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Nour El Tayeb in action

CIB SQUASH OPEN BLACK BALL DAY TWO - PLAYER REACTION

The action continues at the Black Ball Sporting Club today as round two of the CIB Squash Open Black Ball gets underway at 12:00 (GMT +2).

You can stay up to date with all the latest reports and reaction from the players here.

The top eight seeds are all in action today. World No.1 Nour El Sherbini gets her campaign underway against Belgium's Nele Gilis. World No.2 Nouran Gohar will face Coline Aumard from France in her opening match of the tournament and England's Sarah Jane Perry starts her title defence against dangerous compatriot Georgina Kennedy.

You can catch all the action live on SQUASHTV (worldwide).. We will also be showing Nour El Tayeb's comeback match against compatriot Hana Ramadan live and free on our Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and TikTok pages.

Keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Order Of Play
(All times local GMT+2)

Another upset for Mohamed as she downs No.5 seed King

Farida Mohamed in action

A hard hitting affair opened the day’s play at the Black Ball Sporting Club for round two. No.5 seed Joelle King from New Zealand was seeking revenge against her younger opponent Farida Mohamed after the young Egyptian won their previous match.

A cagey opening two games saw a good mix of aggressive hitting and subtle short attacks. With the match level at 1-1, it was King who looked likely to progress as she took the third game comfortably 11-3, helped by errors from Mohamed.

But, the spirited Egyptian fought back in impressive style to take the match into a deciding fifth game. Nerves were evident from both players throughout the decider.

Mohamed produced some incredible winners to give herself three match balls at 10-7 but King came back strongly to force a tie break. But the young Egyptian was not to be denied and produced another upset, after defeating Belgium's Tinne Gilis in the first round, to seal her place in the quarter finals.

Here’s what Mohamed had to say about the performance:

“Joelle is very experienced and she wanted her revenge. It was very hard from the first point, I’m so happy with this win, glad I managed to focus at the end. I lost a bit of focus In the middle but glad that I could hold it together at the end to win.”

“It’s interesting to play top players, the pressure isn’t on you but at the same time it is time for me to rise up the rankings. Every tournament I try to take something positive from it to push me harder and get big wins in every tournament.”

“I’ve been working on plan Bs for my game. After this tournament I will carry on, i’m interesting to see what can happen with that.”

“I went on in the fifth, trying to focus a lot. I was focusing well in one game then badly in the next, and so I tried to push hard in the last game because its the final game so I gave it everything, I went 10-7 up and lost 3 points so I pushed so hard to close out the game.”

Result:
Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 3:2 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12 (58m)

Kennedy knocks out defending champion Perry

Georgina Kennedy defeating Sarah-Jane Perry

England’s Georgina Kennedy produced an incredible performance to knock out defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry.

Kennedy’s trademark fast movement and intensity was evident from the first point. Kennedy gave no time for Perry to settle and made it extremely difficult for the defending champion to make any headway in the match.

A competitive second game was a big point in the match and it was Kennedy who took it 13-11. Perry was starting to stop her opponents movement and dictate proceedings with her skill and deception. But Kennedy was not to be denied a deserved 2-0 lead.

The pressure from Kennedy didn’t let up and she ran away with the third game, gaining an 8-3 advantage before closing the game out 11-6 and earning her biggest scalp on the PSA World Tour so far in her career.

Kennedy admitted she has learnt a lot from Perry in recent months and that being on court with the World No.5 has really helped her game:

“Definitely my best result, SJ has always been my an idol of mine. I’ve had the opportunity to play her a couple of times and she’s taught me so many lessons,. I’ve always took something away to work on with my coach after playing her. I think today I played above my normal level and I sensed she was slightly off and I got some god dying lengths and that was the difference. Just so happy to be through.”

“Its hard, I work a lot on the metal side. If you lose concentration for a second SJ can fire off winners so quick. I just needed to hit my targets and keep the intensity up.”

“I’m strict with my diet, I don’t eat meat or dairy. I try to get my protein in. Since changing my diet after college i’ve really noticed a difference in my perforce and recovery. I feel like I can back up hard sessions most days and I think that’s all down to diet.”

“She’s unbelievable, I've trained with her a few times and she’s so lethal, off the serve you have to be ready for her to slot a winner. But I'm looking forward to it, nice to play different people but it will be difficult.”

“I can’t belie how well this year has gone! I was struggling to get into a 3k in June and now I'm here at Black Ball. Thats a lot down to my coach Ben Ford, he’s the best coach and one of my favourite people, thanks to my friends and family and everyone at the Park Langely Club, and to my sponsors as well.”

Result:
Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-6 (33m)

Elaraby gets past Evans in a tough battle

Rowan Elaraby in action at the CIB Squash Open Black Ball 2021.

The third match of the days play was between No.8 seed Rowan Elaraby and Tesni Evans from Wales.

The match was a feisty affair from the start, both players hitting aggressively to the back of the court to assert their dominance on the T. Two competitive first games went the way of the Egyptian 13-11, 14-12. Elaraby hanging tough in the big moments of those games.

In typical Evans style, the Welshwoman replied. With accurate attacks to the front and with some errors from her opponent, Evans took the third game 11-6 to give herself a fighting chance in the match.

The higher seeded Egyptian was not to be denied however, as she found her length again early in the fourth game set up opportunities to move Evans around the court. Another tiebreak decided the game as Elaraby squandered five match balls but eventually closed the match out just short of the hour mark to advance to the quarter finals.

Elaraby admitted that this wasn’t her best squash but was relived to be through to the next round:

“What can I say? The first match in a while. I expecting a tough match against a tough opponent, first time playing Tesni, I knew it would be tricky so just very relieved to be through.”

“It wasn’t the best squash that I’ve played. I couldn’t find my short shots, these are my strong shots usually so I think i’m going to think more about my game plan and try to apply it on court better next time.”

“Today I was moving well, I’m injury free and my body is good so that’s a bonus and I will take that forward for tomorrow.”

Result:
[8] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Tesni Evans (EGY) 3-1: 14-12, 13-11, 6-11, 14-12 (58m)

Nour El Tayeb back with a bang

Nour El Tayeb returns to winning ways

The last match of the first round two session saw the return of World No.7 Nour El Tayeb. This was El Tayeb’s first match on the PSA World Tour since October 2020 following the birth of her daughter as she took on surprise second round opponent Hana Ramadan, who defeated Canada’s Danielle Letourneau in round one.

It was a slow start by the World No.7 as Ramadan came out firing in the opening exchanges of the first game. El Tayeb was finding her range with every rally, and although losing it 11-9, the former US open champion was looking confident leading into the second.

El Tayeb’s class shone through in the following three games. Making Ramadan cover so much of the court rally after rally with lethal attacks and devastating drives.

It was evident that El Tayeb was lacking the match sharpness that other players have from competing regularly, but with the skill that Tayeb possesses she will be a serious threat to any player she comes up against.

Up next for the new mother is a quarter final clash with either Nele Gilis or World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.

“I’m very happy. I surprised myself with how I kept hope even after losing the first game. I felt a little bit emotional when I saw my parents here, I felt like when I was growing up and they used to come to my matches when I was still a child. To play this way and win was good, I got quite tense at the end.”

“The biggest challenge is just leaving the house to train. I’m always tired and not sleeping very well so just to go and train was the biggest challenge.

“I missed the competition part of the game, like running and retrieving and obviously I’m not as quick but I'll get there, I’m not seeing a lot of boasts now but I’ll get them. It was more than fine for the match so I’m happy.”

“Obviously there’s always things to improve on in squash, but the main thing for me is to fight for every point, if I'm losing or the higher seed, all these things used to bother me, having now had Farida, I'm more relaxed about losing and if I lose I get to go home to a beautiful baby so I think that’s the main thing I’ll work on, but for squash, every shot needs to be better.”

“I hope it’s a good message. I need a lot of help. I think for a woman to go back to work she needs a lot of help from her husband and family and thankfully I have that.

“For me, I had to do something, I had to come back to squash, its the only thing I do well..I hope. Im happy to have my family here for my first match and I can keep going with the comeback. It's a nice challenge and I think I can do it.”

Result:
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (36m)

El Hammamy Conquers Abbas

Hania El Hammamy

Egypt’s World No.4 Hania El Hammamy secured her place in the quarter finals of the CIB Squash Open Black Ball courtesy of an 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 victory over compatriot Nada Abbas.

Fresh from her victory on the PSA Challenger Tour at the CIB Egyptian Challenger Tour 5, World No.28 Abbas was looking to continue her strong run after downing India’s World No.12 Joshna Chinappa in the first round, but came up against a formidable El Hammamy who got the job done in straight-games.

El Hammamy, who won her maiden Platinum crown on this court in 2020, navigated her way through a tricky first game before fully showcasing her explosive movement to take the victory in 36 minutes.

She will face fellow Egyptian Rowan Elaraby for a place in the semi-finals.

“I really felt great today on court,” said El Hammamy afterwards.

“She had a good week in Alexandria and I knew that tournament would give her a lot of confidence. I had to be well prepared mentally and physically and I’m really happy with my performance today.

“I have great memories and bad ones here, I have both. My first ever Platinum title was here, this club and this tournament has a special part in my memory and my career. Hopefully this year I can have another great run.

“I’m just trying to focus day by day, match by match, on my length and targets and everything just flows after. I tried to be as sharp as I can, recover as much as I can.”

Result:
[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (36m)

Quickfire El Sherbini Reaches Quarters

Nour El Sherbini

Egypt’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini has set up a thrilling quarter final match-up with Nour El Tayeb following her 11-1, 11-6, 11-2 victory over Belgium’s Nele Gilis.

El Sherbini has strong history at the Black Ball Sporting Club, reaching three finals on this court and winning the Platinum version of the event earlier this year. And the Egyptian started her tournament in incredible fashion this time around as she took just four minutes to take the first game.

The top seed continued that unbreakable momentum throughout the match with her full repertoire of shots on display as World No.14 Gilis struggled to make any headway against her formidable opponent, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat in 25 minutes.

“I was really happy on court, I think my shots were working,” said El Sherbini in her post-match interview.

“It’s a tough first round for me and Nele has been playing really well, she’s very fit and I was trying to stop her getting anything back. I’m really glad I played well and my shots were good.

“This tournament doesn’t have any days off, so you always try to make it as short as you can. Keep your body good and make sure there is nothing wrong, you didn’t play a long match so you just keep going and you’re fresh in the next round.

“I think every match is difficult and you have to be ready for every opponent. I’m used to this situation, I’ve been in this place for a long time and the pressure is always on me because I’m the top seed. It’s hard, but I’m trying to work mentally to be relaxed and just play squash. Next round is going to be difficult playing Nour [El Tayeb] again, it’s amazing to see her back and winning. It’s always been a rivalry between us since we were juniors and have been travelling together, so it’s really good to see her back on court and to be playing against each other.”

Result:
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-1, 11-6, 11-2 (25m)

Hany Survives Five-Game Battle

Salma Hany in action against Mariam Metwally

World No.8 Salma Hany was forced to battle hard in a five-game thriller against fellow Egyptian Mariam Metwally to book her place in the last eight by an 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4 margin at the PSA World Tour Gold event.

World No.42 Metwally got off to a strong start to take the lead and continued to cause problems for Hany throughout their topsy-turvy match, taking the No.6 seed in the distance in five games.

Hany responded well to going a game down, finding her accuracy to get back on level terms before looking as though she was in the driving seat to take a 2-1 lead before Metwally discovered her fight once again to push the round two clash to a tense decider.

It was all Hany in the fifth though as she made the most of a drop off in physicality from her opponent to take the victory in 51 minutes and set up a quarter final clash with either World No.2 Nouran Gohar or France’s Coline Aumard.

“Mariam is such a dangerous player,” Hany said afterwards.

“She has great hands and can hit a winner from any corner of the court. I’m definitely happy to be through today, it could have gone either way and I’m just happy to find a way through.

“It was a bit challenging because I felt like there was a lot of stoppages in the match. There were some patches where it was really fast and some patches where it was really slow and short rallies. It was a bit different to try and keep my body firing the whole match. I struggled out there today, but I just thought it was a situation that I had to manage and figure a way out. I’m proud of how I found a way today.

“I train here all the time, it feels like home. I know everyone here, so I’m always happy when I play on this court and definitely taking advantage of that. I’m just happy that I get to play another match here tomorrow.”

Result:
[6] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-2: 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4 (51m)

Gohar Powers into Quarters

Nouran Gohar in action against Coline Aumard

Egypt’s World No.2 Nouran Gohar got her campaign under way for her first title at the Black Ball Sporting Club with a confident 11-4, 11-2,11-4 victory over France’s Coline Aumard.

Gohar, who has been in scintillating form all year with four titles in 2021, continued to show why she is one of the top contenders as she was at her accurate best to book her place in the quarter finals of the PSA World Tour Gold event.

The World No.2 comfortably took the first, before a hit to the back of the calf further disrupted Aumard’s rhythm with the World No.23 forced to take an injury break. Things didn’t get any better for the Frenchwoman though as Gohar continued to exert her dominance on the match to prevail in 28 minutes.

Gohar will face compatriot Salma Hany for a place in the semi-finals.

“It’s never easy to play an injured player, Coline is definitely one of the most experienced players on tour right now,” said the 24-year-old.

“I think today was her 300th match, so you can’t take it for granted against Coline. It’s always tough against her, we haven’t played for a while now but it’s always enjoyable. I’m just happy that I went on there and I was really excited to be on court today, I was finding my targets so that’s a positive thing today.

“Stoppages are part of the game, over the years I’ve learned how to cope with it. It’s tricky to play an injured player, I had the momentum, I wanted to keep it and didn’t want to stay longer on court, it’s already late so I just wanted to get the job done and onto the next one.

“The schedule is fair. Tomorrow I’m having another late match, so I have time to recover. I’m just going to do my normal routine, stretch, recover, do some physio work, have a good dinner and sleep and then fresh for tomorrow.”

Result:
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (28m)

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