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Omar Mosaad in action

Necker Mauritius Open Day Two: Player Reaction

Play continues today in the final PSA World Tour Gold event of the season as the top eight seeds now join the Necker Mauritius Open draw to face the winners from round one for a place in the quarter finals.

An all-Egyptian battle between former World No.3 Omar Mosaad and No.5 seed Marwan ElShorbagy opens an exciting day two whilst No.1 seed Paul Coll closes out the day's play against Swiss No.2 Dimitri Steinmann.

There is also a highly anticipated clash between newly transitioned Englishman Mohamed ElShorbagy and tour legend James Willstrop, which is the penultimate match of the day.

All the action will be live on SQUASHTV.

You can keep up with all the live scores from the event here, while you can also follow updates from the event on our social channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

Order of Play: The Necker Mauritius Open 2022

Order of play

Mosaad scores big upset to be the first player in the quarters

Omar Mosaad in action

Egypt’s World No.27 Omar Mosaad has scored a big win over No.5 seed Marwan ElShorbagy to advance to the quarter finals of the Necker Mauritius Open.

ElShorbagy dominated the early exchanges between the two and consistently moved the tall frame of Mosaad into all four corners of the court at pace, making life very difficult for the former World No.3.

Mosaad responded after losing the first game to equalise at 1-1. Helped by errors from his younger opponent, Mosaad’s compact and smooth swing was in full flow as he utilised the low kill and boast to trouble ElShorbagy.

In a very scrappy and decision filled third game, ElShorbagy struggled to keep his concentration as he was more interested in talking to the referee after every decision. The video referee was called into action several times but Mosaad was able to keep his head down and close the game out 11-5 to lead 2-1.

The scrappiness continued in game four as both players were determined to keep hold of the middle of the court and volley as much as possible. Mosaad managed to pull ahead to 8-5 but back came ElShorbagy, the World No.9 earned himself a game ball to force a fifth game but the quality of Mosaad came to the surface to take the game 12-10 and move into the quarter finals.

“I’ve been working hard this year, especially on my fitness, squash and mental game,” said Mosaad.

“I played some good matches but haven’t caused any big upsets, so I was looking for it. Today, against Marwan, you know he's a smart guy, so I needed to be calm and focused so I'm really happy with my performance today.

“I’m trying to push hard, I'm working with the physios. It’s a mental thing, you have to be professional and keep going, it's part of being a professional player.”

Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10 (52m)

Momen marches on in Mauritius

Tarek Momen in action

Another Egyptian was next to advance to the quarter finals as No.4 seed Tarek Momen booked his place in the last eight, beating France’s Lucas Serme in a 38-minute 3-0.

‘The Viper’ set to work on his unmistakable style early in the first game, firing the majority of his shots into the front of the court with superb accuracy. The quality will always be present with Momen but so will unforced errors. The former World Champion gave Serme hope by finding the tin a lot more than he would have liked but the severity of Momen’s short balls were too much for the Frenchman, who lost the opening two games 11-9, 11-7.

The momentum of Momen continued in the third game with his short game still full of quality, the errors had disappeared from his game, which made for a tough game for Serme. The Frenchman struggled to find winners of his own to trouble the World No.6 and after 38 minutes, it was Momen moving into the last eight of a tournament for the 26th consecutive time.

Momen had this to say after the match:

“I had a plan today, It seemed like I wanted to break the world record for the number of tins hit in one match. I came close but I didn’t reach it, maybe another match.

“But, no, this doesn’t take anything away from Lucas, he played really well, the conditions here are not easy, it's a mix of heat and humidity but on court the ball dies in different areas so it's so hard to adapt and it's my first time on this court so it was hard to adapt to an opponent who’s not easy at all like Lucas.

“I started well but then I started to lose my length and when that happened I just went short, it was the easier option for me but I paid the price because I think hit 9 errors in the first game alone and from then on I had to focus on making my basic game better, the second was a bit better but I still wasn’t happy with it. The third was much better and I could finally stand ahead of him and hit some good lengths and actually win some points at the back instead of at the front all the time, but I'm happy to get through on a difficult day like this.”

[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (38m)

Elias overcomes Mueller to advance

Elias in action

A highly anticipated affair was next onto court as World No.5 Diego Elias took on ‘The Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller for a place in the last eight at the RM Club in Mauritius.

Both players are regarded as two of the smoothest players on tour, with both promoting attacking and relaxed styles of play that could be admired for hours on end. Elias found his corners earlier than Mueller and established a healthy lead at 8-4 in the opening game and went on to take the game 11-6.

‘The Peruvian Puma’ continued to rush the Swiss No.1 in all areas of the court and looked to be trying to volley everything that he could. Mueller tried his best to get into the game and showed glimpses of his undoubted quality and skill but today was all about the Qatar Classic Champion. Elias booked his place in the quarter finals, winning 11-7, 11-9 in the last two games.

“It’s always hard playing Nicci, when the ball got colder he was going short all the time and it was hard. I love being here, it actually reminds me of Peru a little bit but I haven’t been home for a while so I'm not used to it anymore but yeah it reminded me of how the ball flies to the back and I like being here so hopefully I can go all the way.” said Elias after the match.

[3] Diego Elias (PER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (37m)

Masotti wins all-French battle to progress

Baptiste Masotti in action

Closing out the afternoon session at the RM Club was an all-French battle between No.8 seed Baptiste Masotti and Sebastien Bonmalais.

The pair know each other's games extremely well which was evident in the opening exchanges as the pair were moving onto the next shot even before the ball had been played. Both players possess great movement abilities, typical of the French style of play.

Masotti was the more aggressive of the two on the ball and attacked the four corners of the court with purpose to always keep Bonmalais stretching and lifting. Masotti took a comfortable first game 11-3 but was made to work harder in the second game but still was able to close it out 11-9 to lead 2-0.

In a topsy-turvy third game, Masotti raced out to a 5-1 lead and looked sure to be moving into the next round with Bonmalais struggling to find a way into the game. Several unforced errors followed from the racket of the older Frenchman and Bonmalais was handed a lifeline. Masotti recovered his length however and managed to hold on to take the game 11-9 and move into the last eight in 43 minutes.

Masotti had this to say after his win:

“It’s very difficult to play in tropical weather, you’re sweating a lot, it's very unique and difficult to keep your focus, that's my weakness as well so I need to work on it. My first two games were good and then when I went 5-1 up in the third maybe I told myself it was all over but Seb is a good guy and good player so will fight until the end, so I need to keep my lengths good and that's what I did so I'm very pleased.

“I love this club and this atmosphere, I’m here with my wife, this is the first time she’s been with me at a tournament since the pandemic so there are good people here and it’s kind of like a holiday too with one match a day and I can’t wait to be back on court tomorrow.

“It’s helpful playing with a French teammate because I know that the match will be clean, there weren’t many decisions between us but at the same time it’s hard because I love him, he’s one of my best friends on tour and I hate to see him lose but if I wanted to win, that had to be the case. I'm just happy to be through and he’s still my friend don't worry and I'm sure we’ll have many battles together in the future.

“When I was young, I went to the European Individuals in 2007, I was a young kid and I was watching the likes of Greg [Gaultier], Thierry [Lincou] and Renan [Lavigne] with open eyes and it’s an honour for me to play in front of them. I wouldn't have accepted that when I was young but they are cool guys and an inspiration for all us French players.”

[8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 (43m)

Hesham comes from behind to end Gaultier fairytale

Mazen Hesham

In the first match of the day’s evening session, Egyptian No.6 seed Mazen Hesham came from behind to end the hopes of a fairytale for 39-year-old former World No.1 and tournament wildcard Gregory Gaultier.

Gaultier came close to taking a quick one-game lead when he went 10-6 up on the back of some beautifully controlled squash. Hesham, however, pushed hard to recover to 10-10. Both players had further opportunities with game balls, before Gaultier eventually managed to break through to take the 17-minute opener 14-12.

Hesham found the perfect response in game two, blasting his way to parity with an 11-2 win in just five minutes.

The Egyptian found his length perfectly in the third game, punishing the 39-year-old with some testing rallies as he moved into the lead with a comfortable 11-3 win, before finishing the match with a hard-fought 11-6 win.

Hesham will face Peru’s Diego Elias in tomorrow’s quarter-final.

After the match, Hesham said: “Of course, playing Gregory is always tough. Even if he’s not been playing for a year now. It’s always tough and I have so much respect for him and I never meant anything other than just to play my shots, have fun and enjoy my time with him on court in front of these people.

“It’s my first time here, I like being here and it’s been a long season for me and for everybody. I’m happy I’m here and through and playing Gaultier in the last match of his career, probably. It’s a pleasure to be on the same court as him in that match.”

Gaultier added: “Thanks everyone for the support. Obviously, it was a tough day for me. Mazen was playing some good squash and I haven’t played for quite a while and I couldn’t see the ball, my movement was way too off but I did what I could. I tried to hang in the rallies, but obviously my fitness wasn’t adjusting at all.

“I’m of course disappointed to have been unable to perform a bit better than that, but it is what it is and I did what I could on the day and it’s been a pleasure to be on this beautiful court. It’s been fantastically organised and I was really lucky to be amongst those great guys and all the people around who’ve made this event so great for the players. Thanks so much, it was an honour to play my last match and let’s enjoy the rest of the week with some more action.

“It was my last match on the PSA Tour, but I try to keep playing for fun. It’s always a pleasure to step on court. It’s like a drug, I wish there was no age, I wish I had another leg but obviously I’ll keep on playing because I love the sport way too much. As long as I can step on court, even if I’m totally broken, I will still be hitting some balls.”

