Round one of the men’s CIB Squash Open Black Ball gets underway today at 12:00 (GMT +2) before the women's final takes place at 20:00 from the Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo.
There are eight first round matches to be played. With half being played on the glass court and the other half on a traditional court and all matches will be streamed on SquashTV.
Stay here for reaction from the players in action on the glass court in round one with the likes of India’s Saurav Ghosal, England’s James Willstrop and France’s Gregoire Marche all taking to the court.
You can keep up with the live scores from the event here.
Order of play
Men's RD1 on the glass court
Ghosal Prevails Against James
India’s World No.15 Saurav Ghosal is through to the second round of the CIB Squash Open Black Ball after defeating England’s World No.33 Declan James 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-4 in a tough 65 minute encounter.
There was high quality squash on show from both players throughout the entertaining match but it was Ghosal’s physicality who stood up to the test better as he booked his place in the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Gold event.
Ghosal edged out a tight first game, before James responded well in the second, coming from 6-4 down to take the fight to the Indian player by taking control of the middle of the court and finishing the rallies clinically.
That second game looked to have taken a lot out of the tall Englishman though as he suffered from a drop off in the third with Ghosal comfortably retaking control of the match before pressing ahead in the fourth to close out.
Ghosal will face Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the quarter finals tomorrow.
“Declan James is a very very good player,” said Ghosal to the SquashTV cameras afterwards.
"I had a plan in my mind that I wanted to execute and for the most part I think I managed to do it. It's a good win."— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) December 16, 2021
SauravGhosal</a> following his RD1 win against <a href="https://twitter.com/declanjames1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">declanjames1 #BlackBallOpen pic.twitter.com/jtNMc3GEqs
“It’s not easy to move him around even though he’s a tall guy, it’s difficult and I think he absorbed a lot of pressure in the first two games and he did really well. I had a plan in the place in my mind that I wanted to execute and for the most part I think I managed to do it. Declan was playing well, so it wasn’t easy in response to what he was throwing at me but I think overall it’s a good win and to get through against him with how he was playing.
“I think it was an accumulation of everything from the beginning, my stuff to the front and the back was probably marginally better in those third and fourth games and that helps to set up the points a lot better. I think it’s also down to the amount of work that both of us did in the first two games and I probably came out of it stronger than he did.
“I just played Malaysia two weeks back and had the Asian Teams, so I’ve had a lot of squash in those tournaments. I’m just focusing on trying to improve every day and get better at everything little by little to get up to compete and win against the top eight guys and do it consistently. It’s not an overnight process and I’m just trying every day in training to get better and in matches and at tournaments is where the trust test lies and I’m trying to do better to win matches at this level.”
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-4 (65m)
Home Favourite Mosaad Battles Past Castagnet
Egypt’s World No.21 Omar Mosaad secured his place in the second round of the CIB Squash Open Black Ball after coming from a game down against France’s World No.30 Mathieu Castagnet.
The Frenchman suffered from a slow start but soon got back on track to come from 6-3 down in the first to take the lead. Mosaad, who trains at the Black Ball Sporting Club, grew into the match though and once he settled into his game plan was able to apply the pressure at the key moments to draw back level.
An edgy end to the third game saw both players hitting the tin, with Castagnet once again delivering a fightback. However, this time former World No.3 Mosaad was able to keep him at bay to take the lead for the first time in the match before closing out 11-8 in the fourth.
Mosaad will face Wales’ Joel Makin in round two tomorrow.
“I was a little bit stressed today, especially playing in front of my club,” said Mosaad afterwards.
"I was a little bit stressed today, especially playing in front of my club."— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) December 16, 2021
mosaadsquash</a> books his place in the next round at his home club <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBallSquash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">BlackBallSquash #BlackBallOpen pic.twitter.com/WdPsbQlyOo
“I wanted to win this match and play well. In the beginning I was stressed a little bit but then I started to play my game and started to play well.
“Mathieu is such a good player and we have played some good matches in the last four or five years, for this match I knew it would be tough and hard. I’m really happy to win today and play tomorrow.
“I’m just thinking about every point and point by point. Tomorrow is going to be a good match and I will put everything into it, I have trained so hard and I have a chance to win tomorrow.”
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-8 (68m)
Marche Downs Wildcard Nassar
A performance of sheer dominance from France’s World No.14 Gregoire Marche saw him down wildcard Abdelrahman Nassar by an 11-0, 11-2, 11-5 margin to reach the last 16.
Nassar was featuring for the first time at a PSA World Tour event as he starts out his professional career but was given a harsh lesson by Marche who dropped just two points on his way to a 2-0 lead.
The young Egyptian produced some better rallies in the third to get some points on the board but was unable to disrupt the rhythm of Marche who comfortably prevailed in 26 minutes to set up a second round match with Mazen Hesham.
“You never know what to expect,” said the Frenchman in his post-match interview.
"You never know what to expect. I'm happy with the way I managed to win the first two easily and I could be a bit more relaxed in the third."
Dominant victory from
GregMarche</a> sees him reach the second round <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBallOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackBallOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/rqvJT8cQFY">pic.twitter.com/rqvJT8cQFY</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) December 16, 2021
“In Egypt against these young boys, I knew I had to be at 100% to be ready for the first round because you never know what to expect with these guys. I tried to find my length at the beginning and tried to find my rhythm. I was just looking at him in the warm-up because I’d never seen him play before. I'm happy with the way I managed to win the first two easily and I could be a bit more relaxed in the third. It’s a good match to get ready for tomorrow.
“I felt good with my backhand and the length was good. It’s easier when the rhythm is not that high but that’s something I’ve been working on. I felt good on this court, I like it and let’s get ready for tomorrow.
“It’s not that cold on court, it is outside -it’s not usually like this when we come to Egypt. We don’t feel the cold on court, it can be quite bouncy and it’s a fast front wall and you have to be ready and in shape with your movement. It’s a good court for me and I’m looking forward to playing Mazen in the next round.”
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [WC] Abdelrahman Nassar (EGY) 3-0: 11-0, 11-2, 11-5 (26m)
ElSherbini Takes Out Former World No.1 Willstrop
Mohamed ElSherbini at full stretch
Egypt’s World No.24 Mohamed ElSherbini claimed a big win over England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop in a tight five-game battle as he booked his place in the second round at the Black Ball Sporting Club.
38-year-old Willstrop had been claiming some big upsets of late, taking out higher seeds at previous events throughout the year but saw his CIB Squash Open Black Ball campaign brough to a premature halt as ElSherbini put in a resilient performance to prevail.
The Egyptian, who is the cousin of women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, took a tight first game before Willstrop fought back in the second to draw level.
Decisions began to affect the flow of the match in the third as Willstrop surrendered two game balls to allow ElSherbini to sneak ahead once again before Willstrop pegged him back once more to push the match to a fifth.
The lead continued to exchanged hands but it was eventually ElSherbini who was able to get across the line first converting the win in 79 minutes and will now face Marwan ElShorbagy in the next round, who won the Platinum version of this title back in March.
“I’m just enjoying my time on court, I’m not stressing,” said ElSherbini.
"He's a former World No.1 and I've been looking up to him all my life when I was young. I just wanted to show him what I've got."
moelsherbini1</a> takes a big win to wrap up the men's action for the day <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBallOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackBallOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/uIx2bd3KKl">pic.twitter.com/uIx2bd3KKl</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) December 16, 2021
“The last few tournaments I’ve been putting a lot of stress on myself and not been playing with a lot of confidence. Today, I said to myself he's a former World No.1 and I've been looking up to him all my life when I was young. I just wanted to show him what I've got and enjoy myself on court.
“My short game was pretty good today and I was attacking well from the middle of the court. I was patient and I think it worked pretty well and I was going short on the backhand side.
“At 8-6, I thought I didn’t come this far so might as well give it everything.”
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9 (79m)