Shock defeats in Hull for Karim Abdel Gawad and Fares Dessouky
By ALAN THATCHER and ELLIE MAWSON
World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy began the defence of his Allam British Open title with a hard-fought victory over regular training partner Joel Makin to reach the third round at the Allam Sport Centre in Hull.
ElShorbagy held off a comeback from tenacious Welshman Joel Makin with more than a place in the next round at stake.
A defeat against Makin would have seen rival Ali Farag overthrow ElShorbagy as the World No.1 next month, but he held firm to hold off a revival from the Manchester Open finalist in the last match of the day.
Elshorbagy finally triumphed 12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6 after 76 minutes. Makin’s only consolation was knowing that he scored two more points overall than the victor.
The Bristol-based Egyptian will face Baptiste Masotti for a place in the quarter finals after the Frenchman defeated compatriot Lucas Serme on the traditional courts.
ElShorbagy said: “I think we were both flat for different reasons. He’s had a lot of matches, I’ve had to deal with a lot of finals recently, and it was a test for both of us. Even though I won, I think we both succeeded in the way we showed our opponents that we will fight even when we’re tired.
“In my head I just needed to get through, I didn’t care about the result, I just needed to get through because I knew it would be a completely different story from now on.”
World Champion Farag also ensured a safe passage through to the third round after he came from a game down against Scotland’s Greg Lobban on the glass court.
“I had to get those fundamentals back in the first few points of the second,” said Farag. “Then from that point on I found my game a lot better. All credit to Greg, he was firing on all cylinders to start with, so I’m just glad that I pulled through.”
Malaysia’s World No.22 Eain Yow Ng claimed his first ever win over a top 10 player after he got the better of former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad.
The 23-year-old took the lead on the traditional courts at the Allam Sport Centre after coming from 5-3 down before Gawad, who has been struggling with injury this season, responded in the second to draw back level. The two continued to trade points and games as the former World Champion was once again able to peg Eain Yow back to level terms to push it to a fifth.
The talented Malaysian held his nerve well though and showed bravery with his shots to take the fifth by an 11-2 scoreline to progress to the last 16 of the British Open for the first time in his career.
“I’m feeling really good after that,” said Eain Yow. “Going in, I knew I had a chance but in the fourth game after I was leading 4-1 I was having flashbacks to last week [in the Manchester Open] against Omar Mosaad when I was 2-0 up and lost the fifth.
“After I lost the fourth, I told myself to remain calm and I played really well in the fifth game. I came out firing and I don’t think he expected me to come out as quickly and as focused as that.
“I really felt a sense of relief at the end because I was playing really well. In the last few months, I’ve been playing really well and not getting the wins, so today was a relief to be honest.”
Up next for Eain Yow will be 2018 British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez after he prevailed in straight-games over USA’s Todd Harrity.
Another shock on the traditional courts saw World No.30 Youssef Soliman take out World No.7 Fares Dessouky in a five-game thriller.
Dessouky took a two-game lead and looked as though he was going to cruise to a comfortable victory before Soliman rallied back to draw level.
Dessouky, who won the CIB Black Ball Open in December, fought hard for every point in the fifth, but Soliman stuck with him and managed to close out 11-8 in the fifth to secure a memorable victory and leave Dessouky stunned.
“Coming back against Fares is definitely difficult,” said Soliman afterwards. “The only thing to do when you go 2-0 down is to believe that you can come back against someone like Fares. I really look up to him, he’s definitely more skilful than me, but my advantage is I’ve watched him a lot and learnt from him.”
Soliman will take on Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu after he prevailed in his own lengthy five-game battle to defeat Scotland’s Alan Clyne with both looking to reach their maiden quarter-final at the British Open.
In the women’s draw, 2019 champion Nouran Gohar got her title defence off to an emphatic start, taking just 26 minutes to secure an 11-2, 11-4, 11-9 victory over compatriot Zeina Mickawy on the glass court.
Gohar, who beat France’s Camille Serme to win the sport’s longest-running tournament two years ago at the Allam Sport Centre, only recently arrived in the UK from the United States but the toll of travelling looked to have little effect on the World No.2 as she refused to give Mickawy even a sniff.
“I have great memories here,” said Gohar. “It’s always good to come back to a place where you have great memories. I think I played well today even though I came from the US. I’ve just been sleeping since I came here, I’ve not been doing anything else.
“But I can’t really complain about the jetlag because I was playing well, so it’s fine.”
She will play World No.11 Tesni Evans in the last 16 after she came out on top in the all-Welsh battle with Emily Whitlock.
Top seed Nour El Sherbini was also in spellbinding form to take her place in the third round after she axed USA’s World No.20 Olivia Fiechter in straight-games.
It was only their second meeting on the PSA World Tour following El Sherbini’s win over Fiechter at last month’s PSA World Championships but, like in Chicago, the Egyptian had too much for her opponent as the two-time British Open champion completed an 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 victory.
El Sherbini, who got her hands on the prestigious British Open trophy in both 2018 and 2016, will come up against India’s Joshna Chinappa in round three after she defeated USA’s Haley Mendez.
“I’m really happy with my performance, I thought it was a tough first round,” said El Sherbini.
“You saw our last meeting in Chicago where she pushed me until the end. I’m playing her in back-to-back tournaments, so I just wanted to play well and maybe make it a bit better than last time. She’s really good, she gets everything and her movement on court is unbelievable.”
Gohar and El Sherbini will be joined in the last 16 by compatriot Nadine Shahin after the World No.16 beat compatriot and World No.9 Salma Hany on the side courts as another seed toppled in round two.
Shahin takes on Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold for a place in the last 16 as the World No.43 caused her own upset to the seedings after taking out home hope Lucy Turmel in straight-games.
“It’s been a while since I beat a top-ten player and it feels good,” said Shahin afterwards. “I hope that helps me push into the top ten myself. I feel confident and very good. After my [Manchester Open second-round defeat to Emily Whitlock] I was down a bit, but I decided I have nothing to lose any way and I would come back stronger and better and that’s what I did.”
Round three of the British Open takes place today (August 18) and play starts at 12 noon. Action from the Allam Sport Centre will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).
2021 Allam British Open, Allam Sports Centre, Hull, England.
Men’s Second Round:
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 11-13, 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 (49m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (59m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-0: 11-2, 12-10, 11-5 (34m)
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2 (71m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (46m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9 (51m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Nick Wall (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (49m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 (54m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (34m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Borja Golan (ESP): 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (51m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 11-7, 2-11, 11-6, 11-3 (51m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt  Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 (74m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 11-4, 11-3, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7 (74m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-2: 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 3-11, 11-4 (67m)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) beat Joel Makin (Wal) 3-2: 12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6 (76m)
Men’s Third Round (Top Half, August 18):
 Ali Farag (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v  Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half, August 19):
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v  Diego Elias (PER)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Women’s Second Round:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (26m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 13-11, 13-11, 11-6 (32m)
Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (31m)
Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 12-10, 3-11, 11-8 (34m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8 (41m)
Olivia Clyne (USA) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-2: 10-12, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 (52m)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (36m)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt  Camille Serme (FRA) w/o
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (36m)
Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-2: 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8 (71m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 6-11, 9-4 retired (24m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (40m)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (40m)
Donna Lobban (AUS) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8 (61m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-1: 11-7, 11-4, 5-11, 13-11 (48m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-9 (26m)
Women’s Third Round (Top Half, August 18):
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Joshna Chinappa (IND)
Rachel Arnold (MAS) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Olivia Clyne (USA)
Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half, August 19):
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Melissa Alves (FRA)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v  Joelle King (NZL)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Donna Lobban (AUS)
Tesni Evans (WAL) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA