2019, EGYPT, CHAMPIONSHIP

The men's CIB Egyptian Squash Open continues today as the seeded players come into the draw with the likes of World No.1 Ali Farag and World No.3 Tarek Momen both in action at the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

Action begins at 12:00 local time (GMT+2) on all four courts at the Shooting Club 6th of October, before play then moves onto the all-glass court at the Great Pyramids of Giza this evening, where Farag and Momen will both be in action.

You can keep up with the live scores from the event here.

You can also follow reports and reaction from the players right here.

Schedule
Court One – Watch below
12:00 [8] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
13:30 Mostafa Asal (EGY) v [7] Diego Elias (PER)
15:00 Chris Simpson (ENG) v [6] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
15:45 [5] Paul Coll (NZL) v Lucas Serme (FRA)

Court Two
12:00 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
13:30 Nathan Lake (ENG) v Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
15:00 Fares Dessouky (EGY) v [4] Simon Rösner (GER)
15:45 [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)

Court Three
12:45 Max Lee (HKG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
13:30 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
14:15 Victor Crouin (FRA) v Zahed Salem (EGY)

Court Four
12:45 Raphael Kandra (GER) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
13:30 Leo Au (HKG) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
14:15 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)

Glass court – live on SquashTV, Eurosport Player and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour
17:30 [1] Ali Farag (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
20:00 Joel Makin (WAL) v [2] Tarek Momen (EGY)

 

Masotti Axes Rodriguez to Continue Giant-Killing Run

Baptiste Masotti celebrates after beating Miguel Rodriguez (right)

French World No.59 Baptiste Masotti continued his superb run at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open as he stunned No.8 seed Miguel Rodriguez to claim his maiden PSA Platinum third round berth.

Masotti overcame former World No.5 Borja Golan on his Platinum debut yesterday, but he went one better today as he claimed the biggest win of his career in a sensational performance that saw him dominated Rodriguez right from the off.

Masotti was sublime at the front of the court as he punished aerial shots from the British Open champion with some thundering nicks and World No.9 Rodriguez had no answer to the ingenuity of his opponent as he went a game ahead.

Some early errors in the second from the French player looked to have handed Rodriguez some breathing space as the Colombian built up a 5-2 lead. But Masotti steadied the ship and put in some well-constructed rallies that had Rodriguez bounding round the court and he fought back to take nine of the next 12 points to double his advantage.

The winners kept on coming from Masotti’s racket in the third, with each point resulting in a fist pump directed at his coaches in the crowd. He had Rodriguez on strings at time as he forced the 33-year-old into court sprints and he duly closed out the win, collapsing on the floor with his head in his hands after converting match ball.

“I can’t believe it, I just played very well today,” said Masotti.

“On a normal court, anything is possible and a few months ago when I was playing against these kind of guys, I was thinking that it’s normal if I lose. Now I have changed my way of thinking, and I think everything is possible. I really wanted to win this game, and went I went on court I was thinking that I can win, so it changed a lot.

“I’m very happy to keep my strategy during the game and forget the mistakes that I used to do. I can’t wait to be on court again, Egypt is nice to me, so I hope I can play again.

“My coach, Renan Lavigne, is on holiday, but thanks to him, he watched my game yesterday and he gave me some advice to beat Miguel. This morning, Greg [Gaultier] sent me some texts as well, so I thank him too.

“I have one more game to win to play in front of the Pyramids. I will try my best because it has been one of my dreams since I was young. I watched Greg Gaultier when he was playing the World Championships here and it is one of the most beautiful places to play squash.”

Saurav Ghosal (right) v Tsz Fung Yip (left)

India’s Saurav Ghosal was also in action as he defeated Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip 11-9, 11-5, 11-4.

The World No.11 edged the opening game but was more comfortable from that point onwards as he earned a last 16 spot against either Germany’s Simon Rösner or Egypt’s Fares Dessouky.

“I was happy with the way I was hitting my shots, it was more fluid than it has been for the past couple of weeks,” Ghosal said.

“Hence my movement was also more fluid, a bit of a chicken and egg combination scenario really. One goes with the other. We know each other’s game quite well, we playing in Shanghai a few weeks ago, and we’ve played numerous times during Asian games and all.”

Result
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt [8] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (48m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (43m)

Ng Defeats Kandra in Five as Selby Axes Lee

Eain Yow Ng (left) takes on Raphael Kandra (right)

Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng fought his way into the last 16 after a huge five-game battle against Germany’s Raphael Kandra.

