Sarah-Jane Perry bows out to Joshna Chinappa
By ELLIE MAWSON in Cairo
Egypt’s World No.15 Hania El Hammamy and India’s World No.16 Joshna Chinappa both caused upsets on the second day of action at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open after they defeated World No.3 Nour El Tayeb and World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry in Cairo, Egypt.
The 18-year-old El Hammamy claimed the first major scalp of the day as she downed compatriot El Tayeb, who earlier this month finished runner-up at the PSA World Championships, in straight-games to advance to the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour Gold tournament.
Before yesterday, El Hammamy had never beaten El Tayeb. However, the 18-year-old was unstoppable as she played with confidence beyond her years to condemn an out-of-sorts El Tayeb to a premature exit.
“I’ve played against Nour so many times and lost,” said El Hammamy afterwards. “I never even win in training matches, so this one is very special. She came runner-up at the Worlds and she is one of the top three players in the world.
“Obviously, the last two tournaments I have won have given me so much confidence and I was so excited to play today against a top player and believing in myself that I can win.”
She will now face compatriot and World No.8 Nouran Gohar for a place in the semi-finals after she despatched World No.12 Salma Hany in straight-games to advance.
“Every match is completely different,” said former World No.2 Gohar. “Hania played superbly today and to play her is a tricky match. I have to be on my toes from the first point and I hope it will be a great match tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Indian No.1 Chinappa claimed her own big win after she took out English No.1 Perry to reach the last eight of the tournament.
The Indian had not secured a victory over the Englishwoman since the 2012 Chennai Open, with Perry winning the last three encounters. However, Chinappa made sure to reverse her bad fortune as she prevailed in a tight battle to win 11-4, 6-11, 14-12, 11-9 in 50 minutes.
“It was a hard game from the beginning until the end,” said Chinappa following her win. “It was really close in all the games and I’m fortunate to be on the winning side.
“What made the difference today was I think that I was a bit better mentally that I have been in our previous matches. I was more focused, more consistent, and I was able to withstand long rallies.”
Chinappa will now face New Zealand’s World No.5 Joelle King tomorrow night at the Black Ball Sporting Club after the Kiwi prevailed in a tough match with Wales’ World No.10 Tesni Evans.
Evans came through a gruelling five-game encounter against Egypt’s Mariam Metwally yesterday and the Welshwoman looked to have kept that winning momentum on her side as she took the first game.
However, the Welshwoman was unable to continue that form as number three seed King came back firing to impose her game plan and draw level, before going onto seal a 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 win.
“I actually hate playing Tesni,” said 30-year-old King. “She’s probably my best mate on tour, we practise together all the time and so we know each other’s game. It’s always one of my hardest matches to play. She always fights until the end and I was pleased to get off in four.”
Elsewhere, top seed and World No.1 Raneem El Welily set up a mouthwatering quarter-final tie with England’s former World No.1 Laura Massaro after the Egyptian got her tournament off to a winning start against World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby.
The Cairo-based Egyptian got her tournament off to the perfect start as she looked strong on court, taking just 30 minutes to down younger compatriot Elaraby and advance to the last eight.
“It’s never easy against Laura,” said El Welily following her win. “She is very stubborn and tough on course and I hope that it is going to be a good match. I will have to rest today and prepare for tomorrow.”
Massaro, meanwhile, found her accuracy quickly and looked sharp on court to defeat Egypt’s Yathreb Adel in straight-games.
“She is such a dangerous opponent and it can make you a bit on edge because you don’t know what you’re going to get from her,” said England’s Massaro following her win over Adel.
“I’m really happy with how I stayed strong at the right times, getting over that line in the second was probably a really big one and then just picking up balls and making things tough in the third.”
Elsewhere, Egypt’s World No.2 Nour El Sherbini and France’s World No.4 Camille Serme will go head-to-head, just over a week after meeting in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships, which the Egyptian went onto win.
El Sherbini was dominant against England’s former World No.3 Alison Waters in round two of the Black Ball Open to send the 34-year-old out in the early stages as she stormed to an 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 victory.
“It’s never easy playing Alison,” said the 23-year-old Egyptian. “She has been playing for a long time and it’s always tough playing her.
“This is the first match after the Worlds and it is always very hard mentally to get back on court and play after a big win.”
Meanwhile, Serme claimed her own impressive win as she successfully manoeuvred past Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in straight-games in a masterclass of a performance.
“After the worlds, I was obviously very disappointed, but it passed quite quickly,” said the Frenchwoman following her win.
“We started working and training hard immediately and I was actually glad we had a big tournament right after. But still, when you see Nour [El Tayeb] losing in the first round, you stop and think maybe it’s not that easy to go into the next one quickly. So today, I made sure I arrived ready to fight from the start of the match.”
The quarter-finals take place on Wednesday March 13 at 17:00 local time (GMT+2) and the action will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).
CIB Black Ball Squash Open, Black Ball Club, Cairo, Egypt.
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-4 (30m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (24m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (31m)
Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 12-10, 11-4 (32m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-1: 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (51m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 6-11, 14-12, 11-9 (50m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (25m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 (27m)
Quarter-Finals (March 13):
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA