Saturday, December 2, 2023

ToC Squash 2023: Gina Kennedy confirms she’s back in business

Georgina Kennedy continued her resurgence after recent health issues by producing Sunday’s only upset in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions third round.

The Commonwealth Games women’s singles champion produced her second five-game comeback win of the tournament, knocking out Egypt’s seventh seed Rowan Elaraby 8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2 in 52 minutes.

“My goal coming into this was was to at least reach the quarters so I’m proud of myself, but I’m not going to be content with that, I’m going to push as far as I can,” said Kennedy.

“It feels great to be out there competing. We train for moments like this. There’s a balance of enjoying the occasion but also stepping up to the occasion as well.”

Elsewhere in women’s draw, world No.5 Amanda Sobhy reached her fourth career ToC quarter-final, outlasting compatriot Olivia Blatchford Clyne in a close four-game contest.

Egypt’s three-time ToC champion Nour El Sherbini and third seed Hania El Hammamy both comfortably progressed in three games.

Diego Elias, who reached the ToC final last May, came through an entertaining encounter with Egypt’s world No.30 Mohamed ElSherbini, who took the second game. Elias recovered to decisively win in the third and fourth games to seal a quarter-final encounter with veteran Tarek Momen.

“I knew it would be tough,” said Elias. “We played in Hong Kong and I won pretty easily so knew he would come here and try and beat me and do his best.”

Paul Coll, who would reclaim the world No. 1 ranking if he wins his first ToC title, put on a strong performance against France’s Sebatien Bonmalais, including a stellar rally where both players were diving on opposite ends of the court.

Coll will next face Egypt’s world No.9 Fares Dessouky who dispatched Qatar’s Abdulla Al Tamimi in three games.

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – men’s third round results (bottom half):

[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3 (51m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (36m)
[8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (33m)
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (43m)

Women’s third round results (Bottom Half):

[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Tomato Ho (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-2 (27m)
Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [7] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2 (52m)
[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6 (46m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 (25m)

Men’s quarter-final draw (top half) – to be played Monday January 23:
Victor Crouin (FRA) v [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[7] Mazen Hesham (EGY) v Miguel Rodriguez (COL)

Men’s quarter-final draw (bottom half) – to be played Tuesday January 24
[4] Diego Elias (PER) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) v [1] Paul Coll (NZL)

Women’s quarter-final draw (top half) – to be Played Monday January 23
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [6] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Jana Shiha (EGY) v [4] Joelle King (NZL)

Women’s quarter-final draw (bottom half) – to be played Tuesday January 24
[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

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