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Nour El Sherbini

British Open: Day 2 - As It Happens

After a thrilling day of first round action at the Allam British Open yesterday, today sees the second round get under way with all matches taking place on the glass court at Hull's Airco Arena.

All of the action will be LIVE on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 12:00 BST.

It's an all-Egyptian battle to start the day as top seed and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini faces compatriot Salma Hany in the women's event before Mohamed ElShorbagy – who survived a scare against Peru's Diego Elias yesterday to get through – takes on French qualifier Gregoire Marche in the men's tournament.

Other big match-ups see New Zealand's Paul Coll and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad face off against each other for a place in the quarter-finals. Defending champion Gregory Gaultier continues to stake a claim on his title against Mohamed Abouelghar.

United States Amanda Sobhy is also in action and faces Egypt's World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in the evening session, after they defeated Olivia Blatchford and Rachael Grinham, respectively, in round one.

You can follow all of the action here as it happens…

El Sherbini Eases Past Hany to Reach Quarters

Top seed Nour El Sherbini powered past compatriot and World No.16 Salma Hany 3-1 to become the first player to book her place in this year’s quarter-finals of the prestigious tournament at Hull’s Airco Arena.

World No.16 Hany – who defeat Belgian qualifier Nele Gilis in round one – started the match the better of the two players as she played positive squash and caused El Sherbini problems to take a 1-0 lead.

However, the Egyptian World No.1 soon found her range and started to find the back corners of the court to level the scores in the second and start her comeback.

From that moment on it was all about El Sherbini as she grew in confidence, becoming more purposeful to punish any loose shots from 21-year-old Hany, who struggled to find her range, as her compatriot booked her place in the quarter-finals with an 8-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 victory.

“I played Salma in the second round and it was a very difficult draw,” said El Sherbini following her win.

“Salma was playing really well and it was showing in every shot. She's capable of doing more but I'm just glad that I got my game plan and confidence back and it was very important to win the second game.

“We've been playing at the same club for more than 10 years and have been playing together and training together so it's hard to play an Egyptian, especially if you know her very well, but that's the game and we have to deal with it.

“The volley backhand is one of my favourites, so I always try to improve it and train more on it, so it can be better.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [16] Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (34m)

Comeback King ElShorbagy Slays Marche

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy produced another phenomenal comeback at Hull’s Airco Arena, as he came from 2-0 down against France’s Gregoire Marche to book a quarter-final place and secure his 350th match win on the PSA World Tour.

ElShorbagy was staring down the barrel of defeat as 28-year-old Marche matched the pace of the Egyptian and took complete control of the match to take a 1-0 lead.

The momentum stayed with the French qualifier – who defeated Ryan Cuskelly in round one – in the second as ElShorbagy continued to make mistakes and look out-of-sorts while his French opponent looked full of confidence to hold a surprise 2-0 lead.

However, the tide changed in the third as Marche began to lose his composure as ElShorbagy – who avoided a shock defeat against yesterday after going 2-0 down to Peru’s Diego Elias – fired himself up on court in order to mount an impressive comeback.

The Frenchman continued to make mistakes in the fourth, hitting the tin on a number of occasions to allow ElShorbagy to build himself back up and level the scores at 2-2 to take the match to a deciding fifth.

It became close again between the two players in the fifth, however, ElShorbagy was able to break away and turn another match around to win 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.

“He played so well the first two games,” said ElShorbagy.

“I lost a bit of focus in the first game when I was 7-4 up but all credit to him, he played some incredible squash. We came together through juniors and have shared a lot of memories together and it’s great to see him playing well. He is a pleasure to watch and I’m really pleased to see him playing well.

“I’m still in the tournament, it’s not over for me and I know that any day I can beat anyone and I don’t think I can be written off yet. I’ve had two tough matches but that’s what I train for and I’m just glad to be in another quarters.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-2: 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (55m)

Waters Puts Gohar to the Sword

England’s World No.10 Alison Waters put in a dominant performance to put an end to Egypt’s World No.5 Nouran Gohar’s tournament in Hull.

