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PSA World Champs Day Four: Glass Court Player Reaction

We are into the second round of the PSA World Championships – 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.

Play begins with defending world champion Nour El Sherbini taking on Egyptian compatriot and 18-year-old wildcard Kenzy Ayman, who shocked England's Jasmine Hutton in round one.

Order Of Play
18:45 Kenzy Ayman (EGY) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
19:30 Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)
20:15 [3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Satomi Watanabe (JPN)
21:00 [4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)

Nour El Sherbini

El Sherbini comes back to beat impressive wildcard Ayman

Defending champion Nour El Sherbini recovered from an uncomfortable start to beat impressive wildcard Kenzy Ayman and set up a third round match against Belgium’s Tinne Gilis.

18-year-old World No.79 Ayman, who beat World No.29 Jasmine Hutton in the first round, caused El Sherbini no end of problems early on in the match, with her unconventional swing and aggressive positioning throwing the World No.2 off her game as she took a shock one-game lead.

Ayman continued to play well early in the second game, before El Sherbini eventually found some rhythm to take game two 11-7 and game three 11-4.

In an even fourth game, El Sherbini was able to finally put the match to bed with a hard-fought 11-9 win.

After the match, the Alexandrian praised her opponent: “I definitely [didn’t expect this performance]. It was my first time playing her and the first time I’d seen her play. A wildcard and upsetting in the first round. I think she’s being getting a lot of good results, winning tournaments.

“I didn’t expect this, she didn’t show any fear or any inexperience playing on the glass court, especially outdoors. I was definitely surprised, but I’m glad I had a little more experience than her to sneak every couple of points in each game.

“I’m going to look on the positive side. Being away [injured] for three months, just coming to play the world champs, which is the biggest event, so it’s hard and challenging, but it was a good testing match for me. This is going to get me in the mood. I’m sure I’m going to get better match by match.”

Result
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [WC] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (48m)

Farag through after entertaining bout with Salazar

Ali Farag

Egypt’s defending men’s champion Ali Farag continued his perfect start to the World Championships with a 3-0 win over Mexico’s Cesar Salazar.

Farag was pushed to the limit in a fiercely-contested first game, with the Mexican consistently punishing Farag whenever the Egyptian went short.

Eventually, though, Farag was able to make the breakthrough, with his tactic of playing to the back of the court more often paying dividends as he took the first game 13-11.

After a dominant 11-1 win in the second game, Farag wrapped up the match with a tight 11-9 win in the third.


Afterwards, he said: “I’ve experienced all sorts of things before going on court. I don’t think I was necessarily slow off the blocks. It’s just that I wanted to play with intensity, but my fault was going too short, too early. I should have found my corners in the back first.

“Once I found my groove, I think I played well. My short game can still be better and in the third I tried it, but you can’t try it against Cesar! He’s going to kill you off. Thankfully I was able to pull that one back.

“[The crowd here] are brilliant. You love to see all the kids, they’re all so passionate about the game and about the sport.
“It’s a true honour to play in our own backyard. I cannot wait to go to the museum!”

Result
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 13-11, 11-1, 11-9 (31m)

El Hammamy comeback downs Watanabe

Hania El Hammamy

Egypt’s No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy came from behind to beat somewhat unknown quantity Satomi Watanabe 3-1 to reach a third-round clash against England’s Georgina Kennedy.

Having spent the majority of the last two years training exclusively in Japan, World No.77 Watanabe’s true level was something of a mystery ahead of this year’s championship.

After beating England’s Lucy Turmel in round one, against Hammamy the Japanese No.1 picked up where she left off, taking the first game 11-8 as she took Hammamy by surprise.

Hammamy, though, was able to settle herself, switching up her attacks to take the next two games 11-5 and 11-9.

In the fourth, it soon became clear that there would be no upset. When El Hammamy took a 10-0 lead, the best Watanabe could do was attempt to avoid a bagel. The 23-year-old’s blushes were spared, though, as she clawed back two points before El Hammamy finished things off.

Afterwards, El Hammamy said: “It was obviously very hard, she took me by surprise to be honest. I’ve known Satomi for a long time. We’ve played a lot of junior tournaments together, British Open juniors, World juniors as well. But I haven’t seen her for a while, so I knew she was a great player, but I didn’t know what to expect today.

“It was definitely tough, I’m really glad I was tested today and I managed to get through it.

“I always look for my coach, in these tough moments when you feel like you’re not playing your best, that’s when you need someone to reassure you that you’re actually get in the gameplan you want.

Result

[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 3-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-2 (40m)

Asal cruises through

Mostafa Asal

In the last match of the day, Egypt’s World No.4 Mostafa Asal put in an assured performance to see off compatriot and former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in three games.

In a battle between two of the game’s most powerful players, Asal began the match at a furious pace and didn’t let up for a moment. The 21-year-old displayed his typical relentless energy as he took the first game 11-5 before quickly ending the match in 33 minutes with 11-3 and 11-4 wins.

Afterwards, Asal said: “I’m super proud that I’m playing in front of my country and my friends. It gives me lots of confidence and I have won finals on this court. Step-by-step, match-by-match, I’m going to focus on the next one.

“It’s a dream to play at the museum. We have an army of fans here in Egypt and I think all of the other players will be a bit worried!

“Omar is an unbelievable player and a legend for Egyptian squash. I improved a lot of my basic game because of him. All the time, me, my father, my coaches, watched him and how he attacks with volleys to the back corners. I’m really thankful to share a court with him for a few years and I’m so glad that I managed to win today.

“Lots of fans are coming to the museum. I’m playing for the fans and for my country and my team, Al Ahly Club.”

Result
 [4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (33m)

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