Day ONE

Hurghada International Squash  

Home
Today
Men's Draw
Women's Draw
En Bref
Gallery
History
En Francais

 

• Up • Semis • Quarters 2 • Quarters 1 • Round One • Day TWO • Day ONE •

TODAY in Egypt ...   
Sat 28th March, Day ONE
   

Egyptians Excel in Cairo

One of the few events on the tour with two distinct locations, the Hurghada International gets under way today at the National Stadium in Cairo. We're here for three days for qualifying and round one, then the survivors head down to the Red Sea resort for the quarter-finals onward.

First things first though, it was the men's qualifying draw at 11am, which was a pretty smooth affair with everyone turning up in good time, ably organised by Andrew Shelley with Mr Sawy - "one of the best draw pickers in the business" - pulling out the numbers.

Things continued to go well for the hosts once play started, with the Egyptian men claiming seven of the eight available spots for tomorrow's qualifying finals. The lone interloper is England's Robbie Temple, although top seed Tom Richards did stand at match ball before being disqualified by the referee.

In the women's event four Egyptians won, and a clean sweep is on as they all avoid each other tomorrow.
  

Men's Qualifying first round - Centre Court:

  Andrew Wagih (Egy) bt Tom Richards (Eng)        5/11, 11/5, 6/11, 11/5, 10/11 disq (58m)
  Amr Swelim (Egy) bt Gregoire Marche (Fra)                                11/8, 12/10, 11/3 (41m)
  Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)               11/9, 11/6, 9/11, 11/4 (53m)
  Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (Rsa)          11/3, 11/5, 8/11, 11/8 (31m)
  Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Rob Sutherland (Wal)              12/10, 8/11, 11/8, 3/11, 11/2 (66m)
  Mohammed Abbas (Egy) bt Ahmed Hawas (Egy)                          11/3, 11/4, 11/2 (18m)
  Robbie Temple (Eng) bt Basem Makram (Egy)                              11/9, 11/7, 11/8 (37m)
  Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) bt Karim AGA Samy (Egy)                         11/6, 11/7, 11/4 (22m)

Women's Qualifying Round One - Court One:

  Joey Chan (Hkg) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy)                     9/11, 11/4, 11/4, 11/7 (32m)
  Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) bt Salma Hany (Egy)                  10/12, 11/5, 11/7, 11/9 (45m)
  Olivia Blatchford (Usa) bt Elise Ng (Hkg)                                  11/3, 12/10, 11/7 (27m)
  Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Salma Nasser (Egy)                        9/11, 11/9, 11/5, 11/8 (33m)
  Nouran El Torky (Egy) bt Coline Aumard (Fra)                            11/7, 11/6, 11/3 (30m)
  Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Eliza Kargioti (Gre)                                  11/4, 11/0, 11/8 (20m)
  Lucie Fialova (Cze) bt Sara El Noamany (Egy)                    11/9, 11/9, 6/11, 11/8 (38m)
  Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Farida El Dahab (Egy)                             11/7, 11/3, 11/3 (16m)
 

Men's Round One                                                    Steve Cubbins reports

Andrew Wagih (Egy) bt Tom Richards (Eng)
        5/11, 11/5, 6/11, 11/5, 10/11 disq (58m)

Richards red carded in opener

There are some events where you know that some of the qualifying matches will be over quickly, as the touring pros take on locals who are not yet at that level. It's not like that in Egypt though, where the production line of talent can throw up people you've never heard of who are more than a trifle handy.

Not that this was the case for the top seed in the qualifying, Tom Richards. The Englishman was up against Andrew Wagih Shoukry, well known for his exploits in the BJO and an up and coming pro himself, like Tom, so this opening match on the Centre Court was always going to be a tough one.

And so it proved. Tom twice took the lead, and twice was pulled back. He had to fight back in the fifth as Andrew took leads of 6/3 and 8/5. He did that well, levelling at 8-all and going on to earn match ball at 10/9. Tom was distraught when he was denied a let, forcing extra points, but that was far from the end of the controversy.

One of Andrew's supporters had already been sent from the arena for coaching mid-game, and the referee was shortly to brandish a second red card to end the match prematurely.

At 10-all Andrew had an easy opportunity to win the rally, but tinned the ball with Tom stuck behind him.

The Englishman gave his opponent a one-handed shove in the back which sent him a couple of yards forward, then exited the court to change his racket in which the strings had broken.

After returning to court, Tom had a few practice hits, was expecting to serve for the match but heard the referee say "conduct match, abuse of opponent" [the official report says it was a conduct game].

"First of all I would like to thank the crowd and my coach who helped me a lot, I played really well in the 5th game, I was 8/5 up so I wanted to win quickly and finish the ball.

