The action continues at the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic 2022 tonight as round two gets underway tonight from London's East Wintergarden.
Opening up the night’s play will be World No.10 Fares Dessouky taking on the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Rodriguez in what promises to be an exciting affair.
Home hopes come in the form of Adrian Waller and Patrick Rooney. They take on Egyptian duo Tarek Momen and Mazen Hesham.
World No.1 Paul Coll will be kicking off his title defence against young Frenchman Victor Crouin.
Order of play
Order of play
Dessouky opens day two with a win
Fares Dessouky in action
No.7 seed Fares Dessouky and ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Rodriguez opened up day two of the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic at London’s East Wintergarden.
In an entertaining match, the crowd were thoroughly entertained throughout the 30-minute affair.
Attacking play and electric movement filled the first game with both players using their attacking abilities to work each other into all four corners of the court. Dessouky managed to pull ahead and earn himself three game balls to take the all-important first game. He converted on the first attempt.
The second game was equally entertaining. Rodriguez managed to get himself ahead of Dessouky and disrupt the usual silky smooth rhythm of the Egyptian. Dessouky battled back once again and secured his quarter final place, winning the second game 11-9.
‘Fearless Fares’ Dessouky had this to say after the opening match of the night:
“Today was a very good match. It was very testing, Miguel played very well, he's very entertaining, I always enjoy playing him and he's a good friend of mine and it’s always nice to play a very clean match.
“I didn't mean this, it was 100% luck [talking about a trick shot], I had to play it and just make sure it touched the wall. I think it's going to be a shot of the month. I'm glad Daryl Selby isn't in this tournament, he's always winning it.
“I'm feeling very well, I started moving really well and smooth so I'm happy, I'm still gaining confidence throughout the matches so this is the best thing.
“I'm very happy to be here, I always enjoy this tournament. I've been in the final before and I'm hoping to be there again.”
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-9 (30m)
Momen books quarter final place
Tarek Momen in action
Next onto court was the World No.5 Tarek Momen, who booked his quarter final place after coming through a difficult match with England’s Adrian Waller.
A topsy turvy first game saw lots of action at the front of the court from both players as they looked to test each other’s movement from the very start. With both players possessing such accuracy to the front corners, the first game was extremely close, Waller managed to take it 14-12.
Momen responded in the second game and by finding a better length managed to set up clearer attacking chances to move the tall Rame of Waller. Momen equalised 11-8 to force a crucial decider.
With the third game level at 5-5, after a cagey opening 10 points, Momen showed his class and went from strength to strength to move closer to booking his quarter final place. Momen’s quality drops partnered with errors from Waller made for a quick second half to the final game as the No.3 seed marched through to the last eight in 37 minutes.
“Adrian played really well today, he was really sharp apart from a few errors here and there but he was really sharp and taking the ball early. I, on the other hand, couldn't get the ball to the back of the court for some reason, it’s no excuse for a professional player to not be able to adapt for three games but I think I got better in the end, I found some length and had some good winners and made some errors as well. He helped me a little bit with some errors at crucial times but overall I think he played well, and I kept improving which is a good thing.
“It's always tough to play best of three, playing a tricky player like Adrian, there's a lot of pressure on me being the higher seed but I'm happy that I handled my nerves and eventually got to sneak the win in the end.
“I don't forgive you guys for the double bounce, thanks for reminding me, maybe because I was on court, but I thought it was two and a half bounces, but I’ll watch it back and see. It wouldn't affect the outcome of the game because he won 14 points and one point is on me so it's okay.
“I can't take credit for everything, Raneem has been amazing, she helps me so much, she really carries the burden of Shahir [Momen’s son], and the most difficult thing is going away when they're not with me because I just want to cuddle with the little one, I took them to Chicago with me which was really fun. Back home when I'm training I try to spend a lot of time at home with them, I basically just go to training and then home, I don't mess around anymore, I just go home because I want to be with them so much.
“I just texted her [Nour El Tayeb] after the match to tell her that it's incredible what he's been able to achieve, to be able to return to this form in only five months, I have no idea how she managed to do that. Even if she had lost to Hania today it's still an amazing achievement.”
