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World No.1 Ali Farag

CIB EGYPTIAN OPEN DAY SIX: PLAYER REACTION - GLASS COURT

The quarter finals of the CIB Egyptian Open conclude tonight in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza.

Home favourite and men's World No.1 Ali Farag is in action, he takes on compatriot Mazen Hesham in the final match of the day.

American women's World No.4 Amanda Sobhy, meanwhile, starts the evening's play. She faces Egypt's No.7 seed Salma Hany at 18:15 local time (GMT +2)

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

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

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

Order of Play
Times are local GMT+2

Sobhy shows superior nous to make semis

Amanda Sobhy

World No.6 Amanda Sobhy progressed to the semi finals after a comfortable win against World No.9 Salma Hany on a blustery court.

Sobhy took the first game, 12-10, though she would have been alarmed to have seen Hany recover from 9-4 to 9-9.

After the first, Sobhy looked far more composed and appeared to have worked the court out far better than the Egyptian. The American blasted through the second and third games, taking them 11-3 and 11-2 as Hany struggled to find her length.

Speaking after the match, Sobhy said: “I think it was honestly a battle against the wind more than my opponent, I was just trying to adapt and figure out where the wind would take the ball, which corners were dead, what direction the wind was going. I think I figured it out pretty well, which I’m happy about. It was really dead out there, if you got it into the back corners, it kind of died. I fully took advantage of that and kind of ran with it. I’m really pleased to have won in three and stayed fresh, because I don’t have any more rest days.

“It’s crazy [to be playing in front of the Pyramids]. It’s been five years and I haven’t had much luck in the last few years here, but this year I’m turning it around and finally get to play on the glass and it’s amazing. It’s just a really spectacular venue and the fact that I haven’t been here in five years, it’s a long time. So to finally have made it is something really special and I’m just trying to enjoy every moment.”

Result:
[4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [7] Salma Hany (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-3, 11-2 (27m)

Cool Coll cruises through

Paul Coll

New Zealand’s Paul Coll continued his impressive form to beat Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy and progress to the semi finals.

ElShorbagy, a beaten semi-finalist last year, went into the match with a 4-2 record against Coll and won their last meeting, a 3-2 victory in this year’s Black Ball Open quarter final.

Coll, though, has been in immaculate form recently, beating World’s top two players, Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy, on his way to the British Open title last month.

Coll started the match the stronger and took first game 11-7.

ElShorbagy battled well in the second, but ultimately made too many mistakes. Coll took a 2-0 lead with an 11-9 win and then sealed the victory with an 11-3 in the third.

“[Winning the British Open] gave me a lot of confidence. I’ve struggled with Marwan in the past and he’s beating me in the head-to-head. I was extremely happy with that performance tonight, I had a tough one a couple of days ago but I’m really happy to come through that in three against a really classy opponent,” Coll said after the match.

He added: “I’ve been working on [using the front of the court] a lot. My coach is one of the best in that area I think. In the last month we’ve done a lot of work on it, some sharp work at the front and it really paid off tonight. It was tricky conditions out there, a lot of wind blowing, but I was timing it really well and was comfortable taking it short. It was one of those performances that just clicks tonight.”

Result:
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-3 (45m)

Gohar vanquishes El Hammamy once again

Nouran Gohar

Nouran Gohar knocked Egyptian compatriot Hania El Hammamy out of the Egyptian Open for the second year in succession to set up a semi-final meeting with the USA’s Amanda Sobhy.

World No.2 Gohar went into the match boasting a formidable record against the World No.5, winning all five of their previous meetings, including a 3-0 win the British Open semi final last month and a 3-1 in the semi final’s of last year’s tournament.

From the first minute, it looked like El Hammamy was facing an uphill task, as Gohar quickly took the first two games 11-6 and 11-8.

El Hammamy improved in the third, showing far greater control and consistency to claw her way back into the game with an 11-4 win, the first game Gohar had dropped all tournament.

The 23-year-old, though, was in no mood to allow a comeback, taking the final game 11-6 to seal an impressive win.

Speaking after the match, Gohar said: “It’s always tough against Hania, I think that’s the toughest draw you can get in a quarter final. She was in the top four and was then out for a month, so the draw played a role this time. It’s always tough against her, we’ve played quite a lot over the last couple of months. It has become a bit of a habit to play against Hania!

“I’m just glad with the way I dealt with the conditions. It wasn’t easy out there, outdoors. The crowd played a huge role, I could hear them cheering for both of us and that gives us a really good push, even if you’re not in your best form and having your best day, it gives you an extra boost.

“It’s very exciting [to play Sobhy in front on an Egyptian crowd]. It’s already very exciting to be playing in front of the Pyramids.

“Today, when I was going out of my room, I was really excited to be on this court. Usually I’m excited to play a match, but today it was extra special, knowing I’m playing in front of the Pyramids. So tomorrow, not playing an Egyptian, it’s much nicer as well, because today half of the crowd was with Hania and half was with me, but tomorrow I’m sure they’re all going to be with me!”

Result:
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [6] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6 (52m)

Farag faces Coll rematch after Hesham win

Ali Farag

World No.1and defending champion Ali Farag safely navigated his way to a rematch with Paul Coll by beating compatriot and World No.14 Mazen Hesham.

Hesham, famed for his extravagant play, had impressed on his run in the tournament, coming from behind to knock out 2019 winner and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in the third round.

Farag, though, has looked imperious since his defeat to Paul Coll in the British Open final last month and went into the match yet to drop a game in the tournament.

Despite the best efforts of Hesham, he struggled to deal with his fellow Cairo native’s relentless consistency. 29-year-old Farag controlled the first two games in relative comfort before surviving two game balls in a 12-10 win in the third.

After the match, Farag said: “I try to find different things out [to beat a Hesham’s unique play-style]. We came on with a very dead ball. I know the wind affects it a bit, which makes it even deader, but I think there was something with the ball. You had to hit the ball really over the service line to get it deep into the back corners.

“I think I dealt with that well in the first, but as you saw in the second and third, I don’t think I played badly but he just comes up with winners from nowhere really. You just have to accept that at some point. It’s annoying that three of them came at 5-5 in the third, three rolling nicks that I could do nothing with and I don’t think my shot was bad either, but I was just happy that I won that one because I was already thinking of the fourth to be honest.

“I was thinking that I was going to change the ball, thinking about what my tactics were going to be, but then 10-8 to 10-10 in a fraction of a second. A return nick from myself and a return tin from him and there we were again. I’m very relieved to be through in three for sure.”

On the potential for revenge against Paul Coll, he said: “Revenge is a very negative emotion I don’t want to go on court with. Paul is flying with confidence and rightly so, he’s playing the best squash of his career. The scary thing is, he’s only going to get better from here. But I hope [I am, too] and I have a clear plan in my head about how I’m going to play.

“Let’s hope I’m able to execute it because I’m sure he’s got a lot of plans ready for me as well. But it’s always enjoyable playing with Paul. He’s very fair, very fit, unfortunately! But hopefully I’m going to be up for it.

“We’ve never seen crowds like this from the very beginning, from the quarters it’s been a full crowd. Thanks to the whole events team, they’ve put on a great show. I was one of those kids once and I know exactly how they feel and I’m super proud to be the one playing on this stage at the tournament and I hope I can go one step further, well, two steps further!”

Result
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (48m)

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