"I got tired at the end but I tried hard and hopefully I will be fresh for tomorrow."

"It had been a good match, we'd both been up and down a bit but it hadn't been contentious, there were no warnings, no nothing, and then it's completely ruined by a ridiculous decision like that.

"I was a bit frustrated at getting a no let just before, I'd been getting no protection from the referee, he was in my way and I gave him a push. At worst it should have been a warning, it's just ridiculous that your living can be affected by something like that."

Amr Swelim (Egy) bt Gregoire Marche (Fra)    
                11/8, 12/10, 11/3 (41m)

Swelim seeps past Greg

Amr Swelim kept the possibility of an all-Egyptian qualifying lineup alive as he overcame young Frenchman Greg Marche.

The European Junior Champion competed well in the first two games, but when Swelim took the second on extra points it seemed to take the wind out of Greg's sails, and Swelim got off to a good start in the third which proved conclusive.

"The first two games were tough. He's very quick, fast around court and picks up everything, I had to try to delay my shots to slow him down.

"It was crucial that I won the second, and I think after going two down he lost his head a bit in the third.

"I haven't played Andrew much, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow ..."

Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
              11/9, 11/6, 9/11, 11/4

'Don't worry, it's always like that'

I'd seen Ali Anwar play at many events and he always seemed such a nice boy, well behaved on and off court. So when I arrived in the middle of this match to seem him and Omar Meguid (who I'd never seen before) engaged in a pretty physical affair, with Ali berating the referee as he came off after losing the third game, I was somewhat surprised.

I returned for the end of the fourth, and there they were hugging away and smiling as the match concluded. Very strange.

"Don't worry," said Ali, "it's always like that between us! We've been playing each other since 1999 and although I usually win I've never won 3/0, not once. We know each other's games so well, I know he's going to block me and timewaste, and his volleys are going to cause me trouble, but we're great friends!".

Well that's alright then ...

"I play Jesse or Karim tomorrow," said Ali, looking forward, "they're both tough opponents but hopefully I can play another good match to qualify for the main draw of Hurghada for the first time.

Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (Rsa)
           11/3, 11/5, 8/11, 11/8 (31m)

Karim makes it four

Whatever happens next, Karim Abdel Gawad made sure that at least two Egyptians will qualify for the main draw as he beat Jesse Engelbrecht, the sixth seed. To be fair, the South African had only flown in at midnight, so his preparation wasn't the best and he struggled to find his game early on as Karim took advantage of good starts in the first two games.

Jesse fought back, taking the third and establishing a 5/2 lead in the fourth, but couldn't hold on to it as Karim came back to make it four out of four for Egypt.

"It's only the fourth time in my life I've played on that court, and I was very nervous before the match, I'd heard a lot about Jesse. I had some good coaching though, and after I won the first game I believed I could win the match.

"He played well in the third, and in the fourth I knew I had to concentrate more, I really didn't want a fifth."

Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Rob Sutherland (Wal)
    12/10, 8/11, 11/8, 3/11, 11/2 (66m)

Sutherland can't stop Egyptian Advance

The rest of the world was left with just one chance of stopping an Egyptian clean sweep as Mazen Gamal provided another upset as he beat eighth seed Rob Sutherland in a tough five-setter.

"I played four good games, won two of them, lost the first and third on a couple of crucial points at the end, but I just didn't turn up for the fifth," bemoaned the Welshman after the match.
   

"I'm still injured, and still having treatment on my leg, I'm just trying to push on it.

"I'm am just playing this tournament, I am not expecting anything from it. I think I played ok today though, and hopefully my leg will get better ...

Mohammed Abbas (Egy) bt Ahmed Hawas (Egy)
           11/3, 11/4, 11/2 (18m)

No Sweat for Abbas

Mohammed Abbas isn't the type of player you expect to see in qualifying, but he's had a long period of injury problems which have seen his ranking drop to below his real level.

He certainly showed glimpses of why he's been up there near the top ten today as he controlled the match completely, not letting Hawas settle for a moment.

As Marwan [who watched this one] says, "I think his squash is one of the best in the world, some people are saying his squash is better than Shabana's, anyway tomorrow he is going to play against Mazen, we will see what is he going to do then ..."

Robbie Temple (Eng) bt Basem Makram (Egy)
          11/9, 11/7, 11/8 (37m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) bt Karim AGA Samy (Egy)
          11/6, 11/7, 11/4 (22m)

Robbie breaks the Spell

The Egyptian stranglehold was finally broken when Robbie Temple became the first (and only) non-Egyptian winner of the day.

"It wasn't a particularly enjoyable match," said the Englishman with a double-handed backhand, "but I'm just glad to get through to the next round."

