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Tarek Momen

El Gouna Day Two: As It Happens - Courts 3 & 4

The El Gouna International Squash Open continues at the El Gouna Squash Complex as both the No.2 seeds, in Nouran Gohar and Tarek Momen, will begin their campaigns.

You can follow of the action from Courts 3 & 4 on this page, and you can also check out live scores from all four courts at the Complex right here.

Schedule – Court Three
(All times local – GMT+2)
14:00 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Enora Villard (FRA)
14:45 Raphael Kandra (GER) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
16:00 Olivia Fiechter (USA) v Nele Gilis (BEL)
16:45 Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)

Watch action from Court 3 here

Schedule – Court Four
(All times local – GMT+2)
14:00 Tesni Evans (WAL) v Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
14:45 Shahjahan Khan (USA) v Victor Crouin (FRA)
16:00 Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
16:45 Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v [2] Tarek Momen (EGY)

Watch action from Court 4 here

Subramaniam Takes Down Evans, Elaraby Beats Villard

The first set of matches on day two of the El Gouna International Squash Open threw up a big surprise, as Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam knocked out World No.10 Tesni Evans in a five-game battle.

Sivasangari Subramaniam celebrates her win

The young Malaysian took the first game with ease, but found herself behind as the Welshwoman found her game through the middle stage of the contest. Subramaniam fought back to take the fourth 11-5, before going on to win the contest in the deciding game.

“Obviously I played very well in the first game, I was really warmed up and ready, very comfortable. But the second and third, I was giving plenty of errors,” the Malaysian said.

“She was not winning, I was just giving her points. It was very frustrating, because it just happened in the first game, and the next two, I’m just losing it, pretty short games.

“From the fourth game on, I told myself I have the fitness, so I’m going to keep pushing the ball back, even if you have the opportunity to volley, don’t, keep sending it to the back, and that worked well. The rallies were going longer, and I think she was feeling it too. It’s a good win, so I’m happy to be back!”

Elsewhere, Rowan Elaraby found herself behind against Frenchwoman Enora Villard, but bounced back to secure the victory in four games at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

The young Egyptian, who has a Platinum quarter-final appearance to her name already in her short career, fell behind after the first game, as Villard came flying out of the traps. However, she fought her way back to secure the win.

Rowan Elaraby

Elaraby booked her place in the third round in El Gouna thanks to winning the next three games, 11-4, 11-8 and 11-3, advancing through to the last 16 where she will face New Zealand’s World No.8 Joelle King.

“Of course, I was very nervous, it’s been a while. It took me a while to get into the match in the beginning. But I did find a way, I did OK at the end. It took me a while to warm up to be able to move well on court,” she explained.

“It’s mentally hard for me mentally at the moment. I love enjoying my squash more than the fact that I should win. The fact that now, I am the upper hand that I have to win, I get like mental blocks. And I start to be nervous. I’m working on my mental side now, working on enjoying my squash no matter what.

I play so much better when I play in practice, I even play with the boys back home, so now I have to find a way to relax and enjoy my matches the same way I enjoy my practice matches.

“I’m playing Joelle next round, she is of course a very tough player. I played her once before and it went my way. I’m looking forward to enjoying the match, no pressure, to give it all, and see how it goes.”

Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-1: 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (38m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 11-4, 5-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6 (49m)

Kandra & Crouin Through In Three

The European duo of Raphael Kandra and Victor Crouin both booked their places in the last 16 of the El Gouna International with relative ease, winning their respective second round contests in straight games.

Raphael Kandra

Kandra came up against another Frenchman, in Lucas Serme, and the left-handed German was in fine form, the sort of form that saw him reach the semi-finals of the British Open a few years ago.

He defeated Serme, who only sits five places below the German No.1 in the World Rankings, in three games, winning 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 in just 38 minutes, and he will now face another Frenchman, Gregoire Marche, for a place in the last eight.

“I was quite relieved that I won the first match already. In the past, when I had a good draw, I used to completely mess it up because I was thinking too much about the draws and stuff like that. I knew Mahesh was a tough opponent for a first round, and I beat him,” the German admitted.

“But then again, I came against Lucas, and yes, I beat him some matches, but he beat me many times. So, let’s forget about it, and try and enjoy the match and being comfortable  on court.

“That’s what is missing in my squash at the moment, I’m not comfortable, I’m not really happy while I’m playing. Everything is about I have to win, I have to win. So I was just trying to play the game I like to play.

“I have to say Lucas in one of those opponents that give me a chance to do that, to enjoy. He is straight, he doesn’t surprise me a lot on the court, and I felt comfortable, I was moving well, my hands were good, and he kept giving me so many opportunities, I had so many shots in my head. So I told myself, don’t make it harder than it already is.”

