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Egyptians dominate British Open

Reigning champion Gregory Gaultier is greeted by British Open sponsor  Assem Allam
Reigning champion Gregory Gaultier is greeted by British Open sponsor Assem Allam

Mazen Hesham and Fares Dessouki join Egyptian big guns in second round of British Open

The second round of the 2015 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament, will be dominated by Egyptians as eight of the country’s top squash players made it through the first round of action at the prestigious tournament currently taking place at the Airco Arena, Hull.

Despite the absence of current World Champion Ramy Ashour and four-time world champion Amr Shabana in this year’s event, Egyptian names will still occupy 50 per cent of the last 16 line-up, with rising stars such as Mazen Hesham and Fares Dessouki joining the likes of world No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Qualifier Zahed Mohamed, the world No.39, pulled off one of the most impressive wins of the first round courtesy of a surprise 3-2 victory over world No.18 Stephen Coppinger during the second day of action while Karim Abdel Gawad, Omar Mosaad, Hesham and Tarek Momen all prevailed to join Elshorbagy, Dessouki and Marwan Elshorbagy in the second round.

Elsewhere on day two, defending Champion Gregory Gaultier, the 32-year-old Frenchman, began his bid to win back-to-back trophies with a 3-0 demolition of Malaysian qualifier Nafiizwan Adnan.

“He was really sharp in the third and I had to really push to get though that game so I’m happy with how I came through that and I was feeling good with how I played,” said Gaultier. 

The 32-year-old, winner of April’s Grasshopper Cup, looked comfortable throughout the 39-minute encounter as, despite a late fightback from Adnan in an entertaining third game, he eased his way into the tournament that he won in emotional scenes in the same venue 12 months ago.

“It’s tough to be the last match on in the night but you have to deal with the conditions and I was feeling good today,” said Gaultier.

“Lots of players have had injuries leading up to this event, and I have struggled with Achilles injuries since December, but I’m delighted to be back on court and it’s a real pleasure to be back in the territory that you love so hopefully I can have a good week.”

PSA World Series: 2015 British Open Men’s Championship, Hull.

Results – First Round (Bottom Half) 
[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-7 (57m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (80m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-2: 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 3-11, 11-5 (64m)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [WC] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (45m)
[8] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (56m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [Q] Leo Au (HKG) 3-2: 11-3, 11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-6 (72m)
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 12-10, 9-11, 11-1, 11-5 (61m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 15-13 (39m)

Draw – Second Round (Top Half – To Be Played May 13)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [7] Simon Rösner (GER)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)

Picture by STEVE LINE (  courtesy of PSA


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