Round One

Hurghada International Squash  

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TODAY in Egypt ...   Mon 30th March, Day THREE
Hurghada here we come ...

The flights to Hurghada are booked, but a few of the ticket details had to be changed as the final day in Cairo saw five upsets.

Only one in the Men's draw as Tarek Momen - the new Egyptian National Champion - overcame seventh seed Olli Tuominen, but in the women's event only half the seeds will be travelling as Tenille Swartz, Joey Chan, Camille Serme and Heba El Torky all beat seeded opponents to reach the quarter-finals ...
  Men's Round One:
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt [Q] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)                        11/7, 11/2, 11/5 (27m)
[5] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) bt Joey Barrington (Eng)                       13/11, 11/5, 12/10 (50m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt [Q] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)                       11/5, 11/3, 11/5 (31m)
[6] Farhan Mehboob (Pak) bt Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy)  6/11, 11/8, 11/13, 12/10, 11/3 (73m)
Tarek Momen (Egy) bt [7] Olli Tuominen (Fin)                            11/9, 4/11, 11/6, 11/4 (40m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt Omar Mosaad (Egy)                                  11/8, 14/12, 11/9 (42m)
[8] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [Q] Mohammed Abbas (Egy)    11/3, 12/10, 4/3 rtd (35m)
[2] Amr Shabana (Egy) bt [Q] Amr Swelim (Egy)                        9/11, 11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (38m)

Women's Round One:
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)              11/6, 6/11, 11/9, 11/3 (35m)
Tenille Swartz (Rsa) bt [6] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)            8/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/9, 12/10 (61m)
[4] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) bt Orla Noom (Ned)                                       11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (29m)
Camille Serme (Fra) bt [7] Line Hansen (Den)                   6/11, 11/7, 11/6, 6/11, 11/9 (48m)
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy) bt [5] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)           12/14, 11/7, 11/9, 11/5 (45m)
[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt Christina Mak (Hkg)                       11/2, 11/1, 11/5 (14m)
[Q] Joey Chan (Hkg) bt [8] Sharon Wee (Mas)               14/12, 6/11, 9/11, 14/12, 11/6 (52m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)                          11/8, 11/4, 12/10 (29m)
 

[1] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt [Q] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)  
         11/7, 11/2, 11/5 (27m)
[5] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) bt Joey Barrington (Eng)   
         13/11, 11/5, 12/10 (50m)

Darwish sets off safely ...

Top seed Karim Darwish made the quarter-finals without too much sweat - working Omar Abdel Aziz hard in the first game, dominating him in the second and pulling clear from 5-all in the third as his opponent's error-count piled up.

He'll meet Aamir Atlas Khan in the quarter-finals after  the speedy Pakistani came through a tough three games against Joey Barrington. Although the Englishman took two of the games to extra points he could never quite conjure up a game ball, and Aamir finished the match off in fine style with two successive nick kills.

"That was a close 3/0! This court is a little bit bouncy, so I had to go for shots as the way to beat him today, that was my plan and I thought I played well today.

"Tomorrow I'm playing the world number one, so I hope to play my best and have a good match with him."

"I tried to slow it down as much as I could, but he can read all my shots so well, he's there to attack it almost before I've played it. He so deserves to be number one, he's the best player for the last year. I'm happy with my performance, and I got a new lesson today ..."

 



"He played very well, he surprised me, he is a great player, he improved a lot and he will improve.

"I think I was more experienced than him to win the fourth game. I was playing a fast game which made him very tired, hopefully I can play well against Greg and looking forward to Hurghada."



"I played very well, I just did my best, I got tired at the end, I really couldn't move. I was just unlucky today in the fourth game, I am just happy that I had the chance to beat a top 20 player.

"I would like to thank my coach Hesham El Attar, Mohamed El Defrawy, Amir Wagih and The Egyptian Federation for all their supporting to me."

[6] Farhan Mehboob (Pak) bt Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy)
           6/11, 11/8, 11/13, 12/10, 11/3 (73m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt [Q] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)                       11/5, 11/3, 11/5 (31m)

Farhan Survives....

The 16 years old Amr Khalifa the wildcard of the tournament surprised Farhan today with his squash, Khalifa had the chance to win the fourth game when he was up 9/7, He played quite well, he did his best...BUT farhan made too many errors as well, and strange shots not in the right time..

