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Manchester Open 2022
Men's Draw
13-18 Apr
Manchester, England, $77.5k

14 APR
15-16 APR
17 APR
18 APR

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
6-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-6 (49m)
[9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA)

Mohamed Elshorbagy
7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5 (53m)
Eain Yow Ng
Mohamed Elshorbagy
13-15, 11-4, 11-5,
4-11, 11-6 (64m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-7, 5-11, 13-11,
11-4 (70m)
Joel Makin
[7] Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)
[9/16] Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)
[6] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Mathieu Castagnet
12-10, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8 (55m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (42m)
[9/16] Shahjahan Khan (USA)
[3] Joel Makin (WAL)
11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (40m)
[9/16] George Parker (ENG)
Joel Makin
11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (50m)
Youssef Soliman
Joel Makin
11-5, 11-5, 12-10 (57m)
Patrick Rooney
[5] Youssef Soliman (EGY)
11-9, 11-5, 11-1 (36m)
Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
[8] Raphael Kandra (GER)
11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (35m
Lucas Serme (FRA)
Raphael Kandra
11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4 (46m)
Patrick Rooney
[9/16] Patrick Rooney (ENG)
13-11, 4-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (59m)
[2] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)


[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bye
[9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 5-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4 (55m)
[9/16] Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7 (40m)
[7] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bye
[6] SauraGhosal (IND) bye
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [9/16] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (48m)
[9/16] Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 4-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 11-4 (69m)
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bye
[3] Joel Makin (WAL) bye
[9/16] George Parker (ENG) bt [WC] Simon Herbert (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (28m)
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt [9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 (37m)
[5] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bye
[8] Raphael Kandra (GER) bye
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI) 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (43m)
[9/16] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-9, 11-7, 11-1 (34m)
[2] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bye

Manchester Open 2022
Women's Draw
13-18 Apr
Manchester, England, $77.5k

14 APR
15-16 APR
17 APR
18 APR

[2] Joelle King (NZL)
11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 11-9 (45m)
Sana Ibrahim (EGY)

Joelle King
11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (23m)
 Aifa Azman
Joelle King
7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 15-13 (86m)
Nele Gilis

Joelle King
11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (41m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
[9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS)
6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)
[8] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
[7] Emily Whitlock (WAL)
11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (45m)
[9/16] Emilia Soini (FIN)
Emily Whitlock
11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (34m)
Nele Gilis
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL)
14-12, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
[9/16] Hana Ramadan (EGY)
[3] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (30m)
[9/16] Tze Lok Ho (HKG)
Georgina Kennedy
11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (31m)
Tesni Evans
Tesni Evans
3-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (56m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL)
11-4, 11-0, 11-5 (19m)
Marie Stéphan (FRA)
[9/16] Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (39m)
[5] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Jasmine Hutton
11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 (41m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
[9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY)
6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (46m)
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)


[2] Joelle King (NZL) bye
Sana Ibrahim (EGY) bt [9/16] Anna Serme (CZE) 11-3, 12-10, 11-3 (27m)
[9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS) bt Georgia Adderley (SCO) w/o
[8] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bye
[7] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bye
[9/16] Emilia Soini (FIN) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (18m)
[9/16] Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 11-7, 11-9, 14-12 (33m)
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) bye
[3] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bye
[9/16] Tze Lok Ho (HKG) bt Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (20m)
Marie Stéphan (FRA) bt [9/16] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 7-11, 11-9, 11-3 ret. (29m)
[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bye
[5] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bye
[9/16] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt [WC] Julianne Courtice (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (40m)
[9/16] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Menna Nasser (EGY) 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (22m)
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bye


Wales’ Makin And New Zealand’s King Capture Titles

ElShorbagy responded in the second game and started to pick off Makin’s drives, causing the Welshman to cover a lot of ground to retrieve the Egyptian’s attacks. The former World Champion claimed the game 11-5 to equalise.

Last year’s runner-up, Makin, started the third game strongly, narrowing ElShorbagy’s angles of attack and counterpunching with great accuracy. The Welshman set himself up with five-game balls to take the lead. ElShorbagy started to fight back however, and impressively won the next five points to set up a tiebreak. Makin recovered and after squandering another game ball, took the game 13-11.

