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Nour El Tayeb on her way to victory over Hania El Hammamy

El Gouna International: Day Four - As it Happens

We're in Egypt for day four of the 2018 El Gouna International.

Glass court action kicks off at 18:30 (GMT+2) with World No.3 Nour El Tayeb taking on the dangerous Egyptian Hania El Hammamy, who earned her place in round two after fighting back from two games down against United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford.

El Tayeb's husband, World No.2 Ali Farag, takes to the court at 19:15 as he does battle with Spain's former World No.5 Borja Golan.

The standout match of the night sees World Champion Raneem El Welily go head-to-head with World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry as she aims to build on her five wins in six matches against the Englishwoman.

The duo will pit their wits against each other at 20:00, while defending champion Gregory Gaultier and English qualifier Chris Simpson bring this evening's action to a close at 20:45.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player or follow our live scoring page.

Here's the SQUASHTV & Eurosport Player Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+2)

WATCH LIVE AND FREE: We'll be streaming the entire second round match between El Welily and Perry for free on our Facebook page from 20:00 GMT+2 on Monday April 23.
Visit the PSA World Tour Facebook Page to watch.

You can also watch live streaming from the side courts on our YouTube channel.

Order of Play
12:00 [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
12:45 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)

Au Causes King Shock

Annie Au (left) v Joelle King (right)

Hong Kong’s Annie Au claimed only her fourth victory in 15 matches against New Zealand’s Joelle King to dump the World No.4 out of the 2018 El Gouna International at the second round stage.

King, a double gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games in Australia this month, took the opening game as she quickly settled into her stride and caused World No.11 Au all sorts of problems.

After taking the opener however, King was forced to defend against a resurgent Au who scurried around the court to pick up nearly everything King threw at her she levelled the scores.

The lead changed hands multiple times over the next two games as both players took a game apiece, with the fifth game turning into a real battle with the scores stood poised at 6-6.

But King began to tire as she struggled to kill off the ball and Au pounced on her loose shots before returning them with interest.

King’s accuracy soon began to fade as well and she gifted Au a series of strokes. The player from Hong Kong took full advantage to complete a surprise 6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 victory.

“I can see Joelle is a little bit tired because she’s come here to play after the Commonwealth Games,” said Au.

“Today I just told myself to be more patient, concentrate more, try to make the rallies longer and then, when there are opportunities, take the ball short.

“I had to be really careful because when I played a loose shot, Joelle would whack the ball and I would struggle, so I tried to focus and be patient.

“I think it makes a big difference [to have a rest day] because after five-game matches you’re obviously mentally and physically a little bit tired and you are able to relax and watch some matches.

“I watched Joey [Chan] last night on the glass court and I can see that it’s a bit windy and the ball moves. It’s my first time playing on the glass court here because last year I didn’t have any chances to hit on it, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Au will face either World Champion Raneem El Welily or England’s World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry next as she bids to reach a first PSA World Series quarter-final since 2013’s Hong Kong Open.

England’s World No.10 Alison Waters will join Au in the next round after she prevailed in a five-game battle with Egyptian World No.5 Nouran Gohar.

Alison Waters (right) v Nouran Gohar (left)

The match was a stop-start affair throughout with the referee called into action on a number of decisions but Waters, who had been pegged back from 2-1 up, managed to retain her composure to close out a big victory that will see her clash with either World No.3 Nour El Tayeb or World No.21 Hania El Hammamy in the next round.

Waters said: “I am happy with the result as I played her a couple of times and didn’t manage to get a win.

“Today, after the Commonwealth [Games], I didn’t feel any kind of pressure and I felt pretty confident.”

[11] Annie Au (HKG) bt [7] Joelle King (NZL) 3-2: 6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 (49m)
[10] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 (54m)

Rodriguez Advances to Last Eight After Huge Battle with Salazar

Miguel Angel Rodriguez (right) v Cesar Salazar (left)

Colombian World No.16 Miguel Angel Rodriguez moved through to the quarter-finals after prevailing in a brutal four-game fixture with Mexico’s Cesar Salazar which saw two injury stoppages and a conduct stroke contribute to a dramatic ending to the match.

Salazar, who had lost his last five matches against former World No.4 Rodriguez, fought back from two games down and looked to be sending the match to a decider after a clinical display saw him go 8-4 up.

Rodriguez though dug in his heels and rattled off a number of points in succession as his superb retrieval skills saw him pick up the best shots Salazar had to offer.

However, the Colombian squandered two game balls as Salazar battled back to send the game into a tie-break before holding a game ball of his own at 11-10 after a fabulous rolling nick.

He was unable to convert though and, three rallies later, was down on the floor clutching his knee after it buckled when chasing down a Rodriguez drop on the backhand.

A brief injury break then followed but the drama wasn’t done there. A few rallies after Salazar had returned to court he caught Rodriguez in the face with a forehand effort which resulted in the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ reeling in pain.

He recovered though and played on through the pain until, with Salazar game ball up at 16-15, the Mexican went down again after perceived interference from Rodriguez. A no-let was given against Salazar, whose remonstrations with the referee saw him given a conduct stroke against him to put Rodriguez match ball up and the 32-year-old converted to earn his place in the last eight.

“It’s difficult because you have a plan, you try to be focused and we were having issues with the ball then he hurt his knee and ankle,” said Rodriguez, who will play either defending champion Gregory Gaultier or England's Chris Simpson in the next round.

“I played very smart today, I was trying to be as focused as yesterday. It’s difficult to beat him but I was focused in that game and I think that was important to win it 3-1, otherwise it would have been tough for me.

“I had to give everything I had because he was playing very well and we know each other’s game. I was pretty confident in the first and second games but then I started to play his game.

“I enjoyed it, it was tough, I’m happy to have a day off tomorrow and I will give everything I have for my quarter-finals.

“I think that he played very well and I want to congratulate him because it was a tough game and I’m happy to be in the quarter-finals of a World Series event again.”

World No.5 Tarek Momen, meanwhile, earned his quarter-final berth with a dominant 3-0 win over Germany's Raphael Kandra in what was the Egyptian’s 350th PSA World Tour match

Tarek Momen (right) v Raphael Kandra (left)

Momen said: “He had a very good run on this event, first managing to qualify then beating Max [Lee] in the first round, that took some doing.Today he played really well and I am very happy indeed to win in three.

“Next round I’ll be on the glass court. There's some more adapting to do, but I love being on the glass court, so that should compensate fully.”

[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (38m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 18-16 (68m)

El Tayeb Moves Past El Hammamy

Nour El Tayeb (left) v Hania El Hammamy (right)

Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb will face England’s Alison Waters in the quarter-finals after she overcame up-and-coming 17-year-old compatriot Hania El Hammamy by a 3-0 margin.

25-year-old El Tayeb had beaten El Hammamy in both of their previous fixtures on the PSA World Tour but the younger Egyptian was able to rattle her opponent at times, particularly in the second where she held five game balls.

After going down 11-7 in the opener, El Hammamy played the better squash of the two in the second as she hit an impeccable length, moved El Tayeb around and prevented her older compatriot from utilising her usual attacking shots.

But she was unable to see out the game after finding the tin too many times and El Tayeb came back to double her lead on her second game ball.

El Tayeb had the wind in her sails in the third and she dropped just five points en route to rounding off her win.

“Hania and I have played for the same club and whenever I watch her or see her play I always admire the way she plays,” said El Tayeb.

“She has one of the toughest characters coming up on the tour in general and she’s not scared to go for it or to try and predict my shots. She’s playing so well at the moment, she’s consistently reaching the second round now.

“I’m very happy for her and I really admire her, I admire the way she plays and I’m happy I won in three. It’s a very good win for me and it gives me a lot of confidence for the next match.

“Hopefully I can keep going in this tournament, this is the best I’ve done [in El Gouna]. Obviously we have only played here once, last year, and I lost in the second round so to be in the quarters is very good for me.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 15-13, 11-5 (33m)

Farag on Form to Defeat Golan

Ali Farag (left) v Borja Golan (right)

A superb display from World No.2 Ali Farag saw him follow up his wife Nour El Tayeb’s victory with a 3-0 win against Spain’s former World No.5 Borja Golan.

Farag took to court just minutes after El Tayeb’s win over Hania El Hammamy and he picked up where his wife left off as he played an impeccable length game that saw him maroon Golan in the back of the court.

