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Ali Farag

CIB Egyptian Open Day Four: Player Reaction - Glass Court

Round three of the CIB Egyptian Open concludes tonight in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza as World Champion Ali Farag and World No.2 Nouran Gohar take to the court.

SQUASHTV – and ON Sport for viewers in Egypt – are the only places to watch the action from the glass unfold.

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Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy takes on Belgium’s Nele Gilis in the first match of the evening session. They are followed on court by New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar.

Gohar takes on compatriot Nada Abbas, while Farag comes up against another Egyptian in Mohamed ElSherbini.

We will bring you the results and all of the latest player reaction right here. Play starts at 18:15 local time (GMT+2).

Order of Play
Times are local GMT+2

El Hammamy Comes from Behind to Secure Quarters Spot

Hania El Hammamy

Egypt’s World No.5 Hania El Hammamy was forced to come from a game down against Belgium’s World No.15 Nele Gilis as she secured her place in the quarter finals of the CIB Egyptian Open.

The two players are no strangers to competitive matches with their last encounter in Egypt being a 3-2 thriller at the CIB Black Ball Open in December. And they put on a show once again in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza as the first game went the distance.

Gilis started well, but it was El Hammamy who kept coming back to hold game ball first before Gilis found a way back in the windy conditions on the glass court to convert her second game ball and take the lead.

The second game was in complete contrast though as Gilis seemed to have lost all momentum as El Hammamy took a grip of the match with the drop off in physicality clear from the Belgian.

It was tight in the early stages of the third before at 5-5, El Hammamy made her move to take the lead for the first time in the match before closing out 11-4 in the fourth as Gilis looked uncomfortable and tired towards the end.

She will face either World No.2 Nouran Gohar or Nada Abbas in the quarter finals on Wednesday.

“The first game was crucial, it took both of us a while to adapt to the court conditions,”

“I think it’s really different playing on an outdoor court, it felt like the court was a bit tricky. I think the first game it took a little bit of time to get into the game and the last three games, I managed to find my length and corners.

“At the end of the day I’m playing against an Egyptian in the next round. There isn’t one I’d prefer to play, especially when we’re playing in Egypt, it’s better to play against someone who is non-Egyptian, so that we can have the crowd on our side. I’ll have a rest day tomorrow and be ready for the quarters.”

Gilis said:

“I had some food I stored in the fridge yesterday at lunch and it was bad I think. I have been terribly sick. I’m so furious with myself because I should have known better and it’s not every day you get a chance like that.

“I tried my best, my head wanted to but my body couldn’t.”

Result:
[6] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 11-13, 11-2, 11-7, 11-4 (54m)

Coll Battles Past Abouelghar in Five

Paul Coll

New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll was forced to dig deep as he battled his way past Egypt’s World No.16 Mohamed Abouelghar by an 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 margin to reach the quarter finals of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

The Kiwi, who enjoyed the biggest moment of his career last month when he lifted the prestigious British Open title, proved he had carried that momentum with him to Egypt as he edged out a tight first game.

Abouelghar rallied well back in the second though as he took the match to Coll and was able to match him physically to draw back level.

Those two games seemed to have taken a lot out of the legs of the Egyptian as Coll got back on track in the third with a relatively straightforward 11-7 win. However, lapses in the fourth cost him as Abouelghar roared back to life in the fourth, buoyed by the home crowd, to push it to a fifth.

That proved to be a game too far for the Egyptian though as Coll comfortably took control of the game and never looked back to close out in 87 minutes.

“He’s probably the toughest round three opponent you could get,” said Coll afterwards.

“I knew before we even started that it was going to be a battle and it lived up to that today. I’m very happy to come through, it was a bit of an up and down match, but I’m happy to find my range on this court and get a good amount of time on there, so I’m a bit more used to where the ball bounces and stuff like that.

“I’m going to get some rehab now, some physio and a lot of food into me. Nice rest tomorrow, have a practice tomorrow afternoon and maybe watch an old match of ours [against Marwan ElShorbagy].

“It was 34 degrees on the court today, as you can see we’re both just dripping and I slipped in the back corner. It’s quite tough and something you have to deal with. The wind and heat is something different to an indoor court and I’m happy with how I adapted today.”

Abouelghar said:

“In the beginning, I realised that the conditions were very hot and suited his game more than mine and my shots at the front were a bit loose due to the temperature of the court.

“Then, when things started to settle, I was able to find my attacking shots and my attacking game, but in the last game, I was tired and went for too much to early at the start,playing loose shots and he was able to counter me.”

Result:
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (87m)

Gohar Dominates Abbas to Reach Last Eight

Gohar Dominates Abbas to Reach Last Eight

There was no stopping World No.2 Nouran Gohar as she stormed her way into the quarter finals in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza with an 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 victory over compatriot Nada Abbas in 22 minutes.

Gohar, who finished runner-up at this event to Nour El Sherbini last year, cut a determined figure as she found her accuracy quickly to down the World No.27 and set up a quarter final with World No.5 Hania El Hammamy.

“It’s never an easy match, the women’s game is at the highest level it’s ever reached,” said Gohar afterwards.

“Matches are really hard from the very first round, even if the score wasn’t really tight, it was hard on there to be able to close it out in three.

“Next match against Hania, we have played a lot in the last couple of months and the last encounter was at the British Open. I really enjoyed the match and I’m looking forward to that one.

“It has been incredible what CIB has done for our sport, it has never been done before. I’ve never seen someone as passionate about squash as Hussein Abaza. It’s incredible to have the support of a great man, even during COVID, we didn’t have to worry a lot because he was putting events on all over Egypt and the prize money was the same or more. It’s nice to play at home and especially when your sponsor is sponsoring the event.”

Result:
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (22m)

Farag into Quarters

Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag is through to the quarter finals of the CIB Egyptian Open after defeating compatriot Mohamed ElSherbini 3-0, with the latter forced to retire in the third game.

World Champion Farag was comfortably in control as he took the first two games for the loss of just six points, before ElSherbini limped off court at 2-0 down in the third, before eventually shaking hands with Farag to bring a premature end to the last match of the day.

“Mohamed and I go way back to nine-years-old,” said Farag.

“The first ever Nationals I won, at under-13, was against him and he beat me a few times in juniors. Unfortunately he had to stop for a bit, he had a life threatening and life changing accident because he’s coming back strong from it, very consistent and disciplined. But I knew that if I put some work into his legs to start with that would pay off.

“It was a shame it had to end that way, I hope it’s nothing serious because we have a lot of tournaments coming up.

“I keep approaching every tournament the same way, whether I won it or lost in the first round. I come here and try to win it, but there are a lot of big players in the draw and it’s going to get tougher and tougher every round.”

Result:
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 2-0 retired (24m)

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