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Raneem El Welily

Black Ball Open - Day Two: As It Happens

Round two of the 2019 CIB Black Ball Squash Open takes place today as the top eight seeds enter the draw for the PSA World Tour Gold tournament.

The action begins at 15:30 local time (UTC+2) when Egypt's Yathreb Adel takes on England's former World No.1 Laura Massaro for a place in the quarter-finals.

They are followed on court by an all-Egyptian battle between rising star Hania El Hammamy and PSA World Championship runner-up Nour El Tayeb.

World No.1 Raneem El Welily and World Champion Nour El Sherbini will also be in action today, as well as the likes of New Zealand's World No.5 Joelle King, France's World No.4 Camille Serme, England's No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry and Egypt's World No.8 Nouran Gohar.

All matches are on the glass court and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and Facebook (excluding Europe and Japan).

Can’t watch the action? You can also follow the live scores from the Black Ball Open.


Massaro Downs Adel to Reach Quarters

England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro displayed a strong performance at the Black Ball Sporting Club to knock out Egypt’s World No.17 Yathreb Adel and advance through to the quarter-finals of the PSA Gold tournament.

Massaro and Adel have faced each other three times in the last year, with the Englishwoman claiming the last victory at this year’s Tournament of Champions and she ensured she continued that run as she comfortably put Adel to the sword in a display of sharp attacking.

The former World No.1 was featuring for the first time at the Black Ball Open as she, and the other top eight seeds, received a bye into the second round and it was Massaro who looked the sharper of the two as she played the bigger points better to move past the young Egyptian by an 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 margin in just 24 minutes.

“I’m really happy with that,” said 35-year-old Massaro.

“She is such a dangerous opponent and it can make you a bit on edge because you don’t know what you’re going to get from her.

“I thought I made a really good start but she can put together runs of points really quickly and make you question what you’re doing. I said to Millie [Tomlinson] in between games that I just needed to stay postive and play my game and accept that she is going to hit two or three winners and I just needed to weather the storm.

“I’m really happy with how I stayed strong at the right times, getting over that line in the second was probably a really big one and then just picking up balls and making things tough in the third.

“We have played a lot over the years anyway, but particularly recently, I think it’s been about three out of the last four tournaments. I’m never that happy when I play an up and coming Egyptian, because it’s always hard because if you have a bad day then they will beat you but on the other hand I’m glad that I get to learn and know what doesn’t work.”

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (24m)

El Hammamy Claims Huge Upset Over El Tayeb

Egyptian teenager Hania El Hammamy claimed the biggest win of her career after she sensationally downed World No.3 Nour El Tayeb to advance to the last eight of the Black Ball Open.

Up until today, El Hammamy had never beaten El Tayeb – who finished runner-up at this month’s PSA World Championships – in their previous four encounters. However, the 18-year-old was unstoppable out on court as she played with confidence beyond her years to condemn an out-of-sorts El Tayeb to a premature exit at her home tournament.

She will now take on the winner of Nouran Gohar against Salma Hany for a place in the semi-finals.

“This is huge, it’s the biggest win so far,” said 18-year-old El Hammamy following her win.

“I’ve played against Nour so many times and lost, I never even win in training matches, so this one is very special. She came runner-up at the Worlds and she is one of the top three players in the world.

“Obviously, the last two tournaments I have won have given me so much confidence and I was so excited to play today against a top player and believing in myself that I can beat one of these top players.

“Before, it was like I was just happy to compete with the top players, I was enjoying my time on there, and if I made an error, I didn’t mind that much. But today, I tried and cut all the errors, I didn’t play any loose shots. I believed I could do it and that is the difference.

“I hope I can get to the top five soon, but although I am close, top 15, it’s a very long way to go. Maybe when I do not have to go to school, and when I can train twice a day instead of only once, and dedicate myself to only my squash, it could make a difference.

“I’m looking forward to playing against either Salma or Nouran. I’ve never played against Nouran in a PSA tournament, but I’ve played against Salma many times and I’m really looking forward to whoever I play.”

Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [4] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 12-10, 11-4 (32m)

El Welily Moves into Quarters

Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily got her Black Ball Open tournament off to a strong start after she conquered compatriot and World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby in straight-games to reach the last eight.

The two players had met twice previously on tour, with El Welily comfortably getting the better of her compatriot, however, Elaraby showcased her improvement on the big stage as she forced El Welily to work hard for her victory.

The former World Champion was in strong form to take the first game, before Elaraby began to fight back in the second, saving two match balls from the former World Champion, before holding one of her own. However, El Welily was able to compose herself to get back into the second and convert on the third attempt to double her advantage.

From then on, the momentum was with the more experienced Egyptian as she comfortably closed out the third to set up a mouthwatering quarter-final with England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro.

“The first round of any tournament is always going to be tough,” said 30-year-old El Welily.

“Especially after the Worlds, so to come back one week after that and play is really hard mentally. I knew I had to be sharp today and I tried to be, but Rowan played better than any time we have played before. The second game was crucial, she was firing everything in and she played a really good match.

“It’s definitely huge personally to be playing at Black Ball in front of this amazing crowd at home. I used to live ten minutes away, so this feels like home and I’m very happy to be playing such a big tournament in Egypt and hopefully there are many more.

“It’s never easy against Laura. She is very stubborn and tough on course and I hope that it is going to be a good match. I will have to rest today and prepare for tomorrow.”

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-4 (30m)

Gohar Downs Home Favourite Hany

Egypt’s World No.8 Nouran Gohar was in dominant form to dispatch compatriot and Black Ball player Salma Hany in straight-games and reach the last eight of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament.

Gohar had a clean record against Hany, winning all four encounters against her compatriot on the PSA Tour and the World No.8 made sure that record continued as she was on song to overcome Hany, who played out a tough 3-1 with Belgium’s Nele Gilis yesterday.

Despite that good win yesterday for Hany, Gohar proved to be too strong on court today as she found her accuracy quickly and caused problems for her compatriot with her hard-hitting brand of squash.

She will now face Hania El Hammamy in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

“Maybe on the PSA I have never lost to her, but certainly we have been rivals since juniors,” said Gohar after her match.

“We played every single World Junior Championship and British Junior Open and for sure and I lost many times at Juniors I think more than winning.

“I’m very pleased to be through today in three. I think the third game was crucial. She was playing really well and as though we were at 0-0. It got a little bit tense, but I was really pleased with how I dealt with it today.

“It’s really my home, I live three minutes away from here. Playing here is very special, I love to play in Cairo. The crowd are amazing and give us a boost to play well. It’s great to play here in Egypt.

“Every match is completely different. Hania played superbly today and to play her is a tricky match. I have to be on my toes from the first point and I hope it will be a great match tomorrow.”

[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (31m)

King Takes Out Evans to Reach Quarters

New Zealand’s World No.5 Joelle King got her Black Ball Open campaign off to a winning start after she defeated Wales’ World No.10 Tesni Evans by an 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 scoreline.

Evans came through a gruelling five-game battle against Egypt’s Mariam Metwally yesterday and the Welshwoman looked to have kept that winning momentum on her side as she took the first game.

The head-to-head between the two players was close going into today's match, with two wins apiece and Evans claiming the last two victories against the New Zealander.

However, Evans was unable to continue that form as number three seed King kept her composure to come back at Evans and draw level in the second game as imposed her game plan on the British Nationals champion.

King then continued to push on in the match and tested Evans around all areas of the court to close out a 3-1 victory in 51 minutes.

“I actually hate playing Tesni,” said 30-year-old King.

“She’s probably my best mate on tour, we always share together and we are sharing here. We practise together all the time and so we know each other’s game. It’s always one of my hardest matches to play. She always fights until the end and I was pleased to get off in four.

“I think that this court is a bit too quick for her. She has got that amazing backhand and at the US Open and the British Open, she out did me with it. So, it’s nice that for once, I managed to get in front of her and impose my squash, because it’s normally the other way around.

“It’s no secret that the Egyptians dominate the tour, so I’m coming here to see if I can match them. They are leading the way for women’s squash.”

[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-1: 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (51m)

Chinappa Books Quarters Place with Perry Win

Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa booked her place in the quarter-finals in Cairo, courtesy of a 3-1 victory over England’s World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry.

The Indian had not secured a win over the Englishwoman since the 2012 Chennai Open, with Perry claiming the last three successive wins. However, Chinappa made sure to reverse her bad fortune as she prevailed in a tight battle at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

Chinappa – who defeated eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the first round yesterday – started well to take the first game, as Perry, who was playing in just her second tournament back since having surgery on her elbow, did not look comfortable on court.

However, the English No.1 soon settled into the match and drew level in the second as she got in front of the Indian to cause her problems and began to control play more.

It looked as though the 28-year-old from Birmingham was going to sneak ahead in the third as she saved two game balls to force a tie-break, but Chinappa hung in there and managed to edge ahead thanks to a 14-12 win in the third.

Chinappa then continued to keep her composure and played well in a high-quality battle with Perry to close out an 11-4, 6-11, 14-12, 11-9 victory in 50 minutes.

“Obviously coming into tonight I knew what to expect,” said the 32-year-old from Chennai.

“It was a hard game from the beginning until the end and it was really close in all the games and I’m fortunate to be on the winning side.

“What made the difference today was I think that I was a bit better mentally than I have been in our previous matches. I was more focused, more consistent, and I was able to stand long rallies.

“I feel that working with Hadrian Stiff in Bristol has made a huge difference in my game those recent years, it had a positive effect on my squash for sure.

“Joelle and I have played many times before, I think head-to-head she is higher than me, but tomorrow is a new day and a new match and hopefully I can continue playing the way I am and hopefully it will be a great game tomorrow.”

Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 6-11, 14-12, 11-9 (50m)

Serme Downs Chan

France’s World No.4 Camille Serme put on a confident display to down Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in straight-games and advance to the quarter-finals in Cairo.

The Frenchwoman got off to a blistering start to leave Chan stunned in the first game as she quickly wrapped up a one-game lead.

The Hong Kong player began to grow into the second game but Serme proved too much for her to handle as the Frenchwoman put on a masterclass from the outset to claim an 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 victory in just 25 minutes.

“After the worlds, I was obviously very disappointed, but it passed quite quickly,” said the Frenchwoman following her win.

“I had the feeling that I fought as hard as I could with what I had as weapons on the day and I had no regrets.

“So we started working and training hard immediately and I was actually glad we had a big tournament right after. But still, when you see Nour losing in the first round, you stop and think, ah, maybe it’s not that easy to go into the next one quickly. So today, I made sure I arrived ready to fight from the start of the match.”

[5] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (25m)

El Sherbini Secures Quarters Place

Egypt’s reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini put in an impressive display to take out England’s former World No.3 Alison Waters in straight-games.

El Sherbini – who earlier this month secured her third World Championship title at just the age of 23-years-old – showed that she had picked up where she left off in Chicago as she stormed to victory in Cairo.

The ‘Warrior Princess’ took the first game comfortably, before halting a comeback from the experienced Waters in the second. From then on the Egyptian was too strong for the Englishwoman as she took the final game for the loss of just three points to seal an 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 victory.

“It’s never easy playing Alison,” said the 23-year-old.

“She has been playing for a long time and it’s always tough playing her.

“This is the first match after the Worlds and it is always very hard mentally to get back on court and play after a big win.”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 (27m)

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