This is the fourth meeting this season between the pair on the PSA World Tour with Gohar taking two of those victories and the Englishwoman capturing the last victory just a few weeks ago at the El Gouna International when she came out on top in a big 3-2 battle.

And it was Waters – who dispatched Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in straight-games in round one – that looked full of confidence on court as she took the first game comfortably, while 2016 British Open runner-up Gohar seemed to struggle to find her targets.

The 20-year-old Egyptian came back strongly in the second to bridge the gap between the players but after that it was all Waters as she went up another gear, varying her shots and playing with accuracy, to take an 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3 in 32 minutes.

“We played in El Gouna a few weeks ago and I won 3-2 but it was a big battle,” said Waters.

“It’s the fourth time we have played each other this season and she beat me the first two times convincingly, so I knew I had to come on and do something different. You can’t hit with her because she is the best hitter in the game and I came on and tried to mix things up and vary the pace and it seemed to work. I tried to be relaxed on court in my hitting and my movement.

“It’s been a massive schedule, but I feel like I’ve been playing well the last few months and I think I’m actually playing better now towards the end of the season than I was at the start so bring on more tournaments I say!”

[9] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3 (32m)

Coll Edges Out Gawad in Tight Encounter

New Zealand’s World No.10 Paul Coll became the first Kiwi since Ross Norman in 1993 to reach the quarter-final stage at the British Open after defeating Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in a tight affair under the lights of Hull’s Airco Arena.

Gawad started the match in formidable form as he took the first game by a comfortable 11-3 margin as he found his length and range quickly.

The Egyptian – who came from 2-0 down against England’s Daryl Selby in round one – appeared to lose his way slightly in the second as Coll came back positively with a more proactive approach to take the second.

In the third, Gawad managed to edge it to sneak a 2-1 lead as both players performed with good control to settle into the match to produce some quality finishes and strong pick-ups coming from Coll in particular.

Despite being 2-1 down, the Kiwi refused to be beaten and made sure to keep the pace high as his Egyptian opponent began to lose his accuracy – allowing Coll to draw level once more before he completed a 3-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 victory to book a place in the quarter-finals for the first time where he will face top seed Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy.

“It was a weird match, it's not one that I tend to enjoy,” said Coll following his win.

“There wasn't much rhythm in the first few games and I wasn't consistent with my targets and his hands are too good.

“But I'm happy with the last two, I just tried to take it early, hit my corners and try to get a bit of rhythm going.

“Withdrawing from El Gouna wasn't good, it was terrible, but it made me rest for a few days which was probably good, so I could freshen up [after Commonwealths].

“Diego [Elias] came and trained with me so I've had a good few weeks and I'm more excited to play again.

“It was a big Commonwealth Games and now I'm feeling good in my head and enjoying my squash.”

Paul Coll (NZL) bt [7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-2: 3-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (68m)

Massaro Downs Adel

Defending women’s British Open champion Laura Massaro kept her hopes of hat-trick of titles alive after she dismantled Egyptian qualifier Yathreb Adel in straight-games to reach the quarter-finals.

Two-time winner Massaro was in control throughout the encounter as she took the first game 11-4 before fighting back against Yathreb – who took a convincing lead in the second – saving three game balls to double her advantage on the tie-break by a 15-13 scoreline.

The former World No.1 continued to dominate in the third, finding her targets well to win 11-4, 15-13, 11-3 in just over half an hour.

“She certainly upped her body language after the first game,” said the 34-year-old Lancastrian.

“I was glad to come through that second and found my targets well in the third and I was happy with that one as well.

“We were talking earlier that no matter what happened today, Hull would always hold happy memories in my mind and whatever happens this year at the event that won’t change. To win two British Open titles is more than anyone could wish for.

“It’s really nice to be back and I’m happy to be here.”

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 15-13, 11-3 (31m)

Rösner Cruises Past Ghosal

Germany’s World No.6 Simon Rösner oozed complete dominance on court as he dispatched India’s World No.13 Saurav Ghosal in straight-games to reach the quarter-finals in Hull.

The two players have played against each other five times on the PSA World Tour with the German just edging the head-to-head 3-2, and Rösner made sure to add another victory under his belt as he never looked fazed throughout the 31-minute encounter.

Rösner started strongly and didn't show signs of slowing down as he put everything out of the reach of Ghosal – who came through an intense 3-2 encounter with Scotland’s Greg Lobban yesterday at the University of Hull Fitness and Sports Centre.

“It’s never easy against him,” said the 2018 Tournament of Champions winner.

“He’s such a difficult opponent, he likes to hold the ball and flick the ball as well – he’s always dangerous and you have to be on your toes all of the time. I managed to stay focused throughout the match and I think it made the difference in the end.

“It’s been an awesome season, winning in New York gave me a confidence boost. I feel very comfortable on court and I feel like I am enjoying my squash at the moment much more than in the previous months. I think that’s a big part of my improvement the last few months and I’m just trying to enjoy it and play as well as I can, taking each match as it comes.”

[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (31m)

El Tayeb Prevails in Five-game Battle with Sobhy

Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb came through a highly entertaining five-game battle with United States’ Amanda Sobhy to reach the quarter-finals of the British Open for the first time in her career.

The Egyptian has enjoyed the best season of her career to date, taking two World Series titles in the U.S. Open and Windy City Open, and El Tayeb showed she had all the components it would take to add the iconic British Open title to her ever-expanding collection as she prevailed in a tough encounter against the American.

El Tayeb stormed to a 2-0 lead, playing with flair and precision to start the match in dominant fashion. However, Sobhy – who returned from a career-threatening injury earlier this year – showed her resilience as she took the third, before saving match ball in the fourth to force the game into a decider.

However, it wasn’t to be for Sobhy as El Tayeb upped her game to take the match by an 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5 scoreline and will now face defending champion England's Laura Massaro in the quarter-finals.

“Amanda is really hard to play and we have been playing since juniors,” said 25-year-old El Tayeb.

“It’s amazing how well she is coming back from injury. I’m not going to say she is back 100% but she’s almost back so it was a hard game. I thought at 2-0 up she was going to go slower a bit but she didn’t and I was lucky to have Ali [Farag] and my coach Haitham in my corner to keep pushing me and to keep focused even when I lost the third and fourth game.

“All of the tour is very strong, Laura [Massaro], Amanda, Camille [Serme] and Joelle [King], not just the Egyptian players, everyone is very strong at the minute and for me to be a contender for a title is an unbelievable feeling for me and hopefully I can keep it going.

“I’ve never made it past the second round here, so I’m very happy to be in the quarter-finals of the British Open it is very big.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5 (49m)

Impressive Gaultier Dispatches Abouelghar

Defending men’s British Open champion Gregory Gaultier was in imperious form to dispatch Egypt’s World No.9 Mohamed Abouelghar in straight-games to reach the quarter-finals of the longest running tournament in squash.

Former World No.1 Gaultier has struggled with various injuries this season, however, the French General looked back to his best as he powered past Abouelghar to march into the quarter-finals for the 11th successive time.

The 35-year-old was clinical on court as he made light work of Egyptian talent Abouelghar in the first game before sealing the match 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 in 36-minutes.

Germany’s World No.6 Simon Rösner now lies in wait in the quarter-finals for Gaultier.

“Last time we played in Zurich it was a tough game but I had had six weeks off because of my adductor injury and it was my first week that I was playing squash and he could have taken the win but for me it was a positive start.

“I love Hull, I’ve been here since the start when we played in the stadium and now we play here.

“Whoever I play I just try and focus on the player that I have to play and obviously, I have been playing a lot of Egyptian opponents recently, but I love the challenge – like the match against Ali in Egypt this is the kind of thing that I enjoy and it gives me a lot of joy.

“For me, it’s positive to be back and play like that on the court – you can’t really describe it because I have been through a tough time this year and every match I can play is a big bonus.”

[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (36m)