Thursday, February 2, 2023

ToC Squash 2023: Mum’s the word for Mohamed ElSherbini

Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini fought back from two games down to reach the third round of the Tournament of Champions – before admitting that his mum had been the catalyst for victory.

ElSherbini defeated Ramit Tandon, winning a tie-break in the fifth after a 73-minute battle.

The Indian had shown his best squash in the opening exchanges, and deserved a two-game lead. However, ElSherbini took a crucial third 11-9, before cruising through the fourth to set up a deciding game. The fifth went to a tie-break, ElSherbini claiming it 12-10.

“My mum told me if I lose today, she is going to disown me!” said ElSherbini.

“Her dream is to watch me play in Grand Central Station. It’s one of my dreams too. I just didn’t want to disappoint her and I just wanted to move forward and I’m so glad to win today and to turn this around.”

At the glass court at Grand Central Terminal, the higher-ranked players in the evening’s action all progressed. All five matches went to seeding, and were won in straight games.

Six-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini and New Zealand’s Paul Coll were both in scintillating form to book their spots in the last 16 of the competition, with the latter coming through a tough test against England’s Nathan Lake.

“I’m just excited to get on court this week. I had a good break in New Zealand, so come here with a lot of energy. And yeah, to be honest, I was just more excited about starting, you know, playing squash again and getting into some good matches,” Coll said.

The American duo of Amanda Sobhy Olivia Clyne both won in straight games and will now face each other in the third round, while there were also wins for Fares Dessouky, Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, Rowan Elaraby and Tomato Ho on the third day of the event.

Elsewhere, there is just one place between England’s Georgina Kennedy and Belgium’s Tinne Gilis and their match couldn’t have been closer.

Gilis confidently took the third game to lead 2-1, but the intensity of Kennedy was relentless. The Englishwoman started to squeeze Gilis on in the back corners and force errors from the Belgian’s racket. After just over an hour it was Kennedy who converted at the fourth time of asking on match ball to move into the third round.

Results: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – RD2: 
Men’s:
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-2: 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 12-10 (73m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7 (89m)
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (51m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (37m)
[8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-1 (40m)
Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5 (43m)

Women’s:
Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Hana Moataz (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 13-11 (60m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (19m)
[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (23m)
[7] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (21m)
Olivia Clyne (USA) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)
Tomato Ho (HKG) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 (48m)

Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 1-11, 11-7, 11-9 (61m)
[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (30m)
[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (47m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (33m)

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