First game Khalifa was just in control, hitting the ball, volleying everything, make him under pressure. in the second Farhan found his game started to play until 8/5 in the fifth, than he started the errors which made khalifa to come back more strongly, 8/8 9/9 then Khalifa saved 2 game points at 10/10 Khalifa dived twice at that ball, and he took a let at the end of it, but he was able to win the game at then end, Farhan was playing a fast game which made Khalifa very very tired, in the fourth Khalifa was leading 9/7 then Farhan came back to 10/9 with 2 errors from Khalifa and a tight one from Mehboob, at 10/10 Mehboob hit the nick, which gave the advantage to him to win that game.

Then in the last game Khalfia couldn't move at all, he got tired, and Mehboob survived and he got to the quarter he will play against Gregory Gaultier, who eased past Ali Anwar Reda in straight games.

Tarek Momen (Egy) bt [7] Olli Tuominen (Fin) 
            11/9, 4/11, 11/6, 11/4 (40m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt Omar Mosaad (Egy)
            11/8, 14/12, 11/9 (42m)

Tarek makes the upset,
Ramy edges past Omar


Tarek Momen played much better than Olli today. The first game was so close point by point but Tarek was able to win it. They both were playing at fast pace, they both were volleying a lot. Oli got tired at the end of the third, 6/6, then Tarek won it 11/6. Last game Tarek was completely in control, he played better,

He did better than last year, he is in the quarter final, he will play against Ashour.

Talking of Ramy, the World Champion still looked far from his usual self as he beat Omar Mosaad in three close games. Making some strange shot decisions, more than a few errors, and talking to himself constantly during the match, Ramy will have been pleased to see Omar, at 9-all in the third, put his last two service returns into the tin.



"I played well today, this is court is different , I started to get used to the court late in the match, He was volleying quite well and my movement started to get better in the game, I played Ramy like a million times so I hope to do my best."

 

"I played a quick today coz I knew he is injured, he couldn't move on the front on the backhand, so I was dropping from the back of the court, He didn't take any volley coz he doesn't have any confident on his game, when I knew I will play with him, I got nervous coz I am playing with one of the best player in the world and he was top 16 before.

"I am happy to get through, I played Shabana last week in England so I need to speak to Jonah to see what I am going to do."



"My leg was hurting me today, I couldn't move, I was pushing with one leg today, but it was too much for me so I had to stop."

[8] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [Q] Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
            11/3, 12/10, 4/3 rtd (35m)
[2] Amr Shabana (Egy) bt [Q] Amr Swelim (Egy)
             9/11, 11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (38m)

Shorbagy on form...

Abbas was trying and trying but today he didn't complete the match, he couldn't push all the match on one leg, and El Shorbagy didn't give him the chance to play as well. Abbas will need to rest now to get a good recovery for his leg.

In the second game Shorbagy was attacking from every where he took the lead 8/6 but then Abbas started to be more patient than El Shorbagy and he made some errors, but El Shorbagy was able to win the game at the end, in the third Abbas couldn't continue the match on one leg and he decided to stop.

And El Shorbagy will face Shabana again in the quarter finals - they played last week in the Canary Wharf, and last year in the same event, so it should be interesting to watch ...

[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
           11/6, 6/11, 11/9, 11/3 (35m)

Grinham just gets through....

Nour El Tayeb made the number one seed under pressure today, she was hitting winners from everywhere, she had a chance to win the third game which was going to help her a lot but Racheal is much more experience than her of course so she was able to win the match.



First game they started very well, 5/5 but from here Rachael took the lead and won the first one, second game El Tayeb surprised her and played some good shots.

The third game was so close 6/6 7/7 8/8 9/9 and it was a great show from Nour, but Rachael was able to win that game and the match, and she got to the next round.

"I didn't play bad, she was hitting winners from everywhere, she is a very talented player. she guess very well when I play the ball in the front, So I was trying to play a lob but she made lots of good nicks. I am lucky to win the third game which was very important."

[Q] Joey Chan (Hkg) bt [8] Sharon Wee (Mas)
           14/12, 6/11, 9/11, 14/12, 11/6 (52m)

Chan wins a thriller....

One of the best match of the tournament, Joey saved two match points.

In the first game Joey had a slow start, and Sharon was able to take the lead 8/4 up, then everything has changed Joey started to play and won 6 points in a row, 10/8 and then 11/10 but Sharon was able to save 3 game point. At 13/12 Joey hit a tight length to win the first game and to take the lead, second game Sharon was in control, she was hitting some nice shots.

Third game was very close 7/7 8/8 9/9 but at 10/9 Sharon hit a trick shot to win that third game. The fourth was very interesting, Joey saved three match points.

