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Matches of the Season: Manchester Open – Evans v El Tayeb

We’re taking a look back at the best matches from the 2018/19 season and today sees us relive a breath-taking encounter between Wales’ Tesni Evans and Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb at the inaugural Manchester Open.

Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans found herself staring down the barrel of defeat as then World No.3 and top seed Nour El Tayeb took control of the match to take a two-game lead at the PSA World Tour Silver women’s only tournament.

The PSA World Championship runner-up was in dominant form as she looked as though she was going to ease to victory and book herself a place in the final against New Zealand’s Joelle King with her dynamic movement seeing her take a 2-0 lead.

However, Evans was no stranger to coming from behind during her week in Manchester – defeating England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry in five-game in the previous round and the Welshwoman showed her resilience once again as she pushed El Tayeb all the way to eventually claim one of the biggest wins of her career.

The World No.9 took the third game and then continued to utilise her momentum to once again stun the Egyptian and level the scores, much to the delight of the packed-out crowd inside the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The battle continued to get more tense between the two warriors with the match going right the way down to the wire, before Evans held her nerve to convert a 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 scoreline in 72 minutes and reach her biggest PSA final.

“I actually felt like even in the first two games that I was playing quite well,” said El Tayeb afterwards.

“I just couldn’t string a few points together, I’m really happy with myself today because I never let that get to me and I just kept digging and digging just to see how far it would get me and I can’t believe it in the end.

“I think the more matches I play, the better I get. I just don’t normally get the opportunity to play more than a couple of matches. My squash was probably the best I’ve played at the end of the match and I’m really proud of myself.

“It’s probably my biggest win because she is No.3 in the world, reached the final of the World Champs and so it’s probably one of my biggest wins.”

[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [1] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (72m)

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