Victor Crouin came up against USA’s Shahjahan Khan in the second round, with the American having gotten the better of Scotland’s Alan Clyne in a surprise result on day one.

Victor Crouin

After beating compatriot Auguste Dussourd in a deciding game yesterday, Crouin beat Khan in a more relaxing manner on Friday afternoon at the El Gouna Squash Complex, completing the win in straight games.

He took the win 12-10, 11-8, 11-4 to reach the last 16 of a Platinum event for only the second time in his career, setting up a clash with World No.4 Paul Coll.

“I would have liked my first game to be shorter but he was retrieving everything! It was a good draw, when you think that Grégoire has to play Miguel, with all the due respect to Alan and Shahjahan, it’s not the same level of players,” Crouin said.

“But when on paper you appear as the favourite, you need to hold your ground. And if you think of how I was yesterday, I am very happy to win in three! The first game was hard, but crucial, for my confidence of course, but also he made a lot of work in that game, and I think mentally he felt it. The game was very long because when I was putting him under pressure, he was lobbing everything beautifully. I was trying to attack or play at the back, but the ball was pretty bouncy, it was hard to finish the points.

“Finally, I told myself to keep attacking even if my attacks were not winners. And little by little I took confidence, and in the third, I led 9-0. Finally, I found my length, my attacks.”

“Happy of course, I’m in the third round, I’m playing Paul on the glass court, I’m feeling good, and I cannot express how happy I am to play in the glass, I can’t wait as normally, I watch it from behind my screen on SquashTV.”

Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (38m)
Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-4 (52m)

Fiechter Shocks Gilis As Gohar Downs Mickawy

USA’s Olivia Fiechter caused a big shock on the second day in El Gouna, as she defeated Belgian No.1, and World No.13, Nele Gilis, to reach the third round of a Platinum for her second consecutive event.

Olivia Fiechter

After reaching the last 16 of the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open just a couple of months ago, the American, who sits at World No.24, has made the same stage in El Gouna this week, thanks to a 3-1 win over the Belgian.

She lost the first 11-3, but from there on, she was able to wrestle the momentum back, winning the next two games by an 11-9 scoreline. Fiechter was able to continue that form into the fourth, which she claimed more comfortably, 11-6, to advance to the last 16, where she will face Egypt’s Salma Hany, the World No.9.

“I’m tearing up a little bit. It’s been a long year for everybody. I just worked really really hard for the past six months. I have an awesome team around me, we thought a lot about this match,” she explained.

“The last time I played Nele, I was really disappointed about my match, about how I played. She is obviously so mentally tough and such a great competitor. So I knew I had to bring 110% today.
I’m so pleased I was able to get that win for myself and for my team. I have been doing a lot of work with Danny Massaro, with my coaches Peter Nicol, Graham Williams, Moustafa Bayoumi, we have made sure that every session is mentally so intense, everything is so intentional.

“It’s just that day in day out focus on quality, it’s finally coming together. The most important probably, my shot selection, my awareness on court, I’m trying to improve that. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Olivia Clyne, Sabrina and Amanda [Sobhy sisters], all moved to Philadelphia, we all train together and play match practice. I think my self-confidence, self-belief out there took a real step up, has really improved. And that’s exactly what took me through that match.”

World No.2 Nouran Gohar showed her class during her second round match at the El Gouna International, dispatching fellow Egyptian Zeina Mickawy in straight games, and allowing her opponent to score just 11 points across the entire contest.

Nouran Gohar in action against Zeina Mickawy

She won the first with consummate ease, taking it in just five minutes and allowing Mickawy two take just a single point. Although the second game was much tighter, Gohar’s power hitting came to the fore again, before she rounded off the victory in style with a second 11-1 game score. The World No.2 will now face Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramanium in the third round.

[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-1, 11-9, 11-1 (27m)
Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (51m)

Momen Downs Pajares, Hesham Beats Mueller In Five

Tarek Momen

Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen began his 2021 El Gouna International with a solid performance and a victory over Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu on the traditional courts at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

The tournament’s No.2 seed was in control throughout his contest with the Spaniard, constantly keeping Pajares at arm’s length throughout their contest.

Momen took a 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 victory, to set up a clash against Mazen Hesham, the other victor in the final set of second round matches on day two.

Mazen Hesham

‘The Falcon’ came up against ‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller, and found himself down after the first game. The Egyptian fought back to win both the second and third games, but then dropped the fourth, with the match going into a decider.

It went all the way to a tie-break, with both players saving multiple match balls. However, it would be Hesham that eventually took the victory after 65 minutes of action at the El Gouna Squash Complex, making his way through to the last 16.

[2] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 15-13 (65m)

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