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Camille Serme takes on Tesni Evans on the glass this evening

El Gouna International - Day Six: As It Happens

The sixth 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 the final action of the week at the side courts at the Squash Complex. Four matches will take place there this afternoon.

The afternoon’s action gets underway at 12:00 local (GMT+2), as Nouran Gohar takes on Zeina Mickawy in an all-Egyptian battle, while Annie Au takes on Sarah-Jane Perry at the same time.

They will be followed by two men’s matches, with the seeded Miguel Rodriguez against Fares Dessouky and defending Champion Marwan ElShorbagy taking on Nicolas Mueller.

The glass court action gets underway this evening at 18:30 local (GMT+2), as current World No.2s Nour El Sherbini and Mohamed ElShorbagy play their second round matches.

Also on court tonight are the two World No.4s, in France’s Camille Serm, and former World Champion and World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad.

Join us here for reports and reaction, or watch the glass court action LIVE on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) or the PSA World Tour Facebook page (excluding Europe & Japan).

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Schedule – Court One
12:00 – [8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
12:45 – [6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [WC] Fares Dessouky (EGY)

Schedule – Court Three
12:00 – [11] Annie Au (HKG) v [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
12:45 – Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)

Schedule – Glass Court

Gohar Books Quarter-Final Berth

Nouran Gohar (left) v Zeina Mickawy (right)

Egyptian World No.8 Nouran Gohar earned her place in the quarter-finals of the 2019 El Gouna International Squash Open after getting the better of compatriot Zeina Mickawy in four at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

Gohar, 21, bowed out of this tournament in the last 16 last year, but came out firing as she established her hard-hitting style on the match immediately, and she powered into a two-game lead within 15 minutes.

Mickawy stepped up her game in the third as she hit a range of fine attacking shots to halve the deficit, but Gohar was back on top in the third to close out an 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 win.

“I'm happy with the way I handled the pressure today,” Gohar said afterwards.

“She had an upset in the last round, and last year I lost in the last 16. I was really up for it today, and I really wanted to win. Sometimes you're not playing your best squash, but you have to handle it and find a way to win.

“I'm really happy with my attitude and how I managed it on court today. I was trying to get back to basics [in the fourth]. I was opening up the court a lot, I was playing a lot of cross courts, and she loves this way of playing, like all of the other Egyptians.

“I was trying to straighten it up a little bit and get back to the basics.

“Last year, I didn't manage to qualify for the glass court, so I'm really happy to be back this year. It's always awesome to play on the glass court, and it makes it extra special when you have the Egyptian crowd supporting you.”

Gohar will now play another Egyptian in the last eight – either World No.2 Nour El Sherbini or World No.30 Shahin.

[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 (36m)

Perry Battles Past Au To Win In Five

Sarah-Jane Perry (right) and Annie Au (left) in action

Sarah-Jane Perry overcame a spirited performance from Annie Au to win her third round match at El Gouna in five, despite thinking she might not play just an hour before the contest.

The World No.6 had suffered an ankle injury in her win against Rowan Elaraby two days ago, but luckily for the Englishwoman, she was able to recover in time to take to the court this afternoon.

Perry had beaten Au in each of their four previous meetings on the PSA World Tour, with their latest clash coming in the semi finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open, just six months ago.

She started the stronger of the two in this third round clash at the El Gouna Squash Complex as well, winning the first game comfortably, 11-6.

However, after taking strong leads in both the second and third games, Perry faltered, with Hong Kong’s No.1 taking full advantage to turn the match around.

Perry was not done yet, though, as she battled back to take the fourth 11-7, before setting herself up with four match balls in the fifth. She need all four, as well, as Au started to come back, but Perry eventually got over the line, winning the fifth 11-9 to seal her spot in the quarter finals.

“I was a bit all over the place really. In patches, I was really good, and in patches, she was really good. There wasn’t much where we both played well at the same time.,” Perry said after the match.

“We have played a few times, but not since I had my operation on my elbow. This is definitely the best win I have had since that. I know I am playing some really good squash and it is feeling really god, so I just need to back it up with a few wins and hopefully I will get some confidence.

“Until about an hour before the match, I wasn’t actually sure if I was going to play or not after my ankle injury two days ago. I was really lucky that I had a rest day and some good physio. I managed to recover enough to play and I actually felt like I was moving pretty well.With another rest day tomorrow, hopefully I will be pretty much 100% by Wednesday.

“I am really pleased to just be able to dig in and guts it out in the end. I had a couple of leads in the second and third which I would like to forget about, but she played some really good squash to come back into it.”

[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [11] Annie Au (HKG) 3-2: 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 (51m)

Marwan Masters Mueller To Reach Last Eight

Marwan ElShorbagy (right) and Nicolas Mueller (left) in action

Defending champion Marwan ElShorbagy is into the quarter finals of the El Gouna International, after beating Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in three games.

After winning his second round match on the glass at Abu Tig Marina, the Egyptian had to come back to the Squash Complex for this one, but the change made life no harder for him.

The pair had played each other four times on the PSA World Tour, with the World No.11 having won the last three, and he came out firing to start their fifth meeting.

ElShorbagy did not let the Swiss star into the match, and held comfortable leads in all three games, winning the match in under half an hour.

“I felt sharper today than I did in my first match. Overall, I am happy with my performance. I know Nicky, on a good day, is a really tough opponent.,” ElShorbagy said after winning.

“I didn’t want to give him too many chances because I knew he would take advantage of them. It is also tricky because I played my first match on the glass c court and then I have had to come back and play my second match on the traditional courts.

“I had to adapt very fast and I think I did that very well. Overall, very happy with my performance and it is good to have a day off tomorrow and looking forward to being back on the glass court tomorrow.

“Most of our practices are all on traditional courts, but during the season we play more on glass courts so we get used to changes. When I saw the draw, I knew if I won my first match on the glass, I was going to have to come back and play here [on the traditional], so mentally I was prepared for it anyway.”

Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-2 (27m)

Dessouky Beats Rodriguez in Scrappy Affair

Fares Dessouky (right) v Miguel Rodriguez (left)

Egyptian wildcard Fares Dessouky earned his first win over a top 10 player since tearing his ACL as he prevailed in a scrappy, four-game battle with Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez.

Dessouky, the World No.42, spent 14 months on the sidelines due to the injury, but has shown glimpses of returning to his best since returning in January, reaching the final of the CCI International in his first tournament back.

He has fallen to the likes of World No.3 Tarek Momen, World No.5 Paul Coll and World No.6 Karim Abdel Gawad in recent months, but he claimed a milestone win over World No.7 Rodriguez today, winning 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9.

The match was a physical affair, with plenty of traffic issues on court as Rodriguez in particular got aggravated with Dessouky’s movement. There were a number of discussions with the referee in a stop-start, 65-minute match, with Dessouky prevailing to earn a spot on the glass court.

“It means a lot to me, it's my first win over a top 10 player since the injury,” Dessouky said.

“It was a very tough match, mentally and physically. The court was also a bit bouncy, so it wasn't that easy, especially playing a very fit and strong player like Miguel.

“I was playing my own squash, my attacking games helped me today. The court didn't bother me a lot, but there were long rallies, so it was hard physically.

“I haven't been to the glass court in two years. I've been missing the venue so much, so I'm happy to be back there again.”

Former World No.8 Dessouky will play either current World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy or Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in the last eight.

[WC] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9 (65m)

Serme Cruises Past Evans Into Quarter Finals

Camille Serme (fore) and Tesni Evans in action

France’s Camille Serme moved through to the quarter-finals after a dominant performance from the World No.4 saw her down Wales’ Tesni Evans in straight games as play got under way at the glass court.

Serme had gotten the better of Evans in all seven of their previous PSA Tour encounters and this match went the way of the 30-year-old as she won 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 to set up a last eight meeting with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

Serme’s physicality saw her dominate the opening two games as she took control of the middle of the court and punished Evans every time the World No.9 left the ball short.

In the third, the ball went out of court and got lost, and then during the period of warming up the new ball, Serme’s racket string broke.

All this helped Evans come back into the game, as she took a 6-2 lead. However, Serme was able to battle back to take a tight third to close out the match and set up a clash with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter finals.

“I am pretty happy. I think I managed to find a better length, and maybe having one more match on the glass court compared to Tesni helped me a little bit,” Serme said.

“In the third, I lost my focus a bit. Tesni played better, she hit the ball harder and found a better length as well, but I lost my focus a little bit. The decision at 9-7 was a bit tricky, but I am just very happy that I came back to win in three.

“We [Serme and Perry] always have tough matches, tough battles. We play each other a lot because she plays in the French leagues as well, so we know each other very well. I saw her play today against Annie [Au].

“It is going to be a good battle and I hope I manage to win and play a good match against her.”

[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [10] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (37m)

Gawad Survives a Thriller With Mosaad

Karim Abdel Gawad (r) overcame Omar Mosaad (l) in five

Karim Abdel Gawad started slowly, but managed to fight his way back into his third round tie with Omar Mosaad, eventually winning the match in five games.

The pair had met five times in the past on the PSA World Tour, with the former World Champion having won the last three meetings.

Mosaad came out strongly, as he aimed to put an end to that rung. He took an early 7-1 lead, before Gawad fought back. However, the ‘Hammer of Thor’ took it 11-9 with some quality squash.

He then took the second by the same scoreline as he opened up a two-game lead. That seemed to spur Gawad on though, as he took the third in a flash.

The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ continued the fightback in the fourth, winning it 11-7. He carried that on into the fifth game, as Mosaad seemed to tire.

The match eventually finished on a decision, as Gawad took it 3-2, winning in exactly an hour and a half, setting up a clash with the defending champion Marwan ElShorbagy.

“It is very tough against someone like Mosaad, of course. He is a very good player, and he is very tough, both physically and mentally, so it is always tough to play against him,” Gawad said after winning.

“When I was 2-0 down, I was not playing my best squash. I had to change my gameplan. My fitness coach was also a mental coach today so thanks to him.

“I just wanted to play some good squash. I did not want to go back home with a 3-0 loss here in Gouna, especially as I love playing here in Gouna. The conditions were really tough but I am really happy that I managed to get through to the next round.

“I am really happy to see Marwan [ElShorbagy] back playing. Credit to him to come back so strong. Last year I lost to him in the quarters and I will be doing the same this year so hopefully I can get a better result this year.”

[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 (90m)

Sherbini Sails Into Last Eight

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Nour El Sherbini eased her way into the last eight of the El Gouna International as she dispatched compatriot Nadine Shahin in just 17 minutes.

The pair had only played once before on the PSA World Tour, with Sherbini having beaten Shahin in three games at the Windy City Open back in 2017.

She did exactly the same here, as the World No.2 put on an absolute clinic, allowing her opponent nothing on the glass court at Abu Tig Marina.

“I was happy on court. I felt more comfortable because the weather is so different to Saturday,” El Sherbini said.

“I took advantage of having played on this court before, which she hasn’t. It is not easy on the outdoor court, so I think I was better on court and I like the court more today and I was happy with my performance.

“I will just try to take it as another match. Nouran [Gohar] always gives me a tough match and a physical one. It has been a long time since we have played, maybe a year, and it is exciting to see how it is going to go.

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-1 (17m)

ElShorbagy Vanquishes Salazar

Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) v Cesar Salazar (right)

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy booked his spot in the last eight after beating Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in straight games.

ElShorbagy, the 2016 El Gouna International champion, has looked edgy against Salazar in the past, but played some intense, fast-paced squash to oust the Mexican 11-8, 11-9, 11-1.

Salazar played some good, attacking squash in the first two games to test his opponent, but the Egyptian held out to take a two-game lead.

And he eased to victory in the third, dropping just a solitary point to book a last eight berth against wildcard Fares Dessouky.

“I am just happy to win. Cesar has been a player that has given me a lot of tough matches in the past. He has beaten me once or twice, and the last time we played was at the World Champs and that was a tough 3-1,” said ElShorbagy, who joins younger brother Marwan in the quarters.

“I knew I had to be at my best from the first point, and I am just glad I got my tactics right today.

“Hopefully the title will be kept between the both of us [himself and brother Marwan], but right now there are a lot of great players that are playing some good squash.

“We are both in the same half. He is playing [Karim Abdel] Gawad tomorrow which will be a very strong match. I am playing [Fares] Dessouky which will also be a very strong match, so the four of us, we are all title contenders.

“Any one of us could win the title, and there are also many great players in the top half also, so you never know.”

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-1 (31m)

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