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Nour El Sherbini

CIB EGYPTIAN OPEN DAY TWO: AS IT HAPPENS - COURTS 3 & 4

The CIB Egyptian Open continues today with the likes of Nour El Sherbini, Amanda Sobhy, Tarek Momen and Mostafa Asal joining the action at the New Giza Sporting Club.

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

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

Play starts at 12:00 local time (GMT+2).

Order of Play
Court 3:
12:00 Cindy Merlo (SUI) v Lucy Turmel (ENG)
12:45 Arturo Salazar (MEX) v Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
13:45 Farida Mohamed (EGY) v [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
14:30 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [8] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
17:00 Melissa Alves (FRA) v Olivia Clyne (USA)
17:45 Lucas Serme (FRA) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
18:45 [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
19:30 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)

Watch live action from court three here:

Court 4:
12:00 Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
12:45 Todd Harrity (USA) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
13:45 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emily Whitlock (WAL)
14:30 Youssef Soliman (EGY) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
17:00 Mariam Metwally (EGY) v Nada Abbas (EGY)
17:45 Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
18:45 Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
19:30 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Watch live action from court four here:

Danielle Letourneau

Canada’s Danielle Letourneau and England’s Lucy Turmel have both booked their places in the third round of the CIB Egyptian Open following comprehensive 3-0 victories over South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller and Switzerland’s Cindy Merlo, respectively.

World No.20 Letourneau, who trains out in Egypt, was in strong form from the outset as she comfortably found her range and accuracy to defeat World No.38 Fuller by an 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 scoreline.

“Recently I have put so much pressure on myself, I have been really tense so today, I was able to just relax and play not worrying about anything else,” admitted Letourneau.

“Part of it is that I made this move (to Egypt) and I know I have improved and I guess I want to show it. I know it’s there, but of course in tournaments, you have some tough matches. It’s not a question to prove it to other people, but to myself. That the work I’ve done is paying off. But then you just get too tense, so today I just tried to relax.

“At the moment, I would describe my game as “good length”, and if I have a chance to volley, I will definitely take it, but my game is changing and evolving, I’m always trying to change things. I feel that my identity as a player has evolved a lot. A year ago, it was a bit of a lob and drop game, then it went to just power, and now it’s about finding a good mix of all this.”

Lucy Turmel

On court three, Turmel, who defeated Hong Kong’s Vanessa Chu yesterday, continued her good streak of form as she displayed a mature performance to send out Merlo, who secured her first ever win at a PSA Platinum event yesterday.

“I'm happy with my performance,” said Turmel afterwards. “I played Cindy not too long ago, in Hull, I won 3-0 as well, but I wanted to make it even more convincing and I think I managed to do that with my performance today.

“In the British I made too many unforced errors, and gave her too many points. So today, I was a bit more stingy, I think I only hit a couple of errors in the whole match. So I kept the ball out of the tin, kept the rallies going, and then it worked in my favour

“I haven’t played neither SJ nor Farida, they are contrasting styles, hopefully they’ll have a contrasting match, and it will be an interesting one tomorrow.”

Letourneau will face either World No.1 Nour El Sherbini or Wales’ Emily Whitlock in the next round on the glass court in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza. While for Turmel, it will be either Egypt’s Farida Mohamed or compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry in round three.

Results:
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (21m)

Rodriguez and Pajares Progress in Giza

Miguel Rodriguez

Colombia’s World No.11 Miguel Rodriguez and Spain’s World No.34 Iker Pajares Bernabeu are through to the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum event after respective victories over Mexico’s Arturo Salazar and USA’s Todd Harrity.

Rodriguez, who enjoyed a formidable run at the British Open just last month, continued his resurgence in form as he completed an 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 victory over World No.50 Salazar at the New Giza Sporting Club.

He will take on either Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng or Egypt’s Mostafa Asal for a place in the quarter finals.

Iker Pajares Bernabeu

On court four, Pajares overcame Harrity in straight-games, but it was anything but straightforward as the American pushed him all the way in every single game as he claimed an 11-9, 12-10, 14-12 victory in 61 minutes.

The Spaniard was coming into the tournament off the back of a good British Open campaign, which saw him reach the third round before he was withdrawn from the event due to being pinged by UK NHS Track and Trace. However, Pajares put that disappointment behind him as he continues his good run in Giza and reach the last 16 of a Platinum event for the third time in his career.

“It was very intense, I had to push very hard in every game,” said Pajares. “I knew I had to fight in every single game. Yesterday, I had a tough match and my legs were very tired, very sore. I had to win in three, maybe four, but I have to fight every game.

“I was fine physically, breathing was fine, cardio was fine, it was just the legs, but I was moving fine at the beginning. I train a lot, for this kind of events, so it’s not about the body, it’s about the mind. So I was thinking point by point, point by point.

“Pyramids tomorrow. It’s like karma rewarding me after what happened in Hull where I was taken out of the event because of a “ping” alert on my incoming flight. My first time. Karma is paying off. It’s a good reward, over the moon, so so happy.”

Up next for Pajares will be either Egypt’s Youssef Soliman or Tarek Momen on the spectacular glass court in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Results:
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 (39m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 14-12 (61m)

Mohamed Stuns Perry to Join El Sherbini in Last 16

Farida Mohamed celebrates her win over Sarah-Jane Perry

Egypt’s World No.34 Farida Mohamed stunned England’s World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry for the second time in a row in the second round of the CIB Egyptian Open as she claimed an 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10 victory to advance on home turf.

Mohamed memorably claimed a huge upset at this venue last year when she overcame Perry in straight-games and the 19-year-old ensured that lightning struck twice as she put in another powerful display to take out one of the top seeds.

The Egyptian started strongly to take the first game before Perry hit back in the second with the Englishwoman expressing her frustration towards the referee throughout the match, but Mohamed didn't let this affect her focus as she was able to close out in 36 minutes.

“I just try and move her as much as I can,” said Mohamed. “I don’t think I was blocking or on the way, I wasjust actually trying to keep her away from me as much I could, to be able to play actually, as she is very tall.

“She pushed me more than once, I don’t mind because I’m sure she didn’t mean it, it’s part of the game. I was satisfied with my movement today, I don’t think I did anything, and the ref didn’t mention anything.

“I had the exact same plan than last time, I didn’t change much, mainly not to play more than two shots on the same side to try and twist and turn her and keep her away from the T, going to the front corner, moving her to the front and getting the T back.

“Because I was playing SJ, I have to say I didn’t think about tomorrow’s tactic yet. I’m playing Jasmine on the backcourt. I just take each match at a time, so now, I’m going to enjoy my win for an hour, rest and then think about how should I play tomorrow.”

Perry said:

“When she goes short on the backhand, she doesn’t give you a line and the referee can’t see it. So at the end, I asked the referee very calmly to have a look at the match again. She won the match, fine. But he needs to look at that line because I know I’m going on the line and every time, she steps back into it.

“I got two no lets at the end, and there is no way they were no lets. That actually made a difference in the match. Yes, I didn’t play well enough, but I was fighting, but when you feel you are fighting and something out of your control that is unfair changes the match, it’s very frustrating.

“It’s not an isolated situation to this match or to Farida. It just happens sometimes, and I think the referees try to give something else than a let and I felt that today, anything that could have been a let, were given no lets against me.

“You always have your rose tinted glasses on of course, but it’s hard when you are not getting out the level of squash you’ve practising and playing.

“She did play well, some unbelievable shots in there, on any other court, on any other day, with any other ball, I would have got back but she hit them, and she kept hitting them. Fair play to her for that.

“It was not my finest day. You try to keep doing what you can and today unfortunately wasn’t my day.”

Nour El Sherbini

Meanwhile on court four, World No.1 Nour El Sherbini was put under pressure in the opening two games against Wales’ Emily Whitlock as the World No.21 brought a strong game plan to the table to disrupt the style of the Allam British Open winner.

El Sherbini was able to sneak the first two before the third got away from Whitlock as the Egyptian was able to power home 11-5.

“It’s quite hard to play on a traditional court, you get used to play on the glass,” said El Sherbini.

“I didn’t have much time training at home. I would have like to rest my legs a bit. I only started training a week ago. First round on the traditional court and it’s not easy and Emily was playing very well, she’s got a very good lob and drop game.

“I’m playing Danielle again, like last year at the Pyramids, a rematch tomorrow and it will be good to be back on the glass.

“I’d love to have some rest to be honest. We have a lot of tournaments all together, and the travelling as well, since May June, we haven’t been at home a lot. A lot of travelling, event, back home, event, travelling and also a lot of big events one after each other.

“I feel I’m a bit physically tired. My body is not 100% fresh, struggling a bit. Going to the US Open, again there, very few days to recover from this one before going on the road again. But I’m happy to play here, it’s one of my favourite tournaments.”