Makin continued to press on in the fourth game and his relentless energy was proving too much for the World No.3 to deal with as he ran out to a 5-1 lead and showed no sign of slowing down. The World No.9 earned himself six championships balls at 10-4 and this time Makin only needed one attempt to secure his fourth PSA title.

“That was a massive push for me. I’ve been close to getting a win like this for a while,” said Makin.

“You feel like you’re putting in the work and you get close and then you lose. You put together matches but you don’t quite get it together all through the week. I’ve managed to get off 3-0 in earlier rounds here, which has been great for me and I was able to have a big push in the final then.

“I know what Mohamed has been doing to get back, he set six months aside to get back. I know he was hungry to get the win here today, he pushed hard and he was tactically difficult at the start of the match. A tense third game as well, it was tight but that’s what you want, to be able to compete like that. I enjoyed all of it and it’s great to be back here. We had the Manchester Open last year but we didn’t get to have a big crowd and this is what we want, people here enjoying the sport and tight, hard matches.

“The form coming into this tournament wasn’t where I wanted it to be, I just kept working hard and wait for a week to come together like it has done.”

Joel Makin celebrates

In the women’s draw, King claimed the second Manchester Open title of her career after defeating No.1 seed Perry in straight games at the National Squash Centre.

King, who defeated Belgium’s Nele Gilis in an epic five-setter in yesterday’s semi-final, started the match in terrific form, finding her targets with supreme accuracy and stretching Perry into all four corners of the court. The New Zealand No.1 took the opening game 11-8 in just nine minutes to take the lead in the match.

Joelle King

The No.2 seed continued that momentum into the second game, taking time away from her English opponent and firing the ball short with pace. King earned herself a game ball at 10-9 and after a video referee decision, doubled her lead.

Perry had to find something different in the third game to give herself a lifeline in the match but started poorly as King ran out to a 5-2 lead. The 31-year-old gathered some momentum to claw back to 8-9 but after a solid rally, World No.5, King had two championships balls and converted at the first time of asking to win the title.

“I’m actually quite emotional, it’s been a long time since I won an event,” said King after her win.

“A lot has happened in my life since then. I’ve been through a lot of downs and to be at this point winning a tournament against the calibre of players we have on tour means so much. It’s nice to have so much support, some of my team aren’t here and my body’s in bits, so it’s just so nice and emotional.

“It’s been three years since I’ve seen anyone in my family, and I love them, this is what all the sacrifices are for, I wanted to give my squash everything that I have and this one is for them and to everyone who stood by me, when you’re doing well there’s so many friends and people but it’s those that are there when things aren’t doing so well that mean so much.

“Everyone has the World Championships at the top of their minds, I’m choosing to miss the other tournaments to be at my best for that but everyone will go about it in different ways so let’s see what happens.”
Perry Produces Comeback as Manchester Open Finalists Confirmed

In a terrific exhibition of squash at the Manchester Open, No.1 seed Sarah-Jane Perry produced a stunning comeback to recover from 2-0 down to defeat Wales’ Tesni Evans and reach the final for the second consecutive year.

The pair had met in all three previous Manchester Opens, with Perry leading the head-to-head 2-1. Evans has looked in excellent form throughout the event and carried that into the opening exchanges of the match, firing the ball in short early to test the movement of Perry and finding accurate winners to take the first two games 11-3, 11-8 and place one foot in the final.

Perry came out in the third game with nothing to lose and started to work Evans with accurate squash into the front two corners. The Welsh No.1 struggled to contain the winners that her English opponent was able to hit and lost the third game 11-7 to give Perry a lifeline in the match.

The winners continued to flow for the World No.6, as her confidence seemed to grow with every rally. Perry’s backhand drop was causing serious problems for the movement of Evans and it wasn't long before the 2021 runner-up was dominating proceedings. Perry took the fourth and fifth games both 11-4 to complete the comeback and reach tomorrow’s final.

“The start was pretty abysmal from me and immaculate from Tez,” said Perry.

“It’s not that I wasn’t expecting that, I’ve seen how well she has been hitting the ball this week and I have been on court with her a few times. She’s had some good matches recently and some nearly ones, so I knew she was dangerous. I wasn’t hitting my targets in that first and she just picked me off. I did get better in the second, but it still wasn’t good enough and I knew, I had to hope that she lost her accuracy and I sorted mine out. I just tried to knuckle down and get a few more balls back and get the ball into the corners.

“The more you do come back from that 2-0 deficit, the more you believe you can. It’s not an intentional thing but I think over the years I’ve learned not to panic in those situations. You’re not going to come back a lot of the time, but I just tried to focus on how I was playing and make it a lot more difficult for her than the first game.”

Perry’s opponent will be the 2019 Manchester Open Champion, Joelle King, after she overcame Belgium’s Nele Gilis, also in five games, to reach the PSA World Tour Silver event final for the second time.

The energetic playing style of Gilis was on display from the very start of the match as she gave no time to King, rushing the New Zealand No.1 in all areas of the court to take the first game 11-7 and showed no signs of slowing down.

Despite King levelling the match at 1-1, Gilis’ relentless energy maintained as she took a 2-1 lead in a bid to reach back-to-back tournament finals, after her runner up finish at the Annecy Rose Open in France last week. King showed her fighting qualities, however, taking a tense fourth game to set up a decider.

In the fifth game, King earned the first match ball at 10-9, but a spirited Gilis wasn’t done there as she took the match into a nail-biting tiebreak. It wasn't until 14-13 that the No.2 seed closed out the match after an error from the Belgian.

“That was class from Nele, I think the first game she just got into my lungs,” said King.

“Before this tournament, my preparation wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be. It’s been a while since the lungs were open and as you can see, she just fights and gets everything back and makes you play that extra shot. After the first, I thought I’m in trouble here, I’ve got to find a way to try and keep myself out of the corners and put her in them.

“In the heat of the battle things get said and you’re asking for lets at pressure moments and I questioned her trying to play the ball and she was a bit disappointed I questioned it, which is only fair. It’s nothing personal, we’re both here on the court to try and win and get to the final. Hopefully once things cool down, we can have a chat.

“I think it’s a credit to the women’s game at the moment. It just seems to get better and better every tournament and more physical, every time someone starts to play well and we think they’re pulling away from the pack, that next group comes through.”

In the first men’s match of the day, two former World Champions locked horns as Egypt’s Mohamed ElShoragy and Karim Abdel Gawad went head to head for a place in the final.

The match was a repeat of the 2020 final, which saw ElShorbagy take the title in a 71 minute 3-1, a match filled with quality throughout. Today’s match followed suit, with both players looking to attack at any opportunity much to the Manchester crowd’s delight. World No.12 Gawad took a tight first game 15-13 to lead the match.

No.1 seed ElShorbagy responded in typical style as he upped the pace of his hitting and forced Gawad into several difficult movements which took its toll on the body of the 30-year-old, securing the second and third games for ElShorbagy.

A drop in concentration for the World No.3 allowed Gawad to step in front and clinch the fourth game, setting up a decider. But Gawad’s momentum didn't last long as the 2020 champion ran away with the final game to book his place in the final in 64 minutes.

“We’ve been doing this to each other since we were nine-year-old kids and we are going to keep doing this to each other. I’m glad we’re in our 30s – not long to go,” said ElShorbagy.

“I thought we played a high quality match today, I’m his No.1 fan and some of the shots he plays are out of this world. Before you go on court with him, I always accept he is going to make me look like a fool at times.

“Joel is my training partner, we train together at least twice a week. We train under the same fitness training, we know each other very well and we get along really well, we talk about the game a lot. He probably has the most inspiring story on Tour and I always think that me and all the other Egyptians we had it easier. I’m not saying it was easy but I grew up watching Shabana do it and I wanted to be like them. Joel didn’t have someone before him doing it, he had to create it all himself and it’s very inspiring.”

Facing ElShorbagy in the final will be Wales’ Joel Makin after the No.3 seed defeated surprise finalist and crowd favourite Patrick Rooney in straight games to advance.

Makin is renowned for his physical attributes and started early on putting in a high paced performance to put work into the legs of Rooney and test his fitness capabilities. The World No.9 executed this superbly to take the opening two games 11-5 and give himself a comfortable two-game lead.

Spurred on by the home crowd, the England No.2 responded by stepping up the court and cutting out Makin’s drives to stretch the Welshman into all four corners of the court. He started to implement his attacking and creative style of play to trouble the No.3 seed and excite the spectators, but Makin was able to hang tough and closed out the match in a tiebreak 12-10 to book his place in the final.

