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Mohamed ElShorbagy in action

CIB Egyptian Open Day Two: As it Happens - Courts 1 & 2

The CIB Egyptian Open continues today with the likes of Mohamed ElShorbagy, Fares Dessouky, Camille Serme and Rowan Elaraby joining the fray at the New Giza Sporting Club.

We'll have reports and reaction from courts one and two here, while you can also watch live streaming below.

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

All times are local (GMT+2).

Court One
12:00 Lisa Aitken (SCO) v Hana Ramadan (EGY)
12:45 Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
13:45 Yathreb Adel (EGY) v [3] Camille Serme (FRA)
14:30 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
17:00 Donna Lobban (AUS) v Nele Gilis (BEL)
17:45 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
18:45 [6] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
19:30 [4] Paul Coll (NZL) v Raphael Kandra (GER)

Watch the action from court one below.

Court One
12:00 Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) v Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
12:45 Zahed Salem (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
13:45 [8] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Olivia Fiechter (USA)
14:30 [7] Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Shahjahan Khan (USA)
17:00 Jana Shiha (EGY) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
17:45 [WC] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
18:45 Coline Aumard (FRA) v [7] Salma Hany (EGY)
19:30 [6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)

Watch the action from court two below.

Aitken and Hutton Reach Platinum Last 16 for First Time

Lisa Aitken in action

Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and England’s Jasmine Hutton have reached the last 16 of a PSA World Tour Platinum event for the first time in their careers after they got day two under way with respective wins over Egypt’s Hana Ramadan and Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling.

Aitken required five games to see off Ramadan’s compatriot, Sana Ibrahim, in the previous round but it was a more controlled affair for the World No.39 this time around as she completed an 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 victory in 30 minutes.

Aitken will now compete against either No.3 seed Camille Serme or another Egyptian – Yathreb Adel – for a place in the quarter-finals where she will appear in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza for the first time.

“I remember the first time ever I saw squash at the Pyramids, Peter Nicol was playing [Ahmed] Barada,” said Aitken.

“Peter’s dad, Pat, was my coach, he was a great guy and he kind of picked me out of a crowd and took me to most of my junior events, so Peter was someone I talked to a lot. I remember that someone from not too far away from my house was playing at the Pyramids, and I remember thinking I want that.

“I had a very clear plan in my mind of what I wanted to do in terms of I watched her game back yesterday, and I saw a couple of areas where I wanted to make sure I targeted. I think I did that well, and I got the reward with either a stroke or an opportunity.

“There were little moments where I went off the plan, then it was a bit more difficult. But I was pleased with the way I was able to regroup and go back to the plan.”

Jasmine Hutton (left) takes on Liu Tsz-Ling (right)

Hutton will also make her round three bow at a major PSA event courtesy of a 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11 win against World No.45 Liu.

Hutton, the World No.43, looked like she was on the verge of victory after completing a comfortable win in the third following two tightly-contested games to kick the match off.

Liu held two game balls in the fourth, but Hutton fought back courtesy of one magnificent kill and then an error from her opponent. She then quickly went about dispatching her opponent and her reward is a last 16 clash with either USA’s Olivia Fiechter or No.8 seed Rowan Elaraby.

“It was like yesterday, it was really hard,” Hutton said.

“At no point in the match did I feel secure, I never felt like I was in control. I was happy with the way I came through in the fourth, it took a little mental toughness to keep pushing on, and I knew that if I kept making it hard for her I could maybe force some more errors.

“When it came to the back end of the game, I made her push a little harder and there were a few times where I forced errors out of the serve or she would hit a bad second shot.

Unfortunately, Lucy [Turmel] and I are on the backcourts again tomorrow. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing location and hopefully one day I’ll get the chance to play there.”

Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (30m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-1: 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11 (33m)

El Hammamy Wins in Five Against Lobban

Karim El Hammamy (right) takes on Greg Lobban (left)

World No.47 Karim El Hammamy will make his Great Pyramid of Giza debut after he battled to a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the higher-ranked Greg Lobban.

Lobban, the World No.25, established a one-game lead on two occasions, but the Scot was unable to capitalise as El Hammamy ground out a 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 11-5 win to earn his spot in the last 16.

El Hammamy, a former World Junior Champion, will take on either top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy or Frenchman Baptiste Masotti in the next round.

“Last year, I was very nervous about playing on the glass, so this year, I just didn’t think about it at all,” El Hammamy said,.

“But now I’m thinking about it. I don’t know what to expect, I won’t have a chance to train on the court, so my first time will be tomorrow in the match, I don’t want to wake up at 7 to go there. But now, I’m going to have fun, I did a good job in the first two rounds, and now it’s time to have fun.”

Zahed Salem (fore) takes on Cesar Salazar

The court two fixture pitted Egypt’s Zahed Salem against Mexico’s Cesar Salazar, with the former winning in straight games to move through to the third round, where he will play either Fares Dessouky or Shahjahan Khan.

Salem is currently combining his squash career with military service and opened up on the situation, saying: “I have some military issues, they won’t let me play matches or train properly at the moment, and I can’t travel. Also, before El Gouna, I had trouble training as I had COVID and also an infection due to the COVID.

