The 2019/20 PSA World Tour season gets under way today as the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open begins in Shanghai.
The evening session from round one will see the likes of Australia's former World No.1 Rachael Grinham, Hong Kong's Leo Au, France's Lucas Serme and Egypt's Yathreb Adel all feature as they look to book their place in the second round of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament.
Results so far:
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)
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)
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)
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)
Grinham and Bernabeu Through to Second Round
Australia’s former World No.1 Rachael Grinham and Spain’s World No.41 Iker Pajares Bernabeu both claimed wins on the opening day of action at the 2019 China Squash Open.
42-year-old Grinham, who has won all the major honours the game has to offer, showed no signs of slowing down any time soon as she got her 2019/20 campaign off to a strong start with a 3-1 win over Hong Kong’s World No.38 Liu Tsz-Ling at the SECA Academy in Shanghai.
“I’m really happy with my performance today,” said the Australian afterwards.
“Obviously, you never really know coming into the first tournament of the season after not playing many matches and being off for so long. I felt good in the last couple of weeks, but coming in against Liu – I lost the last time I played her.
“She played really well that time, and I think I lost pretty badly, so coming into today’s match, I don’t know whether she might have felt a bit of pressure, and I think she’s one of those players that either has a good or bad today. She gave me a lot of errors today, and that made a big difference.
“I felt like I was playing well and I’m happy with my new game. For me, these days, I don’t have any real certain ambitions to make a certain rank or anything. I just want to play well and be in shape and try to just play well and I’m happy. I’m over 40 these days, so I just got off court and said to someone it’s good for me if I’ve had a match and I’m still in one piece! I’m happy to be in the shape I’m in. To win the first match in a tournament this size is really good for me and a good start for the season.”
Grinham will face Egypt’s World No.5 Nour El Tayeb tomorrow and the Australian admitted that she knows the Egyptian well.
“It’s always fun playing Nour [El Tayeb]. She grew up around me in Egypt, when I lived there for eight years and I played at her club. I’ve known Nour since she was about nine-years-old and watching her play squash. We’re good friends, she’s a fun player and is a different player which is nice. She varies it a lot and mixes it up, which I admire about her game and I’m looking forward to having another match.”
World No.41 Bernabeu, meanwhile, faced a tough match against Scotland’s Greg Lobban as he secured a last 16 berth.
The Spaniard took the opening two games, before World No.30 Lobban came back in confident style in the third, reducing the deficit for the loss of just one point as the momentum looked to shift in favour of the Scottish player. However, Bernabeu soon got back on track to close out the win.
He will now face Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy for a place in the quarter finals.
Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6 (34m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 1-11, 11-6 (59m)
Shahin and Al Tamimi Advance
Egypt’s Nadine Shahin and Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi both advanced to the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament earlier today.
Shahin overcame United States’ Haley Mendez in a confident display which saw her capture a 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 victory and means she will face England’s former World No.3 Alison Waters in the next round.
Meanwhile, Al Tamimi is through to the last 16 where he will face Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, after his opponent in the first round – Scotland’s Alan Clyne – was forced to retire due to illness.
Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (23m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 5-1 retired (4m)
Adel and Au Secure Wins
Egypt’s Yathreb Adel and Hong Kong’s Leo Au booked their places in the second round of the tournament in Shanghai.
Adel remained resilient to overcome England’s Julianne Courtice at the SECA Academy as she secured a hard fought 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 victory to set up a second round encounter against England’s Victoria Lust.
“Julianne has been playing really well,” said Adel following her win.
“We saw her play last season and her results and I knew that I had to focus from the start and try to push her into the back and find my shots. I’m glad it worked.
“I was thinking ‘I have to push and win this game’ because it’s either going to be 2-0 or 1-1 and then it’s tight again. You never know what’s going to happen next, but I think after the second game I felt more confident and I sort of knew what was going to happen. I was trying to eliminate my errors and just keep going.
“I good a pre-season and always when you have some time off and come back to tournaments you’re like ‘how did I used to warm up’ as if you forget everything, but then you start to get into it and it feels good to be playing again. Hopefully it will be another good season for me.”
On the other court, Hong Kong’s Au was made to work hard for his victory as well, as France’s Baptiste Masotti pushed the Hong Kong player all the way in a tight battle.
Au took a two-game lead, before the Frenchman battled back and continued to push Au all the way in the fourth, until the experience of the Hong Kong player proved important as he secured a 13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 victory in 62 minutes.
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (30m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (62m)
Letourneau and Serme Reign Victorious
Canada’s Danielle Letourneau and France's Lucas Serme were the last victors of the day after they defeated Hong Kong’s Joey Chan and Egypt's Karim Ali Fathi, respectively.
World No.36 Letourneau secured one of the surprises of the day as she defeated Hong Kong’s World No.17 Joey Chan to advance to the last 16, where she will now face 2019 British Open champion Nouran Gohar.
Meanwhile, France’s Serme defeated Egypt’s Ali Fathi to book his place in the next round where he will now take on Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy.