Day TWO reports & reaction

The 2022 edition of the Allam British Open – celebrating the Centenary of the sport’s longest-running tournament – continued today with 32 first round matches at Hull’s Allam Sports Centre.

This is the ninth year the tournament has been staged in Hull, and the third at the Allam Sports Centre which has six traditional glass-back courts and an all-Glass court specially constructed for the event.

The top 16 seeds in each Platinum draw entered the fray, and today’s 32 second-round matches saw players battling it out for places in the last 16s – with a mixture of seed v seed, seed v ‘qualifier’ and ‘qualifier v qualifier’ matches.

There was one huge upset – Raphael Kandra beating three-time champion Mohamed ElShorbagy – two more top eight seeds departing as Joshna Chinappa beat Salma Hany and Miguel Rodriguez ousted Joel Makin, and one epic encounter as Mostafa Asal avenged his Canary Wharf final defeat to Fares Dessouky.

You can watch all the action Live on SquashTV (Glass Court) and YouTube (side courts), follow on Live Scoring and our Social Feeds, and we’ll have reports, player reaction and photos right here, with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.

Allam British Open 2022 : Tue29th Mar, Day TWO, Round TWO


Glass Court
[9/16] Georgina Kennedy (Eng) 3-1 [9/16] Olivia Clyne (Usa) 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (33m)
Raphael Kandra (Ger) 3-2 [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (51m)
[2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 Cindy Merlo (Sui) 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (23m)
[4] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-2 [9/16] Fares Dessouky (Egy) 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (88m)
[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-0 Lisa Aitken (Sco) 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (30m)
[1] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 [wc] Nick Wall (Eng) 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (26m)
[1] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-1 Sivasangari Subramaniam (Mas) 11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 (35m)
[2] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Nathan Lake (Eng) 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (33m)

Court 4
Farida Mohamed (Egy) 3-1 [9/16] Hollie Naughton (Can)   11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8 (36m)
[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-2 Todd Harrity (Usa)   4-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
[8] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Nadine Shahin (Egy)   11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (23m)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 3-2 [8] Joel Makin (Wal)   5-11, 11-3, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5 (85m)
[3] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-0 Emily Whitlock (Wal)   11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (21m)
Shahjahan Khan (Usa) 3-1 Sebastien Bonmalais (Fra)   11-7, 13-11, 5-11, 11-6 (59m)
[7] Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 3-1 Hana Ramadan (Egy)   5-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)
[6] Diego Elias (Per) 3-2 [9/16] Youssef Ibrahim (Egy)   8-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (59m)

Court 5
[5] Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0 Lucy Turmel (Eng)   11-8, 11-8, 15-13 (70m)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham (Egy) 3-0 Mohamed ElSherbini (Egy)   11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (28m)
Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-0 Milou van der Heijden (Ned)   11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (30m)
Patrick Rooney (Eng) 3-1 Omar Mosaad (Egy)   11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (50m)
[9/16] Nele Gilis (Bel) 3-0 Rachel Arnold (Mas)   11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (23m)
[9/16] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-2 George Parker (Eng)   11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4 (66m)
Jasmine Hutton (Eng) 3-0 Alexandra Fuller (Rsa)   11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)
[5] Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Eain Yow Ng (Mas)   11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (37m)
Court 6
Nada Abbas (Egy) 3-0 Danielle Letourneau (Can)   11-4, 11-8, 12-10 (29m)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0 Adrian Waller (Eng)   13-11, 13-11, 11-9 (53m)
[9/16] Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 3-2 [6] Salma Hany (Egy)   2-11, 15-13, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (49m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 Ramit Tandon (Ind)   14-12, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
[9/16] Olivia Fiechter (Usa) 3-2 [9/16] Tesni Evans (Wal)   3-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4 (44m)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 3-0 Moustafa El Sirty (Egy)   11-5, 11-9, 11-1 (33m)
Sabrina Sobhy (Usa) 3-0 Aifa Azman (Mas)   11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (24m)
Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 3-0 Borja Golan (Esp)   11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (37m)


Reports and Reaction

Kennedy Overcomes Clyne To Reach Round Three

After missing out in the first round as a wildcard in 2021, Georgina Kennedy got her 2022 Allam British Open off to a much better start, with a come from behind victory against USA’s Olivia Clyne.

It was the American who got off to a fast start, racing out to a one-game lead with some intricate play to the front of the court, but a slight niggle in the lower back saw her movement curtailed somewhat, meaning she was unable to play to her full potential throughout the rest of the match.

Kennedy used that to her advantage, and came through to win the next three games without looking under too much pressure. Either World No.3 Hania El Hammamy lies in wait for the young Englishwoman in the third round.

“She said in the first game, she tweaked something in her back or glute area, and I noticed that in the second game,” the Englishwoman said.

“I could see that she was struggling with her movement. I just want to say that I hope it isn’t too bad for her, because in that first game, she was just… I was really struggling, and it’s so cold in here so the ball stays short, and Liv is so clinical with her short game

“Even in that fourth I couldn’t relax because I know how good she is with her shots, and it made me panic a bit actually, because she could easily roll off 11 winners. I am really lucky to be through to today, and I do hope that Liv is okay!

“It has been a great year, obviously. I have been working hard at home with my coach, Ben [Ford]. I have had a lot of support as well, my sponsors Open Squash, the University of Nottingham, England Squash of course! It has been a journey, and it is still a bit frustrating for me because I think in training, things are clicking a bit more, and then I still feel when I get no to the big stage, I can’t get there yet. Even that first game, Liv’s short game is so good, so I need to find a way to be a bit mentally tougher, and start a bit better. It has been a great year, and a lot of hard work goes into it!

“I will definitely be watching that match and I hope it is a good one! I have played Cindy [Merlo] a few times, but I have never played Hania [El Hammamy] so I have always said I would love the opportunity to play her and see what I can do. She is obviously in amazing form, she is World No.3 so I would like to get stuck in, have the home crowd behind me, and anything can happen!”

Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (33m)

King, Abbas & Mohamed advance

Opening the play on day two of the Allam British Open was a match between No.5 seed Joelle King from New Zealand and England’s Lucy Turmel.

The pair had already played twice on the PSA World Tour in 2022, with the most previous game going all the way to five games in King’s favour.

After Turmel had edged ahead in the first game, several errors came from the racket of the Englishwoman which allowed King to run away with the opening game and take it 11-8.

King was off the court with two injury breaks in the second game, at the start and the end of the game. The second of which came at game ball to the No.5 seed. She returned to court only needing a point to secure a 2-0 lead. She took the game 11-8.

The disruptions didn’t seem to bother King as she returned to top form in the third game and quickly earned herself a 6-2 lead to place one foot in the third round. Turmel battled back to take the game into a tiebreak. After saving two game balls, King secured her place in round three after 70 minutes.

“It’s never easy when you get hit,” said King.

“Its easy to lose focus, I think I was 3-0 down when I got hit the first time so I’m just pleased to be off in three. Last time we played it was a five setter and I was 2-0 match ball up and she came back to five and I thought the same thing was going to happen today but just happy I got the win.”

“Playing Nada Abbas in the next round and I’ve never played her before, its always nice to play different people. I think I’ve played Lucy in the last three tournaments so nice to have a new challenge.”

Egypt’s rising star Farida Mohamed and Canada’s Hollie Naughton opened play on court four on day two.

A physical match at times was closely contested with both players attacking the front corners in contrasting ways. Mohamed with her ultra-aggressive style was too much for the measured, accurate approach of Naughton.

Naughton did well to level the match at 1-1, using height to combat the hard-hitting of her Egyptian opponent. This didn’t stop the power of Mohamed. She continued to dominate the middle of the court and cause Naughton all kinds of problems both in the front and back of the court.

Mohamed won the third and fourth games 11-9, 11-8 to advance through to round three.

On court six, Egypt’s Nada Abbas was in unstoppable form as she defeated Canada’s Danielle Letourneau in 29 minutes.

The Egyptian started strongly, moving the ball into all areas of the court at an electric pace. Her low centre of gravity allowed her movement to be quick and strong into the front corners to heap the pressure on Letourneau.

This pressure was relentless throughout the entire match and she booked her third round place in straight games, 11-4, 11-8, 12-10.

[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 15-13 (70m)
Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-1: 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8 (36m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 12-10 (29m)

Egyptians ElShorbagy, Hesham & Soliman progress

Opening the second round in the men’s draw was World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy recovered from two games down to defeat USA’s Todd Harrity and move into the third round.

Harrity was fast out the blocks in the first game and rushed ElShorbagy in all areas of the court. This continued in the second game with the USA No.1 capitalising on loose shots from his Egyptian opponent and deservedly held a 2-0 lead.

The fighting spirit of of the Egyptian came out from the third game and his game stepped up in all areas. He managed to find a better quality of length which clicked other parts of his game into place.

After levelling the match at 2-2, he moved confidently through the fifth and took it 11-7 to complete the comeback.

ElShorbagy had this to say after his match: “I’ve trained with Todd so many times both in Bristol and Egypt, so I knew the quality that he has and I gave him too many chances in the first two games. In the third game, I was surprisingly calm, I had to think about my tactics and once I got a better length, he wasn’t able to use his good short game quite as much and I got myself in front more often.

“Of course on the back-courts there are more opportunities for upsets, the ball is bouncier and errors can creep in more. It’s a different game on the glass court, the ball stays that bit tighter and stays shorter so you are rewarded more for good shots”.

An all Egyptian clash took place on court five as Mazen Hesham and Mohamed El Sherbini played out an entertaining match.

It was the higher-seeded Hesham who took the match in three games. A competitive first game was won by Hesham who constantly moved the ball into space and tested the movement of El Sherbini to the extremes.

The winners continued to flow from the racket of ‘The Black Falcon’ and he moved closer and closer to round three.

He won in straight games 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 in 28 minutes.

Another Egyptian was booking his place into round three on court six as Youssef Soliman beat England’s Adrian Waller in three very tight games.

Two tie-break games opened the match with Soliman taking them both 13-11. Waller continued to try and put his stamp on the match and work Soliman into the front corners. Soliman was simply too quick and leapt onto all of Waller’s attacks to counter with perfection.

Soliman will now play Miguel Rodriguez in round three.

[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-2: 4-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (28m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 13-11, 11-9 (53m)

Kandra Takes Down Three-Time Champ ElShorbagy

Four years on from his heroics at the 2018 Allam British Open, where he went all the way to the semi-finals, Germany’s Raphael Kandra is through to the third round, after taking a first ever win against three-time champion Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Perhaps surprisingly, it was only the second time that the pair had faced off on Tour, with the former World No.1 having won that contest in 2020 in straight games. It was the ‘Beast of Alexandria’ that started strongly, winning the first game in quick fashion, but Kandra fought back.

He had to come from behind twice in the contest, with ElShorbagy also winning the third game, but a fourth game win saw him grab the momentum, and the German No.1 carried that through to the fifth game, where he won convincingly. He will now face either Ramit Tandon or Nicolas Mueller in the next round.

“It feels fantastic. I have been waiting for a while again! I am quite an on-and-off player. I cause problems for the top guys, sometimes I sneak the win and sometimes I lose and then sometimes I lose to players ranked below me,” the German said.

“My whole career has been a lot of ups and downs and I have a lot of memories from 2018, when I made the British Open semi-finals. I love this stage, I love the crowd. I felt good today, tried to stay in there, that’s why I was fist pumping all the time, stay focused and maybe it was not his best day. All credit, he was still fighting to the end, it shows how professional he is, but I am so happy to be through!

“As you said, the top 16 play such a fantastic level at the moment. This is the biggest upset so far, as you say, but it is early in the day, it’s a long day, there are a lot of tough matches ahead! We might see some more upsets today. First win against Mohamed in my career, happy with that! I want some more wins!

“The more I stepped in front of Mohamed, the more nervous he got, like he was causing issues for himself. It was more about me today, especially towards the end of the match. I was either hitting a winner or the tin. I needed to find the positive balance on that. I really wanted to win, he tried to fight back but I got him out of the rhythm and that was probably the key to the game!”

Raphael Kandra (GER) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (51m)

El Hammamy Downs Merlo To Advance

World No.3 Hania El Hammamy safely made her way through to the third round of this year’s Allam British Open with a confident performance to down Swiss No.1 Cindy Merlo in straight games.

The pair had never met before on the PSA World Tour, and the Egyptian came out of the blocks strongly, showing her pace and power early on, racing out into a two-game lead.

Merlo fought back at the start of the third, and held a 4-0 advantage, but El Hammamy was too strong in the end, and came fighting back to win in straight games, setting up a clash with England’s Georgina Kennedy in the last 16.

“I have never played Cindy so I didn’t know what to expect. She had a great first round, which I watched so I noted a few things that she insists on doing in her game,” the World No.3 admitted.

“Definitely, the first match is never easy, especially after being knocked out early in the last tournament so yeah, I am definitely happy to be through.

“I tried to take the positives out of each tournament, even if I had a bad loss, or one that I didn’t expect. I don’t go out of court thinking about the negatives only, I have to this about the positives and the negatives. I am thinking that Black Ball is just another event that gave me a new lesson.

“Georgina is an unbelievable player, she is very physical and she has improved a lot recently. A massive jump in a short period. We have trained together a couple of times, and it is enjoyable training with her. I am looking forward to it, that’s for sure!”

[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (23m)

Chinappa downs Hany, whilst El Tayeb & Gilis also progress

The first seeding upset of the day was claimed by India’s Joshna Chinappa, as she defeated No.6 seed Salma Hany in a five games.

The opening two games were complete opposites as Hany burst out the traps and took the first game 11-2 in no time at all. Chinappa battled back in the second game and took a crucial game 15-13.

Salma took back the lead by twisting and turning her opponent and working Chinappa into all four corners. Chinappa was determined to fight back and got herself back in front of Hany and dominated from then on to take the next two games 11-5, 11-6 and book her third round place.

“It’s never easy playing Salma,” admitted Chinappa.

“I was 2-1 down and really didn’t expect to win the third game but I played pretty solid and she made some errors so just happy I could get the win.

“Yeah, it will be tough again against Tinne tomorrow, she’s a solid player and has been playing well recently so I’m sure it’ll be a good match.”

No.8 seed Nour El Tayeb opened up her Allam British Open campaign with a comfortable win over compatriot Nadine Shahin.

The former World No.3 fought hard to take a crucial first game 11-9, by stopping the movement of Shahin and pushing her into the front corners with ease.

El Tayeb became increasingly more confident as the match progressed and booked her third round place, winning 11-5, 11-7 in 23 minutes.

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis was in superb form yet again as she comfortably despatched Milou van der Heijden from The Netherlands in 30 minutes.

Gilis became a volleying machine, giving no time to her opponent to settle on the court. Gilis was able to capitalise on loose attacks from van der Heijden and finish rallies off superbly.

The Belgian No.2 won 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 to advance.

[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (23m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (30m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [6] Salma Hany (EGY) 3-2: 2-11, 15-13, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (49m)

Rodriguez, Rooney & Mueller advance

A huge battle was taking place on court four, Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez and Welshman Joel Makin played out a thrilling 85 minute five setter.

Three topsy turvy games opened the match with both players trying to implement their physical styles on the match. Makin managed to do this slightly better than his opponent and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

Rodriguez produced several unbeleivable rallies at the big points to take a vital fourth game 11-9 and force a fifth and final game.

With fitness not being an issue for either player, the quality of squash remained extremely high throughout the game. The Colombian was the more proactive in the fifth however and earned himself six match balls to cause an upset and knock out the No.8 seed. On the second attempt he converted to take the game 11-5.

“This was just my target for this event to play that match like a final,” said Rodriguez.

“It’s so tricky on these courts and Joel is so physically fit, he’s very hard to break down. But I thought I played the smarter squash when it counted today and I’m just very very pleased to win today and play again tomorrow.”

England’s Patrick Rooney was in great form as he beat Egypt’s former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in four games to move into round three.

Rooney’s mixture of fast paced squash and delicate touch was dragging the tall frame of Mosaad all around the court.

Rooney raced out to an impressive 2-0 lead, winning 11-4, 11-5.

The experienced Egyptian was showing signs of tiredness in the third game but managed to battle his way back into the match and give himself a fighting chance by taking the game 11-9.

Rooney stuck to his task however and continued to work Mosaad into all four corners of the court. Rooney eventually finished off the game 11-7 to secure his first British Open third round appearance.

Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller produced another impressive performance as he moved into round three by beating talented Indian Ramit Tandon.

Mueller has been in terrific form of late on the PSA World Tour and has continued that form again today. After taking a tight first game 14-12, Mueller hit top form and despite the hot and bouncy conditions he hit the front corners with supreme accuracy and left the ball so short each time.

Tandon was unable to keep up with the incredible shot making of ‘The Swiss Rocket’ and it wasn’t long before Mueller wrapped the match up 3-0.

Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (50m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [8] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-2: 5-11, 11-3, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5 (85m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 14-12, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)

Asal Comes Through Lengthy Battle With Dessouky

Less than two weeks on from their meeting in the final of the Canary Wharf Classic, Mostafa Asal and Fares Dessouky did battle in the second round of the 2022 Allam British Open, and this time, it was the ‘Raging Bull’ that got his revenge.

After two mammoth matches in London, Asal was not ready for what Dessouky had in that final, with the World No.10 taking the spoils. This time, it was Asal who started strongly, and played some positive squash, carrying that on throughout the contest.