[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [WC] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-1: 12-14, 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 (41m)

Settled Marche performance sees World No.13 through in three

Gregoire Marche

France’s World No.13 Gregoire Marche was in solid form to beat Egypt’s World No.28 Karim El Hammamy in straight games.

After being taken to task by an 11-3 loss in the first game, El Hammamy struck back in the second by taking the first five points.

Marche, however, was able to stop El Hammamy’s run, impressively chipping away at the Egyptian’s lead before eventually taking the second game 11-9.

Marche continued to press in the third, with the Frenchman unrelenting as he ensured that he’d finish the match in three games with a tidy 11-4 victory.

“I’m just trying to make [Gregory Gaultier and Thierry Lincou] proud. There’s still a lot of work to do. We’ve been playing in the same team for ages and I love this kind of atmosphere, where you feel like you’re playing at home. I just want to give my best. Today [that] wasn’t the case all the time but I just dealt with the conditions, tried to get used to the court and tried to find my rhythm. I was a bit tense in the beginning and couldn’t see the ball well, but I’m happy to get this win in three. It’s never easy to win 3-0 matches.”

On the difference between playing on this court for exhibitions and today, Marche said: “First of all, it’s inside. It’s completely different. When you play exhibition matches you really want to have fun and it’s more relaxed and you want to show some good squash to the crowd. I want to do that now, but of course it’s easy to say and it’s a different pressure. The first match on the court it’s never easy to get in the tournament, I’m happy to win 3-0 and am ready for tomorrow.”

[7] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (37m)

ElShorbagy’s first England outing ends in victory

Mohamed ElShorbagy

In an entertaining battle of former World No.1s – who between them had played 1333 matches on the PSA World Tour – Mohamed ElShorbagy beat his new England teammate James Willstrop in straight games to set up a quarter-final match against Gregoire Marche.

Most of the coverage ahead of today’s match unsurprisingly focused on today's clash being an all-English derby, with this ElShorbagy’s first competitive outing since changing his allegiance from Egypt to England earlier this week. If that fact was playing on the mind of either player, though, they showed no outward signs, with the first game a hugely entertaining and high-quality 11-8 victory for ‘the Beast.’

Both players continued to entertain the crowd in the second, which the in-form World No.3 took 11-6 to open up a commanding 2-0 lead.

Despite an impressive defensive rearguard at the beginning of the third game from Willstrop, who combined excellent recovery work with his usual clinical squash, the ElShorbagy had enough in the tank to put the match to bed in 32-minutes with a watchful 11-5 win.

After the match, the 31-year-old said: “Everything’s been amazing. Thank you to Remy [Mabillon] for organising everything. Honestly, the sport is very lucky to have you on board. Thank you so much for everything. Greg [Gaultier] has been an inspiration and we’re working together and it’s amazing to have him and the full team this time. It’s amazing to be here for my first time, I can bet that this isn’t going to be my last time. I’ll be back every year, hopefully! I think playing James, it was quite fitting to play him in my first match for England. He’s one of the England greats and it’s an honour to be on court with him. I look forward to playing him many more times. I do hope he stays in the game for a few more years so we can play in a team together, so it’s definitely an honour.

“A quick note about something that happened in El Gouna. I just want to apologise to Andrea, the referee. My behaviour with her was not very good and I just want to have a public apology to her. She didn’t deserve what happened and I completely misbehaved myself, so I really apologise to her. Sorry about that, she’s one of the best refs and I completely apologise.”

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt James Willstrop (ENG): 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (32m)

Coll targeting a return to top with valuable points in Mauritius

Paul Coll

In the evening’s final match, the fourth former World No.1 involved in the day’s play, New Zealand’s World No.2 Paul Coll, confidently swept past Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann

After speeding into a 8-1 lead in game one, Coll may have been a little alarmed by the manner in which he allowed Steinmann a route back, with the Kiwi eventually taking the first game 11-8 after a surviving a spirited comeback from the 24-year-old.

Coll played a measured game in the second, playing low-risk squash as he familiarised himself with the court on the way to an 11-7 win.

The World No.2 released the handbrake a little in the third, playing some expansive squash and moving Steinmann around the court. On the back of an inch perfect drop, Coll found himself with six match balls at 10-4, and he converted at the first attempt after Steinmann – who had already used his review – declined to play the ball from the back, only for a no let to be given.

After the match, Coll reflected on the quality of the court and how he was targeting a return to the top, having lost his World No.1 ranking this month to Ali Farag: “I was hoping not to lose [my World No.1 ranking] in the first place, but it’s a good opportunity for me here in Mauritius to get some much-valuable points and try to get that top spot back. What a place to do it. It’s a beautiful new complex in Mauritius and I’m really enjoying it so far.

“Obviously last time [I played on this court] it was outdoors and this time it’s indoors, and I prefer that to be honest. The court’s a brand-new glass court and it plays amazing. When you’re outdoors, there’s a few factors you’ve got to deal with, but here it’s a very true court. It plays very well and I enjoyed today’s match on it very much.”

[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (48m)

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