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27/04/2019
El Gouna International Open 2019

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El Gouna International Open 2019
Men's Draw
17 - 26 Apr
 El Gouna, Egypt, $165k

ROUND TWO
19-20 APR
ROUND THREE
21-22 APR
QUARTERS
23-24 APR
SEMIS
25 APR
FINAL
26 APR

[1] Ali Farag (EGY)
14-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 (54m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS)

Ali Farag
11-8, 11-3, 14-16, 6-11, 11-5 (81m)
Diego Elias

Ali Farag
11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (50m)
Paul Coll

Ali Farag

9-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10 (84m)
Tarek Momen
Ali Farag
11-9, 12-10, 11-3 (46m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad







 
Diego Elias (PER)
11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6 (39m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Joel Makin (WAL)
11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 (52m)
Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Joel Makin
12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (65m)
Paul Coll
[7] Paul Coll (NZL)
11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (23m)
Borja Golan (ESP)
[5] Simon Rösner (GER)
11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Tom Richards (ENG)
Simon Rösner
11-4, 11-6, 11-2 (29m)
Adrian Waller
Simon Rösner
11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-3 (41m)
Tarek Momen

 
Adrian Waller (ENG)
13-11, 11-6, 11-3 (41m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
11-9, 11-1, 3-11, 9-11, 11-6 (70m)
Edmon Lopez (ESP)
Saurav Ghosal
11-8, 11-7, 13-11 (45m)
Tarek Momen
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6 (44m)
Zahed Salem (EGY)

[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
4-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (33m)
Greg Lobban (SCO)

Karim Abdel Gawad
9-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 (90m)
Omar Mosaad
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (43m)
Marwan Elshorbagy

Karim Abdel Gawad
5-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-1 (68m)
 Fares Dessouky
Omar Mosaad (EGY)
3-11, 12-10, 11-6, 4-11, 11-2 (73m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
Nicolas Müller (SUI)
9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6 (69m)
Alan Clyne (SCO)
Nicolas Müller
11-8, 11-6, 11-2 (27m)
Marwan Elshorbagy
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
5-11, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 (62m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 12-10 (75m)
Raphael Kandra (GER)
Miguel Rodriguez
11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9 (65m)
Fares Dessouky
Fares Dessouky
15-13, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 (61m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
[WC] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
7-4 ret. (8m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY)
Cesar Salazar (MEX)
13-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-4 (56m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Cesar Salazar
11-8, 11-9, 11-1 (31m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Max Lee (HKG)
13-11, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6 (41m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)

ROUND ONE 17-19

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bye
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 11-1, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5 (38m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Joshua Masters (ENG) 13-11, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-3 (50m)
Diego Elias (PER) bye
Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (66m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bye
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (47m)
[7] Paul Coll (NZL) bye
[5] Simon Rösner (GER) bye
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (29m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [WC] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 11-1, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5 (45m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bye
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bye
Edmon Lopez (ESP) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-5, 16-14, 11-13, 11-6 (77m)
Zahed Salem (EGY) bye
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bye
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bye
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 (65m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (55m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bye
Nicolas Müller (SUI) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-8, 1-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 (61m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bye
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bye
[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bye
Raphael Kandra (GER) bye
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5 (80m)
[WC] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 11-8, 11-7, 11-2 (36m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (44m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (39m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 11-4, 8-11, 11-1, 11-2 (44m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bye

El Gouna International Open 2019
Women's Draw
17 - 26 Apr
 El Gouna, Egypt, $165k

ROUND TWO
19-20 APR
ROUND THREE
21-22 APR
QUARTERS
23-24 APR
SEMIS
25 APR
FINAL
26 APR

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (25m)
Nicol David (MAS)

Raneem El Welily
11-8, 11-8, 11-2 (22m)
Tinne Gilis
 


Raneem El Welily
11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 (38m)
Joelle King
Raneem El Welily
12-10, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
Amanda Sobhy
 

Raneem El Welily

11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6 (61m)
 Nouran Gohar
Tinne Gilis (BEL)
11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4 (59m)
[16] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
Mariam Metwally (EGY)
11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 (53m)
[14] Victoria Lust (ENG)
Mariam Metwally
11-4, 12-10, 11-4 (27m)
Joelle King
[5] Joelle King (NZL)
11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)
Coline Aumard (FRA)
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG)
11-8, 1-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8 (60m)
Nele Gilis (BEL)
Laura Massaro
11-5, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8 (44m)
Amanda Sobhy
 

Amanda Sobhy
3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (41m)
Nour El Tayeb
[13] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11 (37m)
Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[12] Salma Hany (EGY)
11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8 (35m)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN)

Salma Hany

11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (24m)
Nour El Tayeb
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (18m)
Rachael Grinham (AUS)

[4] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (31m)
Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)

Camille Serme
11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (37m)
Tesni Evans
Camille Serme
12-14, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10 (61m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Camille Serme
11-1, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4 (46m)
 Nouran Gohar
[10] Tesni Evans (WAL)
11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-2 (54m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN)
[11] Annie Au (HKG)
11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (27m)
Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Annie Au
11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 (51m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
 
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 (59m)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
11-7, 11-3, 13-11 (30m)
Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
Nouran Gohar
11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 (36m)
Zeina Mickawy
 
Nouran Gohar
11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 (74m)
Nour El Sherbini
Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7 (57m)
[15] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Nadine Shahin (EGY)
12-10, 4-11, 12-10, 11-3 (37m)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG)
Nadine Shahin
11-5, 11-2, 11-1 (17m)
Nour El Sherbini
Yathreb Adel (EGY)
11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (28m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

ROUND ONE 17-19

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bye
Nicol David (MAS) bt [WC] Jana Shiha (EGY) 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8 (46m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Mayar Hany (EGY) 5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 (42m)
[16] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bye
[14] Victoria Lust (ENG) bye
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (29m)
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10 (41m)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bye
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) bye
Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 (32m)
Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 4-11, 8-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-5 (46m)
[13] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bye
[12] Salma Hany (EGY) bye
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-4, 12-10, 11-8 (26m)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 11-7, 12-14, 11-8, 12-10 (49m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bye
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bye
Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 16-14, 13-11, 12-10 (34m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 11-3, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 (31m)
[10] Tesni Evans (WAL) bye
[11] Annie Au (HKG) bye
Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 11-7, 9-11, 17-15, 11-13, 11-8 (62m)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (21m)
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bye
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bye
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3 (38m)
Zeina Mickawy (EGY) bt [WC] Farida Mohamed (EGY) 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 (42m)
[15] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bye
[9] Alison Waters (ENG) bye
Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10 (42m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 11-6, 12-10, 14-12 (32m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bye

REPORTS

World No.1s Farag and Welily Secure El Gouna International Crowns

World No.1s Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily took the honours on an all-Egyptian finals night at the El Gouna International, PSA World Tour Platinum event as they beat Karim Abdel Gawad and Nouran Gohar in their respective finals at the spectacular Abu Tig Marina.

Farag avenged his defeat to the former World Champion in December’s Black Ball Open by winning his maiden El Gouna crown.

Farag, who turned 27 this week, finished runner-up to compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy 12 months ago, but he built on a strong start to win 11-9, 12-10, 11-3, picking up his 17th PSA Tour title in the process.

Gawad had his opportunities, leading 9-7 in the first game and 6-2 in the second, but Farag came back both times to take a two-game lead.

An ankle injury suffered by Gawad in the second prevented him from really getting his teeth into the third, and Farag made no mistake to etch his name onto the trophy, his first title on home soil since February 2015.

"I’ve played Karim in so many great finals in Egypt,” Farag said after his win.

"It was really a shame what happened at the end of the second and in the third. I’m sure if he was better physically, it would have been a totally different story. I think he had an amazing week, he’s playing well this season, and it’s great to have him on tour.

"This season has been amazing for me, I couldn’t have asked for a better one. I might have won a lot of big titles, like the World Championships and claiming that No.1 spot at the ToC, but this one is a very special one as I’m sharing it in front of my people."

World No.1 Raneem El Welily successfully defended her El Gouna International title after overcoming fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar to lift her third successive PSA Tour trophy.

El Welily beat World No.2 Nour El Sherbini in last year’s final, and was up against the woman who ended El Sherbini’s run in this tournament at the quarter-final stage. The 30-year-old took the opening game, despite being under immense pressure from her hard-hitting opponent.

Gohar, nine years El Welily’s junior, struck back in the second as El Welily went walkabout mentally and surrendered a 5-2 lead to lose 9 of the next 11 points as Gohar levelled.

The momentum then shifted in El Welily’s favour as she came back to take the third 12-10 on the tie-break, and their battle continued into the fourth game where Gohar, sporting heavy strapping on her left knee, required an injury break after a lunge into the front corner to send El Welily 8-6 up.

The World No.7 returned to court, but it was clear that she was having to protect the knee as she lacked the same explosivity in her movement, and El Welily closed out the win to earn the 22nd PSA Tour title of her career.

“I think that the blood injury break turned me down a little bit, so I'm glad I managed to come back after being 6-2 down [in the third],” El Welily said afterwards.

“It's definitely hard pushing pushing yourself this way, but when you're in a final of such a great tournament, you do your best to stay in, and you do your best to win. That's what I was thinking at that point.

“All thanks to [Tournament Promoter] Amr Mansi and his entire for putting on such a great event. It's always special here in El Gouna, We always love being here, and I think I speak for the players when I say we really enjoy being here.

“Not just for the organisation, but also for the good weather, the great crowd, and there's nothing better than playing in front of your home crowd.”

This is the second PSA Tour event in a row in which Farag and El Welily have taken silverware, and both players win $22,800 for their triumphs in El Gouna.

Farag, Gawad and El Welily will next be in action at the British Open in Hull between May 20-26, while Nouran Gohar will be playing in the Manchester Open, which starts on May 9th.

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
All-Egyptian Finals Set For El Gouna

Both the men's and women's finals of the El Gouna International, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament will be all-Egyptian clashes, as Ali Farag, Karim Abdel Gawad, Nouran Gohar and Raneem El Welily won their respective semi final match-ups at Abu Tig Marina.

World No.1 Farag is into the final for the second year in a row after coming from two games down to win in five against World No.3 Tarek Momen in a repeat of March's PSA World Championship final, winning 9-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10 in 84 minutes.

Farag, 27, lost out to compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy in the final 12 months ago, and will have the chance to go a step further after denying Momen a place in a fourth successive PSA Tour final.

“I couldn’t be more proud of today. I didn’t start the game badly, but by the end of the first, and then the entirety of the second game, he was standing in front of me,” Farag said.

“He did so for the whole game really, and I couldn’t get the ball back in the deep corners. I have to say thanks to Karim [Darwish] and Nour [El Tayeb] in my corner.

“You know, some days, some people make the difference. Today, looking at my brother who I haven’t seen for a while, he gave me the energy which made all the difference and I am really happy to be through. Tarek played really well when he was down. He was attacking really well and he played both points so well. At 10-10, I told myself that it was not lost, and that we were still all even. All credit to Tarek, he never makes it easy but I am over the moon with the win and to be in another final here in El Gouna."

Farag will aim to avenge his defeat to former World No.1 Gawad in the final of December's Black Ball Open, with Gawad beating wildcard Fares Dessouky 5-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-1 to reach a second El Gouna International final.

Gawad fell to a one-game deficit and looked on the ropes as Dessouky looked to follow up a quarter-final scalp of World No.2 ElShorbagy. But he found his range towards the back end of the second and stayed out in front to earn his spot in the title decider.

“I didn’t play my best squash today, I feel that in the first game I was picking up the ball for him! So from the second on, I tried and forget about it and push as much as I could, and to stay as strong as I could mentally,” Gawad said.

“It was a bit scrappy at times, but this is the outdoor conditions, squash is also an outdoor sport, and we are used to it. I also need to salute Fares, he is just back from an ACL injury, and the way he came back shows how strong and how professional he is.”

Meanwhile, Gohar advanced to her first Platinum final since August 2016 after beating France’s Camille Serme in four games at Abu Tig Marina. The Egyptian last reached a final of a Platinum event at the Hong Kong Open and will have the chance to add a second Platinum title to her trophy haul after an 11-1, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4 triumph.

“I am feeling very happy right now, I cannot express what I feel at the moment. It’s my first final since 2016, but more importantly, I’m playing well again,” Gohar said.

“My game plan was to put as much pressure on her I could, but making sure I was as accurate as possible. Camille is physically so strong, I cannot reach the ball when she plays her short game, so I had to make sure I was as tight and precise as I could today.”

Her final opponent will be defending champion Raneem El Welily after she eased to a straight games victory over US No.1 Amanda Sobhy. She had won 10 of their 11 previous meetings against the American, with Sobhy’s only victory coming at the 2016 Tournament of Champions.

It was the American that started the stronger, as she controlled the first game. However, Welily saved two game balls as she won four straight points to turn the game around from 10-8 down to win it 12-10. The second and third games were much more comfortable for the World No.1.

She secured her spot in the final for a second successive year, while she also made it to the final of the women's PSA World Championships when they were held in El Gouna in 2017. The win also sees Welily move to 12 matches unbeaten, the longest run of her career.

“We are both shot makers so it was always going to be the one who moves to the front first. It was not easy, there was a lot of work involved,” El Welily explained.

“Obviously, winning 3-0 in 27 minutes is a great advantage as I will be fresh for tomorrow’s final. I’m very happy to play against Nouran, she played fantastic squash this week, she is a terrific player, we had a lot of great matches this season, and no doubt tomorrow will be another great battle.”

The action comes to a conclusion tomorrow as the finals take place at Abu Tig Marina. Play will start at 19:30 local time (GMT+2).

The finals will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian subcontinent only).

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
Dessouky and Gohar Scalp World No.2s 

Egypt’s Fares Dessouky and Nouran Gohar shocked World No.2s Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini, respectively, as the quarter-finals of the El Gouna International, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament drew to a close on a thrilling night of action at the Abu Tig Marina.

Dessouky, who currently sits at World No.42, beat compatriot ElShorbagy for the first time in four attempts, having lost the previous three to the former World Champion, to reach his first Platinum semi-final since he tore his ACL in November 2017.

The 24-year-old was given a wildcard spot for the tournament and will appear in the semi-finals in El Gouna for a third time after winning 15-13, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9.

“I'm happy to say to everyone that I'm back playing at a high level,” said Dessouky.

“Mentally as well, I was good today, I feel I'm playing better than before. I'm really happy to beat Mohamed today, it was a really tough match, especially after 14 months out injured.

“I love playing in Egypt, I feel like the people here love me, and I give my best here. I'm playing in front of my family and friends, this is something incredible, and I'm happy to be here in El Gouna one more time to play on this beautiful court."

Dessouky’s win guarantees a new men’s champion, and he will take on 2017 runner-up Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the title decider.

Former World No.1 Gawad, who claimed top spot when reaching the final in El Gouna two years ago, ended the title defence of men's champion Marwan ElShorbagy as he claimed an 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 triumph.

A year ago to the day, ElShorbagy got the better of Gawad in the quarter finals en route to winning his maiden Platinum final, but this time, it was the World No.6 who took the victory in straight games.

“It was very tough. 3-0 against someone like Marwan means a lot to me as he is a very tough opponent. I am really happy to see him back and really happy with my performance today,” said Gawad, who won the last Platinum event held in Egypt, December's Black Ball Open

“I have very happy memories [of Gouna]. Reaching the finals and reaching World No.1 here in Egypt is a huge memory for me that I can never forget. Playing in Egypt is always different for me, wherever it is, in Gouna or Cairo. It is a great thing for me and I am always happy to playing a tournament here in Egypt.”

In the women’s draw, Gohar is into the semi finals of the El Gouna International after she beat World Champion El Sherbini for the first time since 2014.

Gohar had lost nine straight matches to El Sherbini since then, but played her best squash to win 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, securing a match-up with France's Camille Serme in the last four.

“It feels amazing. The only other time I beat her was our first meeting and that was in Egypt as well, it is my lucky place,” Gohar said.

“I am really pleased with it. It was a really tough match which could have gone either way. I gave my best and she gave her best so I am really pleased with it. I expected her to come back. She was not going to leave it like that, even when I was 9-5 up in the last game. I was sure she was going to get everything and she was playing as if it was 0-0 or something. She is a true fighter and I really respect her for that."

World No.4 Serme won the opening match of the night in a high-quality four-game encounter with England's World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry.

The pair had met nine times on the PSA World Tour previously, with the Frenchwoman having won seven of those. Serme fell behind after losing the first, but battled back to win the next three against a spirited Perry, who is still continuing her return from an elbow surgery.

“I knew I had the right tactic because I was leading in the first game, but I tried not to panic. Of course, she came back strongly but I knew what I had to do and I tried to stick to it,” Serme said.

“It was a big battle physically. I think physically, I could feel that she was getting tired with long rallies, so I was trying to force myself to have long rallies even though I was losing them. I had to try and make her tired, and maybe that helped in the end."

The action continues tomorrow as the semi finals take place at Abu Tig Marina. Play will start at 18:30 local time (GMT+2), with four matches set for tomorrow evening.

Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (Indian subcontinent only). Play starts at 18:30 local time (GMT+2).

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
US No.1 Sobhy Comes From Behind To Knock Out El Tayeb In El Gouna

World No.12 Amanda Sobhy is through to the semi finals of the El Gouna International, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament after sensationally coming back from two games down against World No.3 Nour El Tayeb on the at Abu Tig Marina earlier today.

Egypt’s El Tayeb took the first couple of games with ease but a change of gameplan saw the American fight her way back into it as she showed more attacking intent.

She took the third and the fourth, and made a strong start to the decider, as El Tayeb lost her composure completely, resulting in her breaking her racket against her own leg after falling 4-1 behind. After the World No.3 returned to court, a conduct stroke was given against Tayeb, with the American taking full advantage to go on and secure victory.

Sobhy will face Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily on the night of Thursday April 25 for a place in the final.

“I wasn’t thinking I had a chance to win, I was thinking about not getting slaughtered and trying not to embarrassing myself. It is a quarter final… and Tayeb was playing well, but I told myself to give it everything I had,” Sobhy said after winning.

“There was some rage, some anger fuelling me, and I just tried to power through. Fortunately I got a good lead in both the third and fourth and in the fifth, I wasn’t event thinking about how I had come back, I kept thinking I needed to keep my head down and to keep going.

“I think I was not prepared for the glass court, and I had over 48 hours of rest. I didn’t do much yesterday apart from a 30 minute hit, so I think it was just that shock to the system of the pace. I had to get the lungs working again, I couldn’t find my lengths and she was all over me. I don’t really know how, but I just told myself to stop being a baby and to push through.”

Defending champion El Welily is through to the semi finals after beating New Zealand’s Joelle King in a high-quality four game affair.

The pair had met 15 times on the PSA World Tour in the past, with the Egyptian having won 11 of them. However, King had won four of the last six, including the finals of the Hong Kong Open and Cleveland Classic in 2018.

Welily came out strong to win the first game, but the Kiwi pegged her back with some quality squash in the second. The World No.1 found another gear though to claim victory and book her spot in the semi finals.

“I am definitely pleased to be into the semis here in El Gouna. Playing Joelle has not been easy for me lately but to come out with a 3-1 win is definitely something that makes me pleased,” Welily said after her victory.

“I tried to push myself this time to get the first game and I think that made a difference somehow. I am also very happy with the way I pushed myself after the second game. Some things were not going the way I thought they would, so I am very happy with the way I pushed myself mentally to come through.”

Meanwhile, the first men’s semi final will see a repeat of the PSA World Championship final as both World No.1 Ali Farag and World No.3 Tarek Momen booked their places in the last four.

Farag advanced to the semi finals after coming through a tricky match with New Zealand’s Paul Coll.

This was the eighth meeting between the pair, with Farag having won the last six, including at both the World Championships and the Tournament of Champions earlier this year.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline, Farag never had full control of the match, as World No.5 Coll kept himself in the match thanks to his trademark retrieving ability. However, the Egyptian was able to score points at exactly the right times to secure victory, setting up a clash with Momen in the last four as he aims to improve on last year’s runner-up finish to Marwan ElShorbagy.

“Paul is always tough to play against. Even if it is in three, they are always 11-8 or 11-9, so it is never easy.” Farag said.

“He is never going to give you any cheap points, so you have to earn every single point and that is not easy when you play against someone like this. However, I think I had my tactics sorted today, and I tried to make sure I did not get into a physical battle with him, so I am glad to be through in three.”
Germany’s Simon Rösner to claim his 250th win on the PSA Tour.

Momen took the first two games comfortably, but Rösner fought back, as he aimed to win a third straight match against the Egyptian, a run which includes the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions final. It was not to be though, as Momen went back on the offensive to reach his first semi-final in El Gouna.