After taking the lead twice in the match, the World No.4 saw his compatriot fight back twice, to send the match into a deciding contest, but it was Asal that eventually came through it after 88 minutes on court!

“I am really happy to play the British Open, this is the third time and I am loving Hull, the tournament as well! Thanks to the crowd, because from the beginning they are there, like it is the final of a Gold event or something!” Asal explained.

“I am happy to get my revenge. In the final at Canary Wharf, all credit to him because he played some superb squash, but I was not prepared for the final. It was a tough battle today, tough mentally for me. I want to get my revenge, and I am happy to go through!

“When Mohamed [ElShorbagy] lost today, I think all the top seeds got a bit panicked, all credit to Rapha. I love to come here every year, but to play Fares first round is unbelievable, seeing as I just played him in the final [at Canary Wharf]. Thanks guys, for coming today, I know it is a tough day, during the afternoon, but thanks for coming and supporting us, I really appreciate it!”

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (88m)

Perry Through In Three

English No1 Sarah-Jane Perry got her Allam British Open campaign up and running with a convincing display to defeat close friend, and Scottish No.1, Lisa Aitken, in straight games on the glass court at the Allam Sport Centre in Hull.

The Scot started quickly, and took the first few points, but once she settled down, Perry was able to show her qualities to go on and take the first game. A fight back came from Aitken in the second, and it took the Englishwoman all of her gutsiness to keep her at bey, winning the second on a tie-break.

Perry, the World No.5, then went on to take the third to round out the victory in half an hour, to move through to the third round of the competition, where she will face Egypt’s Farida Mohamed.

“It is really hard playing one of your closest friends. I have a lot of friends on Tour, but Lisa is definitely one of the closest, so it is really tough,’ Perry admitted.

“It is a lot easier out there when you’re warming up, when you can focus on what you’re doing! I was really pleased, well not the first few rallies as Lisa came out like an absolute bullet there. Once I got into that first game then I was pleased with it.

In the second, she stepped it up and took the game to me. My squash got scrappy so I was peaked to see that second through. In that third, I tried to get myself to relax a little bit and to hit my corners. My length and my short stuff was all in the same place for a while, so I tried to stretch that out. It wasn’t perfect, but I am trying not to be a perfectionist. Take the positives and to get a player like Lisa off in three games, she is very dangerous, so I am pleased with that.

“It has been great! I am trying to adjust to it [being a new mum. I keep saying Becky [her partner] is doing all the heavy lifting. It has definitely been a big change but I am trying to just adapt and find a new routine, doing what I need to do for my squash but also doing as much as I can to support Becky. She is fantastic, she lets me get all the sleep I need and everything like that. Good teamwork, but mostly done by Becky.

“The first one was actually in London, and I didn’t make it to the O2 that year. I made it out of qualifying that year but then I got a lesson off Natalie Grinham, which I remember vividly. I have had some absolutely fantastic memories here, the only Platinum final I have made so far in my career, the Allam family have been supporting squash for a long time now and it is amazing to be back, to have the crowds back after COVID, closer to normality. It is a fantastic event, as always, and we have to thank the Allam family for that. I am really forward to playing on this court again tomorrow!”

[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (30m)

Fiechter, Sobhy & Gilis move into round three

USA’s Olivia Fiechter battled her way back from a 2-0 deficit against Tesni Evans to make her way through to the third round.

Evans played great squash at the start of the match, hitting a perfect length to the back of the court and stepping in front to take the ball in short. Fiechter made several unforced errors which only helped Evans’ confidence. Evans took the opening two games 11-3, 11-6.

The tables turned at this point, however. Fiechter gained a slight lead by hitting a better length in the third game and many other components of her game seemed to click into place from this point. She became more confident taking the ball short and started to ask questions of Evans’ movement. Her lead didn’t subside and she took the third and fourth games 11-6, 11-3 to set up a fifth game.

There was no stopping Fiechter in the decider. The USA No.2 fired off several winners and completed the comeback 11-4 to move into round three.

“I’m just very relieved to get through that,” said Fiechter.

“We played at the NetSuite Open earlier in the year and she beat me there, she’s so dangerous when she has time on the ball so I’m just really pleased that I could get through that match.

“In the third, I was honestly just thinking about trying to enjoy myself on there, I don’t know why but I just didn’t know how to enjoy anything I was doing on there in the first two. Once I did that and started to relax I felt really good. But overall, I’m pleased with how I battled back to win and relieved to be through.”

No.3 seed Amanda Sohby started her 2022 Allam British Open campaign in perfect fashion as she confidently beat Wales’ Emily Whitlock 3-0.

Sobhy attacked the front corners from the start and tested the movement of Whitock constantly. Whitlock did her best to lift her way out of trouble, but Sobhy was always one step ahead.

After deservedly taking the second game 11-5 to give herself a 2-0 lead, the USA No.1 continued her overwhelming pressure and it wasn’t long before she took the third game 11-4 and move through to round three.

World No.13 Nele Gilis was in action as she defeated Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold to progress through to round three.

Gilis was capitalising on loose attacks from Arnold and was able to counterattack the Malaysian with great accuracy. The work rate of Gilis was frustrating Arnold and Gilis was allowing hardly any opportunities for Arnold to make headway in the match.

After just 23 minutes it was Gilis moving through to the next round, winning 11-2, 11-4, 11-2. She will now face No.8 seed Nour El Tayeb for a place in the quarter finals.

Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2: 3-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4 (44m)
[3] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-: 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (21m)
Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (23m)

Farag Downs Wildcard Wall

Men’s top seed, and World No.2, Ali Farag, booked his place in the third round of this year’s British Open after a straight games victory over wildcard Nick Wall, who had reached the second round of the tournament for the second straight year.

Wall had come through in five games against Frenchman Victor Crouin in the opening round of the competition, but had tweaked a hamstring during that match, and it seemed to play a small in Tuesday’s match. Farag took the first couple of games quite comfortably, but the Englishman fought back in the third.

The wildcard saved a couple of game balls late on in the third, as he gave it everything he had, but in the end, it was the World No.2 who made it through to the last 16, setting up a clash with Karim Abdel Gawad.

“I saw him yesterday battling away with it [hamstring problem], so I knew he was going to be tough today. I watched him thoroughly for the first time yesterday, and I could see glimpses of the Nick Matthew coaching, and I could see that he is very dangers and very hungry,” the Egyptian said.

“I had to be on my mettle from the very beginning, I didn’t really think much about his hamstring. The first match is always tricky, you just want to get into a good rhythm before starting to think about your opponent. I did that well in the first and the second. The third, he hit a few winners and I zoned out a little bit, which I shouldn’t but all credit to him for making it tough.

“I have never won the British Open, which after the World Championships is the most important tournament for any squash player. My goal really, is to be World No.1 at the end of the season. In the middle of the season, it’s about playing more tournaments, different scheduling and so on, it can go back and forth. For me, the end of the season is the goal, and for now I am only focussed on hopefully lifting that trophy, but I have a long and tough road ahead of me. A potential former World Champion in Karim Abdel Gawad next up, so it will be interesting, and I will take it one match at a time.

“I played well in that event [Optasia Championships], beating a lot of good players, and I am hoping to carry that momentum on. We played the [Egyptian] Nationals as well, and I won that, so that gave me confidence. I am confident at the moment, but I am sure everyone else is, and you see a lot of upsets in the tournament, so I have to be on my mettle from the get go, like today!”

[1] Ali Farag (ENG) bt [WC] Nick Wall (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (26m)

Gawad survives Parker charge, Marche & Khan also progress

Former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad got his 2022 Allam British Open campaign underway with a hard-fought victory over England’s George Parker in 66 minutes.

The smooth style of Gawad was flowing from the very first point. He was constantly moving Parker into all areas of the court and making him do extreme amounts of work to stay in the rallies.

After Gawad took the first game 11-8, Parker managed to build some constructive rallies and started to drag Gawad away from the middle. Parker levelled the match at 1-1.

Gawad took a comfortable third game to lead 2-1 and looked on course to secure his place in the next round. Parker had other ideas, by applying his aggressive style, he started to make Gawad feel uncomfortable and forced errors from the racket of the Egyptian. Parker set up a decider, taking the fourth 13-11.

Gawad continued his incredible five-game record, however, and seemed to have lots of time on the ball in the fifth game, he remained calm as usual and fired off incredible winners to move into round three.

On court four, USA’s Shahjahan Khan booked secured a place in his first British Open third round as he beat France’s Sebastien Bonmalais in four games.

Khan was playing at a fast tempo throughout the opening exchanges of the match and showed no signs of slowing down. The World No.30 tried to break down the always excellent movement of Bonmalais and did it with low kills and devastating boasts. He took a huge 2-0 lead to place one foot in the next round.