Yow was immaculate as he moved the ball around court well in the opening two games, winning the length battle against his opponent to strike up a two-game advantage.

But a dip in focus from the 21-year-old allowed Kandra back into the match as the World No.32 came back to level.

A discussion with fellow Malaysian Ivan Yuen in the game break soon set Ng back on course though and he closed out an 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-6 victory to reach round three, where Frenchman Baptiste Masotti awaits.

“I think my headspace was a little bit here and there, I wasn’t fully focused throughout the whole match. The first two games were really tough both mentally and physically.

“There was a slight dip in concentration in the third and the fourth, and I started going to the front a little bit too much. Ivan [Yuen] was in my corner and was telling me to keep it long, to stay focused, and I was lucky to get through in five.

“Baptiste is a great player, he’s been going at it for a while now, and this is a breakthrough for him. He likes to play at a fast pace, but I think I’ve got a game plan in my mind.

“It will be a good opportunity for one of us to get to the quarters, and it should be a good match.

“I’ve got to keep my head together, we’re still going to be on this court for one more match, it’s easy to overlook it and think ahead to the quarter-finals and the glass court, but I’m just going to focus on the match and will do my best to get through.”

Meanwhile, England’s Daryl Selby got his tournament under way against Hong Kong’s Max Lee, winning 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 to reach the next round, where he will play either compatriot Chris Simpson or home player Mohamed Abouelghar.

“This is my first round today, I arrived two days ago, standard really,” said the 36-year-old veteran

“I think I played pretty well today, in particular in the first two games. I was conscious he had had a tough match yesterday, but then again he had the advantage of having already played a match and being in the rhythm, so I made sure I started well today.

“At 37, I’m not expecting to be as fit as I was, especially with three kids, you cannot train as much as you want with three kids. I was at my best physically seven or eight years ago. So now I use my brain, my experience, and I try to stay fresh and sharp, as much as I can.”

Results
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-2: 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-6 (60m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 (57m)

Asal and ElShorbagy Prevail

Mostafa Asal celebrates against Diego Elias

Egyptian World Junior champion Mostafa Asal caused a big upset to claim his first win over a top ten player after he came from 2-0 down to beat Peru’s World No.7 Diego Elias at the Shooting Club in Cairo.

Elias had been in strong form this month after reaching his second Platinum semi-final at the U.S. Open, however, he was left stunned by 18-year-old Asal after he staged a monumental comeback to reach the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

“I can only thank God that I won yesterday,” said Asal afterwards. “I didn’t play good squash at all, and was dragged into his, I’m so lucky I won.

“Today, I was not playing too badly, up to 7-7 in the first game, but then far too many errors, and the second, although longer 16-14, again, too many unforced errors.

“I think I had put too much pressure on me, and thanks to my coaches, I realise that the pressure shouldn’t be on me. That if I lost, so what? He was the highest ranked player and that nobody was expecting me to win.

“Today, I felt I was moving better, much better than yesterday, I was really flying all over the place. For the rest of the match, it was more of a mental battle, and I need to thank the crowd, they are the one that made me win. I’m very grateful.”

Asal will face Egypt’s World No.10 ElShorbagy after he defeated England’s Nathan Lake in straight games.

Marwan ElShorbagy (left) against Nathan Lake (right)

The Englishman had secured a big win over compatriot George Parker yesterday in five-games, but was unable to cause an upset against ElShorbagy as the Egyptian executed his game plan in an 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 win.

“I’m really happy with my first round win today,” said 26-year-old ElShorbagy after.

“I thought that I played well, first round is always tricky but I think I handled it well. All credit to Nathan, he got a big win yesterday against George Parker and it was a long match, so I tried to use that to my advantage and extend the rallies. I could tell at the end he was getting a bit heavier.

“We know each other’s games well because we train in Bristol together sometimes. Both of us had a little bit of an idea of how to play against each other today. I’m really happy with my performance overall, I could have done things a bit different, but I’m happy overall and looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.

“There were things I could have done better, one of those things was starting each game better. I didn’t start the first or third well and these are the kind of things that I need to be working on for my next round.”