Momen said: "I try to isolate things, I don't like to get my revenge. Every match I play, I go in for the win. I'm fully committed to getting my win over Ali, irrespective of what happened in the past.

“I don't want to link between what happened then and what happened now. It's just a match, he's a good opponent, and I have to come on court with the right gameplay and execute it to the best of my abilities."

With both Momen and Farag into the last four, this guarantees an all-Egyptian men’s final,as Fares Dessouky, Karim Abdel Gawad and both ElShorbagy brothers face off in the other two quarter final matches.

Quarter final action continues tomorrow evening (Wednesday April 24) as the bottom half of the draw play their last eight matches on the glass court.

Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan). Play starts at 18:30 local time (GMT+2).

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
Egypt’s Gawad Comes Back From Brink Against Mosaad To Book Place in Quarter-Finals

Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad had to battle back from two games down to overcome fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad in the third round of the El Gouna International, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament taking place at the spectacular Abu Tig Marina.

The 2016 World Champion started slowly, but managed to fight his way back into his third round tie with Omar Mosaad, eventually winning the match in five games.

The pair had met five times in the past on the PSA World Tour, with the former World Champion having won the last three meetings.

Mosaad came out strongly, as he aimed to put an end to that run. He took a two-game lead after 38 minutes of pulsating squash, before Gawad turned the match on its head. The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ started the fightback in the third, winning it 11-1. He carried that on into the fifth game, as Mosaad seemed to tire, winning out 9-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 in 90 minutes.

“It is very tough against someone like Mosaad, of course. He is a very good player, and he is very tough, both physically and mentally, so it is always tough to play against him,” Gawad said after winning.

“When I was 2-0 down, I was not playing my best squash. I had to change my gameplan. My fitness coach was also a mental coach today so thanks to him.

“I just wanted to play some good squash. I did not want to go back home with a 3-0 loss here in Gouna, especially as I love playing here in Gouna. The conditions were really tough, but I am really happy that I managed to get through to the next round.”

Meanwhile, Egyptian wildcard Fares Dessouky earned his first win over a top 10 player since tearing his ACL as he prevailed in a scrappy, four-game battle with Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez over at the El Gouna Squash Complex

Dessouky, the World No.42, spent 14 months on the sidelines due to an ACL injury but has shown glimpses of getting back to his best since returning in January, reaching the final of the CCI International in his first tournament back.

He claimed a milestone win over World No.7 Rodriguez today, winning 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9. The match was a physical affair, with plenty of traffic issues on court as Rodriguez in particular got aggravated with Dessouky’s movement, but the Egyptian prevailed to earn a spot on the glass court.

“It means a lot to me, it's my first win over a top 10 player since the injury. It was a very tough match, mentally and physically,” Dessouky said.

“I was playing my own squash, my attacking games helped me today. The court didn't bother me a lot, but there were long rallies, so it was hard physically.

Dessouky will play World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy, who is through to the last eight of the tournament after dispatching Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in straight games at the glass court at the marina.

The former World Champion struggled to get his rhythm in the early stages, but got going to win the first, before convincingly winning both the second and third to set up a clash with Dessouky.

His younger brother, and defending champion, Marwan, is also into the quarter finals after beating Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.

The pair had played each other four times on the PSA World Tour, with the World No.11 having won the last three, and he came out firing to start their fifth meeting. Marwan had competed on the glass court in round one and, despite his second round fixture taking place on the side court, the World No.25 made no difference as he won out in three.

In the women’s draw, World No.2 Nour El Sherbini eased her way into the last eight of the El Gouna International as she dispatched compatriot Nadine Shahin in just 17 minutes.

The pair had only played once before on the PSA World Tour, with Sherbini having beaten Shahin in three games at the Windy City Open back in 2017.

She did exactly the same here as El Sherbini put on an absolute clinic, allowing her opponent nothing on the glass court.

“I was happy on court. I felt more comfortable because the weather is so different to Saturday,” Sherbini said.

“I took advantage of having played on this court before, which she hasn’t. It is not easy on the outdoor court, so I think I was better on court and I like the court more today and I was happy with my performance.

“I will just try to take it as another match. Nouran [Gohar] always gives me a tough match and a physical one. It has been a long time since we have played, maybe a year, and it is exciting to see how it is going to go.”

France’s Camille Serme moved through to the quarter-finals after a dominant performance from the World No.4 saw her down Wales’ Tesni Evans in straight games.

Serme had gotten the better of Evans in all seven of their previous PSA Tour encounters and this match went the way of the 30-year-old as she won 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 to set up a last eight meeting with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

Serme’s physicality saw her dominate the opening two games as she took control of the middle of the court and punished Evans every time the World No.9 left the ball short. Evans come back into the third game as she took a 6-2 lead. However, Serme was able to battle back to close out the match and set up a clash with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter finals.

“I am pretty happy. I think I managed to find a better length, and maybe having one more match on the glass court compared to Tesni helped me a little bit,” Serme said.

“In the third, I lost my focus a bit. Tesni played better, she hit the ball harder and found a better length as well, but I lost my focus a little bit. The decision at 9-7 was a bit tricky, but I am just very happy that I came back to win in three.

Perry overcame a spirited performance from Hong Kong No.1 Annie Au to win her third round match at El Gouna in five, despite thinking she might not play just an hour before the contest.

The World No.6 had suffered an ankle injury in her win against Rowan Elaraby two days ago, but luckily for the Englishwoman, she was able to recover in time to take to the court this afternoon.

Egyptian World No.8 Nouran Gohar was the other woman to earn her place in the quarter-finals after getting the better of compatriot Zeina Mickawy in four at the Squash Complex.

The action continues tomorrow as the quarter finals get underway. The top half of the draw will played on the glass court at Abu Tig Marina, with play starting at 18:30 local time (GMT+2).

Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
World No.1 Farag Survives Scare from Peru’s Elias
in El Gouna

Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag is through to the quarter finals of the El Gouna International Squash Open, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament after surviving a gripping, five-game encounter against Peru’s Diego Elias on the glass court at the spectacular Abu Tig Marina earlier today.

The 81-minute encounter saw some high-quality squash played from both players, with Farag taking a two-game lead, only to see a stunning resurgence from Elias put the World No.9 on the verge of an incredible win.

The Peruvian’s energy levels dipped in the fifth as the physical exertion took its toll, and Farag re-established himself on the match to close the win out and book his place in the next round with an 11-8, 11-3, 14-16, 6-11, 11-5 victory to set up a fixture with World No.5 Paul Coll.

“I played really well for almost three full games, up until 9-5 [in the third], I had a good lead and I was controlling it,” Farag said.

“Once I lost that one, he let his racket go and he's very dangerous when he does that. That tensed me up a little bit, and I lost my way. But I'm glad I found my way back in that fourth, even though I lost it, I think it gave me a big boost for the beginning of the fifth.

“I'm very thankful to be through that one. I never look at myself as the favourite to win any tournament, I look at myself as one of the contenders for sure, but not the favourite, so that releases me a little bit.”

Also on the glass court was Egypt’s World No.3 Tarek Momen, who saw off a strong challenge from India’s Saurav Ghosal to reach the last eight of the El Gouna International.

