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United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy kicks off her tournament today

El Gouna International - Day Three Side Courts: As It Happens

The third day’s play at the El Gouna International sees play split between the El Gouna Squash Complex and the glass court at Abu Tig Marina.

The day begins with action from the traditional plaster courts at the Squash Complex, with twelve matches taking place during the afternoon session.

The afternoon’s action gets underway at 12:00 local (GMT+2), as Amanda Sobhy, Joshna Chinappa and Victoria Lust all get their El Gouna campaigns underway on the three courts in use.

Twelve matches sees twelve nationalities in action this afternoon, as the seeded players in both the men’s and women’s draws enter the tournament.

The likes of Simon Rösner, Paul Coll, Laura Massaro and Joelle King are just some of the big names in action at the Squash Complex this afternoon.

Matches – Court One
12:00 – Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [13] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
12:45 – Adrian Waller (ENG) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)\
13:30 – [7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Nele Gilis (BEL)
14:15 – [5] Simon Rösner (GER) v Tom Richards (ENG)

Matches – Court Two
12:00 – Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [16] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
12:45 – Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
13:30 – [12] Salma Hany (EGY) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
14:15 – Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Edmon Lopez (ESP)

Matches – Court Three
12:00 – [14] Victoria Lust (ENG) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
12:45 – Mostafa Asal (EGY) v Joel Makin (WAL)
13:30 – Coline Aumard (FRA) v [5] Joelle King (NZL)
14:15 – Borja Golan (ESP) v [7] Paul Coll (NZL)

You can follow live scores from today’s action here.

You can also catch a round-up of all yesterday’s action from the Squash Complex on our YouTube channel here.

When the action gets going this evening, you can follow the 'As It Happens' page from the glass court in Abu Tig Marina here.

Metwally Beats Lust In Tight Affair

Mariam Metwally (l) got the better of Victoria Lust to reach the last 16

Mariam Metwally provided a surprise victory on the third day of the El Gouna International, as she took out the tournament’s No.14 seed, Victoria Lust.

The Englishwoman had won the previous five meetings between the pair, including in the quarter finals of February’s Cleveland Classic.

She looked like she would continue that streak in this match, as she took a tight first game which went all the way to a tie-break.

However, the young Egyptian fought back to win both the second and third games 11-7 and 11-8 respectively, and also the lead in the match.

Lust came back to win the fourth, to send the match into a decider, but it was Metwally that won it, securing her first trip to the third round in this tournament, and her first win over the Englishwoman.

“I am really happy to get through this match and into the third El Gouna. It is my first time through and it has not been my best season so far,” Metwally said.

“I started to play well since Black Ball so I am feeling confident on court. My confidence is back. It is our sixth time [playing each other] and it is the first time I have beaten Vicky so it is a great achievement.

“I was really worried because in Holland last tournament, I was 2-1 up against Tesni [Evans], so I started to think that it was going to be the same scenario, so I started to worry. I had to be 100% on court and try to calm down. It worked.”

Metwally will now face either France's Coline Aumard or New Zealand's Joelle King, who play later this afternoon.

Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [14] Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-2: 11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 (53m)

Gilis Scalps Chinappa as Sobhy Ousts Whitlock

Tinne Gilis (right) v Joshna Chinappa (left)

Belgium’s World No.42 Tinne Gilis claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date as she followed up an opening round upset with a superb 3-2 victory over World No.15 Joshna Chinappa.

21-year-old Gilis will now appear in the third round of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time after she held off a comeback from the Indian player to prevail 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4.

Their only previous meeting came in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – with Chinappa winning in straight games – but it was all Gilis in the opening stages as she hit her marks early on to take a two-game advantage.

The third game went the way of Chinappa as the 32-year-old controlled proceedings, while she narrowly took the fourth on a tie-break to restore parity.

Gilis regrouped impressively though and a composed performance from the Belgian saw her keep Chinappa at bay to cruise home in the decider, earning her a spot on the glass court at the Abu Tig Marina.

She will play either World No.1 Raneem El Welily or eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the last 16.

“This is the first time ever I beat a top 20 player, and it’s probably the best I’ve ever played too,” said Gilis.

“It was the same game plan as my previous match, slowing the pace down as she is a hard hitter, and then attacking only when the opportunity arose.

“I kind of knew what to expect as I played her in the second round of the ToC and lost in three. I’m lucky I had my friends and family to support me today, I couldn’t have done it without them.

“It was not easy when I arrived on the tour two years ago, people used to refer me as ‘the sister of [World No.29 Nele]’ and I was like: ‘No, I’m not the sister of, I’m Tinne’. Now people know me and it’s fine.

“I have a very different game to my sister. She is much fitter than me, and she is happy to keep running forever, whereas I try and attack a bit more, and I’m working to play even more attacking shots like the top 20 girls.”

Amanda Sobhy (right) v Emily Whitlock (left)

Meanwhile, United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy booked her place in round three as she got her tournament under way against England’s Emily Whitlock, winning 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11 in 37 minutes.

Whitlock had come back from two games down to beat Egypt’s Nada Abbas in the previous round and picked up where she left off as she took a one-game lead courtesy of some fine volley drops.

World No.12 Sobhy ramped up the pressure in game two though, catching her opponent out with some accurate shots into the front of the court. The rallies were shorter than the previous game, which seemed to suit Sobhy as she drew level, before dropping five points as she took the third.

A few errors from Sobhy handed the initiative to Whitlock in the fourth though and the World No.21 pulled ahead to hold four game balls. Sobhy relaxed and relied on a solid length game to get her out of trouble as Whitlock began to find the tin, and the American took seven of the next eight points on offer to book her spot in the next round.

Sobhy said: “I think I just fought, maybe for once my physicality was stronger, and that's what enabled me to push through even though I don't think I was playing the best squash. Emily played really well, we haven't played since juniors, but I knew she would be a strong first round, so it's kind of nice to get that first one over and done with and have a tough second round to prepare you for the next one.

“I'm pleased with that, but I might spend a little less time in the sun leading up to my next round. I relaxed [at four game balls down], I think I stopped trying to go for it or force it too much. I tried to hit length, played it safe, and thankfully she hit a couple of errors, and I got back into it. I really didn't want to go to a fifth game.

“I'm going to get a massage later today because I haven't really had one in the past few weeks with all the tournaments back-to-back. I think I need to refresh, enjoy the day and try to replenish the energy stores for my next match.”

Sobhy will play either Gilis’s older sister, Nele, or former World No.1 Laura Massaro in the next round.

Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt [16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-2: 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4 (59m)
[13] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11 (37m)

Makin Gets Past Asal To Move Into The Last 16

Joel Makin (l) in action against Mostafa Asal

Joel Makin is into the third round of the El Gouna International after he dispatched Egypt’s Mostafa Asal at El Gouna Squash Complex.

Asal came through a bruising clash against Campbell Grayson on day one to set up this clash with Makin, the first time the pair have met on the PSA Tour.

The Welshman started the stronger of the two, as had a 2-0 lead in the match in no time at all, only surrendering eight points to the 17-year-old.

However, Asal fought back to win the fourth, but the World No.15 had too much for the Egyptian, and his victory sets up a clash with either Paul Coll or Borja Golan on Sunday.

“I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do before the start and the first two games went exactly like that. I knew I had to limit him because he is skilful, he is big around the middle, I know he has a good presence,” Makin said after his win.

“The first two games, I took the middle away from him and I got it right. But then, he put a few quick balls away at the start of the third and got on a run. He started reading me at the front and just he was impressive.

“I thought the way he was playing was unsustainable. I thought he went off at a really fast pace and he guessed a few and got a few right. I knew if I got my length back and got around the middle a bit more, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

“It is either Paul [Coll] or Borja [Golan] in the next round. It is not the normal courts again. If it is Paul, we haven’t played too much. We played in Canary Wharf recently and that was tight, but he won two tiebreaks which was disappointing but I am looking forward to getting stuck in, whoever it is.”

Joel Makin (WAL) bt Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 (52m)

Waller Upsets Marche as Elias Halts Hesham

Adrian Waller (right) v Gregoire Marche (left)

England’s Adrian Waller and Peru’s Diego Elias booked their places in round three after respective victories over Frenchman Gregoire Marche and Egypt’s Mazen Hesham.

Waller, the World No.32, had beaten wildcard Youssef Soliman in the previous round and prevailed in a tightly-contested opening game with Marche, coming through to win it 13-11 on the tie-break.

The pair were meeting for the first time since 2016 – with Marche winning on that occasion – but the Frenchman was unable to really get into the Englishman this time round as Waller followed up with 11-6 and 11-3 wins in games two and three, respectively, to advance to the next round.

Waller will now appear in the last 16 of this tournament for the first time, and will play the winner of Germany’s Simon Rösner or England’s Tom Richards, who will contest the final men’s side court fixture of the day.

“Me and Gregoire have played ever since we were young,” Waller said afterwards.

“We’re similar ages, and I think it does help that I’m so familiar with his game throughout the years. Even though we haven’t played a in a long time, I still watch him. I stuck to my old tactics today, was nice and steady, and frustrated him as much as I could.

“I had to take the opportunities when they came, but the first game was the biggest hurdle. I was up, he came back, then I came back again to take it. That gave me the confidence to stick with my game plan to see if he could come back and take it away from me, luckily he didn’t manage to get me out of it.

“I’m happy to get away in three and will get ready for the next one. To keep on winning is the only goal you can look at. If you look any further then that, everything is a blur and you don’t know what you’re doing.

“You can only take it one match at a time, so I’ll be thinking about the sun tomorrow, and I probably won’t think about the next match for anther 24 hours. I’m going to try to relax and recover.”

Diego Elias

Elias got the better of Hesham by an 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6 scoreline to set up a round three fixture with either World No.1 Ali Farag or Australian veteran Cameron Pilley.

The 22-year-old from Lima is aiming to win a third successive PSA Tour title after wins at the Canada Cup and Macau Open in recent weeks and built up a two-game lead against Hesham, before the Egyptian came back to take the third.

Elias got himself back in front in the fourth though to earn his place in the next round.

He said: “I was not at my best today, I was playing Macau and I missed a few flights, so it took me three days to get here. Plus, he moves the ball very well, and he made me run a lot.

“I had a game plan, keep the ball tight to the wall, keep the pace up to take the options away from him. I did that pretty well in the first two games, but in the third, I got a bit carried away and went too much to the front, which gave him more options and made it tougher. In the fourth, he got a bit tired, but so was I.”

Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 (41m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6 (39m)

King Downs Aumard In Three

Joelle King (r) and Coline Aumard in action

New Zealand’s Joelle King is through to the last 16 in El Gouna, after overcoming a tough test from Coline Aumard, despite the 3-0 scoreline.

The pair had only played each other three times previous to this encounter, despite having both been on the tour for over a decade.

This was just their second meeting since 2012, and King took the early advantage in the first, eventually taking the game 11-8.

The scoreline from the second and third games does a disservice to the Frenchwoman, who played much better than the 11-4 and 11-5 shows.

“Coline and I have not really played that much before, which is quite interesting considering we are pretty similar in age,” King said after winning.

“I had to be on my toes from the start. She is such a strong player and she moves so well. I had to try and take confidence away from her movement, and give myself confidence by doing that. It is nice to get off on a hot court in three.

“It is interesting seeing everyone with a smile on their face at this tournament, so hopefully I join them in getting a little bit of sun and have a little hit and then be ready for my match the following day.”

Aumard said: “I always consider myself lucky to get to play a top 5 player because it doesn’t happen often to me. It gives me a good chance to actually evaluate myself.

“And even if the scores are a bit sharp in the second and third, I’m actually happy with my performance as I managed to stay in some physical rallies. I really appreciate her game, she is very physical and I like to dream I play that kind of game and evaluate myself against hers.

“And I think I really have got to practice my boasts, because she really plays them beautifully, and in my opinion, she’s got the best boast ever.”

[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)

Massaro Wins See-Saw Battle with Gilis

Laura Massaro (right) v Nele Gilis (left)

England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro got her campaign under way with a 3-2 victory over Belgium’s Nele Gilis to set up a round three fixture against World No.12 Amanda Sobhy.

Massaro prevailed in game one by an 11-8 margin, but was powerless to prevent a rampant Gilis from surging to an 11-1 victory in the second.

Both players took it in turns to dominate as the third went to Massaro for the loss of three points, while Gilis struck back with an 11-4 triumph in the fourth.

Massaro was back on top in the early stages of the decider as she pushed her opponent to the back of the court, but Gilis’s athleticism and improved accuracy saw her come back to within a point of the former World Champion.

But Massaro was able to hold firm as she saw out an 11-8 triumph to earn her last 16 berth.

“When I won my games, I was definitely a little bit more patient and wasn’t trying to finish the rally too early,” Massaro said afterwards.

“These courts make it really difficult because they’re quite warm, and the ball sits up quite a lot, so they’re quite energy-sapping. I was trying to finish the ball too early at certain times. I managed to lengthen out the rallies for enough of the match and hit the back corners well, so I’m really happy to get through.

“Nele played well, this sort of court really suited her. She does so well around the court and puts you under pressure all the time.

“We [Massaro and Sobhy] haven’t played for a while, but she’s in really good form, and I’m just looking to play well. I had some really good patches in my match there and some patches which I can build on and learn from going into the next match.

“On form, Amanda is probably the favourite going in, even though I’m the seed, so I’m going to go on there and give it my best shot.”

Salma Hany (right) v Danielle Letourneau (left)

On the court next to Massaro, Egypt’s Salma Hany overcame Canada’s Danielle Letourneau 11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8 in 35 minutes.

Hany snuck a narrow first game to go ahead, and followed that up with a comfortable win in the second to double her lead.

But Letourneau’s speed round court saw her pick up the majority of what Hany was able to throw at her in the third, and the World No.37 was rewarded with an 11-8 victory.

However, a one-sided beginning to the fourth saw Hany build up a 9-4 advantage, and she weathered a late storm from Letourneau to complete the win.

Hany said “It is my first match in Egypt, I have all my friends, my family, my coach, I was pretty nervous.

“At the moment, I’m trying to enjoy my squash as much as I can and also enjoy the fact that we are here and so lucky to play home and have all the support we are getting. My season has been up and down, so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.

“Danielle is a great player, I’m so relieved I took the fourth, because from 9-4 I relaxed a bit, thinking that was it, and she kept coming back. I’m so happy to get to play in the glass my next round.”

Either World No.3 Nour El Tayeb of Australia’s Rachael Grinham will lie in wait for Hany on the glass court in the next round.

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-2: 11-8, 1-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8 (60m)
[12] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-1: 11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8 (35m)

Ghosal Avoids Shock Defeat as Rösner Axes Richards

Paul Coll (fore) overcame an injured Borja Golan

Paul Coll is into the third round of the El Gouna International after he knocked out a maligned El Toro at the Squash Complex on day three.

The Spanish veteran played through the pain of tweaked neck muscles, but he had no answer for the strength of ‘Superman’ this afternoon.

“I think he had tweaked his neck or something. It is the second time we have played and the second time he has been inured so I hope I am not his bad luck charm.

I just hope he gets better quickly because it is such a shame for him and that he has hurt himself again. Hopefully it is not too serious.

“The first two or three rallies, everything went short and that is not normally what he does. I didn’t want to try and think about it but I thought something might have been wrong just by the way he was playing.