Results:
Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 7-11, 14-16, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (77m)
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 (43m)

Marche Defeats Pajares as Au Ousts Waller

Gregoire Marche (right) during his win over Iker Pajares Bernabeu (left)

France’s Gregoire Marche avoided going down to Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu as he advanced to the last 16 despite surrendering a two-game lead.

The World No.16 had two match balls in the third but lost concentration as he allowed his opponent back into the match and Pajares clawed a game back after prevailing on the tie-break.

Marche’s focus went off a cliff in the fourth as Pajares dropped four points and recovered from an injury break to level.

But Marche found his game once more in the decider as he powered to an 11-1 triumph to book his place in the third round, where he will play either New Zealand’s Paul Coll or fellow Frenchman Lucas Serme.

“It was a tough match,” Marche said.
 
“I started well and the first two games were approximately the same kind of game. They were close until maybe 6-6 and then I pushed a bit more and I think physically I was a bit better and I took advantage of this. I was not really happy with my game, but I said I just have to win in anyway.
 
“I lost my focus in the third, I could have won, I think I was 10-8 up but it went to 10-10. I had my chance but then he came back into it. We had a break in the fourth when he had a blood injury, so it was a bit slow.
 
“In the fifth I gave it a big push and then was able to win the match against a tough opponent.”

Hong Kong’s Leo Au will also appear in round three after beating England’s Adrian Waller in four games, recovering from game ball down in the fourth to win 12-10, 5-11, 13-11, 15-13 in 69 minutes.

He will play World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza in the last 16.

Results
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-2: 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 4-11, 11-1 (87m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (35m)

Crouin and Hesham Advance to Last 16

Victor Crouin celebrates his round two win

France’s Victor Crouin claimed another huge upset at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open after defeating World No.15 Zahed Salem in straight-games to reach the last 16 of the PSA Platinum event.

Crouin, who conquered Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in the previous round, claimed the biggest win of his career as he took a tight opening two games before ceasing his opportunity to close out 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 in 36 minutes.

The Frenchman will face either Joel Makin or Tarek Momen for a place in the quarter finals.

“I guess yesterday’s match gave me a boost of confidence to go into the second round,” said 20-year-old Crouin.

“I knew I was going to play a good player, he is in form at the beginning of the season, so I just wanted to give my best on court and see where it took me. I won the first game and then thought ‘wow, I might go for the second’ and then I won that and thought I needed to close it. He came back better in that third game, but I was solid mentally and I managed to keep a lead all the way to the last point.

“It’s my best win so far on the PSA Tour, so I’m really pleased.

“I’ve dreamed to play there in front of the Pyramids and now I’m there. I’ve got a day off tomorrow, so I’m going to enjoy that and maybe visit Cairo a little bit because it’s my first time here.”

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Mazen Hesham came from a game down against Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller to reach the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

He will take on the winner of Ali Farag v Omar Mosaad for a place in the quarter final.

Results:
Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (36m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (40m)

 

Simpson Shocks Abouelghar as Dessouky Marches into Last 16

 

England’s World No.42 Chris Simpson completed the biggest win of his career after he stunned Egypt’s World No.8 Mohamed Abouelghar in a five-game thriller at the Shooting Club in Cairo.

The Englishman played some of the best squash of his career as he came from 8-4 down in the first game to take a 1-0 lead on the tie-break.

The momentum continued to switch between the two players as Abouelghar responded well in the second to level, before Simpson claimed a dominant 11-3 win, as he controlled the rallies and took advantage of an agitated Abouelghar, in the third to move back into the lead.

Abouelghar, who was making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury, refused to go down without a fight, however, as he battled back to push the match to a deciding fifth game.

But it proved to be Simpson’s day as he held his nerve to complete a 12-10, 7-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5 victory in 73 minutes and book a third-round place against Daryl Selby at the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

“The most unexpected win of my career,” said the Englishman afterwards.

“I’ve had an awful summer. Injuries, literally almost no squash and that’s sometimes just the way it goes. I was relaxed, I went on and knew he had been injured as well and after having such a good end to the season maybe he put a bit of pressure on himself, but I just wanted to do myself justice and to be honest I didn’t have any considerations about winning.

“I just wanted to have a nice game and feel like I’d played some good squash again because I hadn’t felt like I’d done that in a long time. Without a doubt I played some of the best squash I have played since 2016, before I got injured. I’m over the moon.”