Momen came out firing in the first game, moving to the front of the court as quickly as possible, and nullifying any attacks that the Indian tried to put together. He won it 11-8, before taking the second in the same vein, 11-7.

At the end of the second game, Ghosal received treatment on a back injury. However, he came back strong in the third, and even had a game ball to take it into a fourth. The Egyptian composed himself though and recovered to take the match in three, winning the third on a tie-break.

"I’ve always played Saurav and never had a 3-0 win against him," said Momen.

"It was always very tough because we play a very similar game. I knew today that I had to be up for it, and I don’t need to give him any windows of opportunity. It’s hard to do that against a good a player as Saurav, and I thought I did really well to win the first two games.

"In the third, when I saw he had an injury break, I tried so hard not to think about it, and I did really well at the start of the game and didn’t think about his injury. When I got the big lead, I started to relax a bit and thought that it was a shame, it was a good match, and I felt sorry for him.

"I’m really glad that I managed to win the last game in a tie-break because I didn’t want it to go to a fourth because you never know what might happen. I’m very pleased with the win, and I’m looking forward to playing after tomorrow."

German No.1 Simon Rösner will face Momen in the quarter finals after claiming a 3-0 victory over England’s Adrian Waller.

All seven of their previous matches had gone the way of Rösner and he put in a composed performance in this one to win 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 in just 29 minutes.

New Zealand’s Paul Coll also moved into the quarter finals of the El Gouna International, after he defeated Wales’ Joel Makin at the Squash Complex.

The pair had only met twice on the PSA Tour before this clash, with the Kiwi getting the better of Makin at the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic in March. He did so again in this one, to set up a clash with World No.1 Farag.

In the women’s draw, United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy got her first win over a top eight player since October as she battled to a 3-1 victory against former World No.1 Laura Massaro to earn herself a spot on the glass court in the quarter-finals.

Sobhy was competing against the Englishwoman for the first time since 2016 and had never beaten the World No.8 in five previous matches. But Massaro looked off the pace in the opening two games as Sobhy hit clean lines and dominated the ’T’ to collect an 11-5 victory in game one, before following that up with an 11-6 triumph in the second.

Massaro dug into her mental reserves and came out fighting in the third as the steely 35-year-old stormed into a 7-0 lead. The Englishwoman lost her length though and made a succession of errors to let Sobhy back into the encounter, and the American built up two match balls to put herself on the verge of a straight games win.

Massaro came back to within touching distance, but Sobhy kept her at bay to hold three match balls, and the 25-year-old converted this time around to complete an 11-5, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8 victory in 44 minutes, setting up a clash with Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the last eight.

“I think it was the refusal to lose [that got her through it] and being able to back myself while having the confidence of being able to scalp the top eight players,” Sobhy said afterwards.

“I saw this as an opportunity, I haven't played Laura in a number of years, and I wanted to see how I would do up against someone other than Nour El Tayeb or Nour El Sherbini.

“I'm happy with how I regrouped, hung in there and backed myself to win in four. I think playing those matches [against the top players] and learning from those tough losses every time [is key to turning the losses into wins].”

El Tayeb joined husband Farag in the quarter-finals after dispatching fellow Egyptian Salma Hany in straight games.

World No.14 Hany really took the game to El Tayeb at the beginning of the first and second games, and she had the World Championship runner-up on the ropes as she displayed some serious attacking intent.

But El Tayeb grew into the match as she played the big points well and came from behind to win both of the opening two games. She then made short work of the third to book a quarter-final clash with Sobhy. The pair have met eight times on the PSA Tour – with four wins apiece – while their last three matches have gone all the way to five games.

“I think today’s match was tough, first of all it’s Salma, secondly because Ali’s match kept going and going, and he was so nervous, so I got nervous,” said El Tayeb afterwards.

“I think I started the match too tired in the end, not physically, but emotionally because of Ali’s match. But I’m glad that I managed the conditions.

“I didn’t start well in the first two games, but I managed to play well in the end, and I’m very happy with my performance. Salma is a very tough opponent, we practice a lot together, and I’m very happy to be in the next round.”

Defending champion Raneem El Welily saw off the threat of Belgium’s Tinne Gilis to earn her spot in the quarter-finals after an 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 victory on a windy night at El Gouna’s Abu Tig Marina.

World No.1 El Welily beat compatriot Nour El Sherbini to win the inaugural title 12 months ago and was tested at times in the opening two games against Gilis, who was appearing in her first Platinum third round after scalping Egypt’s Mayar Hany and India’s Joshna Chinappa.

Gilis cut the ball into the front well to finish the first two games within three points of the Egyptian, although the third was one-way traffic as El Welily dropped just two points to close out the win.

The 30-year-old will face New Zealand’s Joelle King in the quarter-finals, after she got the better of Egypt’s Mariam Metwally.

The Kiwi got off to a flying start, not letting her opponent get a rhythm going in the first game. She continued that momentum to take the match in three.

Third round action continues tomorrow at El Gouna Squash Complex, with matches starting at 12:00 local time (GMT+2). The glass court action at the Abu Tig Marina will start at 18:30 tomorrow evening.

Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
Defending Champion Marwan ElShorbagy
Survives R2 Scare


Reigning champion Marwan ElShorbagy survived a huge scare from Mohamed Abouelghar on day four of the El Gouna International Squash Open as he got his title defence underway on the spectacular glass court at Abu Tig Marina, which hosts the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament.

The Egyptian won this title last year, beating current World No.1 Ali Farag in the final, but it looked like he was on his way out after just a single match this time around. Abouelghar had never beaten his compatriot on the PSA World Tour before in three previous attempts, but he started the stronger of the two, and took the first game.

ElShorbagy came back to win the second and third with ease, but World No.8 Abouelghar fought back. He eventually had two match balls in the fifth game, but Bristol-based ElShorbagy saved both of them before winning the match thanks to some fine attacking shots at the very end.

The win sends the defending champion through to the third round of the tournament, where he will face Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller on Monday April 22.

“It was tough. It is always tough with Abouelghar. We have played so many times,” ElShorbagy said.

“I haven’t beaten a top 10 player in a long time and Abouelghar has been playing some amazing squash. I did not know what to expect because this is the best he has ever played. He is on the way up and he now is in the top eight. He is one of the most talented squash players.

“I think we both settled from the third game, I would say. It was a tough match and I expected no less. To be able to win today, I am quite happy with the result. There are a few things I need to improve for my next match, but it is just good to get into the tournament with a win like this.”

Also on the glass court, Marwan’s older brother, World No.2 Mohamed, overcame a tough challenge from Hong Kong’s Max Lee, but the former World Champion advanced after a four-game victory to get his attempts to win a second El Gouna International title under way.

Elsewhere in today’s action, Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez had to come from two games down to overhaul Germany’s Raphael Kandra at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

Rodriguez had beaten Kandra in two of their three previous meetings – including in the semi-finals of last year’s Allam British Open – but Kandra got the win the last time they played in September’s China Open.

The German played some high-calibre squash to go two games up at the Squash Complex, saving a game ball in the second. World No.7 Rodriguez was able to impose himself more on the match though after that point as he ramped up the pace and picked up all of Kandra’s shots at the front of the court as the German lost his basic length hitting.

After levelling, the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ made the most of a great start in the fifth to go two match balls up. Kandra fought back to level but, to the disappointment of the German contingent in the crowd, Rodriguez found his winning shots to complete an 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 12-10 victory.

“I didn’t start very well, he did though. He really played his best squash there, so from that point on, I changed my strategy,” Rodriguez said after the match.

“Instead of going with a slow pace, I increased it and made the rallies longer. He seemed to give up mid-game. I realised he was probably going to be back fighting in the fifth, which he was, and I was ready for it.

“I had lost to Raphael in Shanghai, so I’m happy with the win. Today was not physical as much as it was mental and tactical, the ball was very bouncy, and you had to find the right pace to get the ball in the back corners.”

Mueller also survived a five-game battle on day four, as he overcame Scotland’s Alan Clyne in a match that lasted over an hour. Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad, Fares Dessouky and Omar Mosaad are also through to the last 16, along with Mexico’s Cesar Salazar.

In the women’s draw, Egypt’s World No.2 Nour el Sherbini is into the third round after beating compatriot Yathreb Adel in straight games on the glass court.

The pair had only met twice before on the PSA World Tour, despite having both turned professional in the early part of 2009. The first game was a scrappy one, with neither player able to find any momentum, but El Sherbini was able to pull through in the end to take an early lead.

But El Sherbini, who won her second World Championship title back in 2017 on this very court, followed that up with a win in the second game, but that came much tougher, as Adel held a lead for much of the game. However, El Sherbini was too strong for her compatriot and will now take on Egypt’s Nadine Shahin in the next round.

“Playing Yathreb in the second round is a very tricky match. We have been playing for a long, long time. I can’t describe how long we have been playing against each other,” Sherbini said after her win.

“It was a tough first round, but I am happy with the way I played and I am happy with my performance. I am trying to get back in the mood after the DPD Open. It was a very short couple of days between them but it was a good start and hopefully it will keep going for the rest of the week.

“Gouna is always special and unique and I love being here. I love the vibe and the people. Your family and friends come and watch you. It is great being here and apart from the wind, the venue here is really amazing. Everything is perfect for me and hopefully this year is going to be another good memory for me as well.”

France’s Camille Serme won the first match of the evening on the glass court, as she defeated United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne in straight games.

At the Squash Complex, World No.30 Shahin shocked World No.10 Alison Waters to earn her place against El Sherbini on the glass court.

It was a momentous day for the Egyptian, as she claimed her first victory over top 10 opposition, and her first berth in the third round of a PSA World Tour Platinum event.

“It’s one of my biggest wins so far, I’ve never beaten a top 10 player. I was feeling really excited, and I played her once in Chicago two months ago,” Waters said.

“I lost 3-0 really quickly, so I was determined to do better in this one. I had to not lose focus, not even for a second. To beat someone like Alison, you have to be determined, and you have to be 100 per cent focused.

“I switched coaches, so for the last couple of months I’ve been working really hard with my new coach, Omar Abdel Meguid, and I think mentally I’m tougher and stronger. Even two months ago, I was not like this.”

Two other Egyptians are into the last 16 of the women’s draw, as Zeina Mickawy and Nouran Gohar defeated Hania El Hammamy and England’s Millie Tomlinson, respectively.

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, Wales’ Tesni Evans and Hong Kong’s Annie Au are also through to the third round after claiming respective wins over Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby, Canada’s Hollie Naughton and England’s Julianne Courtice.

The action continues tomorrow as the top half of the draw play their third round matches across the two venues. Action begins at the El Gouna Squash Complex at 12:00 local time (GMT+2), with glass court action beginning at 18:30 local (GMT+2).

Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
Welily & Farag Advance to Third Round

Egyptian World No.1s Raneem El Welily and Ali Farag have both made it through to the third round of the El Gouna International Squash Open after winning on the spectacular glass court at Abu Tig Marina.

El Welily got the better of eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the first match on the glass court this evening, winning the match in straight games, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8.

The World No.1 had met the former World No.1 27 times on the PSA World Tour, with their first meeting all the way back in 2001. David had won two-thirds of the precious clashes – including a stunning comeback from four championship balls down in the 2014 World Championship final in Cairo – but Welily had prevailed in the last six. She did so again in this one to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.

“I am really happy to have been on court with Nicol again. I was looking at the head-to-head right before the match and we have played so many times,” Welily said after the match.

“To play with her one last time, especially in Egypt, is an absolutely fantastic feeling for me. This past month, I have been spending a lot of time with her. We had an exhibition tournament in Birmingham and that was a special week for me.

“I spent so much time with her off court, for the first time ever so this past month has been really special for me, getting to know her a bit better. It has been a long journey, and I am proud to have shared some of it with her, at least.”

Also on the glass court this evening, World No.3 Nour El Tayeb got the better of 42-year-old Rachael Grinham in straight games. The Egyptian only needed 18 minutes to seal victory, securing her passage through to the third round.

At the side courts – staged at the El Gouna Squash Complex – the big shock came through Belgium’s Tinne Gilis’ victory over India’s World No.16 Joshna Chinappa.

21-year-old Gilis will now appear in the third round of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time after she held off a comeback from the Indian player to prevail 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4.

Their only previous meeting came in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – with Chinappa winning in straight games – but it was all Gilis in the opening stages as she hit her marks early on to take a two-game advantage.

The third game went the way of Chinappa as the 32-year-old controlled proceedings, while she narrowly took the fourth on a tie-break to restore parity. Gilis regrouped impressively though and a composed performance from the Belgian saw her keep Chinappa at bay to cruise home in the decider, earning her a spot on the glass court at the Abu Tig Marina, where she will play El Welily.

“This is the first time ever I beat a top 20 player, and it’s probably the best I’ve ever played too,” said Gilis.

“It was the same game plan as my previous match, slowing the pace down as she is a hard hitter, and then attacking only when the opportunity arose.

“I kind of knew what to expect as I played her in the second round of the ToC and lost in three. I’m lucky I had my friends and family to support me today, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, Mariam Metwally came through a feisty encounter with England’s Victoria Lust in the only other surprise victory, while former World No.1 Laura Massaro required five games to see off Gilis’ older sister, Nele.

New Zealand’s Joelle King, United States’ Amanda Sobhy and Egypt’s Salma Hany were the other women to win on day three

World No.1 Ali Farag is through to the third round of the El Gouna International after he overcame a stern test from Cameron Pilley.

The Egyptian, who is the reigning World Champion, got off to a good start in the first, but the Yamba-native bounced back and had game balls to win the opener.

However, Farag was able to save both, and turned the game on its head to win it 14-12. He then took the second 11-7 to take a commanding lead in the match.

The Australian continued to play well, though, and eventually got a game on the board, his first in four matches against the World Champion. Farag would win the fourth game to take the match, though, and move through to the third round of the tournament.