“[It was] all or nothing squash so, I had an inkling in the first few rallies but, I was not too sure until after the match when I spoke to him.”

Golan said: “I was fine yesterday, feeling good and this morning, I just couldn’t move my neck. I wish I could have given him a better match, I was all over the place, just going for shots.”

[7] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (23m)

Ghosal Avoids Shock Defeat as Rösner Axes Richards

Saurav Ghosal (right) v Edmon Lopez (left)

Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal avoided a shock defeat against Spanish challenger Edmon Lopez, winning 11-6 in the fifth to bring an end to a pulsating 70-minute battle.

It was the final side court fixture of the day – and the longest – with Ghosal narrowly taking the opener 11-9. And things continued to go well for the Kolkata-based 32-year-old as he dropped just one point in the second to put himself on the verge of a round three berth.

But Lopez – who scalped Hong Kong’s Leo Au on day one – refused to give in as he began to win the length game with an 11-3 victory in the third, before following that up with an 11-9 victory in game four to set up a nail-biting decider.

Ghosal was able to win some quick points in the opening stages though to go 8-4 ahead. A no let called against Lopez in the following point seemed to knock the Spaniard’s focus and he was given a conduct warning for descent.

He was able to score another couple of points against the man from India, but Ghosal had enough in the tank to close out an 11-9, 11-1, 3-11, 9-11, 11-6 victory, which will see him appear in the last 16 for the first time here since 2015.

“I’m relieved to win, I guess,” Ghosal said.

“I think I did alright in the first two games, but then I don’t know what happened really. Credit to him, he took his chances, made it tough and that is what you’re supposed to do in a Platinum event. For phases, he was tougher than me and that is why he came back and took it to five. So credit to him, and I’m relieved to win.

“I would be lying to say that I was not worried being 2-0 up and then coming back to 2-2. It was not going the way it was supposed to. You are trying your best to focus on yourself because you know that if you can produce what you are capable of, then that it all you can do, and that is all you can control.

“In the third and fourth, I don’t think I produced what I am capable of, and I am disappointed with that, but I am happy to a certain extent that I was able to produce something in the fifth.

“It is life and death. You are playing to get through to the next round because it is a knockout. I mean, maybe I had more in me, maybe I didn’t. However, I dug as deep as I needed to, and thankfully that was enough today to do the business.”

Ghosal will play either World No.3 Tarek Momen or his fellow Egyptian, Zahed Salem, in the next round, with the pair set to face off at the glass court at Abu Tig Marina later today.

Simon Rösner (left) v Tom Richards (right)

World No.4 Rösner is also through to round three after beating England’s Tom Richards 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 to ensure he will play Richards’ compatriot Adrian Waller.

“It was a bit up and down, I didn’t start that well, and the third was the only one where I had a lead at the beginning,” Rösner said.

“I wasn’t happy with my focus in the first couple of points of each game, which gave him a good lead. I think he was 5-1 up in the first, and I think 5-1 up in the second, and that’s typical against a guy like Tom.

“You can never relax, you always have to play at your best, and you can’t allow him to get a good lead at the beginning. I was happy that I was able to stay more concentrated in the third game onwards, and that made the difference in the end.”

Rösner is joined by wife Vivian and son Liam out here in El Gouna and says that he will aim to spend some time with them on his rest day.

Simon Rösner (right) enjoys breakfast with wife Vivian (left) and son Liam (centre)

He said: “I’m going to try and chill, but I won’t spend too much time in the sun because that can make you tired.

“I’ll try and relax, and it’s good to have my family here. It’s not easy when you travel so much, you have to take your family if you want to see them.

“Especially at this kind of time, between March-June when so many tournaments are on, so we decided to come here for a family vacation for them and a squash tournament for me.”

[5] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Edmon Lopez (ESP) 3-2: 11-9, 11-1, 3-11, 9-11, 11-6 (70m)

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