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 2-1: 12-14, 11-8, 11-6 (37m)
Crouin causes HUGE upset to knock out World No.1
Victor Crouin celebrates his win
World No.1 and defending champion Paul Coll took to the court in the next match of the evening’s play as he took on talented Frenchman Victor Crouin.
The pair played three times in 2021, with Crouin unable to score a single game against Coll in all three matches, the young Frenchman was determined to put in a better performance in their first meeting of 2022.
Crouin started well in the match and was taking the game to the World No.1, finding aggressive lines and taking his opportunities going short. Some uncharacteristic errors from Coll were welcomed by Crouin as he took the first game 11-7.
More entertaining squash followed from Crouin as he moved Coll into all four corners of the court with great effect and the World No.1’s rhythm was being broken point by point. Crouin rattled off the last six points of the second game to earn the biggest win of his career as he knocked out the defending champion and world No.1 in 36 minutes.
Here’s what the Frenchman had to say after his huge win:
“My game plan was just to win one game. We played four times last season and I didn't get one game, but as I said yesterday, if I can get one game then I could have the belief to win the match. After yesterday, it was the first time I’d played best of three and I didn't like it, as it takes away the endurance of the game but today I just beat Paul Coll in two games so I think I like it now.
“If you just play to the back of the court with Paul, you're usually going to lose. I think my strength is trying to move my opponents into the four corners and today I needed to be more aggressive and I just wanted to stay relaxed and have fun and play my shots without thinking too far ahead. I hit some great shots and it worked out.
“We have some great legends of the game in France, Greg Gaultier and also Thierry Lincou and Renan was amongst them as well, I used to watch them and I dreamt of being here and yesterday I was overwhelmed by you guys and a bit anxious. But after id played on the court I felt better knowing what it was like so I just wanted to play to the best of my ability tonight.
“I just tried to play my squash, I didn't have much expectation, Paul’s No.1 because of his consistency so I'm glad I could break that today but he's World No.1 and I'm sure he’ll stay there for a while and everyone is chasing him, but personally I was just trying to improve my game and be more consistent competing against these players and get some results this season so I can be among them to get to top 15, top 10 and someday world No.1.
Victor Crouin (FRA) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-7 (36m)
Hesham fights off Rooney to reach last eight
Mazen Hesham in action
The final match of the day saw No.8 seed Mazen Hesham book his quarter final place as he beat crowd favourite, Patrick Rooney, in two very tight games at London’s East Wintergarden.
Hesham, known for his outrageous shots to the front of the court, set to work on moving the tall frame of Rooney from the start of the first game. Using severe angles to not only work Rooney physically but also mentally as the Englishman had to really think to move the ball away from the always dangerous racket of Hesham. The shot-making was ultimately too good for Rooney in the first game as the Egyptian took it 11-9.
Hesham got off to a great start in the second game, leading 6-2 by playing some well-constructed rallies. Rooney responded however and started to mount an impressive comeback to try to force a decider. Ultimately, Hesham was too strong on the night and in a game of fine margins, the Egyptian prevailed 11-9 again to secure his last eight place.
“Today was really difficult. I've never felt that drained mentally just to come and play. I wasn't going to come and play today, I felt a massive setback after my match against Diego in Wimbledon. I'm glad of how I came back today, even with all the nerves I can win, it's my first win on this court actually.
‘It's an amazing crowd. After last week I'm still not happy with my game, I'm trying to fight it in my head, and trying to do what I was supposed to do years ago before my injuries.
“My shins have been killing me for 4/5 months, I'm trying to find a solution for it, I just have to play every match with a physio beside me and some days are worse than others but I know it's not going to come easy, with all the injuries I've had, I don't want to say it's unlucky because you make your own luck but I kind of enjoy how tough it is for me and trying to embrace it as much as I can.
“With best of three, you can see it's very intense. It’s better for some players than others, you can play a bit down, even the last few shots here I was shaky, I wouldn't go for winners, you play with a bit more nerves because you don't have the time to build up the rallies, we saw it today with Paul, but Victor is playing amazingly well, he's up and coming, the same as Patrick, and it's only a matter of time before they're challenging us.”
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 2-0: 11-9, 11-9 (32m)