Egyptians Mazen Hesham and Omar Mosaad inflicted misery on French duo Mathieu Castagnet and Gregoire Marche as qualification came to a close at the 2018 Grasshopper Cup, PSA M100 event.
Hesham, who dropped out of the top 30 last year following shoulder and hip injuries, was back to his sublime shot-making best as he dismantled Castagnet 3-0 to book his main draw berth courtesy of a dominant display.
The maverick attacking Egyptian showcased all the skills that have marked him out as an outstanding talent since he burst onto the scene a few years ago as he unleashed his full arsenal from the start – hitting crosscourt winners from deftly struck flicks, powerful slams and deceptive touches in all four corners of the court, even powering back from 6-2 down in the third as he reeled off five straight winners to perplex Castagnet and the crowd and turn the momentum around to take the match in style.
“To be honest that result was better than I expected,” said Hesham.
“I felt like I played a good basic length game and kept the errors low and it’s always a good sign when you can get a result against a top player like Mathieu.”
He’ll now face compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in the first round of the $100k event while Mosaad ensured it was a bad day for French squash as he eliminated Marche 3-1.
The hard-hitting Hammer of Thor recovered from a slow start, going 8-0 down in the opener, before gaining control of the court to assume the role of aggressor and take Marche’s speed away from him and see out the match and secure a first round berth against World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.
Joining Mosaad and Hesham in the main draw are Greg Lobban, the Scotsman who recorded his first ever win over compatriot Alan Clyne, and German Raphael Kendra who overcame a tough test against England’s Adrian Waller in five games.
Results – Qualification Finals
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt  Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-2: 4-11, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5 (66m)
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (41m)
 Greg Lobban (SCO) bt  Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6 (81m)
First Round – Main Draw
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v  Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO)
James Willstrop (ENG) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
[Q] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)