“So I’m back again trying to push and I’m feeling fine again. But I have a lot of things in my mind at the moment, and I’m not able to play or train. So I don’t know how I am 'squash-wise'. I’m trying to take it match by match, and today after 4 months with no tournaments, I did well I thought.”

Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 11-5 (77m)
Zahed Salem (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-6, 14-12, 11-6 (34m)

Serme and Elaraby Progress

Camille Serme (right) takes on Yathreb Adel (left)

France’s Camille Serme began her title challenge with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Egypt’s Yathreb Adel in just 17 minutes.

Serme, the World No.4, was forced to pull out of the Allam British Open due to injury, but the 32-year-old was rarely troubled today as she swatted Adel aside to set up a third round fixture with Scotland’s Lisa Aitken in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Rowan Elaraby in action

Elaraby, who this month broke into the world’s top 10, had a tougher time of things against USA’s Olivia Fiechter, but came through to win 15-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 in 49 minutes.

The 21-year-old will play England’s Jasmine Hutton next for a place in the quarter-finals.

[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 1-3, 11-2, 11-3 (17m)
[8] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-1: 15-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 (49m)

Dessouky Exits Due to Injury While ElShorbagy Advances

Shahjahan Khan (left) and Fares Dessouky (right)

No.7 seed Fares Dessouky has seen his tournament come to an end after his fixture with USA’s Shahjahan Khan was cut short due to injury.

Even from game one, Dessouky was clearly not comfortable on court and walked gingerly in between rallies due to a back problem, but his shot-making skills were so potent that he was still able to take a 2-0 lead.

He then held three match balls to put himself on the brink of a gritty victory, but he was unable to finish a tenacious Khan off as the World No.45 rattled off five points in succession to halve the deficit.

Khan then sailed into a 4-1 lead in the second, at which point Dessouky decided he could fight on no longer, and the Egyptian shook hands with his opponent to bring an end to the match.

“I just run, run, run, and run,” Khan said.

“He had issues before the match as well. I didn’t see it at the start but as the match went along, I realised something was wrong. I tried to move him around just to expose his movement. It’s a shame that the match had to end that way as he is a great player.

“Tactically, I just stayed in the rallies. Once you know that your opponent is struggling with something, I was just trying not to make any errors and move him around. Nothing crazy, nothing extraordinary.

“Tomorrow I’m playing Zahed on the back courts. I’ve never played him before and I’m very excited. Coming to the tournament, I had a good mindset, everything had lined up and it’s working well so far.”

Mohamed ElShorbagy serves

Meanwhile, top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy made his CIB Egyptian Open debut with a 3-0 win against Frenchman Baptiste Masotti.

Masotti had already played the World No.2 three times this year prior to today’s encounter – losing each encounter – and this match went the way of the Egyptian too as ElShorbagy closed out an 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 win in 33 minutes to ensure he will play compatriot Karim El Hammamy.

“After I beat Joel [Makin] in Chicago, I said in my interview that I didn’t want to play him anymore because I played him three tournaments in a row,” ElShorbagy said.

“And the next day, they send the British Open draw and I have him first round. Then I play Baptiste in the British Open and at the end, he tells me that he doesn’t want to play me for the rest of the season, and a week later we get to play here first round.

“Every time we played he got closer and closer, but I’m learning as well how to play him. I don’t think he played as well this time as he did the other times, he made a lot of errors and I felt he was losing his head a little bit in the match. The more he is doing against me, the more he is going to expect of himself.

“So I played a bit differently because I knew that he was going to expect more of himself. I kind of wanted him to go for it because the other times when he went for it, it always paid off because there were no expectations. But when there are expectations, you are going to make errors.”

Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt [7] Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 9-11, 12-10, 4-1 retired (35m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (33m)

Shiha Reaches first Platinum RD3

Jana Shiha (left) takes on Nadine Shahin (right)

24 hours after claiming her maiden win at a PSA World Tour Platinum event, World No.55 Jana Shiha completed a surprise victory against World No.14 Nadine Shahin to book her spot in the last 16 of a major event for the first time.

Shiha’s round one over France’s Enora Villard was a relatively one-sided affair, but this time around the 20-year-old had to dig in and hold her nerve to complete an 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 14-12 victory in 42 minutes.

Shiha is rewarded with a third round fixture with either No.7 seed Salma Hany or Coline Aumard – and a win would then see her earn a spot on the glass show court in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza.

“I knew it was going to be a long, physical and mental match today. I wanted it to be tough from the beginning. Nadine had a good tournament in Allam [the British Open], she reached the quarters and she is in good form,” said Shiha.

Nele Gilis (right) takes on Donna Lobban (left)

Belgium’s Nele Gilis will also line up in round three following a comprehensive 3-0 win against Australia’s Donna Lobban. The World No.15 will play either No.6 seed Hania El Hammamy or USA’s Sabrina Sobhy next.

“The last few tournaments didn’t go well for me, I was in a little bit of a dip,” Gilis said.

“I have been playing so well consistently, so maybe I was expecting too much of myself. Also, my sister had a problem in one eye and was blind in that eye and also got injured right before my match in the British. That also affected me more than I actually realised at the time. My head was definitely not in the place it was when I was in Washington and played pretty well.

“Today I so desperately didn’t want to lose, almost more than I wanted to win. Last year I made the quarters of the British and of the Egyptian Open, so maybe there is some extra pressure here. It’s always in the back of your mind, even if you trying not to think about it.

“It was not an easy draw, Donna is really experienced and is such a good player, but I was ready for it today.”

Jana Shiha (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 14-12 (42m)
Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (31m)

Hesham Halts Elnawasany

Mazen Hesham

World No.14 Mazen Hesham halted the run of wildcard Yahya Elnawasany to book his spot in round three.

Elnawasany caused the biggest upset in round one yesterday when he took out Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam to claim his first win at a PSA Platinum event and the 19-year-old showed glimpses of his talent with an 11-1 victory in game three.

However, Hesham ultimately had the better of the match and battled to a tie-break victory in the fourth to wrap up an 11-9, 11-3, 1-11, 12-10 triumph.

‘The Black Falcon’ will move on to play either Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad or India’s Saurav Ghosal in the next round.

Mohamed Abouelghar

Hesham’s fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar was also in action as he overcame France’s Mathieu Castagnet in straight games.

World No.16 will contest his last 16 fixture against either Allam British Open champion Paul Coll or Germany’s Raphael Kandra in the next round.

“I felt great today,” Abouelghar said.

“I haven’t played this event in two years, and I’ve never made it to the Pyramids. So I was more excited to play today because I had a chance to play in front of the Pyramids.

“Mathieu is a very tough opponent, he was always fighting for every point, so I knew it was going to be hard, but I’m happy I managed to stay calm at the end.

“This will be my first time ever at the Pyramids. Last time I went there was as a spectator in 2006 to see Palmer against Gaultier and I was 12.”

Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [WC] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-3, 1-11, 12-10 (44m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (49m)

El Hammamy and Hany Both Through

Hania El Hammamy in action

World No.5 Hania El Hammamy and World No.9 Salma Hany have advanced to the last 16 following respective wins over USA’s Sabrina Sobhy and France’s Coline Aumard.

El Hammamy and Sobhy were meeting for the first time on the PSA Tour – though El Hammamy had contested multiple fixtures against Sobhy’s older sister, Amanda – and the Egyptian was comfortable on top as she closed out an 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 win.

El Hammamy will go up against Belgium’s Nele Gilis in the next round, which will be contested in front of the spectacular Great Pyramid of Giza.

“Playing against Sabrina, you have to be focused from the start,” El Hammamy said.

“You can’t give her any room for easy shots or anything. I knew how dangerous she is and she played really well last month at the British Open, she was absolutely on fire. It’s tough to play someone you know is coming on really strongly, who is improving a lot.

“That’s why I think I performed really well because I knew how dangerous she is. I had to raise my game today to beat her.

“I played my game, I had to be accurate enough in order to execute my game plan well. I worked on some stuff with my coach, Haitham Effat, after the British Open, and I focused today on trying to implement those things. Today it was working really well, and hopefully it will in the next round as well.

“I’m playing Nele again next. I think I’m having a tough draw anyway, first Sabrina, now Nele. Obviously, I’m getting all the in-form and dangerous players, but I’m ready for it, and if I want to win the tournament, I have to be ready to beat all the tough opponents.”

Salma Hany (left) takes on Coline Aumard (right)

Meanwhile, El Hammamy’s compatriot, Hany, came back from a game down to get the better of Aumard by an 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.

Hany’s third round opponent will be Jana Shiha after she achieved a surprise win against top 20 player Nadine Shahin.

“Coline is such a great player, we've had some tough battles before, and I have all the respect for her,” Hany said.

“I feel I’m coming into this tournament ready. I trained really well before the event, and I’m really confident in my game. I was really excited to start today and the first match always comes with a little bit of nerves, so I started first game a bit flat.”

[6] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (27m)
[7] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (41m)

Huge Battle Goes Way of Gawad

Karim Abdel Gawad (left) takes on Saurav Ghosal (right)

Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad required five games to finally get the better of India’s Saurav Ghosal in the final match of the day.

Gawad, the current World No.6, has struggled for form and fitness in a season that has been dogged by a plantar fasciitis issue, and he had a real battle on his hands against Word No.13 Ghosal, with the first four games being decided by tie-breaks.

An 89-minute clash was finally brought to an end with an 11-4 victory for Gawad in the fourth game, and he progresses to the last 16 where he will play compatriot Mazen Hesham.

Paul Coll (right) takes on Raphael Kandra (left)

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Paul Coll – making his first appearance since his Allam British Open win last month – overcame Germany’s Raphael Kandra in straight games and he will take on Mohamed Abouelghar for a place in the last eight.

[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2: 10-12, 12-10, 13-11, 13-15, 11-4 (89m)
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (39m)

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