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Egypt's Mazen Hesham will be in action this afternoon at the China Squash Open

China Squash Open: Day One Afternoon Session – Reports and Comment

The 2019/20 PSA World Tour season gets under way today as the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open begins in Shanghai.

The afternoon session from round one includes the likes of Egypt's Mazen Hesham, World Junior champions Mostafa Asal and Hania El Hammamy and Malaysia's Low Wee Wern.

You can follow live scoring from the tournament here and you will also be able to find out what the players have to say here.

Schedule – Men’s Round One
All times local (GMT+8)
12:00 Ivan Yuen (MAS) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
13:00 Mostafa Asal (EGY) v [WC] Zhitao Zhou (CHN)
14:00 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
15:00 Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
16:00 Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
17:00 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
18:00 Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v Leo Au (HKG)
19:00 Lucas Serme (FRA) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)

Women’s Round One
12:00 Milou van der Heijden (NED) v Low Wee Wern (MAS)
13:00 Donna Lobban (AUS) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
14:00 Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
15:00 Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v Hollie Naughton (CAN)
16:00 Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v Rachael Grinham (AUS)
17:00 Nadine Shahin (EGY) v Haley Mendez (USA)
18:00 Julianne Courtice (ENG) v Yathreb Adel (EGY)
19:00 Joey Chan (HKG) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)

Van der Heijden & Soliman Get Off to Winning Start in China

Netherlands’ Milou van der Heijden ensured her tournament in Shanghai got off to a winning start as she overcame Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern in straight games in round one.

A tough first game, which saw both players surrender numerous game balls, eventually went in the favour of van der Heijden before she comfortably went on to secure her victory by a 16-14, 11-9, 11-3 scoreline in 31 minutes.

She will now face defending champion and World No.1 Raneem El Welily in the second round.

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“That first game, I think I was leading all the way, and then she kept coming back,” said 28-year-old van der Heijden.

“And there were a few game balls on both sides, so to actually squeeze it in the end was a positive start. I think that first game was really important for me [to win]. I was leading the whole time, so I would have been disappointed to lose it, even though it was still a positive start, so to take it was a boost for the next game.

“It was exciting because it’s nice to play people that you haven’t played for a while, but also it’s kind of hard because you don’t know what to expect. I think it was good because I had to focus on my strengths and I think I did that well today.

“I think my summer training went well, I really enjoyed my time at home, but I was also excited to get started again. I’m happy that I could start positive today.

“It’s very exciting, who doesn’t want to play on the glass overlooking the Bund in Shanghai. It’s a great opportunity for experience to play Raneem and whether it’s on the glass or on the traditional courts, I’m looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Youssef Soliman fought back from 2-1 down to win his first round encounter against Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen.

The two players went toe-to-toe in a tightly contested battle, before Soliman completed his comeback to win 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 in 76 minutes and will now face World No.1 Ali Farag in the second round tomorrow.

Results:
Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 16-14, 11-9, 11-3 (31m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 (76m)

Egypt’s Asal and Abbas Book Second Round Place

Egyptian duo Mostafa Asal and Nada Abbas both booked their place in the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament after defeating Chinese wildcard Zhitao Zhou and Australia’s Donna Lobban, respectively.

Asal – who retained his World Junior title in the summer – was in dominant form to smoothly dispatch 22-year-old Zhou from Shanghai, who was featuring for the third time at the China Open.

The Egyptian will face England’s Tom Richards in the second round.

“I was really pleased with my performance today,” said 18-year-old Asal afterwards.

“Playing the wildcard is never easy, especially at his home club. It’s difficult to manage the first game, I just played my own game and that worked well today. He is playing well and I’m looking forward to my next match.

“Tom is a good player and I hope we have a good match. Our head-to-head is 1-1 and we will see what tomorrow brings.

“To balance a junior and professional career is tough, but I’m happy to finish my junior career with a double World Junior Championship. This tournament is amazing and I hope it continues for me.”

Meanwhile, World No.34 Abbas overcame Australia’s Lobban on her return to action following a serious injury, which has seen her sidelined since October’s 2018 U.S. Open.

Abbas will face compatriot Salma Hany for a place in the quarter finals.

Results:
Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [WC] Zhitao Zhou (CHN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (28m)

Hesham and El Hammamy Secure Round One Wins

Mazen Hesham and Hania El Hammamy continued the strong run for Egypt in China today as they secured respective wins over Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng and Hong Kong’s Ho Tze-Lok.

Hesham was forced to work hard for his victory as Ng pushed the Egyptian all the way in an entertaining four-game battle.

Hesham took the first two games, before Ng battled back in the third to reduce the deficit. However, it was not enough to halt the talented Hesham who secured the victory on a tie-break in the fourth.

He will now face England’s Adrian Waller in the next round.

“I started really well, which is good,” said Hesham afterwards.

“He started to play better as well, in the third, as he got used to the court and then it became a bit scrappy. I’m really glad that I held my nerve and started to get back to the tie-break to win the game.

“I don’t have the thinking in my mind about if I am ready or not [for the new season]. You never know, he could have been ready but he came here and lost the first match, so you never really know. It is the first tournament, after the first few tournaments then you know if you are playing well. I’m just taking it match by match, trying to be more happy and enjoy myself.

“Adrian and I played last season at the World Championships and I think I played him a few times in the summer. I like him, he is a nice guy off court and hopefully it is a good match and I manage to get the win.”

Elsewhere, Egyptian World Junior champion Hania El Hammamy started her campaign strongly with a confident victory over Hong Kong’s Tze-Lok.

El Hammamy showcased her skill as she put the Hong Kong player to the sword by an 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 scoreline in 24 minutes.

She will now face Tze-Lok’s compatriot Annie Au for a place in the quarter finals tomorrow.

Results:
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 13-11 (56m)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)

Mickawy and Yip Into Last 16

Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy and Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip both secured their places in the last 16 with wins over Canada’s Hollie Naughton and Egypt's Mohamed ElSherbini, respectively.

World No.20 Mickawy held her nerve to keep a determined Naughton at bay as she opened up a 2-0 lead, courtesy of two tie-breaks, despite Naughton saving numerous game balls. The damage had then been done as Canada’s World No.29 Naughton was unable to find a way back with her Egyptian opponent completing a 12-10, 14-12, 11-6 victory in 30 minutes.

Mickawy will face New Zealand’s Joelle King in the last 16 tomorrow.

On the other court meanwhile, Hong Kong’s World No.34 Yip came from a game down to defeat Egypt’s World No.58 Mohamed ElSherbini.

The two players had only faced each other once before, with Yip coming out on top in that battle as well and the Hong Kong player ensured his tournament got off to a winning start with a composed performance.

He will now face India’s Saurav Ghosal in the second round tomorrow.

Results:
Zeina Mickawy (EGY) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 12-10, 14-12, 11-6 (30m)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-7, 11-1, 11-9 (50m)

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