Mohamed will face England’s Lucy Turmel in the next round, while El Sherbini moves to the glass court to face Canada’s Danielle Letourneau.

Results:
Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10 (36m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (31m)

Eain Yow Takes Down Asal to Move into Third Round with Momen

Eain Yow Ng

Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng and Egypt’s Tarek Momen are both through to the third round in Giza, Egypt after impressive wins over Egypt’s Mostafa Asal and Youssef Soliman, respectively.

World No.18 Eain Yow claimed one of the biggest wins of his career last month when he took out former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad at the Allam British Open in Hull and he proved it wasn’t a one-time thing today as he downed World No.9 Asal in straight games at the New Giza Sporting Club.

Eain Yow did not allow himself to be affected by Asal’s home support or the occasional stoppages of play from the Egyptian as he remained focused to close out an imperious 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 victory in 50 minutes.

The Malaysian will face Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez tomorrow in a repeat of their formidable 100 minute plus battle at the British Open just a few weeks ago.

“My team and myself believed I could do it, I know that everyone believed he would be the winner,” said Eain Yow afterwards. “He is playing the best squash in the last few months. The way he was playing is the top of our game, so I had to believe in myself.

“That is the biggest difference this season. I actually believe in myself. I’m not afraid to play anyone. I believe that, I can beat anyone on the day and that’s the difference, the gain in confidence in my own game. I just did my job.

“I want to keep my tactics quiet but the main thing was to stay calm, staying focused. Just focus and play my squash. I did that, and the result shows.

“To be honest, I don’t know where I’m playing, I didn’t look that far. I’m playing Miguel, Last time we play, we had a 100-minute match. This time I’m a little bit fresher in than last time, so looking forward to it.”

Tarek Momen

On court four, former World Champion Momen was forced to come from a game down against compatriot Soliman to book his place in the last 16.

The World No.4. will face Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu on the glass court in front of the Pyramids tomorrow.

“He had a much better start than me, and I made far too many errors in the first game especially as it’s been two months since I played an event,” said Momen.

“I was trying to prepare mentally to start sharp but I’m not that surprised it happened. But then again, I’m very pleased and proud of the way I turned things around because from the second game on, my game was on point. I made very little errors for the rest of the three games, which is something I’m very happy with. I executed my plan pretty well, I managed to get a huge lead in every game.

“He would push at end of the games, clawed his way back in probably the third, but I retained my focus, I didn’t lose any streak of points with silly errors, so that’s something I ‘m happy to carry forward for the next match.

“Deciding not to play the British has its reasons, I had decided to spend time with my family, it’s something I haven’t regretted and it also works well for me because it gave me an indication of a season ending, and a new season beginning. I managed to get two months off, giving me enough time to recover mentally, and then start fresh with a new season. Whereas a few other players will feel that at the end of this year they have been playing for too long. It worked for me, it wasn’t intended like that but actually it worked well.

“Tomorrow I’m playing Iker I played him recently so the plan is still fresh in my mind. He is playing well, had a couple of tough matches here, I’ll try as much as possible to start better tomorrow, and try to be sharp and fresh from the very beginning and we will see how it goes.”

Results:
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [8] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (50m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-1: 5-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (42m)

Clyne and Abbas Pushed to Five

Olivia Clyne

USA’s Olivia Clyne and Egypt’s Nada Abbas were both pushed to five games in their respective fixtures against France’s Melissa Alves and Egypt’s Mariam Metwally as they reached the last 16 of the CIB Egyptian Open.

Clyne was forced to dig deep as she had to come from one game down before holding off an impressive comeback charge from World No.26 Alves in a tense five-game battle on court three.

The Frenchwoman started strongly to take the first before Clyne was able to establish her dominance and take a 2-1 lead. Alves rallied back though and made things tough for Clyne to take the fourth before pushing the American all the way to a tie-break in the fifth before the World No.12 eventually closed out.

She will face either compatriot Amanda Sobhy or Netherlands’ Milou van der Heijden in the next round.

“I was well down in the second, but I have been working a lot with my sports phycologist because I can be really passive, and too nice. Alan [Clyne] is nice too and it will be good when we have kids but on the squash court, you need a bit of sass.

“I try really hard to work on that. I was hoping to bring it on earlier in the match, but honestly I need it, especially as there is no aggression from her for me to get mad at. All she is doing is playing good squash, she is just going about her business, I need to kick myself in the ass here and get myself going.

