France’s World No.36 Coline Aumard recorded one of the biggest wins of her career as she downed Egypt’s World No.13 Salma Hany in five-games at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open to reach the last 16 of the Platinum event.
Aumard and Hany had faced each other just under two weeks ago at the Windy City Open where Hany took a comfortable straight-games victory in 29 minutes. However, today’s match proved to be anything but straightforward for the Egyptian, who was playing at her home club in Cairo, as Aumard produced a big performance.
The first game easily went in the favour of Hany by an 11-3 margin, before Aumard took the lead in the second.
The Frenchwoman was then forced into an injury break at 4-2 up after taking a bang to the knee, which she was already sporting a bandage around, but Aumard shook it off to hold game ball, only for Hany to push proceedings to a tie-break.
A controversial no let decision changed to a stroke, however, at the end of the second saw Hany prevented from taking a two-game advantage as Aumard was able to draw level, before powering on in the third to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Another interruption came in the fourth with Hany needing time to deal with a blood injury before ralling back, buoyed by the support of the crowd, to draw level as she looked to prevent an upset on home soil.
However, 30-year-old Aumard stepped it up another gear in the fifth to power to a 3-11, 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2 victory in 70 minutes.
She will face another giant killer in the next round in Egyptian youngster Farida Mohamed, who beat New Zealand’s Joelle King earlier in the day.
“It was tough,” said Aumard afterwards.
“Especially when you fight against yourself a bit first. You have a family behind you and you know where they are and sometimes they are behind the TV, but thank you so much for the support, I did hear you cheering for me and you gave me the strength to keep fighting and keep believing in myself.
“It’s tough to stay focused. There is a lot of tension when we play because it is very important for us to get the win and to fight for it and sometimes it can be tricky with the decisions but you have to stay focused and I think I dealt well with that and I’m glad I did it today.
“In the first game, I had no length whatsoever and I was a bit weary with my leg, should I go and get it, or not. But in the second, you could see the rallies getting longer and more disputed. Yes a few traffic problems, but nothing unusual considering we both like to attack and have an aggressive style.
“When I got hit in the second, I told myself, ok, it’s painful, just suck it up. You are going to hurt anyway, just get through it, you’ll rest after that. And from that moment on, I focused on my tactics, on my accuracy and I felt really nice physically, whereas I could feel she sometimes was not going to the ball that well.
“Thing is, when you are home, it’s either you are on fire or it stresses you. And today, I feel she was more stressed than normal. I made my best to make her doubt, i tried to make it as hard as possible for her.
“I knew what I had to do, take the initiative and attack as soon as I had a chance. Which I didn’t do in the fourth, I was not aggressive enough. But I think I managed to do that fine in the fifth.”
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-2: 3-11, 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2 (70m)