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Top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy

Black Ball Open - Day Two: As It Happens

Round two of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open takes place today as the seeded players enter the draw, with all matches now taking place on the glass court inside the Black Ball Sporting Club.

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

You can also get involved with the discussion and share your thoughts with squash fans all around the world by joining our free chat on Discord.

Kicking off the day's play is Egypt's Karim El Hammamy – who claimed a big win against Mazen Hesham yesterday – against England's George Parker, who has enjoyed a strong start to the season.

Coverage starts at 12:00 local time (UTC+2).

Schedule – Glass Court
All times are local (UTC+2)

Parker Secures Last 16 Berth

England’s World No.38 George Parker came from a game down against home hope Karim El Hammamy to book his place in the last 16 of the Black Ball Squash Open in Cairo.

World No.56 El Hammamy prevailed in a tough battle yesterday with compatriot Mazen Hesham that lasted 81 minutes, in comparison Parker had a straight-forward victory over Peter Creed.

However, it was the Egyptian that took the first physical came, with the two players constantly exchanging points in a tight battle on court, which went in the favour of El Hammamy by a 14-12 margin.

However, Parker came back strongly to regain control in the second, as El Hammamy appeared to have lost some of his energy that served him well in the first game.

From then on, Parker’s quality shone through as he kept his emotions under control to take a 12-14, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 victory in 70 minutes and move into the last 16 of the PSA Platinum tournament.

He will now face either Mohamed Abouelghar or Shehab Essam in round three.

“It was a bit scrappy in the first and I didn’t really want it to go that way,” said the 22-year-old following his victory.

“I think my squash going forward was slightly better but he is ridiculous at retrievals and kept getting balls back and putting me under pressure and I started forcing it a bit too much.

“All credit to him though – he’s such a good counter player and makes you hit a lot of balls to the front. Sometimes you see your margin go down and down and you start to hit tins and lose your head but luckily I managed to hit a lot more winners than tins today and I just dug in.

“It would mean a lot to get further. I’m trying to find a balance in my playing and staying fit. For me to finish this year well would be a big boost because I’m not feeling as fit as I did at the start of the season, but that’s what you have to deal with at the beginning of being a pro and I’m just trying to learn as I go on.”

George Parker (ENG) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (70m)

Abouelghar Takes Out Wildcard Essam

Egypt’s World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar was in strong form to dispatch compatriot and tournament wildcard Shehab Essam in straight-games at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

World No.80 Essam had enjoyed a huge win in the first round, knocking out Scotland’s World No.31 Greg Lobban, however, the young Egyptian was unable to maintain his ‘giant killing’ streak when he came up against a confident Abouelghar.

Abouelghar – who won the China Squash Open at the start of the season – started brightly to take the first game comfortably.

Essam – who was appearing in his first PSA Platinum second round – grew into the match as it wore on, hitting some strong winners, however, Abouelghar proved to be too much to handle as he comfortably claimed an 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 victory in 35 minutes.

The Egyptian will now face England’s George Parker in the last 16.

“Shehab is a very skilful player, if you give him anything loose then he will put it away,” said Abouelghar following his victory.
“I just made sure I played simple squash and nothing too fancy and I’m happy with the way I played.

“I don’t have a good history in Egypt. I’m coming into this tournament confident and I’m playing well. I worked on a lot of things over the summer and I’m glad to see that they are paying off and I hope I can break the losing streak here.

“George [Parker] looks strong, he is a strong guy and a very strong player. I watched him play with Karim and he’s very fit. I will just enjoy the win today and do my homework.”

[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [WC] Shehab Essam (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (35m)

Ng Marches Onto Round Three

Malaysia’s World No.42 Eain Yow Ng continued his good form in Cairo after he downed New Zealand’s World No.41 Campbell Grayson in straight-games to reach the last 16.

20-year-old Ng scored a big scalp in round one after he came from 2-0 down against experienced Australian Cameron Pilley to win in five and the Malaysian picked up where he left off in round one as he put in a confident performance against Grayson.

Ng took the first game comfortably, before Grayson began to show some fight in the second, however, it was not enough to prevent Ng from taking an 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 victory.

He will face either Mohamed ElShorbagy or Max Lee in the last 16.

“It’s good to finish in three,” said the 20-year-old Malaysian.

“Every game I was leading, and Campbell kept coming back really strongly. I had to stay focused and I feel like I did that well today and I’m happy to go through in three and hopefully be fresh for the next round.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing who I play next and there is no pressure on me, I’m just going to focus on my squash and see how it goes.”

Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (43m)

Elias Powers Past Mueller

Peru’s World No.11 Diego Elias powered past ‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller in the second round at the Black Ball Sporting Club to reach the last 16 in Cairo.

Elias – who reached the Pakistan Open on Sunday – showed no signs of fatigue as he started strongly, moving Mueller all around the court to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

Mueller came back at the Peruvian in the third to reduce the deficit, however, Elias powered past the Swiss player in the fourth to claim an 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-1 win in 35 minutes.

Elias will now face either Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip or a rematch of the Pakistan Open final with Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad.

“I think I kept going too much to the front in the third game,” said the 22-year-old.

“I should have kept pressure and I think I did that in the fourth. I started to play with more length and pace and pressure and it was working.

“I’m really happy to win today and looking forward to my next match.

“I hope Gawad wins so I can get my revenge on Thursday. He played really well on Sunday, I think he played so well that I didn’t know what to do but I know what to expect now and I’m prepared for that.”

Diego Elias (PER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-1 (35m)

Kandra Moves Past Richards

Germany’s World No.17 Raphael Kandra got his tournament off to a strong start after he came from a game down against England’s former World No.12 Tom Richards to book his place in the last 16 of the tournament.

Richards has been on a good run of form and was looking to reach his third successive last 16 stage at a PSA Platinum tournament, after reaching that stage in both Qatar and Hong Kong.

The Englishman got the match off to a good start taking a tight first game and showcasing his arsenal of skilful shots.

Germany’s Kandra battled back though to level in the second and grew in confidence as the match went on, while his English counterpart began to allow errors to creep into his game.

Richards continued to show good skill and touch at the front of the court, but Kandra proved too much for him in the end to prevail by a 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 scoreline.

He will now face either Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly or set up a rematch from Hong Kong with Egypt’s Tarek Momen.

“We both are quite physical players,” said the 28-year-old German.

“As you could see right until the end, Tom didn’t struggle physically but sometimes I felt like I had a bit of an advantage when I speed up the rallies a little bit as he doesn’t have time to do something with the ball, which put me in a good position, especially in the third and the fourth, which was my aim.

“I’m feeling very comfortable here and everyone is treating us well, so it has been good.”

Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (44m)

Momen Downs Cuskelly

Egypt’s World No.4 Tarek Momen was in dominant form on home territory as he downed Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in four games to reach the last 16 in Cairo.

It was a focused performance from Momen in the opening two games as he offered no respite to Cuskelly with his attacking brand of squash to dominate from the outset.

The third game saw a slight momentum shift as Cuskelly took control of proceedings to get a foothold back into the encounter, however, Momen proved to be too strong in the end to book his place in the last 16 where he will face Germany’s Raphael Kandra.

“You can’t have it all,” said Momen after his win.

“You can’t have the perfect match for the whole match. I’m quite happy with how I played, of course I made a few errors in the third and he stepped it up a bit.

“But I’m happy that I managed to regroup after that third game to come out firing in the fourth. I’m through to the third round and it was a good match.

“It makes a lot of things so easy [having a tournament at home], I can go home whenever I want, there is no stress and a lot of people come to support us every day which gives us a huge advantage, apart from if we’re playing another Egyptian. It’s very convenient and this whole set up is great. It’s a great event and I hope it keeps happening every year.

“Kandra and I talked about that match after we finished and we both play the same game, so its tricky when we both have the same approach.

“He is a very talented player and keeps me on my toes so I’m looking forward to that match and hopefully I can win again.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5 (41m)

ElShorbagy Prevails in Entertaining Battle with Lee

Egyptian World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy was pushed all the way in an entertaining four-game battle with Hong Kong’s Max Lee, as the Egyptian booked his place in the last 16.

The two players had met six times previously on the PSA Tour, with Lee taking just a solitary victory back in 2015 against the ‘Beast from Alexandria’, however the World No.13 did not make life easy for the Egyptian when they met in the second round of the Black Ball Open.

ElShorbagy took the opening two games, despite Lee pushing him close in the second. The Hong Kong player had the perfect response in the third, however, as he dominated and caused the reigning World Champion all sorts of problems as he took the third game.

The fourth game brought a close to an entertaining game with both players putting their best squash on display. Lee saved four match balls from the Egyptian before the World No.1 was eventually able to close out a tight fought encounter.

“Once I saw the draw and I saw I had Max first round, I knew how tricky that was going to be,” said the World No.1.

“I had to be sharp and any loose shots I played today he took full advantage of it and he showed what a great player he is. He is such a great talent and it was never easy from the first point.

“I’m just glad I pulled through in the end because that fourth game could have slipped away but overall, I’m happy to be through.

“It would be the perfect end to an incredible year for me. I’ve had a good start to the season, maybe I’ve had a few dips at a couple of tournaments, but Hong Kong got me back on track again. I’m coming here, and I want to try and play my best squash.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 11-7, 13-11, 2-11, 12-10 (53m)

Gawad Through to Last 16

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad continued his strong form after winning the Pakistan Open at the weekend to down Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip to reach the last 16 in Cairo.

Gawad played strongly to defeat the Hong Kong World No.23 by an 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 scoreline and book his place in round three.

Gawad will now face a mouthwatering rematch with Peru’s Diego Elias, who he defeated in the final of the Pakistan Open at the weekend.

“I’m very happy,” said the former World Champion.

“Especially to play with Yip, we just played a week ago in Hong Kong, also in the second round so I’m really happy to get through.

“It’s special to play here in my home town and it means a lot to me – it’s always special to play here.

“It’s quite funny to play the same player three days after you played at another tournament. It’s always very tough to play Diego, he is the World No.11. It’s special playing here so hopefully I can play better than today and have another win against him.

“Egypt is one of the best countries in squash, so having two major tournaments in Egypt means a lot to us. We have six or seven players in the top ten so having two Platinum tournaments – we deserve it.”

[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)

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