The Frenchman showed his grit and continued to make Khan earn his points. But despite taking the third game 11-5, it wasn’t enough to deny Khan the victory as he won 11-6 in the fourth.

Next to take his place in round three was World No.11 Gregoire Marche. He defeated Moustafa El Sirty in 33 minutes to advance.

The Frenchman, renowned for his amazing court coverage and athleticism, glided across court six to combat the aggressive style of the Egyptian.

Marche showed all of his experience to keep the ball tight to the sidewalls and keep moving the ball away from El Sirty and more importantly out of the middle.

He was able to build healthy leads in all three games and won 11-5, 11-9, 11-1 to advance.

Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-2: 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4 (66m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-1: 11-7, 13-11, 5-11, 11-6 (59m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-1 (33m)

Gohar Comes Through Subramaniam Test

Soon-to-be World No.1 Nouran Gohar is through to the third round of the Allam British Open, but it was not without its struggles as times, as she needed to go to four games to defeat Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam.

‘The Terminator’ who won this title back in 2019, claimed the first game with ease, but the young Malaysian fought back to take the second game, and stop what could have been a slide towards a straight games victory.

She continued to fight in both the third and fourth games of the contest, but in the end, the most in-form woman in the world showed her class, to win in four, booking her place in the last 16 where she will face USA’s Sabrina Sobhy.

“It is one of my favourite courts. I like to play here, I feel comfortable. Siva played very well, though, and took it on from the very beginning. It wasn’t easy, for sure, but I just had to dig in and find a way to win in the end,” Gohar said.

“Physically, I am feeling good. Since Windy City, I have had back-to-back events, with Black Ball and the Nationals, and now straight to here. All the big events of the year back-to-back. I am happy with the way my body is holding itself, and fingers crossed it can hold up until the end of this tournament, Obviously I am very happy with the way I am playing right now.

“Obviously, there are many challenges. If anyone thinks it is going to be easier, then they are wrong. It [Nour El Sherbini’s absence] is an opportunity for everyone to get through, to win, which makes the women’s game unbelievably strong right now. It is tricky to think like that right now. Obviously I want to win it, but I am taking it match by match, and I just want to win the next match.

“Sabrina [Sobhy] is a very good player. we came through juniors together and she has been improving. We have played a couple of times this season, at the US Open and in Cincinnati, so we know each other’s games pretty well. I am sure it will be a good match, and may the best player win.”


[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-1: 11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 (35m)

Elaraby, Hutton & Sobhy advance

In an all-Egyptian battle No.7 seed Rowan Elaraby defeated Hana Ramadan in a closely contested 41 minute match.

The electric movement partnered with relentless hard-hitting was constant throughout the match. Ramadan started the better of the two and caught Elaraby slightly off her guard in the opening game.

Elaraby clinched a crucial second game 14-12 by making Ramadan cover every inch of the court. The No.7 seed carried this momentum into the following two games and booked her last 16 place winning 11-8, 11-7.

Elaraby had this to say about her match: “It’s never easy playing Hana. I just played her in the Egyptian Nationals so I expected a tough match and I’m just glad to be through.

“I don’t really mind playing other Egyptians. I mean, there are a lot of us on tour so if you get stressed playing each other then you’re not going to go very far.

“I’m just glad I could win today as my bag has only just arrived today, so I’ve been borrowing rackets to practice with but I’m glad it finally arrived and I got the win.”

England’s Jasmine Hutton has made her way through to the last 16, beating South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller in just 24 minutes.

Hutton gained control at the start of the match and didn’t let go. Her intensity was too much for Fuller to deal with and Fuller had minimal opportunities to attack. After just 15 minutes, Hutton had gained a 2-0 lead and looked in unstoppable form.

The end came quickly for Fuller as Hutton’s low kills continued to trouble the South African. Winning 11-4 in the third, Hutton reached her first British Open last 16.

On court six, Sabrina Sobhy made it three out of three for the USA women today as she comfortably beat Malaysia’s Aifa Azman 3-0 in 24 minutes.

Sobhy was alert to all of Azman’s attacks and used her fast and strong movement to counter attack her younger opponent, making Azman question her tactics. Sobhy took the first game 11-6.

Sobhy’s pressure wasn’t letting up. Her weight of shot to the back corners was getting better minute by minute and was continually forcing Azman to lift, which Sobhy then accurately attacked. Sobhy took the next two games 11-8, 11-6 to advance.

