Round ONE

• Al-Ahram Squash Open NEWGIZA • 17-23 Sep 2016 • Cairo, Egypt •  


  TODAY at the Al-Ahram Squash Open
Mon 19-Sep, Day THREE:
Round One : Perry and Tayeb surprise as Egyptian men dominate ...

Qualifying complete, we're on to the main draws with sixteen first round matches to be played today, twelve at Le Lido and four in front of the Pyramids tonight.

Two big upsets in the women's matches as Sarah-Jane Perry beat fifth seed Camille Serme for the first time in ten attempts, and wildcard Nour El Tayeb gets the better of fourth seed Nouran Gohar in a tough five-setter.

In the men's draw the big upset saw 'Lucky Loser' Zahed Mohamed grind out a five-game win over Borja Golan, one of seven Egyptian winners including top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy who came from a game down to avenge his recent Hong Kong loss to Cameron Pilley.

[1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
             11/7, 11/4, 11/4 (23m)
[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-2 [Q] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
            11/8, 11/3, 14/16, 10/12, 11/6 (48m)
[8] Alison Waters
(Eng) 3-1 Victoria Lust (Eng)
           11/9, 7/11, 11/4, 11/4 (50m)
[wc] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-2 [4] Nouran Gohar (Egy)
          2/11, 12/10, 5/11, 6/11, 11/7 (57m)
[3] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-0 Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
             11/8, 11/2, 11/7 (29m)
[7] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-2 [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
           9/11, 11/5, 11/4, 13/15, 11/7 (57m)
Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-1 [5] Camille Serme (Fra)
           11/4, 5/11, 11/6, 11/8 (42m)
[2] Nicol David
(Mas) 3-0 [Q] Fiona Moverley (Eng)
            11/8, 11/7, 11/9 (28m)

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-1 Cameron Pilley (Aus)
             9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (60m)
[6] Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-1 [wc] Youssef Soliman (Egy)
           11/1, 9/11, 11/4, 12/10 (55m)
[7] Ramy Ashour
(Egy) 3-1 [Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
           11/5, 5/11, 11/7, 11/6 (43m)
[4] Ali Farag
(Egy) 3-0 Fares Dessouky (Egy)
            11/6, 11/9, 11/6 (40m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad
(Egy) 3-1 [Q] Greg Lobban (Sco)
           10/12, 11/8, 14/12, 11/8 (69m)
[5] Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Mohamed Reda (Egy)
           11/4, 11/5, 11/3 (19m)
[LL] Zahed Mohamed (Egy) 3-2 [8] Borja Golan (Esp)
           10/12, 11/8, 5/11, 12/10, 11/6 (102m)
[2] Omar Mosaad
(Egy) 3-0 [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (Egy) 
             11/4, 11/6, 11/6 (46m)

Photo Galleries

Full Draws

En Bref #2 : Le Lido City View

[7] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 3-2 [Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
           9/11, 11/5, 11/4, 13/15, 11/7 (57m)


What a great performance from trimmed Welsh Tesni today. She played a superb first game, her lines and depth were spot on, she was hitting extremely hard and outplayed the American for most of the game, 9/5, only to see Amanda coming back 9/9, but a good construction of rallies give Tesni the advantage on the last 2 points 11/9.

Amanda is not impressed, and quickly levels it 11/5, while continuing with the momentum in the 3rd, Tesni is now tired – the two qualifying matches in her legs maybe – and we look like a 3/1 is on the cards, 11/4 in the 3rd.

And then here comes the Tesni “The Grit” Evans, who after a bad call at 9/5 down, a not let that is just a simple let, gets all fiery and claws back to 9/9. When Amanda gets match ball, it seems it’s all over, again.

But 4 match balls won’t be enough, and it’s the Welsh that get the last laugh, on her first game ball, 15/13.

The 5th is not a formality, and although Amanda is dominating, fooling Tes a few times by sending her the wrong game, finding great deep shots and hitting very hard, Tesni is always in the rear mirror, never out of touch.

Still, the ranking prevails, eventually, 11/6. But what a superb start of the event (officially that is, we’ve been at it for three days!)

57m? It’s not a bad start…. And let me stress that I was the match that lasted the longest of the first batch….

It’s soooo annoying, last time we played it was in San Francisco on the glass, and I knew she was tough, even more tough on a traditional court.

And if last time I got an easy 3/0, this time was anything but easy. I think the court is such a level playing field, on the glass I was the advantage, but she just run, and run, and her shots were so good!

It was so frustrating, I was thinking she is not going to get that one, surely, and she did.

And the next shot, I thought no way she is getting it, and she did! So annoyingggggg! And suddenly, my lead was gone and I was how did that happen!!!

I had multiple chances to close it out in the 4th, but I just couldn’t… She has been knocking on the top 10 for a while now, not long to wait now.

Amanda Sobhy

I tried to force it a little too much in the second, playing too much in her racquet, but I felt like I was playing well and hitting great lines. I went for volleys that were not there to volley really, and picked up shots I probably wouldn’t have picked up a few months ago.

I'm moving a bit better, I’ve been working hard on my fitness and my movement with my coach Sue Wright.

I managed to make her play a few more balls so it felt like it was all clicking, and hopefully, it will keep on clicking.

Last two tournaments I keep losing just before the glass court so I'm super excited to play out there now in front of the Pyramids.

It looks amazing so it's going to be great to play up there - it's spectacular and when you show anyone, people outside of squash, they just go 'Oh My God' - I can't wait.

Anyway, I HAD to win, my mum told me I couldn’t come home unless I played in front of the Pyramids.

Sarah-Jane Perry

Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-1 [5] Camille Serme (Fra)
           11/4, 5/11, 11/6, 11/8 (42m)


Bless, we have some readers that took seriously a joke that SJ made a few weeks back, “nobody beats me 21 times and gets away with it”. Let me reassure you guys, it was a joke and the record before today’s was 9/0 to Camille

I felt my compatriot uncomfortable, stressed and worried from the word go. Sarah Jane on the contrary had nothing to lose, the confidence that comes with hard summer training and looking very trimmed. Camille on the contrary is not trusting her game at the moment. “I can say we are looking for a victory that is not coming at the moment, and Camille is in loss of confidence at the moment. Hence her stress today throughout the match” told me her coach Philippe Signoret after the defeat.

Yes, I felt that Camille was trying not to lose today, and although she played some great squash in patches, in particular in the second where she seemed to finally move fluidly, went for a shots and not worrying too much about the outcome of each rally, once SJ stopped forcing it and getting silly errors in the second, the English just was on every shot, putting just too much pressure on my compatriot. Camille was lost at sea today, while SJ sailed on the Nile like a native…

It’s a deserved victory for SJ, hard work is paying off, while Camille will have to probably keep working hard with her psychologist to try and find ways to trust her talent, physical abilities and feel of the ball to get her confidence back, and the delicious taste of victory.

[2] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 [Q] Fiona Moverley (Eng)
            11/8, 11/7, 11/9 (28m)

Getting into the first round is always a bit of a exciting time, Fiona had a little time on the courts which I found a bit trick, very different from the normal courts, very dead. She was able to put together a few of her great shots, but I eventually managed to get to the ball a bit early, get the shots passed her, and I took my chances where there were there, a bit earlier as well.

So please to get a 3/0 win, and to finally play on the glass in front of the Pyramids, it’s my first time!!!

Nicol David

Third game was crucial, I was struggling a bit to understand what the ref wanted me to do movement wise, so I was trying to stay focus, and making sure that I was focusing on my squash.

I tried to play the ball away from me, and get around him. Once I got closer score wise, I was able to get back to my normal game, tried to move him around as much as possible and I'm pleased I won that third because it was the turning point.

I've worked hard on my core over the summer and on my fitness to develop. My flexibility and core at the end of last season was poor so it's thanks to my fitness coach Ali, who’s done a great job with me, that allowed me to get back on my feet.

It was only the first round, but I swear I never felt pressure like today's match. With the chance to play at the Pyramids on it was the most pressure I ever had.

I'm glad I'm through and I can wait to play on there now - it's a dream come true.

Karim Abdel Gawad

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-1 [Q] Greg Lobban (Sco)
           10/12, 11/8, 14/12, 11/8 (69m)


I managed to arrive at the crucial point of the match, 1 game all, and 9/6 for Greg, with a few heated rallies, a few discussions I’m told but nothing too out of the ordinary apparently. A few contacts at the end of that third, with Karim getting very close, 8/9, but it’s Greg that gets the two game balls, 10/8. He’ll get 4 overall, but they won’t be enough, and as often, his opponent takes that turning point of a game on his first attempt, 12/12, a superb backhand drop shot with a nick out of nowhere and a stroke – not please Greg was.

The 4th is close at the start, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, Karim seems to find some stupendous shots that even Greg’s amazing legs/retrieving can’t save, 8/5. At that point, Karim plays a glued backhand drive, in desperation, the Scot dives, fails to catch the ball, but as he slides on his tommy, finds the wall with his skull!

Self inflicted injury, poor mite is getting look at by the paramedics, court is cleaned – no, not of the blood, of the sweat – and play resumes, with Greg still on every shot and very determined to take it to a 5th, 7/9, but Karim gets his first match ball, he’ll take the match on his second, 11/8, as Greg’s shot at the front is called not up – a fact strongly denied by the Scot who will feel frustrated for sure.

[8] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-1 Victoria Lust (Eng)        11/9, 7/11, 11/4, 11/4 (50m)

We just played in China, I won 3/2, but we both agreed it was a scrappy match, but it’s so hard, she is an English girl, we know each other very well, we both want to win very badly.

I only managed to settle in the 3d, I got my short game going, and that help me relaxing in the fourth, once you get going, your game seems to get in place.

In the fourth, I think she got a bit frustrated and made more errors in that game than she did the whole match. So I just focused on keeping on doing what I was doing…

I can’t wait to play in front of the Pyramids, what an incentive for a win in a first round!

Alison Waters

[LL] Zahed Mohamed (Egy) 3-2 [8] Borja Golan (Esp)
           10/12, 11/8, 5/11, 12/10, 11/6 (102m)


I didn’t get the chance to see any of the match, but I can tell you I could hear it from the other side of the venue!!!! Zahed bless him was very vocal, I saw the ref going down to talk with the players. It lasted a very long time, there were for sure a lot of decisions. Boy am I glad I do not have to explain what happened of there!!!

Yesterday I was getting ready to go home, I was on the shuttle, I knew that would be a lucky loser, and somebody told me I was back in! And now I'm into the quarter-finals. I wasn't happy yesterday with my result, Karim played better, he deserved to win for sure, he kept his focus better than I did. so I was very happy to have a second chance and I wanted to prove to my mum, my father and my coaches that I could win.

Beating Borja in 5 is not easy. Last week he beat Gaultier, so I knew he was in good form. I had to play well to win. It was a difficult match but I'm really happy to come through it.

Yes, there were a few discussions between the ref and us. I just wanted him to be fair, and I don’t feel he was, I wanted him to be consistent, but I really didn’t understand his decisions or the line of refereeing he took. And I’m sorry I shouted, I was just trying to win so badly. I wanted to win so badly.

I didn't expect to be the lucky loser and I'm so happy - now I'm playing on the glass court. It was God's will…

Zahed Mohamed

I was so scared of being bageled in that first game, like I was in the Words by Amanda - she was playing so well and it was hard to get into the match. I kept telling myself before the match, Nour, you’ve got to get into the match quickly. I just couldn’t.

What is the key today is that I've been working on my attitude and to keep pushing regardless of the score. I kept pushing - which is Ali's main advice to me, stay positive, keep pushing and the squash will come.

She started to make errors and I was back in it. Then I started to find my range.

She's the one to beat at the moment. The pressure was all on her, can you believe it - she's up there at No.4 and playing so well, the Hong Kong Champion, but I knew I had the squash and the work to beat her. She doesn't give an inch, other players when you push them, they sort of give in, she doesn’t - I just stuck in.

I know, I dived once, Fram, I’m not proud of it, but I dove on my left shoulder, so it’s ok, isn’t it??

It's a very good day. It's a dream come true to be on the glass court, hopefully I can play well and keep playing well. I remember going there in 2001 and it was so exciting - I can't believe I will now be there but I have to treat it just like another venue, like another event… Not going to be that simple….

Nour El Tayeb

I was watching Nour, so I wasn’t really preparing for my match as we were playing at the same time nearly. The intensity wasn’t to start with, luckily I didn’t lose a streak of points to start with.

So happy to reach the quarters and get to play in front of the Al-Ahram, and it’s double happiness because Nour is playing as well.

I love married life Fram, it’s just so much easier, we enjoy it a lot. And if last year we had a very stressful time for different reasons, it strengthen our relationship too. And if we are double stressed because we both do the same job, we are also double helping each other… Let’s hope we can keep things going like that Inshallah….

Ali Farag

[wc] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-2 [4] Nouran Gohar (Egy)
          2/11, 12/10, 5/11, 6/11, 11/7 (57m)


Incredible match I only managed to see a few shots of, but I know that: Nouran blew Nour out of the first game, 6/0, 11/2.

Didn’t look that good for the newly wed.

In the second, it took a few game ball for Nour to level it to 1/1, she was up 10/8 to take it 12/10.

Nouran just blasted her way through the second, Nour didn’t much of the Missiles coming off the Wadi Degla’s racquet, 11/5, but out of nowhere, Nour just found the squash she had before her shoulder surgery.

And Nouran, with all the pressure that comes from being the New Kid On the Top of the Rankings, just couldn’t find her magic and stop Nour today..

[7] Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-1
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) 11/5, 5/11, 11/7, 11/6 (43m)


It was a good match to watch. As often, all the top players will tell you, players bring their A game when they are playing against the top 5 players, and today was no exception.

Meguid’s game has evolved so much that he could change name, nobody would think it’s the same player I noticed – in a bad way – in the Sky Open back in 2008. Instead of using his energy and body to block and push his opponent, he now uses his physicality and feel of the ball to ask real questions to his opponent, and that produces excellent matches indeed.

A first game sees a very relaxed Ramy, 5/1 up quickly, only to see the volleying from our Favourite Dentist making its toll, 5/5. But Ramy relaxes the body and the arm, and finds no tins and plenty of winners, 11/5.

Match ain’t over people, at all. Starting with his usual “let’s test the tin see if it’s going to hold the whole tournament and hit it as hard as I can” string of errors, Ramy makes 3 mistakes to start the game, all credit to Omar that suddenly speed up the pace, stepped up the court – I can feel Abbas advice there – and basically will dominate Ramy the whole game, 4/0, 5/1, 11/5 on a tin on a return of serve and a stroke.

Third is crucial, and mental side of things start to play its normal role. And it’s in Omar’s head that the battle is happening. Suddenly putting too much pressure on himself, trying to finish the point too early and force it whereas he was just patient and fast the game before, Omar makes far too many errors, 4 in 5 points. That gives Ramy a nice little gap, 8/5, another tin will give Ramy game ball, 10/7. At that point, I’m not sure what happened, I got a bit confused with the ref bless him, they had a long day believe me, we got from Let to No let and finally stroke. I know it sounds confusing, but I’m sure it’s making sense in the wash, that made it game for Ramy, 11/7.

Omar was still in the match in the beginning of the 4th, but Ramy was by then relaxed and confident enough to try out a few winners that found the point, 3/3, 8/4, 11/6 on a tin….

Last time we played in a serious match was in … 2000? For the final of the Egyptian Finals I think and I won I think 3/2, very tough. Today was no different.

He played extremely well indeed today. It takes a lot out of you to beat anyone - you have to be 100 per cent mentally and physically focused. There is no gap between the players, everyone plays so well now - every match is tough on Tour now days.

The name of the tournament and prestige of the tournament is special and especially after doing well in Hong Kong - it's on your minds.

You know, when I was in the Olympic Campaign with Nicol, that image of the Al-Ahram was on the first page of the program. It’s iconic, and every Egyptian player thinks the same about this tournament - there is so much energy in this area, because of the Pyramids.

When I was a kid I used to go there. I didn't have a ticket one time and I remember crying to the security guards to try and get up there.

I remember the goose bumps, I remember watching the Barada’s, and the Power, and the Peter Nicol, and the atmosphere of being up there but I only played there once, I lost against Greg in the quarters, after beating Beach in a very long match at the Stadium…

Ramy Ashour

[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 3-2 [Q] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
            11/8, 11/3, 14/16, 10/12, 11/6 (48m)

I am getting married on the 1st October, and the preparations have been keeping very busy. I was fine throughout the match, but in the fourth, I started to try and play every point like I had to win it right now, with a nick.

That’s when you make errors, obviously, that’s not a good game plan at all. I think I also felt the whole preparation of the wedding suddenly catching up with me, and I thought I just couldn’t physically finish the match – my fitness coach is going to kill me. And maybe that’s why I went for shots instead of being patient.

But from 6/6 in that game, she made an error, I got a stroke, and that seemed to give me just a bit of an edge that I had to carry on…

So happy I’m finally playing in front of the Pyramids, last time I only play at the Stadium, and it was 16 years ago, I do not remember it at all, it’s allowed isn’t it? It was such a long time ago!

But hopefully I’ll play better in front of Al-Ahram than I did today, against Nour….

Omneya Abdel Kawy

[1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
             11/7, 11/4, 11/4 (23m)


A very straight forward affair, Rachael slipering a few times, fighting a bit with the bounce on the left back corner, not able to adjust her lobs as she wanted, opening volleying opportunity for the young girl who was born the last time Rachael played on that court, 1997!

Nour looked in control from beginning to end, the games were short, 7, 7, 6minutes, still a few nice rallies, but the winner was never in doubt tonight.

The minute I heard the tournament was on, I got so excited.

The only time I came here, was for a match of Shabana with my club in 2006.

But I never ever came to visit the Pyramids.

So when I was trying to hit the ball at the start I was trying to focus on my squash, and not on the Pyramids just behind.

We both were a bit scared as the court was very slippery, so I was trying to play perfect shots at the front, or deep at the back, then I didn’t have to run!

And I could see she was the same, afraid to run.

We both tried and got used to the court, it got better as the match advanced, but I tried and avoid any loose shot as she is so good at killing them!

Nour El Sherbini

No, the match in Qatar didn’t arrive in my head in the third, but I came in my mind before the match, and although she played really, really, really well that day, my performance at that moment was not my best squash, so I was hoping I wouldn’t reproduce the same scheme twice…

The fact that the pressure is off me as people focus on Nour and Nouran more is not solving my problem. I’m still looking at me.

I’m the problem, and I’m the solution. My coaches and my husband are here all the way with me, but you know me, there is that huge wall that needs to be knocked down, every time.

They are doing what they can, it’s not easy for them, it’s certainly not easy for me.

The setting here is beautiful, I’m trying to focus on the matches one by one, and remembering that the last times I played in Egypt, it didn’t go too badly. So I’m focusing on that….

Raneem El Welily

[3] Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-0 Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
             11/8, 11/2, 11/7 (29m)


Last time they played was in Qatar in November 2015. Raneem just had reached the world number one status, the first one to knock out Nicol for 10 years, and the pressure on her was ENORMOUS.

I remember that match. I was told she was 2/0 down, rushed to the glass court, she then played a very good third, but Joshna was just too strong and in confidence by then to let such a chance slip away.

Today, revenge time was on the cards. I could see in the body language. Joshna didn’t put a foot wrong, but oh my lord Raneem was on the war path, every shot would end into a winner really. 8 m first game, 11/8, 4 min the second game!

Joshna was bound to have a reaction, and she did. Hitting the ball much harder, she found her targets beautifully at the back, and Raneem suddenly had less time on the ball and had to cover much more ground. 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 6/6 7/7… Seesaw battle, and the Indian really in control and looking very good…

It looked like a fourth at least was on the card. Was Joshna strong game going to unsettle the former number 1? It was very close indeed, but confidence came flowing from the Egyptian racquet at the business end of the game, and Raneem scored 4 points in a row, after some huge and very disputed rallies. 11/

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-1 Cameron Pilley (Aus)
             9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (60m)


May the Gods of Squash bless our Cameron, who just made a Squash Marathon. Since the end of August, he played the World Doubles, then straight to HK, taking out Mohamed then in the first round then off to China, only to rush to Pontefract for the European Club Champs, arriving this morning early to play tonight against World number 1.

And he nearly got him again!!!!

Nervous my Mohamed was, I can tell you. When he starts looking at the state of the floor, hitting several tins in the first game, mistiming his shots, he is not focusing, and if you add the look on the floor, that means, nervous as hell. And when you start hearing Mrs Shorbagy going “Yalla Mohamad” several times in a row, then you know it’s serious….

Still, it seems fine to start with, 3/1 for the Alexandria Man, 5/2, but Cameron taking his chances, long rallies, the Australian digging in to retrieve great attacks, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8 annnnd 9/9. At 10/9, Cam finds a superbly glue straight drive that get Mohamed a let. The Egyptian is hungrier than that, goes for a review hoping for a stroke, and gets a no let. Game Cameron. Mohamed is stunned….

Second game is very close up to the middle of the game, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6 7/7, there I can see the Squash Marathon getting into Cameron’s legs bless him, Mohamed is over him like a rush, the crowd is delighted when his man closes the game 4 points later, 11/7.

But the 3rd is again a bit threat to Mohamed. Again away mentally, not focusing enough, Mohamed cannot prevent Cameron from finding superb angles, and finds himself down, 5/2, 7/4 and to be honest at that point, I thought 2 things. 1, that was could have a huge upset here. 2. That Basma Shorbagy would march straight to the chair of Mohamed at the end of the game, whatever this outcome.

My second point was spot on. Again, at the business end of the game, I could see Cameron getting a bit flat, combination of the tiredness and the huge work Mohamed made him produce, 7/7, 8/8, 10/8.

There a weird moment, Cameron goes for a crosscourt drop shot very close to the tin, sounds good from where I am, but Mohamed thinks it’s down, stops play, while the Ref thinks Mohamed’s shot is not up and calls it. Mohamed thinks the ref has called Cameron’s shot down, it’s all a bit confusing as Mohamed goes off court, thinking he won the game 11/8. It’s only “partie remise”, as Mohamed will win the next point, 11/9…

Apologising to Cameron at the start of the 4th for their few words – no offence taken seems to say the Laid Back Australian – Mohamed will control the game quite comfortable, Cam making 3 crucial errors in a row from 3/1 to 4/3, and that gives a huge boost of confidence to the Egyptian. Nothing will stop him from getting his win and revenge, 10/5 match ball, or will it? Cameron lets go of the arm, and start stringing the points, 6, 7, 8.. But it stops there, 11/8….

A whole country exhales…

I was really nervous throughout the match, I was nervous at the start, in the middle and at the end..

In Hong Kong, he was playing a super squash, and I really had to play my A game to beat him.

My squash was better in HK, but I was not sharp enough mentally, whereas this time, he wasn't playing his best and he almost took me out!

It made me even more nervous, because I was aware that he was not playing great squash, and still I couldn’t beat him.

But if my squash was not that good today, I was much sharper mentally, and that shows how important the mental side of things – my strong point – is crucial in a match.

The last two times he beat me he was playing incredibly well, he plays at such a high level against me I can't understand how he's not top ten.

Today, in Egypt against him was tough. When I saw the draw and saw I was playing him first round, I thought I could have had an easier draw!

I wanted to win today however it took, it could have gone to 5, 12/10 or last three hours, I just wanted to win. I'm happy about that.

I have to recover quickly now and focus on the next match and realise this is only the first round because normally when I feel like that after a match, it’s a semi or a final!

Mohamed Elshorbagy


It hasn’t been an easy few weeks for the Hammer of Thor, but adversity, Omar is used to it, and just fights his way through with dignity and strength.

Today, he played a solid squash against a patient and clever Karim Ali Fathi who was never out of the game. Hossam, Karim’s fitness coach and Mohamed Abbas, his coach, will be proud of their player as he shown today how mature and hard worker he can be.

Now that he has graduated, Karim I’m sure is going to climb up the rankings, as he played a solid, patient and strong squash, cleverly trying – and even succeeded at times – to frustrate his opponent.

They both produced some attritional squash at times, far from the fast bam wam typical Egyptian game, the length of the game tell the story, 11/4 first game in 12m, 11/6 again in 12m, and 11/6 in 14. As for the errors, 6 in total for Karim, 4 for the Hammer.

As you can see, a hard game of squash, with Mosaad just a bit stronger physically at crucial points….

[2] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-0 [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (Egy) 
             11/4, 11/6, 11/6 (46m)

My last victory was 5 months ago in April in Gouna, after that, I lost all my matches…I was preparing for my new season, after getting a good rest I really needed, got a cold, then as I was recovering, got a bug in my stomach, and as the result the mix cold/bug, I got three antibiotics in a row! Needless to say my body was shuttered. I was out for 3 weeks, and couldn’t go to Hong Kong.

I tested my mental and physical state in China, and got two more weeks of training before this event. So tonight was very important test for me, we prepared it well with my coaches, Mohamed, Islam, Shabana and my fitness coach.

I think I played very well today, I was afraid of getting tired in the second and third, but I think I used my experience to get safely through.

Karim played very well, he did some great qualifying, and beat Zahed in a strong performance, Zahed that got the Lucky Loser spot, managed to beat Borja, and that I now play in the quarters after a day of rest tomorrow.

I played the last Al-Ahram in 2006, I lost to Ricketts in the Stadium, never managed to play in front of Al-Ahram, so I’m truly happy I now get the chance…

Omar Mosaad


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