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Nele Gilis in action against Rachael Grinham

Black Ball Open RD2: Gilis Advances with Win Over Grinham

Belgium’s World No.18 Nele Gilis secured her place in the last 16 of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open after she downed Australia’s former World No.1 Rachael Grinham at the PSA Platinum event taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

The Belgian, who also claimed her 100th PSA win, was on top form as she was focused from the outset to find her accuracy and take out World No.28 Grinham, with a few uncharacteristic errors from the Australian helping her along the way to an 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 win.

Up next for Gilis is either Sarah-Jane Perry or Emily Whitlock for a place in the quarter finals.

“I just tried to prepare as I do for every match,” said Gilis.

“Focus on my own game and try to tell myself to just fight for every single point. I was actually really nervous coming into this match because I know how a good a player Rachael is and if she’s on then she could blow me away. I struggled to find my rhythm with her and her tricky shots, so I’m so happy to be through in three.

“The two times I beat her was on a warm and bouncy court. But on those cold conditions, I know she can take a shot from anywhere. Anything loose anywhere near the middle, and she’ll roll it.”

Grinham said afterwards: “Not an off day really, just the ball was so heavy. The court is very cold, not many people watching, so it’s very dead, and Nele can really hit a good shot.

“When I managed to get a good rally going and create opening, I would hit the tin. I kept telling myself that I had to lift the ball more, but I just couldn’t change my way to play, which was very frustrating.

“It’s not like I had any doubt of the final outcome, but I would have liked to stay a bit longer in the rallies, and not hit the floor for no reason. But then again, she was playing very well, and made it hard for me.”

[14] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (25m)

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