“I was hitting the ball exactly how I wanted to,” said Makin.

“In the first two games I was getting such a good line on the backhand and I was nullifying his volley and I was getting him to force it. The start of the third was a difficult patch, he started coming out and he was firing. He made it really difficult but I would expect that, the first two games ran away and if he wants to push up to that next level then he has to do what he did in the third game and that’s get stuck in. You have to mix it and put in some long rallies and he did that and got back into it.

On facing Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final: “The guys in the first few rounds were happy to have a tight match with him, have a hug and a long rally and go off 3-1. Those guys have to push him and believe they can beat him. We train a lot together, it doesn’t make too much difference. I’ve seen the intensity he brings to a Tuesday morning, I know he’s going to be flying tomorrow.”

The finals of the Manchester Open will take place tomorrow (April 18). Play begins at 15:00 (BST). All of the matches will be shown live on  SQUASHTV.

Fans can stay up to date with the latest news on the tournament by visiting the event website or follow the PSA World Tour on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram YouTube,TikTok.
Wales’ Tesni Evans Upsets No.3 Seed Kennedy to Reach Manchester Open Semi-Finals

Wales’ Tesni Evans has reached the semi-finals of the Manchester Open after beating England’s No.3 seed Georgina Kennedy 3-0 in 31 minutes at the National Squash Centre.

Evans was the runner-up in this event back in 2019 and rediscovered that form as she put in an accurate display to beat the World No.9 in straight games at the PSA World Tour Silver event.

Evans capitalised on a slow start from Kennedy and ran out to a 6-1 lead, before Kennedy started to work her way back into the match to get herself back to within one point at 8-7. From there on, Evans managed to control the game and produced a quality finish to take it 11-8.

The World No.14 continued to fire the ball in short with supreme accuracy and forced Kennedy into several uncomfortable movements throughout the entire match, taking the second game and third games 11-6, 11-4 to reach yet another Manchester Open semi-final.

“I’m pretty happy about that!” Said Evans. “I couldn’t really play much better than that, Gina seemed a little bit off today as well. I can’t play much more accurate than that and I knew that I had to do that at my best. I’m really happy that I could put out a good performance.

“We put loads of hours in and that’s the way I like to play squash, it’s trying to minimalize as much work as possible, some days it comes off like today, other days it really doesn’t. You play for that one match where you hit everything.

“I love this place so much, I love playing here. I’m so happy the glass court has been put back here and I’ve got some good friends in the crowd, a lot of Welsh people, all my family in the front row who mean the world to me and have got me through some rough times. This one is for them.”

Facing Evans in tomorrow’s semi-final will be England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry after she beat compatriot Jasmine Hutton in four games to advance. Evans and Perry have met in every Manchester Open since the inaugural tournament back in 2019, with the Englishwoman winning two of those encounters.

Perry looked confident in the opening exchanges of her match with Hutton, showcasing her trademark accuracy and deception to twist and turn her younger opponent. Hutton fought back to 8-9 but couldn’t stop the No.1 seed from converting a tight opening game.

Perry continued to consistently hit her targets in the match which set up numerous attacking opportunities, which she confidently dispatched and despite dropping the third game, booked her third consecutive semi-final spot in 41 minutes.

“I’m just thinking about trying to win the next rally, I had a few periods where my concentration dipped and Jazz took full advantage of that,” said Perry in her post-match interview.

“It’s a testament to how much she has come on, particularly in the last 12 months. She’s had some fantastic results, she’s really dangerous and is looking to push on and is nearly inside that top 20 now – I don’t think it will be long, I know how hard she works.

“Me and Tesni were joking last night and have worked out that we have played at every Manchester Open. We both had to put extra in today to win and make sure that happened tomorrow. We are sharing a room, so I have to check everything when I get back – no alarms set for 4am and things like that.”

In the men’s event, crowd favourite Patrick Rooney continued his impressive run in the tournament, beating Germany’s No.8 seed Raphael Kandra in four games to reach his biggest semi-final to date.

The Englishman beat No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy in round two to reach the last eight and displayed that form yet again to down Kandra in 46 minutes.

Rooney took the opening two games in impressive style, utilising his superb volleying ability and touch at the front of the court to drag his higher-seeded opponent into all four corners of the court.

Kandra took the third game 11-8 to disrupt Rooney’s dominance and unnerve the Manchester crowd. The German’s form didn’t last, however, as the England No.2 ran away with the fourth game by hitting accurate drives to the back corners and following up with great touch at the front of the court to take the match and earn a spot in the final four.

“I’m feeling tired but good, it was pretty all over the place,” said Rooney afterwards.

“There wasn’t much consistency to that match, but I enjoyed it. It felt like one of those practice matches where concentration goes out of the window and you play whichever shot you want, but I like it.

“You don’t want to get too ahead of yourself, but I had a lot of confidence coming from the previous round, I had to keep my feet on the ground to get past Kandra.

“I like playing in front of a crowd, it makes it more enjoyable. If they’re enjoying it, then I’m enjoying it.”

World No.9 Joel Makin will be Rooney’s opponent in the semi-finals after he closed out the day’s play, beating Egypt’s talented No.5 seed Youssef Soliman for the second time this year.

Makin put work into the legs of Soliman from the outset and consistently made the Egyptian work hard for every point. The Welshman is regarded as one of the fittest players on the PSA World Tour and capitalised on this as he extended the rallies to further work the World No.15.

After taking a crucial first game 11-9, the end came quickly for Soliman as errors started to flow from the Egyptian’s racket, which only helped Makin’s cause. The Welshman secured the second and third games both 11-4 to book his place in the semi-finals for the second consecutive year.

“He started really quick and got me on the backfoot a little bit. I just had to get control of that backhand sidewall against him and if you don’t do that then, he is moving the ball from the middle and he’s got nice options on the ball,” said Makin after his win.

“Pat [Rooney] is quality and he has had a good patch over the last six months. He’s getting in amongst it with the best players and fair play. He has a nice brand of squash, I’ll have to get into him and get him behind me to get some work into him and that’s the plan.

“I’ve not had too many hours on court so far, which always helps. I’m trying to put some good squash together and I’m feeling good.”

The semi-finals of the Manchester Open continue tomorrow (April 17). Play begins at 15:00 (BST). All of the matches will be shown live on
Belgium’s Gilis Reaches Biggest Semi-Final to Date at Manchester Open

Belgium’s Nele Gilis has reached the biggest semi-final of her career to date after she beat Wales’ Emily Whitlock 3-0 to reach the last four at the Manchester Open, taking place at the National Squash Centre this week.

World No.12 Gilis, who reached the final of the Annecy Rose Open last week, looked in fine form in her round two match, beating dangerous opponent Hana Ramadan 3-0 in 41 minutes on glass court two.

A nervy start from both Gilis and Whitlock saw the score reach 5-3 to the Welshwoman. From this moment, Gilis stepped up a gear and dominated proceedings, winning the next 12 points to take the first game 11-5 and set up a good lead in the second.

That momentum continued for Gilis as her relentless hitting proved to be too much for Whitlock as the Belgian No.1 moved from strength to strength and confidently took the second and third games 11-3, 11-9 to move into the semi-finals at the PSA World Tour Silver event.

“I feel like I’m just getting started even though I’ve been around for a while,” said Gilis.

“I feel like technically I’m improving. Emily wasn’t making it easy for me, lifting everything, it’s tough on there, especially on a dead court, but I’m happy with how I dealt with it.

“I’m trying not to think about that [chances of winning the title]. I’m trying to take it one match and one day at a time, look after my own squash and my body. Every tournament and every match is an opportunity in my eyes and I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

New Zealand’s Joelle King will be Gilis’ opponent in Sunday’s semi-final, after she defeated Malaysia’s Aifa Azman in straight games to reach the last four at the Manchester Open for the second time in her career.

King and Azman had met once previously on the PSA World Tour, with King claiming a 3-0 victory over the World No.29 at the Squash On Fire Open in February this year. World No.5, King, started the match in terrific style, hitting crisply to the back and confidently to the front.

She continued to hit her targets and didn’t allow Azman a chance to find any rhythm in the match, as she closed out the subsequent games to book her semi-final place in just 23 minutes.

“This whole tournament is about just being mentally strong, playing smart squash and sometimes I revert to physicality and forget about hitting the corners and playing squash,” said King following her win. “Sometimes you’re forced to bring out your brain and play good squash. I’ve been pleased with my first two outings and have been really solid.

“I’ve got a great team here that are working on me after matches, it’s one of those things more mentally than anything. I’m here for a reason and I chose to play the tournament, so I’m out here to win.”

In the men’s draw, top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy has set up a repeat of the 2020 Manchester Open final with compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad after they claimed respective victories over Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng and France’s Mathieu Castagnet to reach the last four.

ElShorbagy and Eain Yow had played each other three times previously on the PSA World Tour, with the Malaysian yet to score a win over ElShorbagy. Eain Yow took the opening game, by moving the Egyptian into all four corners of the court and forcing errors from his racket.

With the score level at 1-1, ElShorbagy clinched a crucial third game 13-11 to place one foot in the last four. The World No.3 took confidence from that and confidently moved towards the finish line to close the match out in 53 minutes to reach the semi-finals.

“When you play someone that you train a lot with it can be comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time,” said ElShorbagy in his post-match interview.

“Today it was definitely uncomfortable. He took the game to me, he’s someone that came to Bristol a few years ago, it takes a lot of courage to leave your country as a young man and you want to improve and you want to see something different. It takes a lot of courage to do that and he’s someone that I took under my wing from his first day in Bristol.

“The third game was crucial. I think I gifted him the first game, he started well but I gave him a lot of errors. At 5-4, two errors off the serve is not acceptable at this level and I gifted him the first game, very similar to what I did yesterday. It’s ok to lose the first game but not in five minutes and that really put me under pressure for the match because I knew I needed to win the next three games as I didn’t want it to go to five.”

Gawad, meanwhile, claimed a 55-minute victory over French veteran Castagnet to reach the semi-finals.

Former World Champion, Gawad, closed out a closely contested 18-minute first game by displaying his amazing attacking abilities to continually test the movement of his French opponent.

World No.40, Castagnet has always been renowned for his fighting spirit and showed this once again as he always made the Egyptian play one more shot. Despite levelling the match at 1-1, Castagnet couldn’t stop the momentum of Gawad as the World No.12 took the match 3-1 to advance.

“It was very tough but it’s nice to see Castagnet back,” said Gawad afterwards. “He was just unlucky with different injuries but I’m glad to see him back and to see him as fit as he is now.

“I always enjoy playing him, we have actually only played once on the Tour, for me it’s a bit strange but I don’t like saying it as it means we will play more now. He’s a very good player and it was a tough match, I’m glad I got through. If you give Mathieu a chance then he will just run away with points as it did in the second and it was happening in the fourth, but I kept my focus and I was just thinking point by point and I’m glad I got through.

“It’s nice to be in the semi-finals here in Manchester, I just had a tough time last season and the season before I was losing in the earlier rounds but I’m glad that I’m coming back now stronger and just focusing on how I’m playing with different tactics for each match that I work on with my coaches. I’m glad to be back playing well and reaching the semi-finals.”

The quarter finals of the Manchester Open continue tomorrow (April 16). The bottom half of the draw will be in action and play begins at 14:00 (BST). All of the matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV.

Fans can stay up to date with the latest news on the tournament by visiting the event website or follow the PSA World Tour on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram YouTube,TikTok.
Rooney Takes Out Marwan ElShorbagy to Reach Manchester Open Quarters

England’s World No.26 Patrick Rooney took out No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy in the biggest win of his career to date to reach the quarter finals of the Manchester Open, taking place at the National Squash Centre.

24-year-old Rooney was forced to battle his way from 2-1 down against World No.7 ElShorbagy, but found himself buoyed on by the home crowd to claim a thrilling five-game victory in 59 minutes at the PSA World Tour Silver event.

“That’s my biggest scalp to date,” said Rooney afterwards. “Going in today, I didn’t think I was out of depth, I thought I could win. I tried my best to play good squash and had a good first game. I lost my length a bit in the second and third and you can’t do that against a player that good and he put me away for it. But I managed to regain my composure and get back in it.

“[The tempo] felt quite comfortable all the way through that. We’re both really good at controlling the ball and controlling the middle, so whenever either of us play a loose shot it felt under pressure immediately. It was back and forth the whole way through. I’m just happy to keep it together towards the end.”

Up next for Rooney will be Germany’s Raphael Kandra after he got the better of France’s Lucas Serme on glass court two at the National Squash Centre to advance to the last eight.