“I actually think I started off well, and then the conditions were really tough, so I think the experience played a role here and he knew how to play them better,” Farag said of Pilley.

“I think I was slightly off the mark because the turnaround between here and Holland was really short. The last person you want to play against when you are slightly flat is Cameron because he can cut you off in the middle of the court, and he did that really well in the first three [games].

“Thankfully, I think, at the end of the fourth he got a little tired and I think I took advantage of that. At all points [of the match] I was on my toes because I know he is a tough competitor. He understands the game really well. He is renowned for his hard-hitting but what people don’t really appreciate is how clean he hits the ball. It is very clean and he hits his targets every shot. It is not easy to play against him, but I am glad I could pull through.”

The other men’s second round match on the glass court saw Tarek Momen beat compatriot Zahed Salem in four games. The World Championship finalist beat Salem in three quarters of an hour to move into the last 16.

The big shock of the day in the men’s draw came at the Squash Complex this afternoon, as England’s Adrian Waller overcame World No.18 Gregoire Marche.

The pair were meeting for the first time since 2016 – with Marche winning on that occasion – but the Frenchman was unable to really get into the Englishman this time round as Waller won 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 to advance to the next round.

Waller will now appear in the last 16 of this tournament for the first time and will play the winner of Germany’s Simon Rösner or England’s Tom Richards, who will contest the final men’s side court fixture of the day.

“Me and Gregoire have played ever since we were young. We’re similar ages, and I think it does help that I’m so familiar with his game throughout the years,” Waller said.

“Even though we haven’t played a in a long time, I still watch him. I stuck to my old tactics today, was nice and steady, and frustrated him as much as I could.

“I had to take the opportunities when they came, but the first game was the biggest hurdle. I was up, he came back, then I came back again to take it. That gave me the confidence to stick with my game plan to see if he could come back and take it away from me, luckily he didn’t manage to get me out of it.”

The rest of the men’s action saw No.5 seed Simon Rösner and No.7 seed Paul Coll win their matches in three, with Joel Makin, Diego Elias and Saurav Ghosal also moving into the last 16.

Second round action continues tomorrow, with the bottom half of the draw in action. Play begins at El Gouna Squash Complex at 12:00 local (GMT+2), with glass court action getting underway at 18:30 local, as Marwan ElShorbagy begins his defence of the title he won last year.

Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only)

 
Pajares and Courtice Cause Upsets
on Day Two of El Gouna International

Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu and England’s Julianne Courtice secured surprise victories against France’s Lucas Serme and Hong Kong’s Joey Chan, respectively, on day two of the El Gouna International as the PSA World Tour Platinum event continued at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

World No.59 Pajares overcame the higher-ranked Serme to ensure that a trio of Spaniards will line up in the second round of the El Gouna International for the first time. 23-year-old Pajares is ranked 26 places below Serme in the PSA World Rankings but put in a fine performance to win 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 and beat his opponent for the first time in his career.

Serme had won all four of their previous matches on the PSA Tour – including a 3-1 win in the final round of qualifying 12 months ago in El Gouna – but Pajares avenged those defeats with an accurate performance to join compatriots Borja Golan and Edmon Lopez in the last 32. Bernabeu will line up against former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in the next round as he bids to reach the third round of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time.

“I’ve played Lucas four times on the PSA, and I’ve lost all of them,” Pajares said afterwards.

“I’m happy to beat him in three today, I felt very confident today on court, yesterday Borja and Edmon won, so that gave me confidence for today as well.

“I’ve played Lucas around 10 times in all, including PSA and league, so I’ve gotten used to his game. Having Edmon and Borja here supporting me is always an extra bonus, when you’re playing PSA you’re normally alone, especially if you don’t bring family or coaches with you. It’s going to be my first time playing Omar Mosaad, I’m also going to play him in two week’s time at the Wimbledon Open, and I think it’s going to be a good pace. I know how he plays, and we’ll see how close I am.”

Egypt’s Fares Dessouky is also through to the second round after beating Todd Harrity, having been granted a wildcard spot in the tournament as he continues to make his way back from injury.

A torn ACL had seen him plummet down the World Rankings, falling as low as World No.502 in January. The 24-year-old has risen back into the world’s top 50 since then and now sits at No.42. The two-time El Gouna semi finalist came through his first round match against Harrity with relative ease winning out in 36 minutes to claim a third successive win over the men’s United States No.1.

“I'm very happy with the way I played, it was a very tough match, and the score doesn't say everything. It was tough physically as well, the court was a bit bouncy, and I had to adapt my game,” Dessouky said.

“Being the wildcard is something good and new for me. This is such a great tournament, I love it so much, and I love playing here. I'm looking forward to playing well, but my goal nowadays is to stay injury-free, to play well and to enjoy it.”

Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Alan Clyne shocked Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip to advance in the other surprise result of the day, while compatriot Greg Lobban is also through to the last 32.

Nicolas Mueller, Youssef Soliman, Nafiizwan Adnan, Cesar Salazar and Max Lee also navigated their way through their first round matches today.

There was also a surprise in the women’s draw, as Julianne Courtice beat Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in a five-game thriller to book her place in the second round.

The pair had never met before on the PSA Tour, and the Englishwoman, who sits 23 places below World No.17 Chan, claimed an 11-7, 9-11, 17-15, 11-13, 11-8 victory. Courtice’s reward for beating Hong Kong's No.2 is a clash with Hong Kong’s No.1 Annie Au, with the pair set to face off on the plaster courts at the Squash Complex on Saturday April 20.

“It feels great. I have been wanting a win against one of the top 20, top 30 players for a while now,” Courtice said after the win.

“I just felt relaxed going into this one, and obviously it was really tight in the games, but I feel great in getting through. [I was] definitely panicking. I probably took the third when she was ahead, and she took the fourth after being ahead and me coming back. It was just nip and tuck all the way. When we went into that fifth game I just told myself to go for it.

“As soon as I got to 10-8, it is not a given to win. We had both had game balls throughout the match, so I just thought I had to play the next point and to get through it, and it just happened.”

Also in the women’s draw, Yathreb Adel secured her passage through to the last 32 after she defeated South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller in straight games.

Adel, who sits at World No.18, showed her class throughout against the South African, ranked 27 places below her in the world. Although Fuller bounced back from an 8-2 deficit in the third game to send it to a tie-break, Adel was able to take the victory and set up a meeting with three-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini in the second round.

“I am very happy to be through today in three. Alex is obviously one of the good players on court, and it is tricky to play her so I am happy to come out with a 3-0 win today,” Adel said after her victory.

“She is quite fast on court so I just had to be more patient, rather than just going for my shots all the time because she would get there and get it back.”

There were also victories for fellow Egyptians Nadine Shahin, Rowan Elaraby and Zeina Mickawy at El Gouna’s Squash Complex.

Millie Tomlinson, Olivia Blatchford Clyne and Hollie Naughton also secured wins, against Ho Tze-Lok, Liu Tsz-Ling and Rachel Arnold, respectively.

