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Mohamed Abouelghar

Black Ball Open - Day Four: As It Happens

Round three of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open takes place today as the remaining players battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals of the PSA Platinum tournament in Cairo, Egypt.

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

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Kicking off the day's play is Germany’s World No.3 Simon Rosner against France’s Gregoire Marche at 12:00. They will be followed on court by England’s Chris Simpson and New Zealand’s Paul Coll.

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

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

Rösner Battles Back to Reach Quarters

A gutsy performance from Germany’s World No.3 Simon Rösner saw him claim a quarter-final berth in Cairo after coming from two games down to defeat France’s Gregoire Marche.

The German looked to be in trouble as he found himself staring down the barrel of defeat when World No.36 Marche got off to a confident start to take the lead, as Rösner looked off the pace and struggled to keep up with the Frenchman.

Rösner looked to be finding a way back into the match in the second, however, Frenchman Marche stuck with him to soak up the pressure and capitalise on Rösner’s lack of energy to double his advantage.

The momentum changed in the third though, as the 31-year-old German’s class began to shine through with a brave performance to take the third.

Rösner then continued to push and keep his momentum to book his place in the quarter-finals, where he will face either England’s Chris Simpson or New Zealand’s Paul Coll, to win 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 in 72 minutes.

“I felt a bit flat in the first two,” said Rösner afterwards.

“I was struggling but I just didn’t want to go down 3-0 and wanted to give it my last shot in the last tournament of the year. I’m quite happy with how I managed to come back even though it wasn’t my very best today.

“I’m very happy with how I dealt with the situation and played my way out of it and happy to be in another quarters.

“I’ve played Chris since we were about 11-years-old, so a few times and I just played Paul recently in Qatar and beat him 3-1 but against either of those two it is going to be brutally tough as always.”

[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-2: 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (72m)

Coll Prevails in Simpson Battle

New Zealand’s World No.7 Paul Coll defeated England’s World No.40 Chris Simpson in straight-games to set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with Germany’s Simon Rösner.

Simpson was forced to come through a tough five-game battle with Egypt’s Zahed Salem in the last round, while Coll defeated United States No.1 Todd Harrity 3-0 and it was the New Zealander who carried his winning momentum through.

Coll started strongly and managed to hold off various fightbacks from Simpson, who tested the Kiwi’s resilience at time, however, it proved to be futile as Coll powered through to an 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 victory.

“He had the better head-to-head,” said the 26-year-old.

“He is a class player and I knew I had to be focused from the word go. I had to not back off at any point in the match because he is a very mentally tough competitor.

“I’m happy with that performance, I really rate Chris as a player and so I’m happy to be off in three and looking forward to tomorrow.

“I’m really looking to it. We have clean battles, both play the ball and I love that type of match where it just comes down to free flowing brutal squash. I’m going to recover well tonight and get ready for a big match tomorrow.”

[6] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (46m)

Abouelghar Overcomes Parker

Egypt’s World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar prevailed in a tough battle with England’s World No.38 George Parker to reach the quarter-finals in his home country.

The Egyptian took the first game after a good start from both players, but towards the end of the first Parker began to grow frustrated and it affected his concentration to allow the Egyptian to take a lead.

However, Parker came back strongly to cause the higher ranked player a lot of problems as he levelled the scores.
In the third, the lead once again went in the favour of Abouelghar, however, Parker did fight his way back into the game but it was not enough to prevent the Egyptian from taking a 2-1 lead.

From then on Abouelghar increased his level in squash to ensure he got off court in four games by an 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 margin.

He will now face either compatriot Tarek Momen or Germany’s Raphael Kandra for a place in the semi-finals.

“George is such a great player,” said the 25-year-old Egyptian.

“He is very strong, especially around the middle. I think I started well and then kind of lost my length a little in the second, but I’m really happy with how I managed to get it back again in the third onwards and I’m happy I finished it in four.

“It’s great to play in Egypt in front of so many familiar faces – it’s always a pleasure, so I hope this gives me the boost I need tomorrow.”

[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 (53m)

Clinical Ghosal Downs Mosaad

India’s World No.12 Saurav Ghosal was in formidable form to down Egypt’s former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in front of his home crowd and reach the quarter-finals of the Black Ball Open.

Mosaad had endured a physically demanding five-game match yesterday with Colombia’s World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and the Egyptian showed signs of fatigue as Ghosal got off to a strong start to take a one game lead.

The Egyptian looked to have settled into the encounter in the second when he built up a 7-1 lead but clinical Ghosal soon brought a halt to that with his quick movement to cut down the scores. Mosaad managed to pull away again to take a 10-6 lead but was unable to convert as the Indian fired back once more to take it on the tie-break and double his advantage.

The third saw Ghosal comfortably run away with it to take an 11-6, 12-10, 11-1 victory in 36 minutes and will now face either World No.2 Ali Farag or World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal in his first quarter-finals of a PSA Platinum tournament this season.

“Omar is obviously liking this court quite a bit,” said the 32-year-old.

“You saw it yesterday with the skill he showed against Miguel to win that match. He’s a fantastic player and beating him is always going to be hard.

“The second game was maybe a bit crucial, I felt like I wasn’t too far behind, just that he had a really good patch in the beginning of that game and I probably couldn’t step up the intensity as much, but I was pleased to get it back and obviously winning that game was a huge bonus.

“I’m happy to win that and beating him 3-0 in Egypt. It’s my first quarter-final in the new Platinum structure. I felt like I put a lot of work in over the summer and maybe didn’t have as much to show for it in the way of results, so it’s very satisfying to have that small breakthrough into the quarters.”

Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 12-10, 11-1 (36m)

Gawad Edges Out Elias

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad managed to edge out a tough competitor in Peru’s World No.11 Diego Elias as he reached the quarter-finals of the PSA Platinum tournament at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

The two met just three days ago when they battled it out for the Pakistan Open title, with the Egyptian coming out on top in a straight-games victory. Today’s meeting proved to be much closer, but it was still the Egyptian who came out on top to progress at the tournament.

It was a tight affair from the outset as the first game went the distance with the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ taking it on a 14-12 tie-break. However, Elias came back strongly to take a comfortable second game as he capitalised on Gawad’s errors.

The ‘Peruvian Puma’ continued to look strong on court to cause problems for the former World Champion as he built up a lead in the third, however, Gawad fought his way back to take another narrow victory to edge ahead, 2-1.

The high-quality squash on show from both players continued into the fourth, with the Egyptian eventually clinching it, 14-12, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7, much to the delight of the partisan home crowd.

“We just played three days ago in the final in Pakistan,” said the 27-year-old from Alexandria.

“Diego is a really good player and one of the best players who moves on court, just smooth and very talented and two-times World Junior Champion so he is a great player. He is young and he is already almost in the top ten.

“I just wanted to play a good basic game today, but I couldn’t because he wasn’t making it easy. I wanted to go to the front which was a mistake because he was moving so well and hitting a lot of winners, so I had to go back and mentally be stronger. I’m really happy I got the win today.

“I’m trying my best and I have been working really hard with my coaches to try and get back to the form I used to play. I think I’m doing really well this season, I’m just a little bit down mentally on the top two or three guys in the world, so I’m just trying to push mentally.”

[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 14-12, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7 (63m)

Farag Eases Through to Quarters

Egypt’s World No.2 Ali Farag came out on top in the all-Egyptian battle with World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Asal has enjoyed a strong tournament so far, with a particularly big win coming in the last round over England’s World No.19 Declan James, however, he was unable to back that up against an in form Farag who prevailed in straight-games.

The experienced Egyptian came out firing to take the first game, but then found himself put under pressure by his young Egyptian counterpart who had many opportunities to draw level but fell victim to Farag’s experience as he fought back to take an important second game.

The World No.2 then continued to execute his shots to claim an 11-4, 13-11, 11-3 victory in 32 minutes and will now face India’s Saurav Ghosal in the next round.

“I wish I was that good when I was 17,” said World No.2 Farag after his victory.

“Mostafa is such a great prospect for Egyptian squash. He’s playing really well and he showed in the first two matches that he can challenge all of the top players.

“I’m happy to hold him off for now, but I’m sure in the very near future he is going to beat all of us. I’m happy that I got the second and I think that made a huge difference.

“In the second he started off firing and he took the game to me, he was spending a lot of time around the ‘T’ area so I am just happy that I didn’t give this one up and I got the reward in the end and I think that give me a psychological advantage to go on and get the win.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 13-11, 11-3 (32m)

Momen Through to Quarter-Finals

Egypt’s World No.4 Tarek Momen lived up to his seeding after he defeated Germany’s World No.17 Raphael Kandra in straight-games to progress to the quarter-finals in Cairo.

The two players have faced each other twice on the PSA World Tour, with those two meetings both coming this year, most recently at the Hong Kong Open, and in favour of the 30-year-old Egyptian.

Two tight games at the start of the match went in the favour of Momen, who utilised all of his experience to play the bigger points better than his German counterpart, before Momen was able to wrap up the victory comfortably in the third.

He will now face compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar for a place in the semi-finals tomorrow.

“It’s always tricky playing Raphy,” said the Cairo-born Egyptian.

“He has so much skill with the racket and is a talented player. He matched me for every shot in the first two games.

“I didn’t feel physically 100% there, I have no explanation for that, but I pushed really hard and when I really needed it towards the end of each game I gave it my best and it worked and I’m very happy to pull through in three games.

“He played superb and the first two games were highly contested, maybe I ran away with the third, the ball went soft and I was able to capitalise on my volley’s and at the front – overall I’m happy to get through in three games and I will try to recover to be at my best tomorrow.

“It’s a matter of how well he’s [Abouelghar] going to hit those winners. You have to be on your toes and it makes it tense. It always nerve wrecking but I have to be solid, all the matches we have played have been tough but I'm going to fight until the end and the player that plays the best will get the win.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 13-11, 13-11, 11-4 (48m)

ElShorbagy Dominant Against Ng

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Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over rising talent Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng to reach the quarter-finals of the Black Ball Squash Open.

Ng has been playing some incredible squash this week which has seen him knock out the likes of experienced Australian Cameron Pilley and New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson.
However, the challenge of the reigning World Champion proved to be a step too far as ElShorbagy powered to victory.

The Egyptian will now face former World No.1 and compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in an exciting quarter-final clash tomorrow.

“He’s very young,” said 27-year-old ElShorbagy.

“He’s 20-years-old and has potential to be a World No.1 one day and a World Champion. This is the first time we play, but I told him we are going to play many times in the future.

“He and his generation are going to be the ones that will make me want to stay and keep pushing me for longer. As of now, I’m happy that I went over him because the next few times he is going to get better and one day he is going to get the better of me and I’ll accept that. I’ll make sure that the first time he beats me that I make it really tough for him.

“I’m one of Gawad’s fans, I absolutely love his squash. When I watch him, I wish that I could play like him. Right now, I think he is the most talented squash player on Tour and whenever we play it’s always a contrast of styles because he makes the game look so easy. Whoever plays better always wins and the last few times we have played we have always had tough matches. Last season he had a little bit of a lack of motivation but this season he is back playing at his best again and it is a pleasure to watch.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (29m)

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