Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players from the glass court on day one of the CIB Black Ball Open PSA Women's Platinum event.
Today's Order of Play (Glass court):
11:00 Emilia Soini (FIN) v Melissa Alves (FRA)
11:45 Olivia Fiechter (USA) v Menna Nasser (EGY)
13:15 Lucy Turmel (ENG) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
14:00 Hana Ramadan (EGY) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
17:30 Donna Lobban (AUS) v Sana Ibrahim (EGY)
18:15 Julianne Courtice (ENG) v [WC] Nadeen Kotb (EGY)
19:15 Jana Shiha (EGY) v Mayar Hany (EGY)
20:00 [WC] Malak Fathy (EGY) v Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.
Alves Takes Win Over Soini
France's World No.31 Melissa Alves took a 3-1 win over Finland's World No.50 Emilia Soini to book her place in the second round of the CIB Black Ball Open.
"I am relieved now. It was not my best performance but I got the win and that is all that matters!"— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 12, 2021
France's Melissa Alves is through to the second round of the CIB
BlackBallSquash</a> Open after she defeated <a href="https://twitter.com/EmppaSoini?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">EmppaSoini in the first glass court match!#BlackBallOpen #squash pic.twitter.com/1QJQkv9Jxg
“I’m happy with the win,” said Alves.
“I didn’t really enjoy my time on court today, I was a little bit off and my movement was off. She played really well and played perfect tactics. She slowed down the pace, which I’m not really used to. The court was a little slippery, it was fine once they cleaned it but it was good to get that first win.
“I’m relieved now. It wasn’t my best performance but I got the win and that’s all that matters.
“I’m playing great and I feel like I’m improving, at practice I work on a lot of stuff and I’m very lucky to have Camille [Serme] with me everyday on court and we were lucky to have tournaments in France. I played one in January, one in February and we just had Nationals – so it’s good to be able to play matches, we play to compete and not just to train.”
Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-1: 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 11-5 (55m)
Fiechter on Fire Against Nasser
USA's World No.33 Olivia Fiechter will face France's Melissa Alves in the second round of the CIB Black Ball Open after she defeated Egypt's World No.49 Menna Nasser in a quickfire 21 minutes.
The American was on fire as she eased to an 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 victory, here's what she had to say:
"I just wanted to get out there and enjoy it, enjoy competing. I am really happy I was able to put together a good performance."
OliviaFiechter1</a> made her way through to the second round after spending just 22 minutes on court!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBallOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackBallOpen</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#squash</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZfJ8qLHnj0">pic.twitter.com/ZfJ8qLHnj0</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) March 12, 2021
“It felt great,” said Fiechter.
“All of us are feeling some nerves after three months off of not playing events. I just wanted to get out there and enjoy it, enjoy competing again and I’m really happy I was able to put together a good performance.
“I moved back to Philadelphia during quarantine, I was in New York before training with my coach Peter Nicol but now, I’m back home with the parents which is fun – sometimes! I’m training with Graeme Williams there as well and I just have an awesome team around me, I’m very lucky. It’s been great, we’ve mainly been open, there was a period around Christmas when we were closed. We’ve been playing in masks so it’s really great to get out and compete without a mask on.
“Menna is a great player and has great skills with the racket, I really just wanted to get out there and put pressure on her, play at a fast pace. I’m feeling good, moving well and ready for the next round.”
Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Menna Nasser (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (21m)
Aitken Launches Impressive Comeback
Scotland's World No.40 Lisa Aitken came from two games down against England's World No.36 Lucy Turmel to book her place in the second round of the PSA Platinum event.
The Scottish player turned the tables on a confident Turmel in the opening two matches as she found her length well from the third game onwards to set up a second round encounter with former CIB Black Ball Open champion Hania El Hammamy.
Here's what she had to say:
"The nerves got the better of me. [I'm] just a bit out of practice in this situation really…"
She didn't start well, but
LisaAitken1</a> won't be joining the boys in the commentary box just yet! She is through to the second round in Cairo <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBallOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackBallOpen</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#squash</a> <a href="https://t.co/SQMpxpSmcI">pic.twitter.com/SQMpxpSmcI</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) March 12, 2021
“It was a really scrappy affair between myself and Lucy,” said Aitken.
“It certainly wasn’t our best squash. I was a little bit disappointed, I have been playing and training really well but just nothing replicates that tournament environment and match pressure on the day. The nerves definitely got the better of me there and just a bit out of practice in that situation.
“The basics were just to get good length and then everything else I was rewarded for.
“I train with a good group of Scots back home and they keep me in shape, we both just want to try and take our space, play good shots – but I think the quality of that match was the cause of a few collisions.
“I definitely need to get my quality better, on my basic hitting – I’ve got that match done now so hopefully the nerves have dispersed.”
Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (61m)
Ramadan Upsets Compatriot Abbas
Egypt's World No.42 Hana Ramadan produced the first big upset of the day as she downed compatriot and World No.19 Nada Abbas in straight-games at the Black Ball Sporting Club.
University of Nottingham graduate Ramadan produced a dominant performance to set up a second round encounter with India's Joshan Chinappa tomorrow.
Here's what she had to say:
"I try not to think about the rankings, as it adds more pressure. I just had to stick to my game and not think about it too much."— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 12, 2021
hanaramadann</a> knocked out World No.19 Nada Abbas to make it through to the last 32 of the CIB <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBallSquash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">BlackBallSquash Open #BlackBallOpen #squash pic.twitter.com/Y1gjy3yqDQ
“It’s a lot of pressure playing with a teammate – that in itself is quite challenging,” said Ramadan.
“I try not to think about the rankings and all of that because it just adds to the pressure. I just stuck to my game and didn’t think about it too much.
“I’ve graduated with a Bachelors in physiotherapy and then a Masters in Sports Science and Medicine. I’ve been lucky to spend five years in the UK and study there [at the University of Nottingham]. I really enjoyed it and it was a great experience and the squash was a great experience for me.
“In Nottingham, there is many professional squash players so I had the benefit of training with other professionals and it’s challenging but I loved it there and it made the whole experience better for me.”
Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (27m)