TODAY : Round TWO – top half

We’re down to the last sixteen in each draw, eight matches on the Glass Court for the next two days to decide the Quarter-Finalists.

ROUND TWO - top half
[1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-1 [16] Salma Hany (Egy)                           8-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (34m)
[9] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-1 [5] Nouran Gohar (Egy)                             11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3 (32m)
[7] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy)                                     11-4, 15-13, 11-3 (31m)
[3] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-2 Amanda Sobhy (Usa)                      11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5 (49m

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-2 [Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (55m)
Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-2 [7] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)                           3-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (68m)
[6] Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-0 Saurav Ghosal (Ind)                                              11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (31m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy)                             11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (36m

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AFTERNOON BRIEF :
Shorbagy survives again as Coll and Waters produce upsets

Round two kicked off at the Airco Arena with women’s top seed Nour El Sherbini coming from a game down to beat compatriot Salma Hany.

“Salma was playing really well and it was showing in every shot,” said Sherbini. “She’s capable of doing more but I’m just glad that I got my game plan and confidence back and it was very important to win the second.”

Then  men’s top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy had another narrow escape, coming from two games down for the second day in a row, this time denying French qualifier Gregoire Marche a famous victory.

“He played so well the first two games,” said ElShorbagy, “I lost a bit of focus at 7-4 in the first but all credit to him, he played some incredible squash. 

“I’m still in the tournament, it’s not over for me and I know that any day I can beat anyone and I don’t think I can be written off yet.”

The second pair of matches both produced upsets as Alison Waters turned in a dominant performance to beat fifth seed Nouran Gohar, and Paul Coll got the better of seventh seed Karim Abdel Gawad in an up and down five-setter.

“Nouran beat me easy twice earlier this year and we had a big battle in El Gouna,” said Waters, “so I knew I had to do something different.”

“You can’t hit with her because she is the best hitter in the game so I came on and tried to mix things up and vary the pace and it seemed to work!”

Coll too was delighted with his work, eventually :

“It’s not the sort of match I enjoy,” he said, “there wasn’t much rhythm in the first few games and I wasn’t consistent with my targets and his hands are too good.

“But I’m happy with the last two, I just tried to take it early, hit my corners and try to get a bit of rhythm going.”

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EVENING BRIEF :
Seeds through as Tayeb takes five

No upsets in the evening session as Gregory Gaultier and Simon Rosner set up an all-European quarter-final with comfortable wins over Mohamed Abouelghar and Saurav Ghosal.

“Last time we played in Zurich it was a tough game,” said Gaultier, “but I had had six weeks  off and he could have taken the win but for me it was a positive start.

“For me, it’s positive to be back and play like that on the court – you can’t really describe it because I have been through a tough time this year and every match I can play is a big bonus.”

Rosner too was pleased:  

“It’s never easy against Saurav,” he said.

“He’s such a difficult opponent, he likes to hold the ball and flick the ball as well – he’s always dangerous and you have to be on your toes all of the time. I managed to stay focused throughout the match and I think it made the difference in the end.”

A second Egypt v England women’s quarter was  the result of contrasting wins for Laura Massaro and Nour El Tayeb.

Massaro beat qualifier Yathreb Adel in straight games, taking one in extended extra points as she did yesterday.

“She certainly upped her body language after the first game,” said Massaro, “I was glad to come through that second and found my targets well in the third and I was happy with that one as well.”

Tayeb took five games to get the better of Amanda Sobhy, missing out on a match ball in the fourth before taking the decider convincingly.

“Amanda is really hard to play and we have been playing since juniors,” said 25-year-old El Tayeb.

“It’s amazing how well she is coming back from injury,” said Tayeb. “I thought at 2-0 up she was going to slow down a bit but she didn’t and I was lucky to have Ali and my coach Haitham in my corner to keep pushing me and to keep focused even when I lost the third and fourth game.

“I’ve never made it past the second round here, so I’m very happy to be in the quarter-finals of the British Open it is very big.”

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