Monday, June 24, 2024

British Open Squash 2024: Ali Farag staves off two matches in one day

Defending men’s champion Ai Farag faced the possibility of playing two matches in one day after sustaining a blood cut injury at the British Open in a bizarre ending to day one at Birmingham Rep.

Farag was a game and 6-1 up in the second when he rushed through to pick up an Omar Mosaad drop but connected with his opponent’s elbow.

As it wasn’t self-inflicted, he was awarded as much time as he needed. There was a 30-minute pause in the final match of the day, with the bleeding looking severe.

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There had been talk of a broken nose, while if the bleeding didn’t stop, the match could spill over to the following day. That would have meant two matches for the winner with the third round scheduling set for Wednesday.

However, Farag was able to continue and lasted just a few minutes more on court after Mosaad was forced to retire injured.

It followed a day where home hope Joel Makin scored his first ever win at the British Open at the seventh attempt after he put in a masterclass to oust World No.8 Tarek Momen.

The Welshman – who was born in Pembrokeshire before moving to Birmingham – has endured an up-and-down season and spent two months out with an injury at the start of 2024, before returning to form with victory at the Manchester Open two weeks ago. 

He picked up where he left off there with a controlled performance that saw him complete an 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 win over the former World Champion. He will play Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim next, a player he beat in the semi-finals a fortnight ago in Manchester.

“We’ve had some battles over the last couple of years,” said Makin afterwards.

“My squash was sharp and if my body is responding like it did there I can make it difficult for the best players. I’m happy to win that, he’s obviously at the end of his season and he’s pretty tired, we’re all in a difficult place with our bodies but everyone is pushing.

“He’s so attacking and it’s so easy to sit back and defend out of the front. You always end up on the back foot, so I had to be proactive, take the initiative and be direct with my attacks. That’s what you train for and I put it together well.”

In the women’s event, England No.1 Georgina Kennedy was forced to battle all the way to five games before finally overcoming Scotland’s Georgia Adderley in a five-game thriller.

All six of the pair’s previous matches had seen Kennedy win 3-0 and, given the Englishwoman picked up the Manchester Open title alongside Makin a fortnight ago, the form book was heavily in Kennedy’s favour.

However, it wasn’t plain sailing for the World No.5, who struggled to put away a tenacious Adderley, eventually prevailing by a 7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5 scoreline. Kennedy will go up against World No.16 Fayrouz Aboelkheir for a place in the quarter-finals.

“I knew what was going to happen today in terms of what Georgia brings to the table,” said Kennedy.

“Every point is evil and it’s really difficult to play against her. I thought she played really well there, that’s the first time that I felt I could really lose that match. I didn’t feel my best out there, I felt really flat.

“I was thinking of World No.1 Ali Farag, he’s said in a few interviews that you have to find a way to win when you’re not feeling your best. That’s what Ben [Ford, Kennedy’s coach] said to me and I had to dig in.”

Results – Men’s Second Round: 2024 British Open

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-1, 11-3 retired (42m)

Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (30m)

Farkas Balazs (HUN) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-1: 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-4 (55m)

[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Leung Chi Hin Henry (HKG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)

Joel Makin (WAL) bt [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)

Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-2, 11-9 (38m)

Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Andrew Douglas (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 (28m)

[3] Diego Elias (PER) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (32m)

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (35m)

Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (48m)

Timothy Brownell (USA) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (34m)

[7] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 (47m)

[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 14-12 (37m)

Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) 3-1: 4-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (47m)

Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (73m)

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4 (50m)

Draw – Men’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played June 4th

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)

Farkas Balazs (HUN) v [6] Mazen Hesham (EGY)

Joel Makin (WAL) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)

Youssef Soliman (EGY) v [3] Diego Elias (PER)

Draw – Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played June 5th

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG)

Timothy Brownell (USA) v [7] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG)

[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)

Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [2] Paul Coll (NZL)

Results – Women’s Second Round: 2024 British Open

[1] Nour ElSherbini (EGY) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (35m)

Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (31m)

Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Hana Moataz (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (40m)

[8] Olivia Weaver (USA) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (34m)

[5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (34m)

Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 15-13 (44m)

Salma Hany (EGY) bt Farida Mohamed (EGY) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 (58m)

[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-2: 15-17, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5 (74m)

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Katie Malliff (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)

Tomato Ho (HKG) bt Malak Khafagy (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (71m)

Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) bt Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-2: 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 (55m)

[6] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Georgia Adderley (SCO) 3-2: 7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5 (60m)

[7] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-2, 7-11, 13-11 (48m)

Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Tesni Murphy (WAL) 3-2: 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 (69m)

Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Grace Gear (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-2 (45m)

[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-5 (46m)

Draw – Women’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played June 4th

[1] Nour ElSherbini (EGY) v Satomi Watanabe (JPN)

Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v [8] Olivia Weaver (USA)

[5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Hana Ramadan (EGY)

Salma Hany (EGY) v [4] Nele Gilis (BEL)

Draw – Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played June 5th

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Tomato Ho (HKG)

Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) v [6] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)

[7] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

Nada Abbas (EGY) v [2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)

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