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Eain Yow Ng in action against Ahmed Wael

CIB BLACK BALL OPEN: DAY ONE AFTERNOON GLASS COURT - PLAYER REACTION

We now turn our attention to the men's CIB Black Ball Squash Open as day one begins for them.

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players on the glass court from the afternoon session.

Order of Play (all times local GMT+2)
17:30 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [WC] Ahmed Wael (EGY)
18:15 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Victor Crouin (FRA)
19:15 George Parker (ENG) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
20:00 Richie Fallows (ENG) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)

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.

Eain Yow Triumphs over Wildcard Wael

World No.26 Eain Yow Ng put together a mature performance to take out wildcard Ahmed Wael by an 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 scoreline at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

The 23-year-old played with composure to book his place in the last 32 of the PSA Platinum event where he will face World Champion Tarek Momen.

“It was a little trickier than it seems,” said the Malaysian to SquashTV afterwards.

“But obviously playing a wildcard in Egypt it’s always going to be tough and especially with the home crowd here, he was getting going and I got a little nervous at some stages, but happy with my performance. Got the job done and now looking forward to tomorrow.

“It’s a lot of positive self-talk in there and just telling myself that I can do it, trust myself and weather the storm a little bit. I believed in myself and I knew if I could manage to execute my game plan then I could get the job done today.”

Result:
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [WC] Ahmed Wael (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 (32m)

Gaultier on Song in Round One

Former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier was in full flow as he took out compatriot Victor Crouin by a comfortable 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 scoreline.

The Frenchman looked full of confidence as he played without his knee brace for the first time since returning from a career-threatening injury and will face the winner of England’s George Parker v Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in the next round.

“Obviously it was probably the toughest draw to play Victor in the first round,” said Gaultier.

“He won three events in a row in France and beat most of the French players. He has played quite a bit the last two months and I didn’t play a tournament since January, which was kind of an easy tournament but December was this one and I’m feeling more confident now.

“As you can see I’m not wearing the knee brace anymore. Mentally, it’s a big difference for me. I was wearing something heavy and as long as you wear something you feel a bit of a handicap as well, you feel restricted. I had an injection, it’s like a gel that goes to the joint, eight weeks ago and I took ten days off after that and then decided to go on the court, take away my knee brace and I didn’t feel any pain anymore. It’s a big bonus, especially now at my age, I’m training really hard but my leg was a pain when I started to play again last year – it was always on and off in my training and at tournaments. Sometimes it was sharp pain and other times it was playable, it wasn’t all the time nice. The good thing now is that I can play squash twice a day, which is unbelievable for me coming from being on crutches to running pain free.

“You focus more on your targets, using a lot of variation. I wish I could play like I did ten years ago when I was volleying everything and playing fast. I can do it for a bit but I need to manage it. It’s a bouncy court here so you need to find the right balance and not rush, so it was mainly focusing on hitting my targets to then create an opening and go for my shots.

“A little word for Victor: shame we had to play together, but hopefully it was a good experience for him and I wish him well in his upcoming tournaments.”

Result:
Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 (34m)

Soliman Battles Past Parker

Egypt’s World No.27 Youssef Soliman prevailed in a tough four-game encounter with England’s World No.43 George Parker at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

The fiery Englishman put me a good fight but it wasn’t enough to disrupt the attacking flow of Soliman, who prevailed 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 in 67 minutes and will face former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier for a place in the last 16.

“That was a tough one,” said Soliman.

“We played three years ago, it was exactly the same scenario. I was 1-0 up and he took the second game and it was just so close in the third and fourth.

“He’s a big guy in the middle, so I was just trying to hard to avoid his reach and he has a good hit in the middle.

“I was pleased with my awareness, I played very well in the first and he played well in the second. How I changed my game plan is what I was happy about. I’m playing Gaultier in the next round and I have to be on top of my game.”

Result:
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 (67m)

Ibrahim Battles Back From Two Games Down

Egypt’s World No.35 Youssef Ibrahim was forced to come from two games down against England’s World No.54 Richie Fallows as he mounted an impressive fightback to win 13-15, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5.

Fallows started strongly to open up a 2-0 lead but was unable to hold his nerve at the crucial moments as Ibrahim fought through a knee injury to prevail in 62 minutes and he will face France’s Lucas Serme in the next round.

“I was really nervous,” said Ibrahim.

“I haven’t played for a while in a competitive game, I haven’t played a tournament in a while. Also the lack of training, I’ve been struggling with a knee injury for about three months since the last Black Ball and I’ve been trying to push and push. It’s also mental, I was very conservative in every point, that’s not how I play but I was very worried about every point, I wanted to win every point badly. I think that played into his game very well, I don’t want to take anything away from him, he played my weak points really well and all credit to him, he made me work for this win.

“Today, I didn’t feel my knee but mentally I haven’t played a lot of practice matches because it hurts and I’m taking anti-inflammatory medications to be able to play practice matches, so today it worked out fine and hopefully it works for the rest of the tournament.”

Result:
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-2 : 13-15, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (62m)

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