“When I got back in the second, the third was tight as well, I thought I was in control then, but she came racing out in the fourth, what am I going to do now, this is pressure. She got a good start in the fifth as well too. I told myself I’m just going to make that as long and difficult I can for her. The odds will increase, they might not be in your favour, but they will increase to 50-50 if you can make the rallies really long. So I did that, springing myself along, even if I had to do a little singing for that.”

Nada Abbas

Meanwhile, Abbas was also forced to fend off a fightback from compatriot Metwally as she was taken the distance on court four.

A tight opening two games saw nothing between the pair before errors started to creep into both games as they once again split the games to go to five, with Metwally requesting some physio treatment. From then it was all about Abbas though as she comfortably made her way to the finish line for the loss of just one point.

Up next for Abbas will be either World No.2 Nouran Gohar or Canada’s Hollie Naughton.

“From the beginning, I knew there would be a lot of discussions with the ref, stoppage,” said Abbas. “So I was just trying to concentrate on what I should do, on my actions, so all the rest wouldn’t bother me.

“I’m really happy to be through. Like I said yesterday, I haven’t played my best for so long so I am very happy to be on track and enjoying my game again, getting another win.

“Last year I couldn’t pass the first round, so I’m really happy to be through. It will be either Nouran or Holly for my next match both players I managed to win against. So happy to play in front of the Pyramids, it’s my first time ever.

“Actually I’m very excited to play on the glasscourt, two years ago I was one point away, and couldn’t make it. So this time so happy to be though and looking forward to my match.”

Results:
Olivia Clyne (USA) bt Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10 (60m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-1 (58m)

Tandon and ElSherbini Through as Tamimi Forced to Retire

Ramit Tandon against Lucas Serme

India’s Ramit Tandon and Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini book secured their places in the last 16 following respective victories over France’s Lucas Serme and Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.

Tandon secured his place in the last 16 of a Platinum event for the first time in his career as he came from one game down against a resilient Serme to advance.

The World No.54 had never faced Serme before but put in a measured performance to set up a third round tie with either Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy or Omar Mosaad.

Meanwhile, the match between ElSherbini and Tamimi was cut short due to the latter being forced to retire in the second game due to injury.

The Qatari had gone one game up but then as he went for the ball in the front left corner in the second game let out a scream of pain and fell to the floor clutching his right foot before being needed to be helped off the court and calling an end to the match.

ElSherbini as a result will face either France’s Gregoire Marche or World No.1 Ali Farag in the next round.

Results:
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (58m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-1: 8-11, 4-4 retired (25m)

Gohar and Sobhy Under way with Wins

Amanda Sobhy

Egypt’s World No.2 Nouran Gohar and USA’s World No.6 Amanda Sobhy got their CIB Egyptian Open campaigns off to the perfect start with respective 3-0 victories over Canada’s Hollie Naughton and Netherlands’ Milou van der Heijden.

Gohar, who finished runner-up at the British Open last month, settled quickly into her dominant rhythm as she completed an 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 victory over World No.17 Naughton.

Elsewhere, Sobhy also enjoyed a comprehensive victory as she took out World No.37 van der Heijden by an 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 scoreline to advance to the last 16.

Gohar will face compatriot Nada Abbas in front of the Pyramids in round three, while Sobhy will take on fellow American Olivia Clyne at the New Giza Sporting Club.

“It’s not easy to play on the backcourt, last year I had the same feeling I’m happy we are back on the glasscourt from now on,” said Gohar.

“I’m playing Nada Abbas. We played at the finals of the Nationals after Black Ball, and in the British Open a few years back in 2017 I think, she beat me on the traditional court, and it was the big upset of the British first round.”

Results:
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (29m)
[4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (25m)

Farag and ElShorbagy Close Out the Day

Ali Farag

Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag and World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy ensured a safe passage through to the third round in Egypt with 3-0 victories over France’s Gregoire Marche and Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, respectively.

Defending champion Farag, who clinched this title last year when he defeated Tarek Momen in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza, ensured his title defence got off to the perfect start as he downed World No.12 Marche by an 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 margin.

On court three, ElShorbagy also managed to get off court in three games after an 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 victory against Mosaad, who was playing his 500th PSA match.

Farag will face compatriot Mohamed ElSherbini in the next round, while ElShorbagy takes on India’s Ramit Tandon.

Results:
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (38m)
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)

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