Monday, October 2, 2023

Welsh warriors Joel Makin and Tesni Evans halted by Tarek Momen and Nouran Gohar

Mixed fortunes for Kiwis as top seed Paul Coll powers past Mazen Hesham but Joelle King falls to Nada Abbas

Welsh warriors Joel Makin and Tesni Evans saw their passage through the World Championships ended by Egyptian stars Tarek Momen and Nouran Gohar.

Yesterday saw round three action take place at two glass courts, one at the Club S Allegria and one at the impressive new venue at the Egyptian National Museum of Civilization.

At the club venue, Makin took the first game against Momen, but the 2019-20 world champion hit back to win 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 in a physical battle lasting 73 minutes.

Evans found Gohar in dominant form at the Museum and the top seed powered through to win 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 in 34 minutes.

The only British players left in the draw, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Georgina Kennedy, are in action this evening hoping to keep the flag flying after England failed to have a male player in the third round for the first time in squash history.

Momen admitted that he had to do things the hard way as he came from a game down against a resilient Makin.

Makin edged ahead in the first in a tightly contested game, before Momen prevailed in a lengthy second game. That seemed to give the Egyptian the momentum he needed as he comfortably took a 2-1 lead, courtesy of an 11-2 win in the third, before closing out the fourth 11-7.

“It was a tough one for me mentally,” said Momen. “I lost the first game very close, and then he went up in the second game 9-8 and he was very close of getting to 2-0 up.

“I had to dig really deep, so I am proud of how I fought today because I have always played tough matches against Joel. I don’t think we have ever had an easy one. Today was no different, and I am so glad I got the win today.”

Momen now faces a mouthwatering quarter-final against New Zealand’s Paul Coll after the world No.1 defeated Egypt’s No.10 seed Mazen Hesham in straight games.

Top seed Nouran Gohar moves forward against Tesni Evans

In the women’s draw, Gohar was at her dominant best to send out Evans, who slipped midway through the second game and from then on look to struggle with the movement on that leg. The Egyptian, however, displayed a professional performance to move through the third round.

“The first game was very enjoyable, it felt like we were both playing well tonight,” said Gohar afterwards. “I was looking forward to a big battle against Tesni, it’s such a pity when a player is injured, but I was trying not to think about the injury because it could be tricky.

“World No.1 and World Champion, it’s something you always dream of. I’ve ticked the box of one of them, I just haven’t won the World Championship yet.”

In the quarter finals in the top half of the women’s draw, Gohar will face compatriot Rowan Elaraby, who received a walkover following the withdrawal of India’s Joshna Chinappa due to illness.

Nada Abbas celebrates her win over Joelle King

Egypt’s World No.16 Nada Abbas stunned New Zealand’s World No.5 Joelle King in four games at the Club S Allegria to reach the quarter finals for the first time in her career.

Abbas put in a mighty performance to down recent Manchester Open champion King. The two players met last month when King took a comprehensive 3-0 victory at the Allam British Open, but it was a complete role reversal this time around as the 21-year-old Egyptian took control and managed to hold off a comeback from the Kiwi to prevail in four.

“I didn’t think about it, I was just here to enjoy it,” said Abbas. “I wasn’t pressuring myself about anything, I just wanted to play well and perform well.

“The crowd helped me a lot. They are cheering me for every point, helping me all the time. It was a boost for me to keep going and to play my best to win.”

Awaiting Abbas in the quarter finals will be USA’s World No.4 Amanda Sobhy after she prevailed in a tight 3-0 battle with close friend Nele Gilis of Belgium at the museum glass court.

“I thought it was a very fair match,” Sobhy said. “We didn’t have many calls [from the referee] and neither of us hit that many errors except from my last three points at the end.

“Nele and I are best friends and we know each others’ games inside out. I knew she was going to pick up a lot of balls, she’s a fighter and I’m so glad I won in three and finished off the games when it mattered.”

Back to the men’s draw, Egypt’s Fares Dessouky reached the quarter finals for the second year in a row as he held off France’s Gregoire Marche in an entertaining four-game battle at Club S Allegria.

The two players went toe-to-toe in a high quality affair which eventually saw Dessouky triumph 11-6, 14-16, 11-8, 11-7 in 72 minutes.

Recent Canary Wharf champion Dessouky faces Mohamed ElShorbagy for a place in the semi-finals after the 2017 world champion was dominant against former world No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad, who shook hands and conceded early in the third game due to an injury.

Mohamed ElShorbagy leaps high for a volley against Karim Abdel Gawad

ElShorbagy commented: “I hope he’s fine. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I know he’s been struggling with a foot injury, but he has been managing it quite well. He managed it well with me in Manchester and in the first two rounds (here in Cairo).

“It’s very disappointing when you don’t continue a match for the crowd, the game, for anyone. I’ve played over 600 matches in my career and I’ve stopped only once. I’ve always made sure even when I was completely struggling to just make sure I continued.

“Some players, I understand that you can risk getting more injured if you keep going. I understand if he stopped for that, and I hope he comes back stronger because he is very important for the game.”

Round three of the PSA World Championships Cairo continues today (May 18) and play will be split across two glass courts, one at the Club S Allegria and the new venue of the Egyptian National Museum of Civilization. Action starts at 6.45pm local time (GMT+2) and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV.

PSA World Championships, Egyptian National Museum of Civilization, Cairo.

Men’s third round (top half):
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [10] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-0, 11-6 (38m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [9] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (73m)
[8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [13] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 14-16, 11-8, 11-7 (72m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 6-0 retired (26m)

Women’s Round Three (top half):
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [13] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (38m)
[8] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt [12] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-0: Walkover
[15] Nada Abbas (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 3-1: 11-7, 15-13, 8-11, 11-6 (56m)
[4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [11] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 (44m)

Men’s Round Three (bottom half, May 18):
[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v [16] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[15] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v [5] Diego Elias (PER)
[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[11] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Women’s Round Three (bottom half, May 18):
[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [9] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
[21] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [22] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[23] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

Men’s Quarter-Finals (top half, May 19):
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Women’s Quarter-Finals (top half, May 19):
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [8] Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
[15] Nada Abbas (EGY) v [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour


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