The 2021 CIB Egyptian Open, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament got under way at the New Giza Sporting Club today with wildcard Yahya Elnawasany causing the day’s biggest upset as he took out Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in four games.
World No.74 Elnawasany – from Cairo – will appear in the second round of a PSA Platinum event for the first time after he came back from a game down to win 9-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8 against World No.46 Aslam.
“I think my mum must be jumping up and down with joy,” Elnawasany said following the match.
“It’s crazy, I just came here to prove myself. Two or three weeks ago, I lost in the Wadi Degla tournament, I played two 5K tournaments and I was bad in both. The level was not that high, so to be honest, I was about to quit squash.
“I played here 2 years ago in Al-Ahram, but it was my first time and I was not really up for it. But this time, I am taking it for real, I had a great opportunity to play Tayyab and not a top seed, so I saw that as an opportunity and I had to take it.”
Elnawasany will play compatriot Mazen Hesham in round two and he will be joined in the last 32 by fellow Egyptian Youssef Soliman, who overturned a 2-0 deficit against Frenchman Auguste Dussourd to avoid a surprise defeat.
Soliman – who rose 10 places to break into the men’s top 20 this month – was in hot water after a slow start, but he fought back to take three games without reply, and he will take on World No.4 Tarek Momen next.
“Today I am not happy with my game at all,” said Soliman.
“When I found myself at 2-0 down I said ‘alright, here we go” and I just kept hitting the ball hard, trying to get into it. That’s part of the tournament sometimes to try and just find a way. I kept grinding, grinding, and eventually it worked.”
Spain’’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu is also through in five after avoiding a scare against Hong Kong’s Tsz Kwan Lau, while Mexico’s Cesar Salazar returned to the tour after a 10-month absence, requiring five games to see off the threat of Henry Leung.
In the women’s event, Switzerland’s Cindy Merlo has reached the last 32 of a Platinum event for the first time in her career following a hard-fought 3-2 win over local player Mayar Hany.
World No.49 Merlo came from behind twice to secure victory and her reward is a second round encounter with England’s Lucy Turmel.
“I keep coming to these tournaments and I never manage to win the first round,” Merlo said afterwards.
“So already, I was sort of emotional. I was thinking this could be happening, this could be possible, and at other times, it was ‘oh, there we go, as usual, it’s not going to work, I’m not playing well today’. I just had to keep fighting for myself, I am overwhelmed, I’m not sure what happened or how I won the match.”
Scotland’s Lisa Aitken also took part in an exciting five-game thriller as she finally got the better of World No.60 Sana Ibrahim with an 11-0 triumph in the decider.
“I hadn’t played a match for a while, so the fact it went to five gave me a bit of practice, and I’m happy with the way I played in that fifth game,” Aitken said.
“She might not have the most skilful attributes but actually everything else she does have makes her very dangerous. I really admire all the young Egyptians, they each possess weapons of their own.”
Round two of the CIB Egyptian Open begins tomorrow at 12:00 (GMT+2) and stars such as top seeds Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini will get their title challenges under way. Action from the New Giza Sporting Club will be shown live on the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour and the PSA SQUASHTV YouTube Channel.
Results – First Round: Men’s 2021 CIB Egyptian Open
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt [WC] Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Christopher Binnie (JAM) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-2 (65m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-0: 13-11, 11-5, 11-5 (39m)
Arturo Salazar (MEX) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 13-11 (47m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (39m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9 (54m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-1: 11-3, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3 (38m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) 3-2: 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-13, 12-10 (74m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-2: 6-11, 4-11, 11-1, 11-3, 11-8 (74m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-9 (27m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (60m)
[WC] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-1: 9-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8 (38m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 15-13 (70m)
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10 (63m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Martin Svec (CZE) 3-0: 14-12, 11-2, 11-5 (29m)
Draw – Men’s Second Round: To Be Played September 11th
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Arturo Salazar (MEX) v [9/16] MIguel Rodriguez (COL)
[9/16] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v  Mostafa Asal (EGY)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Shahjahan Khan (USA)
[9/16] Zahed Salem (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Todd Harrity (USA) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[WC] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) v [9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Results – First Round: Women’s 2021 CIB Egyptian Open
Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Menna Hamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 11-4 (41m)
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt [WC] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 (24m)
Cindy Merlo (SUI) bt Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 (32m)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Vanessa Chu (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (24m)
Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt Anna Serme (CZE) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (24m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-2: 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 1-11, 11-6 (35m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Lee Ka Yi (HKG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (38m)
Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-0 (45m)
Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 17-15 (48m)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Menna Nasser (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 (23m)
Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-1: 11-6, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7 (46m)
Jana Shiha (EGY) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (21m)
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-2: 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-1 (49m)
Donna Lobban (AUS) bt [WC] Malak Khafagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-1, 11-5 (22m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Tze Lok Ho (HKG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 12-10 (30m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Hana Moataz (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6 (39m)
Draw – Women’s Second Round: To Be Played September 11th
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emily Whitlock (WAL)
[9/16] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
Cindy Merlo (SUI) v Lucy Turmel (ENG)
Farida Mohamed (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [9/16] Olivia Fiechter (USA)
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
Lisa Aitken (SCO) v Hana Ramadan (EGY)
[9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
Melissa Alves (FRA) v [9/16] Olivia Clyne (USA)
Jana Shiha (EGY) v [9/16] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Coline Aumard (FRA) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [9/16] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Donna Lobban (AUS) v [9/16]. Nele Gilis (BEL)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
[9/16] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)