago. I knew that if it was going to be longer it would be tougher for me. I’m just happy with the way I recovered from the first game.

“I’ve felt very good lately since my injury. Since the start of 2021 when I came back for the Worlds in Chicago, I’ve only had one bad loss in 15 or 16 tournaments, I’ve been getting to the quarters, semis and finals and I didn’t before. I’m happy with my results and I hope that I can keep going at this tournament.”

[5] Diego Elias (PER) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (46m)

Subramaniam Ousts Lobban in Tight Four Gamer

Sivasangari Subramaniam (right) takes on Donna Lobban (left)

World No.20 Sivasangari Subramaniam has reached the first PSA World Tour Platinum quarter final of her career after she overcame Australia’s Donna Lobban – becoming the first Malaysian since the legendary Nicol David in January, 2018 to reach the quarter finals of a major PSA event.

The games themselves were relatively quick with both players going in for the kill whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Subramaniam was immaculate in the opening two games, but made a series of errors in the third game, while Lobban played some tremendous lobs to take the pace out of the game as she halved the deficit.

It was another error-strewn beginning to the fourth game for Subramaniam, but she refocused and found the winners when she needed them to close out an 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 victory.

“I felt a bit flat today,” said Subramaniam.

“It was more of a mental push today. When you play a top 10 player it’s a different game, then when you play someone at your level it’s a different game. I think the pressure was there today, it’s a really good chance to get into a first top eight at a Platinum event, so there were a lot of errors and short rallies with Donna, she’s a really good player and very experienced.

“I was a bit impatient in the third and fourth and was trying a lot of unnecessary shots. I was a bit down in the fourth, I knew I had to win that game because if it went to 2-2 Donna would get a lot of confidence and it would be a different game. I tried to bring the ball back, find my depth in the court, and I think that worked out really well.

“I’m really relieved to be through.

“I’m still working with David [Palmer], I’ve worked with him for about four years now. I feel really good on court, I’ve improved quite a bit with him. He pushes me every day and you can see the hard work is paying off.”

Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (32m)

ElShorbagy Cruises Past Mangaonkar

Marwan ElShorbagy (left) takes on Mahesh Mangaonkar (right)

2018 champion Marwan ElShorbagy continued his progress into the quarter finals after a comfortable 3-0 win over World No.52 Mahesh Mangaonkar.

ElShorbagy, who required five games to beat Scotland’s Greg Lobban in the previous round, had lost his only previous meeting to Mangaonkar but was much improved today in El Gouna as he completed an 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 victory in just 30 minutes.

ElShorbagy will face either World Champion Ali Farag or Germany’s Raphael Kandra in the quarter finals, and he will look to avenge his defeats to them in the CIB PSA World Championships earlier this month and October’s Qatar Classic, respectively.

“I was much sharper than the first round, of course,” said ElShorbagy.

“My concentration was better, mentally I was better and I’m trying to focus on that. I think I was relaxed today. I kept my focus up even when I was winning, I didn’t give a lot of cheap points, I wanted to make it hard even if he was going to beat me in one rally.

“All credit to Mahesh for a very good tournament. We played a few times in the juniors and we’re in the same generation, so I know how dangerous he is, how he likes to take the ball short, his attacking game was always brilliant, so I needed to stop him from being comfortable with taking me short.

“I was happy overall with my performance, it was more about the performance than the win, that’s why I’m pleased.

“I’ve won this tournament before, I have a lot of great memories here and my first time to win a major was here in El Gouna, so this place will always be so special for me. Whether I’m playing Ali or Raphi, they are both playing amazing.

“Ali is a three-time World Champion and beat me last week, he’s been playing so well. Rapha as well had a great win against Ibrahim, he beat me in Qatar as well. The only positive thing is that I lost last time to both of them, so maybe I will get revenge. Hopefully they will have a good match and I’ll enjoy my day off tomorrow.”

[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (30m)

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