After rupturing her achilles during her encounter with Olivia Blatchford at the Ciudad de Floridablanca last month, American number one Amanda Sobhy has been sidelined for the remainder of this season.
But the charismatic Boston-based lefty has been watching on with interest as the action in El Gouna – for the Orascom Development Women’s World Championship and El Gouna International Men’s Open – has been gracing the SquashTV screens.
Here’s her take on all of yesterday’s action as the quarter-finalists were decided.
I’m going to be pretty brutal in regards to yesterday's matches, so if you do not handle criticism and opinions well I suggest you stop reading right now. But if you would like some very blunt entertainment in your life, then by all means do continue!
Yesterday shaped up to be one of the most disappointing quarter-finals days in a while. I am no stranger to having very short one-sided matches. I’ve beaten people in 25 minutes and I’ve lost to people in under 25 minutes in a quarter-final – so I have seen both sides. I can assure you though that when I lost a quarter-final match in 23min, I was mortified. I knew how pathetic I looked. I looked like a baby lamb getting slaughtered out there, and it was embarrassing.
Watching yesterday's matches felt like I was watching lambs in a slaughterhouse. It was just shocking how one sided the matches were!
Nour El Sherbini bt Sarah-Jane Perry
Our first lamb of the night! All credit to Sherbini – she was on FUEGO!! SJ has been playing some good squash lately but Sherbini took away all of her weapons and completely chopped her up.
It is always tough going from the normal courts to the glass court as SJ had to do – while Sherbini has been on the glass from Day 1. It only took about SJ two games to get used to the court and make a match of things. A few errors from Sherbini in the beginning of the third – combined with SJ stepping up her game – resulted with SJ holding game ball. Unfortunately for SJ a few rough calls went against her – and the refs can make or break a match in crucial times – and it went in Sherbini's favour as she took it 12-10. It was a bit of a bummer because had SJ taken the third she would have gained a lot of momentum and could have made things very interesting.
Marwan El Shorbagy bt Mohamed El Shorbagy
24 minutes? For a men’s match in hot and bouncy conditions – wow! My prediction was completely off! I’m laughing at myself at how confident I was by stating there was no chance Marwan would beat Mohamed and how Mohamed would be hungry for revenge. How wrong was I! Maybe Mohamed wanted revenge deep, deep, deep, down inside, but his performance tonight was a shocker – the match was so short you have to just laugh at it! It’s so hard to say anything good – this by far has got to be the cherry on top of a shocker of a season for Mohamed. At first I thought he must be injured but it didn't look like he was – he just sucked! Haha I’m sorry Mohamed. I’m literally shredding you a new one right now, but with a loss like this, you fully deserve it. I’m sure I’ll get something similar once I’m back on tour. After all, I am the queen of having the shortest matches! But respect to him he is taking the loss like a champ and even tweeted after his match “It’s time to enjoy and celebrate my failure this season :)”
At least he can make a joke out of it!
Marwan thought will have another rest day tomorrow and looks to be playing well, so he should be feeling like a gazelle come Thursday.
Nouran Gohar bt Nicol David
I would love to see what Nouran is eating on a daily basis because she just steamrolled through Nicol! We know Nicol isn't playing the same caliber of squash she did when she was at the top, but seriously, Nouran just destroyed a legend of the game! It’s not like Nicol is a terrible squash player – she's an 8-time world champion. Surely the match should be a bit more competitive, right? She didn't play her best squash – her shots weren’t as crisp as normal and she could not handle Nouran’s blistering pace – but Gohar was just absolutely relentless. It’s absurd how mature and solid her game is for a 19 year-old. She was the dominant player throughout and had Nicol on the retrieving end throughout. Nicol staged a mini comeback at 10-6 match ball down, but by that time it was way too late. Gohar was all over her like white on rice.
Gregory Gaultier bt Paul Coll
Wooooo! We actually got a match that was longer than 3 games! I have to say that after watching the first two games and seeing Greg in complete control, I was expecting this to be over in three as well. But all credit to Paul, he didn’t give up and stepped up his game in the third. He got a bit of help from Gaultier, who shanked a few balls in the tin and had a lapse in concentration. But apart from that lapse Greg was the man in control tonight. Paul is a really solid player but Greg just has a lot more tools in his toolbox – but I think Paul will get there. I’m sure Greg is happy to get that match over and done with.
Clearly, my predictions for yesterday were unbelievably off so hopefully I can redeem myself today!
Raneem El Welily v Laura Massaro
I really hope both these players are on tomorrow because this makes for a phenomenal match. They have played a couple times this season with Laura taking the wins, but Raneem is in Egypt and she has played a couple of matches on the glass already while Laura has been stuck on the side courts. It will be interesting to see how well Laura adapts to these glass court conditions – if she can adjust quick, it could be epic!
Diego Elias v Fares Dessouky
#VamosDiego. These are two of the best up and coming players. Diego is definitely the fairer player of the two (nothing new so don’t be shocked that I’m stating this) and it would be awesome to have a Peruvian in the semis of a World Series event, so I’m rooting for Diego.
Camille Serme v Joshna Chinappa
This could be an uphill battle for Joshna. Having to move to the glass court from the side courts and play Camille – who is already used to the glass. – is a huge challenge. I hope she does and makes a good encounter of it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a step too far.
Karim Abdel Gawad v Simon Rösner
I really don’t know how this will go! My money says Karim, but Simon is tough and getting him off the T is even tougher. It could be a really close match. Karim is a slow starter and loves a 5-gamer, I’m going to call Karim in 5.