She was trying to save the ball as she can, and she didn't do any error, and that game gave her the confident to win the fifth game and the match. and she made the first upset.

"That's one of my best ever wins! It was good to come back, saving those match balls in the fourth. In my mind I just told myself to fight for every ball, to keep it going and make no mistakes.

"Through the whole match I tried to keep the pace high, then when she put it loose attack the ball. I had to remind myself to run and run and not make mistakes.

"I was tired at the end, but I knew she was tired too, I couldn't afford to let her get in control.

"I'm very happy to qualify for the quarters of a big tournament like this for the first time, and it's a bonus because I've never been to Hurghada ...



"I am pleased to win 3/0, It's my first time to play Dipika, She hits the ball so hard, she strikes it, but luckily she made some errors at the time, the court is bouncy as well.

"I am looking forward to Hurghada this evening."

[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
           11/8, 11/4, 12/10 (29m)

Good Start for Jenny..

Jenny was in control today most of the match, she lost her concentration a bit at the end of the match but she was able to get through to the quarter final.

Dipika had a chance to win the last game, she was up 7/4 and 10/8 but Jenny was able to win that game with her experience as Dipika got tired at 10/10.

Tenille Swartz (Rsa) bt [6] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
        8/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/9, 12/10 (61m)

Tenille's Back !

"Not a bad comeback," was Tenille Swartz's description of her first competitive match after a long spell out through injury.

You can say that again, it was a real thriller as she matched Engy all the way for an hour of compelling combat.

Tenille reached match ball at 10/9 in the fifth, saw Engy granted two lets which may well have been refused on other occasions, breathed a sigh of relief when Engy was awarded a third let for what looked like a clear stroke.

Engy saved it on the fourth attempts, but Tenille kept the ball tight, got the better of two lengthy final rallies to claim a notable scalp and a flight to Hurghada ...

"It's my first match back so it's a bonus to win, especially against someone like Engy here in Egypt.

"I was very nervous at the start, I was just telling myself to be patient. She's so consistent, you have to be patient and be ready for really long rallies - patience was my tactic today and it worked!

"I've always wanted to go to Hurghada, so this is a great opportunity ..."

[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy) bt [5] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
             12/14, 11/7, 11/9, 11/5 (45m)

 El Torky shocks Raneem...

One of the biggest upset in the tournament - Heba had just beaten Raneem last week in the Nationals, 3/2, and she beat her again today.

Heba had a game point in the first but she couldn't win it and Raneem came back and won the game, but after that Heba started to play with the right tactic and won 3/1 to get to Hurghada, with one of her best wins in WISPA.

"After Pakistan that's my best win!

"I beat her 3/2 last week but I know she always plays better in WISPA tournaments so I had to put that match out of my mind and start again.

"I'd packed my bags ready to go back to Alexandria, so I suppose I'll have to take them to Hurghada now !!"

[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt Christina Mak (Hkg)
                     11/2, 11/1, 11/5 (14m)

Kawy eases through

The defending champion Omneya Abdel Kawy played a good match today and started her defence well. Christina Mak is injured as well so she couldn't run as well as she would have liked. El Kawy is going to Hurghada, she will play against the 16 year old Heba El Torky

"I started very nervous because of Engy and Raneem already losing.

"I know Raneem lost to Heba, but as you know Raneem is very close to me and we always go to Hurghada together. I took confidence from first game, I think she was injured as well she couldn't run at all. In the third game she started to play better but I was relaxed.

"Anyway I am happy to get through tomorrow I will play against Heba in Hurghada I hope we will play a good match."

Camille Serme (Fra) bt [7] Line Hansen (Den)                  
       6/11, 11/7, 11/6, 6/11, 11/9 (48m)

Camille completes the Upsets

The last women's match of the day produced the fourth upset as French champion Camille Serme overcame Denmark's seventh seed Line Hansen in a five-game rollercoaster.

The Frenchwoman eked out a lead in the decider, picking off the volleys very well, and managed to hang on to despite the determined efforts of Line, it to secure a quarter-final place.

"We were both very nervous at the start, and that probably led to both of us making a few too many mistakes early on. We train a lot together and know each other's games, so it's hard to find the right shot to play when you need to.

"I tried to keep the ball as straight as I could today, but it was a very close match. Philippe says that it's good to win even if you don't play at your best, so I'm just happy to win and excited to be going to Hurghada for the first time ..."

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Round One

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