Fares Dessouky

Egypt’s World No.14 Fares Dessouky continued the theme of upsets at the Shooting Club as he downed Germany’s World No.6 Simon Rosner to reach the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

Dessouky started confidently to take a surprise lead against the German, before Rosner came back strongly to put the scores back to level pegging. Dessouky was able to use his mental strength to regain the lead and eventually close out an 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9 win.

“I’m very happy to win today in four,” said 25-year-old Dessouky.

“It was a very tough match, for me mentally as well. I have been playing so badly for two tournaments and this is the first good win of the season.

“The injury I had taught me so many things – on and off court – I’m not there mentally yet and I’m not strong yet but I’m trying to be consistent like I was before and hopefully it works this tournament.

“It’s a very big tournament here, everyone is watching and it’s a huge thing for all of the players to be here playing in front of the Pyramids – it’s a great event and I’m happy it’s back.”

Results:
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [6] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 12-10, 7-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5 (73m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) beats [4] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9 (61m)

Ali Farag (left) v Omar Mosaad (right)

World No.1 Ali Farag overcame fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad in the first professional squash match to take place in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza since the 2016 Al Ahram Open – where Farag was a losing finalist.

Farag, 27, came within a whisker of taking the trophy at arguably the most famous squash venue of all and, three years after that defeat to World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad, kicked off his title charge at the inaugural Egyptian Open with a 3-0 victory against Mosaad, a former World No.3.

Farag dropped just two points in the opening game against an off-the-pace Mosaad, but it was a different game in the second as a number of errors from his racket allowed Mosaad to build up an 8-4 lead.

It was then then the turn of the ‘Hammer of Thor’ to make the errors though as he gifted Farag a way back into the encounter, with the top seed rattling off seven successive points to double his lead.

And he was back ahead in the third as he closed out an 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 triumph to move through to the last 16 where he will play another compatriot, Mazen Hesham.

“When you play against Mosaad, sometimes you have to accept that he is going to be playing better than you in some patches of the match,” Farag said.

“I had to accept that and I think I did that well. Maybe I gave him a few too many errors to give him that lead, but he put pressure on me so they weren’t necessarily unforced. I’m happy I got back into the game because 1-1 would have been a totally different game that a 2-0 advantage.

“I have probably played Mosaad the least on the PSA but the most I’ve played in training. We’ve played at the same club for so many years. I’ve moved to Wadi Degla but we still play quite a lot, so we know each other’s games inside out. I knew what to expect and I’m sure he knew what to expect as well. I had a game plan set with Karim [Darwish] and I’m glad I executed it well.

“It’s very special [playing at the Pyramids], I grew up coming to this venue as a six year old and watching all the legends such as [Ahmed] Barada, [Amr] Shabana, Karim and Ramy [Ashour] and I aspired to be on this stage.

“I managed to do it in 2016, it wasn’t the biggest tournament, it wasn’t a Platinum level, but now it is and thanks to CIB for bringing it back. Mr. Hussein Abaza does an unbelievable job at supporting the sport, not just himself but the CIB entity as a whole. We’re really grateful and thanks to [Tournament Promoter, Amr] Mansi as well. I’m sure it’s not easy with the hassle and security, but hopefully we make it worthwhile.”

Result
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 (39m)

Coll and Gawad Prevail

Paul Coll

New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll comfortably swept aside France’s World No.36 Lucas Serme at Cairo’s Shooting Club to book his place in the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.

The New Zealander played with confidence to ensure he was not the victim of an upset as he took the first game, 11-6, before truly expressing his dominance in the second to take an 11-2 win to double his lead.

The third then proved to be comfortable for the Kiwi to close out his victory as he took an 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 victory. He will face France’s Gregoire Marche for a place in the quarter finals.

“It was tough, we were two hours late going on court,

“Mentally I was quite flat because I was low on energy, I hadn’t ate in a while. First game I got caught out for a few shots and wasn’t quite ready but for the second and third I felt good on court and I gave a lot of variety, which is what I have been working on and my swing felt good, so I was happy.

“I think it will be a fast match against Greg, he likes to fly around and is very fast and quick. It will be a high intensity match and he gets a lot back, so it will be tough but I’m looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, who also won in front of the Pyramids back in 2016, ensured his campaign got up and running with a win as he overcame Scotland’s Greg Lobban in straight-games.

The former World No.1 will face Hong Kong’s Leo Au in the next round.

Results:
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 (38m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (36m)


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