[7] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-1: 5-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (24m)

Coll Cruises Into Third Round

After losing his first match of the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic earlier this month, World No.1 Paul Coll made sure that there would not be a repeat of that surprise defeat, coming out strongly to get the better of England’s Nathan Lake in straight games.

The Kiwi, who is currently enjoying his first month at the summit of the World Rankings, came into this event aiming to defend his first major title, and he allowed Lake to score just ten points across the entire match.

Coll was able to stifle any attacks that the Englishman tried, and was in complete control of the contest throughout, wining 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 in just 33 minutes to set up a clash with Frenchman Gregoire Marche on Thursday evening.

“It all felt good tonight. I had a really good week last week in Birmingham, training with my coach [Rob Owen], so I came in feeling fresh. I was very happy with that performance,” the Kiwi said.

“I used all my varieties, all my defences, so I was very happy with that. Me and Nathan played an exhibition on Friday, and then we found out that we could be playing tonight. We are pretty familiar with each other’s games, but yeah, happy with that!

“Life is just a lot better being No.1. It is just nice, there’s nothing more to say about that! I am just loving life! They just have to beat me. I am feeling good, I am constantly trying to evolve my game. I am just focussing on my myself. I will keep an eye on them, keep analysing what they do, but I will just keep evolving my game.

“These are the titles that myself and my team are targeting. All my training, all my planning is up for the big events, and we just try to come into these fresh. There’s no excuses for that, I just got outplayed on the day [losing to Victor Crouin in Canary Wharf], but we’ve forgotten about that already, had a great week preparing for this, and I am feeling good and positive coming into it.

“Greg is a very athletic player, he is always great to watch. I am sure we will have some amazing rallies, but hopefully I am the one winning them!”

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (33m)

Elias survives as Momen and Masotti advance

In the final set of matches on the Allam courts, Tarek Momen and Baptiste Masotti advanced with straight-game wins over Eain Yow Ng and Borja Golan, while Diego Elias was taken the full distance by Youssef Ibrahim.

A highly anticipated match entertained the Hull crowd on court four as No.6 seed Diego Elias faced recent Windy City Open runner-up Youssef Ibrahim.

With both players possessing so much quality, the rallies were incredibly entertaining. The short game was Ibrahim was firing from the start, his touch on the volley was dragging Elias so far up the court that even if he retreived the drop, he was nowhere near the Ibrahim follow up. Ibrahim raced to a 2-0 lead and looked sure to cause an upset.

But back came Elias. ‘The Peruvian Puma’ started to find his length and slow the pace of the game down. This slower pace allowed him to control the ball better and work the ball into space better than Ibrahim.

After securing the third game, the Elias swag started to return. He was now confidently manoeuvring his Egyptian opponent around the court and closing down the angles that Ibrahim was feeding off in the opening two games.

Elias confidently took the next two games to complete the impressive comeback and reach the last 16.

“I’m very relieved to win this match,” admitted Elias.

“He is a very skilful player and I know how dangerous he is with the racket. He showed that in Chicago.

“I’m just happy to be through to the next round.”

No.5 seed Tarek Momen opened up his British Open campaign in style as he impressively defeated Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng in straight games on a hot and bouncy court at the University of Hull.

Momen got to work on his trademark short game and forced Yow into constant tough movements of which he struggled to maintain. Momen took the first game 11-7 and looked as comfortable as can be.

The former World Champion didn’t show any signs of any first match rust. His drops were falling so short and paired with his incredible weight of shot to the back, made for a tough evening for the talented Malaysian.

Momen took the next two games 11-8, 11-9 and eventually booked his last 16 place in 37 minutes.

In an all-European battle, France’s Baptiste Masotti defeated experienced Spaniard Borja Golan in an entertaining three games. The Frenchman was using all of his power and aggression out on the ball as he twisted and turned the Spanish No.2.

After Masotti took the first game 11-6, the pressure continued to heap onto Golan. Masotti won the second game 11-4 and looked on course to reach the last 16.

Golan showed just what a fighter he is and stepped up the court closing down Masotti’s angles and started to put work into the Frenchman’s legs. This wasn’t enough for Golan however as Masotti found a little bit extra at the closing stages of the third to win 11-9.

[6] Diego Elias (PER) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (59m)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (37m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (37m)

Results :
[6] Diego Elias (Per) 3-2 [9/16] Youssef Ibrahim (Egy) 8-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (59m)
[5] Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Eain Yow Ng (Mas) 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (37m)
Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 3-0 Borja Golan (Esp) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (37m)