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Nour El Sherbini in action against Farida Mohamed

El Gouna International: RD2 Glass Court - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players who are in action in round two on the glass court at the El Gouna Squash International.

Here’s the schedule for the glass court
(All times are local GMT+2)
18:30 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Farida Mohamed (EGY)
19:15 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
20:30 Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [3] Camille Serme (FRA)
21:15 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)

You can catch all the action live from the glass court 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.

El Sherbini Gets off to Winning Start

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini saw her El Gouna International 2021 campaign get off to winning start as she saw off 19-year-old compatriot Farida Mohamed by an 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 scoreline.

A tight first game went in the favour of 2018 runner-up El Sherbini, despite some positive moments from Mohamed. However, from then on it was full steam ahead for the top seed who will face Yathreb Adel in the third round.

“Another upcoming player, she’s playing so well and very tough,” said El Sherbini afterwards.

“She’s been giving very tough matches for lots of the top players now. First round and first time to play her, it was difficult in the beginning but really glad I got back to my game plan in the last two games.

“She’s still young and very hungry, wanting to play and get everything back. First time playing an opponent you have never played before the first game is always tense. I was working out what I am going to do and how I’m going to play my game. It took me the first game and then I think I did well in the second and third games.”

Mohamed said:
“I’m happy with the way I played the first game as I played the way I was told by my coach and my sister. But to be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed with the settings. When I came this morning, there was nobody, but tonight, I couldn’t warm up on the court, and suddenly, lights, cameras all over, the audience. Suddenly, it got to me.

“In the first game, I told myself to think about what was going on on the court, and not outside. And it worked. But in the second I completely lost focus. Then I became nervous in the third, I tried to dig in but by then, she was too high in confidence.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Farida Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)

Mohamed ElShorbagy Prevails Against Lobban

Mohamed ElShorbagy in action against Greg Lobban

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy got his El Gonna title charge off to a strong start with an 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 victory over Scotland’s World No.21 Greg Lobban.

The Scot gave ElShorbagy a tough opening round but the Egyptian, who is top seed at this event due to the absence of World No.1 Ali Farag, was able to prevail and will face France’s Baptiste Masotti for a place in the quarter finals.

“I love a physical battle,” said ElShorbagy afterwards.
“I think I play at such a high intensity and when you play at a high intensity for a long time I knew I was going to lose focus at some point in the match, it’s very normal for anyone playing at that intensity. I knew that when it happened I wanted to see how I was going to respond. When I was 6-4 up, he came back at me and I felt I got a bit softer, so I had to push myself in the third.
“Going a game ball down, going to a tie-break, I think these are all positive things. It all can get better from here, he played really well in the third, he is a tough player. I’ve watched him so many years, and know how he plays. He played the kind of squash that I needed to play against to get myself sharp for the rest of the tournament.” 

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 (44m)

Serme Pushed to the Limit by Gilis

France’s World No.4 Camille Serme was pushed all the way to the final point by a resilient Tinne Gilis of Belgium as she booked her place in the third round in an 11-4, 11-13, 12-10, 11-9 battle lasting 74 minutes.

Gilis battled back well from going a game down as she threw everything she could at Serme, but the Frenchwoman had the answers and was able to use her experience to close out. She faces Canada’s Hollie Naughton in the next round of the Platinum event.

“I expected a tough match against Tinne,” said Serme.

“Because of the Covid rules we have trained together for the last two days, we did play some rallies and I knew it was going to be long rallies and very physical stuff. She had her chance today and played really good squash. I had to work hard physically, mentally and tactically as well. I was trying to play my game, but she was really good today.

“I was trying to be accurate, to find the right opportunities to play my attacking game. She was getting every ball – you play one good shot, two, three and she was getting everything. I thought I would make her tired but right until the last point she was good physically.

“I was a bit lost in the first game and I wasn’t accurate enough. I tried to relax, slow down and find my targets better at the end.”

Gilis said:
“I’m training really hard in Nottingham, I have some amazing players around me like Coline [Aumard], Gina [Kennedy], Lucy [Turmel], Millie [Tomlinson], so it so good to have a lot of female players to play with, it makes such a difference.

“Coline and Gina can really push me to the limit, and before a tournament, that’s what I need. I had really tough games with them in training, because I know those matches are going to be tough as well.

“A few months ago, I broke down, I was so tired, I was making mistakes, but now I can push myself more, I can keep going and attacking. And that’s what I did today, I literally gave it my all, I fought for every point, and I’m very happy with the way I played today.”

[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 11-4, 11-13, 12-10, 11-9 (74m)

Abouelghar Takes Out Marwan ElShorbagy

Egypt’s World No.11 Mohamed Abouelghar claimed a huge upset as he took out the in form player on the men’s tour in Marwan ElShorbagy in a thrilling 8-11, 11-3, 11-13, 11-5, 11-3 encounter.

Abouelghar, who had never beaten World No.5 ElShorbagy on the PSA Tour, was faced with an uphill battle as he was forced to come from behind twice in a 70-minute tussle with the recent CIB Black Ball Open winner.

27-year-old Abouelghar will face compatriot Mostafa Asal in the third round.

“The last time I beat Marwan was 2010, so that was 11 years ago,” said Abouelghar afterwards.

“I had nothing to lose. He has been playing great, he’s the man of the hour. For me, getting on court I wanted to enjoy myself and take it one point at a time and see how the match unfolds. I’m happy with how I held my head throughout it.

“I’ve lost a lot of matches being 8-3 or 9-3 up, so when I was leading I was thinking one point at a time and not think too fair ahead of myself and play each point like it was the last point. It worked for me, when I went from 9-3 to 10-3, I had to check the score because I didn’t know.

“Against Marwan, you don’t want to leave anything in the middle because he’s lethal. I’ve played against him and lost to him so many times, I learned my lesson and I played more accurate squash and I’m happy it worked.

“I’ve always challenged the top guys but I was losing more than I was winning. The mental part played a big part in that, so I had to find the balance and work on that. Not just attack everything and I’ve been working on that.”

Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-3, 11-13, 11-5, 11-3 (70m)

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