The Spaniard was unable to build up any real momentum as Farag did the fundamentals to absolute perfection. His shots stuck to the side wall like glue and only the odd drop from Golan was able to knock Farag out of his rhythm.

The Egyptian dropped just eight points across the opening two games and he built up a head of steam midway through the third as he pulled away to record an 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 victory in 32 minutes.

“I knew he was really tricky at the front of the court so I couldn’t afford to give him any loose shots,” said Farag, who will play World No.5 Tarek Momen in the next round.

“I wanted to stick to the back two corners and I think that was the key today. My length hitting was the best I could have asked for and it paid off and and gave me a lot of opportunities to be in front of him for most of the first two games especially.

“He [Tarek] has beaten me in the last two matches. I’m expecting lots of shot-making, lots of running and he’s such a talented player. We’re very good friends and every time we play, whether it’s in practice or matches, it seems to go to five.

“We’ll see what happens this time. I have to be on my toes and I’m looking forward to that one.”

[3] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (32m)

El Welily Through to Last Eight after Getting the Better of Perry

Raneem El Welily (right) v Sarah-Jane Perry (left)

Reigning World Champion Raneem El Welily sent Commonwealth Games silver medalist Sarah-Jane Perry out of this year’s El Gouna International after claiming a 3-1 victory in the marina.

El Welily had lost just once in six previous matches against the Englishwoman with that defeat coming back in the 2017 edition of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

This time, however, El Welily was on the front foot from the beginning of the match and she confidently dispatched any loose shots from her opponent to take an 11-7 victory in game one.

El Welily began game two in an equally impressive manner as she took the first three points on offer but the momentum shifted in Perry’s favour as she began to lift the ball to put the ball deeper in the back of the court.

That prevented El Welily from using her scintillating shot-making skills and Perry was rewarded for her efforts by bringing the match back to all square although a on-sided third then went the way of the Egyptian as she blitzed to an 11-4 victory.

Perry controlled the tempo in the early stages of game four but Welily was able to turn things around once more to build up two game balls. Perry fought back to send the match into a tie-break but two inch-perfect forehand drives from El Welily were enough to win her the match and a place in the last eight where she will face Hong Kong’s Annie Au.

“It was a big battle, she’s a very good player,” said El Welily.

“I think she must have had a long three weeks in Australia [at the Commonwealth Games] and she had little time to recover from that but she still played very well. To play her in the round of 16 is an absolute nightmare.

“She is a top eight player and I think in the next few tournaments that anyone who plays her or Amanda in the round of 16 is going to find it very difficult. I was a bit up and down like always but all credit to her for playing well.

“Annie must be playing very well to beat Joelle [King], who is one of the very good players this season.”

[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [9] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10 (34m)

Gaultier Marches Past Simpson

Gregory Gaultier (right) v Chris Simpson (left)

Defending champion Gregory Gaultier continued his tournament with a 3-0 win over England’s Chris Simpson to set up a tantalising quarter-final fixture with ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

The World No.3 looked slightly rattled at the beginning of the opening game after disagreeing with some of the referee’s early decisions and it showed as he struggled to put his shots away against a tenacious Simpson.

He was able to build up a head of steam at 5-5 as he rediscovered his composure, winning six of the next seven points to earn a one-game lead.

The 35-year-old, known on tour as the ‘French General’, had total command during the second game as he dropped just four points en route to victory but it was a different story in the third as Simpson hurtled around court to pick up Gaultier’s attempted winners, returning with some of his own to go 7-4 ahead.

Gaultier fought back though and, with the game heading into a tie-break, held firm to take it 12-10 to book his place in the quarter-finals.

“In the third he played much better, he coped better with my pace I think,” said Gaultier.

“I lost a bit of my length, I was also a bit impatient and I had to push very hard at the end.

“He was very accurate and put me under more pressure. I was trying to twist and turned him, but he was moving better and I lost a bit of focus. It’s a junior mistake really, and I will have to make sure I keep my concentration better for the next round.

“What’s important is that I won, you can always think who you could have done things better, but you need to find solutions. At the end of the day, I gave him a sniff, he has a super racket, super shots and I gave him too many angles.

“That’s all to do with match fitness and keeping focus for longer periods. Anyway, I’m pain free and that’s paramount. With all the injuries I had this year, it’s great news when you’ve been riddled on the couch at home for a long time.”

[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (41m)

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