The final match of the day saw a seventh home player through as Omar Abdel Aziz completed the finals lineup, and he will face Temple tomorrow,

Women's Round One  ...                            Marwan El Shorbagy reports



"First game I had a slow start I couldn't play with her game, my balls were too short. In the second I changed my game and I slowed the pace and started to hit a better length and width and I played much better."

Joey Chan (Hkg) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy)
                     9/11, 11/4, 11/4, 11/7 (32m)

Good Start for Joey....

Farrah had a good start in the first game as she surprised Joey with her game, but after that Joey changed her game she started to hit a good length and width and started to volley as she kept the pressure on Farrah. Farrah couldn't find her pace in the match maybe because she is lacking in match practice.

"She played very well, I haven't played from last week coz of lots of tournament in Egypt, I think if I was training I would have done much better than today."

Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) bt Salma Hany (Egy)
               10/12, 11/5, 11/7, 11/9 (45m)

Defrawy looking good.....

Kanzy had a slow start in the first game, Salma was playing very well attacking, she took the lead 7/2 after that Kanzy started to comeback, 10/10 then Salma finished two good shots to take the first game.

After the first game everything has changed Kanzy started to attack very well and making Salma moving around the court.

The fourth game they both played very well but it was Kanzy who was playing better and get to the next round as she will play against Joey Chan.



"I didn't play bad, thanks god that I won the last game coz if I lost I think I was going to lose the match.

"I know I had a slow start in the first game, I started to play when I was 7/2 down.

"Hopefully I can play well tomorrow coz I have a good chance.

Olivia Blatchford (Usa) bt Elise Ng (Hkg)
             11/3, 12/10, 11/7 (27m)

Safe Start for Liv.

Olivia has been training here in Egypt for 2 or 3 weeks now, she had a good preparation before the match.

She was playing very well today, controlling the match, Elise couldn't find her pace, I think she was surprised as well.

Second game was very important for both players, Olivia was leading most of that game and she won that game, and the same story in the third and she gets to the next round.

" I think I didn't play my best today, Salma played well today. tomorrow I will play with Olivia I have to play better than today against her otherwise I am not going to win."

Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Salma Nasser (Egy)
                 9/11, 11/9, 11/5, 11/8 (33m)

El Tayeb in control....

They played last year in the same round, they both play in same club so they both know each other very well. Today Salma was playing very well she started very good. El Tayeb didn't like some decisions from the ref, she lost some concentration which helped Salma to win the first game.

Second game El Tayeb manage to win it, after that she got the confidence and she started to control the match and played much better. Last game she was leading all of it, she did some errors at the end but she managed to win.. she will play against Plivia tomorrow.. it should be interesting..!!

Nouran El Torky (Egy) bt Coline Aumard (Fra)
               11/7, 11/6, 11/3 (30m)

Nouran has done it again...

They played last year and it was a very tough match [Nouran won in 76 minutes!., Nouran has improved a lot and she is having good training now for the world juniors. Coline hasn't played her best today, I think last year she played better.

Nouran was hitting a good length and width , she was keeping the pressure on her all the match. In the second game Coline had a good start and she got the lead 5/1, she lost completely her concentration after that Nouran started to comeback as Coline was helping her with some mistakes. Nouran won 7 points in a row to take the second and in the third Coline wasn't there, Nouran just finished the match and is waiting for the winner of Dipika and Eliza's match.
  

Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Eliza Kargioti (Gre)
                      11/4, 11/0, 11/8 (20m)

Speedy Dips .....

Dipika is looking good for the tournament, she didn't give her opponent any chance to play today. She is going to play against Nouran, it should be a good match...

"I played awful in the last game, but I played good enough to win the match and get through to the next round ..."

Lucie Fialova (Cze) bt Sara El Noamany (Egy)
              11/9, 11/9, 6/11, 11/8 (38m)

Tough Match...

That was the toughest match of the day ... They both are very good physically, the first two games were very tough, but Lucie was able to get through these two games, they both were playing at a very high pace.

In the third Lucie started to get a bit tired and Sara managed to take the advantage and win the game. Last game was tough as well but Lucie was able to get through next round and she is going to play against Hebaa.

"We both played at a very high pace, I was trying to slow the pace in the third that's why I lost that game.

"I think she played very well, she is so strong. Anyway I am happy to win the first match."



"I played very well today, hopefully I can play well again tomorrow against Lucie.

I would like to thank my coach Emad and Nasser."

Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Farida El Dahab (Egy)                 11/7, 11/3, 11/3 (16m)

• Up • Semis • Quarters 2 • Quarters 1 • Round One • Day TWO • Day ONE •

Day ONE

[Home] [Today] [Womens Draw] [Mens Draw] [Gallery] [History] [Extras]