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Nour El Sherbini

PSA World Champs Day Two: Glass Court Player Reaction

The PSA World Championships continues with the conclusion of the first round today – and we'll have all the player reaction from the glass court at Cairo's Club S Allegria right here.

Play begins at 18:45 (GMT+2) live on SQUASHTV and you can also stay up-to-date with all the live scores from the tournament here..

Both of the defending champions, in five-time winner Nour El Sherbini, and two-time champion Ali Farag, are in action on the glass court this evening.

Order Of Play
All times are local (GMT+2)

El Sherbini Gets Title Defence Underway

World No.2 Nour El Sherbini kicked off the defence of her PSA World Championships crown with a comfortable victory over Spanish No.1 Cristina Gomez, winning the opening match of the evening on the glass court in straight games.

The par had never met on the Tour before, but El Sherbini’s experience of both glass courts and playing in outdoor conditions certainly seemed to help her, as she was able to find her length more consistently than the Spaniard throughout the match.

The five-time World Champion, who has actually featured in the last six finals at the sport’s premiere event, came through in just 21 minutes, winning 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 to book her place in the last 32 of the competition.

“It feels good, I am really happy to be back. A good first match for me and I am so excited for this week,” El Sherbini said.

“I am trying to have no nerves this week, putting all the negative thoughts out of my mind. I am feeling good, my body is good, physically way better than three months. I am just happy with the way I am playing now. No pressure, no stress, just try to relax and play the best squash I can this week.

“It is always tricky playing on an outdoor court. we have been in this situation before. In Gouna, I played in worse conditions than today, so I am happy with today. It wasn’t that windy inside the court, so for my match, I think it was good. It is tricky to play on a court like this, but hopefully I can battle through more like this!”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (21m)

Farag Starts Title Defence In Style

Ali Farag in action in Cairo

Ali Farag, the reigning PSA World Champion, became the second player to get their title defence underway on day two, and he followed Nour El Sherbini in the same fashion, winning in straight games against Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas.

The pair had never met on Tour, but the Mexican had moved inside the top 40 thanks to a good run at the Manchester Open in April, and he proved no fool on court in the opening round of the World Champs, as he took an early lead in the opening game.

However, Farag was able to come from 7-3 down to win it 11-8, and he held that momentum throughout the rest of the contest, winning in three to book his place in the second round in Cairo.

“First rounds are always tricky, especially if you are playing at a new venue, and if it is outdoors because you have to adapt to the conditions of the court,” Farag explained.

“I had that in mind coming into the match today. I knew the first game was only to the back two corners to try and find my groove. At least I found it, put some work into his legs, and then I went short a lot quicker in the second and third.

“You have to look at.. Every player now moves really well but they all have holes in their movement somehow so you try to look at them. I watched him play in Manchester and he played brilliantly well, so I watched with a lot of focus, on how I wanted to play today.

“The danger I always myself. If I feel alright, I have the belief that I can beat anyone on my day. I hope I can put six of those performances in a row. I can only focus on the next match, either Yahya Elnawasany or Cesar [Salazar], I don’t know who, but that will be my primary focus for now!”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (30m)

El Hammamy Downs Ibrahim To Reach Round Two

Hania El Hammamy

World No.3 Hania El Hammamy got her World Championships campaign off to a great start, with a straight games victory over compatriot Sana Ibrahim, in the penultimate match of the evening’s play.

The pair had never met on Tour, but had seen a lot of each other throughout their junior careers, and Ibrahim tried to come out and playing her typical attacking style, but El Hammamy was able to be the one on top.

The reigning British Open champion came through in three games, to book her place in the second round of the tournament, as she begins her run towards a first World Championships, perhaps?

“It’s good to be back at the World Champs. What an opportunity for any player to be playing in such a huge tournament,” El Hammamy said.

“First round, playing against Sana, she is very tricky, very dangerous and she likes to attack a lot. I had to be sharp and to control the nerves to get through the first round.

“I know Sana, we both played a lot of juniors together, so I knew what to expect. She is very flexible and her swing flows a lot. You can wait for a drive and then you find a boast. You have to be sharp and stay alert in the middle of the court.

“As much as I love playing outdoors, it is very tricky and one day you can find the court very good, another day it is very weird. It can change from one match to another so it really depends on how alert you are and how prepared you are for the conditions.”

[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)

Asal Overcomes Waller To Book Second Round Spot

Mostafa Asal

World No.4 Mostafa Asal was the last man to book his place in the second round of the 2022 PSA World Championships Cairo, with a win over Adrian Waller on the glass court at the Club S Allegria.

It was a very disrupted match, with decisions and court conditions continuing to stop any sort of rhythm from getting into the match, but Asal was able to battle past that, winning in straight games to advance to the last 32.

“I love playing here. I love playing in front of this crowd, my friends, my family, so thank you for coming, supporting me on the first day, the first round. I will arrive at my goal, and drive at the trophy,” Asal said.

“We do Ramadan for all the Muslims, so it is tough for us. To get in shape is also tough and do it during Ramadan is even tougher. During COVID as well has probably affected it a bit but I am here to perform, I am here in front of everyone here, it is almost 10pm and the guys are still here cheering for me.

“I love how the kids are reacting to me. Almost seven years to get on his court. I played lots of juniors, lots of PSA tournaments to get here. To be honest, it is hard but if you are committed then you will get here.”

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (38m)

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