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 TODAY at the El Gouna International 2016
Fri 22nd April - Qualifying Continues

The Movenpick Hotel, with its single squash court, is the venue for the first three days of action in the final World Series event of the 2015/16 season as qualifying for the El Gouna International takes place.

There's a lot of Egyptian interest, obviously, but surprisingly few all-Egyptian matches - in the first round, which takes place over two days - at least.

Hammamy the sole Egyptian winner

It wasn't a great day for the hosts, with just one Egyptian winner today, and Karim El Hammany had to come from 7-10 down in the fifth before providing that sole home victory.

That was the only seeding upset of the round, but Kristian Frost, Greg Lobban and Ivan Yuen all had to work hard to earn their places in tomorrow's qualifying finals.
 Fri 22nd, Qualifying Round One (part two):

[3] Cesar Salazar (Mex) 3-0 Saadeldin Abouaish (Egy)     11/7, 12/10, 11/5 (34m)
  Kristian Frost (Den) 3-0 Karim Magdy (Egy)               11/8, 7/11, 11/9, 11/0 (72m)
  Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-0 Ahmed Hussein (Egy)              11/6, 11/6, 11/3 (23m)
  [8] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 Ben Coates (Eng)                         11/6, 11/5, 11/6 (18m)

 [7] Greg Lobban (Sco) 3-2 Mohamed Elgawarhy (Egy) 11/3, 11/2, 9/11, 8/11, 11/5 (55m)
 Karim El Hammamy (Egy) 3-2 Todd Harrity (Usa)       11/9, 4/11, 9/11, 11/9, 12/10 (70m)
 Ivan Yuen (Mas) 3-2 Youssef Abdallah (Egy)               11/7, 8/11, 11/7, 11/13, 11/3 (60m)
 [2] Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 Mazen Gamal (Egy)                            11/7, 11/8, 11/7 (31m)


Individual Match Reports on Tumblr

 [3] Cesar Salazar (Mex) 3-0 Saadeldin Abouaish (Egy)
                  11/7, 12/10, 11/5 (34m)

Salazar through but Saadeldin getting stronger

If the young Egyptian, 17, 257 WR, was a bit nervous at the start of the game, 3/8 down, he soon found his attacks, after he realised that itís best to send your opponent at the back before playing a drop shot bless him. Coming back strongly in the game, he threatened Cesar Ė who made a few unforced errors and lost focus there a bit Ė 7/9, to lose the game 11/7 in 8m.

The second was much closer and dominated at the end by the youngster Ė showing good maturity and balance in his squash Ė 10/8. He was a bit unlucky there, a funny bounce as he could have taken a stroke but waited for the bounce at the back, and then an ďexperienced strokeĒ for Cesar, you know, when you wait to hit your shot juuuuust a bit longer and the ball hits your opponent..

Fair game, 10/10, Saadeldin loses a bit his focus there, 11/10 with a tin, and 12/10 with the ball going out of court! Experience, experienceÖ

Like Cesar said, 1/1 could have been different, but even from 2/0 down, the Egyptian kept in it and fighting until 5/5, where he suddenly hit the Mexican Wall, 11/5 to Cesar, quite comfortably finallyÖ

I was in control in the first game, but I felt a little niggle in my leg, hamstring probably, so it took the focus off the match for a little while, then my grip started to feel wrong! I changed it between the games, and it was fine then.

He is good, he is young but good! I have to make sure I made him do a lot of work. If I was aggressive too early, he would take the opportunity at the front, plus, I lost a few points in the first game so I lost confidence in my short game.

Iím lucky to take the second game, at 1/1, maybe things could have been different. Ö

I arrived on Tuesday, I still struggle a bit with my sleeping patterns, hopefully tomorrow Iíll feel a bit better, sometimes a good match takes it out of the system, plus itís good to have a good feel of the court. I hope tomorrow, leg will be ok tooÖ

Kristian Frost (Den) 3-0 Karim Magdy (Egy)
                   11/8, 7/11, 11/9, 11/0 (72m)

Frost through but excellent performance from Magdy

Annnd another great Egyptian coming out of the factory. I noticed that young boy, sitting most of the matches yesterday, watching and learning from the others. Which is always a good sign. I remember David Palmer staying and watching the other players too, for hours, observing, learning, getting data in his brain. Look where it got himÖ

Magdy impressed me today. By his patience and ability to build intelligent squash at such a young age. I hope heíll also learn to give a bit of space for his opponent to get to the ball. Thatís crucial to develop a great game as heís got everything else, good hands, low percentage gameÖ.. But what do I knowÖ

Kristian had to work very hard, very hard indeed, not only on the court coverage, but mentally. He has come a long way, and I could feel his frustration coming through in the 3rd, he was making all his best efforts not to blow up and argue with the ref. It paid off. Had he start arguing today, I feel he would have not only lost the 3rd, but most likely the match.

First game was very hard for the 4 legs on court! Long rallies, gruelling, patient, accurate at the back, and waiting for the good moment to attack. Extremely mature work from both, but itís Kristian that takes it in 17m, 11/8.

Excellent start for the Dane in the second, 5/1, but a great string of points from the Egyptian, 7 points. A bit of traffic problem there, both players warned to clear the ball or elseÖ And itís the young man that take that game, 18m counting a blood injury at 1/1 which I think probably helped him a bit recovering physically from the hard work produced in the 1st.

The third is the turning point. Very close, very intense, a good battle between those two1/1 2/2 3/3 4/4, Karim goes up 8/5, but Kristianís experience and physical power allows him to claw back, 8/8, 9/9. Two hard rallies, and itís the Danish that takes it, with a clinched fist, 11/9.

Broken mentally, and probably physically too, the young man wonít show up in the last game, 11/0, his coach Islam Hany not impressed with his last game I feel Ė no need to understand Arabic to get the feel of the monologueÖ

He was better than I expected!!! For an Egyptian, he is very patient, he doesnít do flashy stuff, but what he does, he does very well!!!

We kind of have the same style of game, we are very patient, we build up our rallies, and we take the opportunities when we can, even on the bouncy courtÖ.!
I think that after I took the 3rd, he seems a bit tired both mentally and physically. We both put a lot of work in each otherís legs, and at the end, I was a bit stronger. And that made the difference at the end I feel.

  Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-0 Ahmed Hussein (Egy)  11/6, 11/6, 11/3 (23m)

At the moment, I feel more confident, thatís for sure. I feel that last year, I made the error of playing too big tournaments, and I didnít have enough matches. I lost confidence in my game.

This season, Iím doing what Ryan Cuskelly does: I do a lot of little tournament, get to win matches, and get a lot of confidence match after match. Every time Ryan steps on court, he is confident, and that helps when things get tough on thereÖ.

Iím stronger I think, both physically and mentally, Iím luck to have such great coaches at Geoff Hunt, Rod Martin and Bozza (Stuart Boswell). I do what they tell me, Iím working hard, and itís working well for me, as Iím 9th match undefeated on the PSA Tour. I hope I can continue like that!

  [8] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 Ben Coates (Eng)         11/6, 11/5, 11/6 (18m)

I didnít play any squash since Chicago after my back injury, I only started playing 10 days ago. So the back is fine, but the rest of the body is awfully painful, as I didnít do much since then!!!!

I like travelling with my Dad, he is my coach since I started playing squash, and itís a great comfort for me to have him around on the tour. With him, we do a lot of fitness work, because my racquet skills are ok, but I need to be able to stay on court for 2h if I need to.

And thatís what we are focusing on at the moment. Once I finish this tournament, Iíll go home for a few days, then off to Houston and Guatemala, then a couple of weeks off, and back to work for the next seasonÖ

Iím 21, I started playing squash at 14 with my dad after a bad cruciate ligaments took me away from my football career (I was playing for Fulham Academy).

In my junior career, I was a bit low down because everybody else started very young but I managed to have a decent junior career.

I went full time on PSA last year, so Iím playing as many tournaments as I can, hopefully one day, Iíll be able to take a game from Diego, less alone a match!!!

I was happy-ish with my performance today, although after the first half of the first game, I was pretty well tired down!!!

Iím lucky to live with my parents, so I donít spend too much, my aunt works with Virgin Atlantic, so I can get a few travel for not too much, I give coaching lesson, I do some bar work.

I am able to break even, not earning anything but not losing out! So Iím hoping to climb the rankings in the coming year, trying to break 100 if I can in the coming years.

evening reports to follow later - check them out on Qatar Reports


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