The top half of the draw will play their second round matches tomorrow starting at 12:00 local time (GMT+2), with the seeded players entering the draw at this stage. The majority of matches will take place at the El Gouna Squash Complex, while the likes of World No.1s Ali Farag and Raneem El Welily will be in action at the glass court at the Abu Tig Marina from 18:30 local (GMT+2) onwards.

Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
David Survives Against Wildcard
on Day One of El Gouna


Eight-time World Champion Nicol David survived a scare against Egyptian wildcard Jana Shiha on day one of the El Gouna International, PSA World Tour Platinum event as she prevailed in a gripping five-game battle at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

The top half of the first round action took place today, and Malaysia’s David, a former World No.1, booked her place in the last 32 thanks to an 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8 victory.

Youth met experience as 17-year-old Shiha performed admirably in front of her home crowd, and she twice came back from behind to level the match before pulling ahead to 8-6 in the fifth to put herself on the brink of a massive upset. But David, 35, dug in and used her experience to come back to take the win, setting up a round two clash with World No.1 Raneem El Welily on the glass court at the El Gouna Marina.

“I did what I could, I knew these youngsters are trying to take any opportunities that come their way,” said David.

“I was playing pretty well, but then she found the windows to take the opportunities and she played really well. I lost a bit of my focus on the ball and my timing, and at the end I knew I had to really dig deep. My focus came in at the right time, and I’m very pleased to win that 3-2.

“I’ve been here before (staring down the barrel of a defeat) and it takes a lot to get back. I had to see the ball and hit it, so that was all I did. I was very pleased to come out 3-2 and win it in a close match, but I really needed to fight.”

Also surviving in five games was World No.21 Emily Whitlock, as she came from two games behind to overcome another Egyptian, Nada Abbas.

Abbas has been struggling with a foot injury since January, but she has still been able to reach two PSA Tour finals in that time, and her talent was evident in the opening two games as the 18-year-old controlled proceedings at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

A 2-0 deficit seemed to kick Whitlock into gear, and she found a lot of joy with some accurate backhand drops as she dropped just a solitary point in the third. The Englishwoman kicked on from there to secure victory in five games. The 25-year-old will play United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the second round.

“The last place I wanted to be was on a squash court, I just haven’t been enjoying it, but I treated it like I was on holiday, a going to the gym in the morning, chilling out in the afternoons kind of thing,” said Whitlock, who celebrated her 150th win on the PSA Tour.

There were also victories for the Gilis sisters, World No.29 Nele and World No.42 Tinne, who both won to book their places in the second round of the tournament.

42-year-old Rachael Grinham and Egyptian Mariam Metwally claimed respective victories over Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy, while there were wins for Danielle Letourneau of Canada and Coline Aumard of France.

In the men’s draw, up-and-coming Egyptian Mostafa Asal saw off Campbell Grayson to secure his spot in the second round of the tournament, winning 11-6, 12-10, 11-4.

17-year-old Asal, the World No.41, won the first 11-6, but there was a lengthy delay in the second, as the Kiwi needed treatment to a cut below his left eye. The delay lasted around 20 minutes, and when he came back onto the court, the Kiwi put in some fine rallies to send the game to a tie-break.

However, Asal managed to win the second, before going on to win the third to secure the match, booking his place in the second round against Joel Makin.

“I am happy today that I managed to work on my footwork and I managed to play his game. It was tough but I am happy that I managed to win the second game because he was a little bit tired, so I am happy that I went through and I am looking forward to my next match,” the Egyptian said.

The big shock of the day came through Edmon Lopez, as the World No.62 overcame Hong Kong’s Leo Au, who sits 38 places above the Spaniard in the rankings.

Au had won both of their previous matches on the PSA Tour, but Lopez – who only came into the draw on Sunday as a result of Ryan Cuskelly's withdrawal – prevailed in an attritional affair to win the biggest match of his career, winning it by an 11-5, 16-14, 11-13, 11-6 scoreline to set up a second round match with India’s Saurav Ghosal.

“What made the difference today was the fact that I was strong physically and made sure I prevented him from playing his lob/drop shot game by picking up the pace as much as I could. It was hard for me because I had to keep the pressure up, but I'm glad it worked,” Lopez said.

Fellow Spaniard Borja Golan also took victory in round one, along with English duo Adrian Waller and Tom Richards, Egyptian maverick Mazen Hesham and Australia’s Cameron Pilley.

First round action continues tomorrow, as the bottom half of both the men’s and women’s draws kick off their campaigns at the El Gouna Squash Complex.

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
 
Previews
Draws Released for El Gouna International

The world’s best squash players will go head-to-head on the banks of Egypt’s Red Sea between April 17-26 after the main draws for the 2019 El Gouna International Squash Open were released today.

The El Gouna International is the penultimate PSA World Tour Platinum tournament of the 2018/19 season, and an equal prize fund of $352,000 will be on offer across the men’s and women’s draws.

Men’s World No.1 Ali Farag will top a PSA Platinum event for the first time and he will look to improve on last year’s runner-up finish to fellow Egyptian Marwan ElShorbagy.

Farag, along with the rest of the top eight seeds in the men’s event, receives a bye into round two, where he will play either Australia’s Cameron Pilley or Egypt’s Tayyab Aslam.

Farag is drawn on the same side of the draw as Peru’s Diego Elias, Canary Wharf Classic winner Paul Coll and compatriot Tarek Momen, the latter of whom he beat in the final of the PSA World Championship final earlier this month.

No.2 seed Mohamed ElShorbagy, the 2016 El Gouna International champion, features on the opposite side of the draw alongside British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez, defending champion and younger brother Marwan, and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad.

Former World No.8 Fares Dessouky and fellow Egyptian Youssef Ibrahim have been named the men’s wildcards. Dessouky will play Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly, while Ibrahim takes on England’s Adrian Waller in the opening round,

Reigning women’s champion Raneem El Welily tops the women’s draw and could face eight-time World Champion Nicol David as early as round two. David, a former World No.1, will retire at the end of the season and will make her last appearance in El Gouna.

El Welily beat World Champion Nour El Sherbini to win the inaugural women’s title last year, but the current World No.1 has a difficult path to the final, with the likes of India’s Joshna Chinappa, Hong Kong Open champion Joelle King and World Championship runner-up Nour El Tayeb standing between her and a place in the title decider.

El Sherbini, who beat El Welily in El Gouna two years ago to win the second of her three World Championship titles, is seeded alongside World No.9 Alison Waters, World No.8 Nouran Gohar and World No.4 Camille Serme on the bottom half of the draw.

Rising Egyptian talents Jana Shiha and Farida Mohamed, both 17, take the women’s wildcard spots and will play David and Zeina Mickawy, respectively.

The El Gouna Squash Complex will host the first round matches on April 17-18. Matches will be split between the glass court at Abu Tig Marina and the El Gouna Squash Complex between April 19-22. All matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be held at Abu Tig Marina between April 23-26.

Entry to the tournament up to and including the quarter-finals is free. Tickets for the semi-finals and finals are available for purchase here: www.ticketsmarche.com/el-gouna-international-squash-open-2019_se_2073.html

For more information, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
 

 


 

 

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