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Tinne Gilis in action

CIB Black Ball Open: Day Two Morning - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players who are in action this morning on day two of the women’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open Platinum event.

Here’s the schedule for this morning
(All times are local GMT+2)
11:00 Tinne Gilis (BEL) v Emily Whitlock (WAL)
11:45 Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Hana Ramadan (EGY)
13:15 Olivia Fiechter (USA) v Melissa Alves (FRA)
14:00 [7] Joelle King (NZL) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)

You can catch all the action live from the Black Ball Sporting Club on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Gilis in Fine Form to Dispose of Whitlock

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis looked full of confidence as she overcame Wales’ Emily Whitlock by an 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 in the opening match of today’s play.

It was the pair’s first meeting on the PSA World Tour and World No.18 Gilis played without nerves in a highly accomplished performance to earn her place in round three, where she will play either World No.1 Nour El Sherbini or USA’s No.3 Sabrina Sobhy.

“First of all, I’m very relieved,” Gilis said.

“I’ve never played Emily before. I remember watching her playing when I was a junior and I looked up to her. She was winning the U19 British and I was very honoured to be on court with her.

“I was very pleased with my performance today and I didn’t feel any pressure. I don’t know why, I was the higher seed, but I didn’t feel any pressure and that was good. I was very excited for this tournament, so I think that’s why I stayed so calm today and I’m very happy to get the win today.

“I had a few opportunities and I didn’t feel like I could finish them. I did sometimes, but I didn’t feel comfortable. I think in the next round I have to focus on my execution which is a big thing, but right now I think I’m just going to enjoy the victory.”

Result
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (30m)

Chinappa Takes Out Ramadan

Joshna Chinappa in action

India’s Joshna Chinappa got the better of Egypt’s Hana Ramadan as the World No.11 booked her place in the third round.

Ramadan, the World No.47, came into the match off a back of a surprise win against the higher-ranked Nada Abbas in round one. And was as a stern test for the Indian player at times as she fought back from a game down.

But the experience of Chinappa guided her through courtesy of an 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8 triumph.

The 34-year-old will take on either former champion Hania El Hammamy or Scotland’s Lisa Aitken for a place in the last eight.

“All these girls are so good,” Chinappa said.

“Hana had a very good win yesterday and I was definitely looking forward to it being super challenging and it definitely was. I knew the [second game] was over, she just thought she was 10-4 up and we were both shooting as much as we could. At the same time, there were some rallies that were extremely long and tough and I’m just happy to get through in four.

“For me, [I was happy with] coming back stronger in the fourth game. She steamrolled me in the second game, so I just wanted to come back strong, stick to basics and hopefully push her a lot more in the third game.”

Result
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8 (43m)

Fiechter Comes Out on Top Against Alves

Olivia Fiechter (left) celebrates against Melissa Alves (right)

USA’s No.4 Olivia Fiechter is through to the third round of a PSA World Tour Platinum tournament for the first time in her career after coming out on top against France’s Melissa Alves in a nail-biting 62-minute battle.

It was a gargantuan contest between the two, with Fiechter squandering two match balls in the third as Alves dug in and took the match to an enthralling deciding game.

It was Fiechter’s turn to fight back from the brink in the fifth game though as she saved three match balls to finally get the upper hand in the fixture and she soon struck a fatal blow to take it 15-13.

Fiechter will line up against either defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry or Egypt’s Mariam Metwally in the last 16.

Reaction from Fiechter

“I’m a little bit at a loss for words.

“I haven’t had a battle like that in a very long time, so it feels great. Melissa is actually one of my closest friends on tour. It’s always tricky playing a friend, but I knew she was going to leave it all out there.

“She’s a huge fighter and I’m just so pleased to pull that out, it really came down to the end there. I was literally just trying to focus on my breathing and trying to make sure that I hit shot-by-shot. I was trying to take it step-by-step and break it down rather than trying to think about finishing the match.

“I was trying to hang in there. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Danny Massaro on the mental side of things, we’ve been talking about being really gritty out there and I was telling myself to refuse to lose. I’m so happy to have pulled it off.”

Reaction from Alves

“I’m very disappointed. When you are given a chance like that, you cannot not seize it.

“I wouldn’t say I completely missed my match though, I feel we both played at the same level. I gave it all on there and it was a good, clean match. But I just made far too many errors in ratio to my winners.

“That last drop shot, I shouldn’t tin it, or I should have played it to the back. I make errors on shots where I’m not even in search of a winner, it’s more in the quality of the execution of the shot.”

Result
Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-2: 4-11, 11-9, 11-2, 12-14, 15-13 (62m)

King Moves Past Letourneau

Joelle King in action

Kiwi World No.8 Joelle King made a solid start to life at the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open as she overcame Canadian Danielle Letourneau to reach the last 16.

It was a good runout for the 32-year-old who was tested by Letourneau – who has relocated to Cairo – in the second game, but she wasn’t found wanting as she edged it 11-9 despite getting caught on the knuckles by the backswing of her opponent at 8-8 in that game.

Controlled displays in games one and three either side of the second saw King close out an 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 victory which will see her play either Yathreb Adel and Nadine Shahin.

Reaction from King

“It was far from easy.

“Danielle has made a big move coming to Cairo for her squash career. She’s been putting in some hard work and I knew it was going to be tough. I had to be on my toes and that second one could have gone either way.

“We were just going through the rule book I think [when King got hit during the second game]. It was fine, there was a little bit of controversy but we both got on with it and finished the game. I don’t think that changed anything, it was a tough second game and to come out and go 2-0 up was the main thing.

“Every match you’ve got to be on your toes and at your best. Our rankings didn’t tell the story of it being a close match, but it was a lot closer than people would probably think by a rankings standard. It only gets tougher from here, so every day you’ve got to be at your best and try and put the best out there.”

Reaction from Letourneau

“Joelle is very strong in the middle. I realised that when I was able to make the rallies physical, it was working in my favour and that I had to play smart.

“But if I was playing one wrong shot, I was in trouble. In the first game, I wanted to attack but I went for shots without settling down. In the second, I was playing better until that awkward moment at 8-8 where there was some confusion with me saying sorry for hitting her during the rally.

“It sort of broke the momentum away.”

Result
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 (37m)

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