The shocks to the seedings continued to come in the men’s draw with veteran Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, who has said he will retire at the end of the season, besting India’s World No.17 SauraGhosal in straight-games.

Castagnet, known for his attritional style, got to work on narrowing down the angles of Ghosal and keeping the Indian buried in the back corners to take the first game 11-9 in 15 minutes.

The World No.40 continued to frustrate Ghosal as he kept his concentration throughout to soak up any of his opponent’s attacks to book a quarter final place.

“I’m so happy to be through,” said Castagnet afterwards. “Saurais such a good player. He’s still struggling a bit with an injury, so he wasn’t completely at his best. I just tried to keep my focus and not let him move me around. So overall happy to be through.”

Castagnet will come up against former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the semi-finals after the Egyptian defeated USA’s Shahjahan Khan earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the tournament top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy navigated his way through a tricky second round encounter with France’s Victor Crouin.

The pair had only met once on Tour before, with Crouin yet to take a game from the Egyptian, but he did so to start this match, as he hit great line and length and stayed in front of the former World No.1.

ElShorbagy bounced back quickly, to win the second 11-3, but he then had to battle his way through the third game, saving game balls en route to a tie-break victory, which he took 14-12. The ‘Beast of Alexandria’ was then able to clinch the spoils, winning the fourth 11-6 to book his spot in the quarter finals, where he will face good friend and training partner Eain Yow Ng.

“It definitely has not been the best season in my career,” the World No.3 said afterwards. “I came here and I had to change my mentality, to enjoy the game again, and to remember why I play the game. Because I have won so much in my career, when I started losing, I forgot why I play the sport, so once I got too excited at the beginning of the match, you forget how you want to play.”

In the women’s draw, England’s Jasmine Hutton led the upsets to the seedings on an entertaining day of action as she axed No.5 seed Nadine Shahin to set up an all-English quarter final with Sarah-Jane Perry.

Hutton was slightly slow off the mark as Shahin thundered drives and kills past the Englishwoman to take the first game 11-8. Hutton responded in style, however, as she started to twist and turn the Egyptian leaving her struggling to come up with a response as she went on to claim one of the biggest wins of her career.

“I’m really happy with my performance. That’s probably my biggest win on the tour so far,” said Hutton.

“I started very frantically in the first game and just got completely dragged into playing her style. I tried to mix it up and slow it down because she likes to hit really hard and fast and she was just all over me at times.

“Once I got myself in front, I started to feel a lot better and confident and I’m just really happy to be through to a quarter final. I did well at the British Open, but this feels like more of a breakthrough because it’s the quarter finals.”

Her opponent in the last eight will be top seed Perry after she battled her way past Egypt’s Yathreb Adel to come from a game down to advance in her first match at the National Squash Centre after receiving a bye in round one.

“I was so patchy today. Sometimes, when you’re playing someone as skilful as Yathreb, if you can get on top of them and keep that pressure on, you can start to run away with it,” Perry said.

“Unfortunately, I was too patchy and she is too good to let that happen. You saw anytime I didn’t put that ball in the corner, she was just slotting it away. More than anything, I am just happy to get through that.”

Malaysia’s World No.29 Aifa Azman added to the surprise victories on day two as she took out England’s World No.20 Lucy Turmel in an entertaining five-game battle to advance.

Azman secured her place in the last 16 after receiving a walkover due to Scotland’s Georgia Adderley being forced to withdraw before the PSA Silver event got started. And the Malaysian made the most of her extra day of preparation as she fought her way back from 2-0 down to set up a quarter final match with No.2 seed Joelle King.

“I started really slowly in that match,” said Azman afterwards. “Because I was expecting to play yesterday and then didn’t end up playing it kind of threw me slightly. But I’m overall happy that I managed to get back to game plan and get over the line.”

In her match, King managed to hold off a comeback from Egyptian youngster Sana Ibrahim to secure a safe passage through to the quarter finals as she looks to add her to 2019 title at the event.

“Sometimes, you just have to find a way to win, you know. As we have seen this week, a lot of players who have come straight from the World Doubles have either got some kind of injury, or are just mentally exhausted,” King said.

“We watch all these youngsters coming up the ladder. She [Aifa Azman] won a Bronze event not so long ago and beat a number of top ten players. I played her earlier this year in Washington and I got the win there but tomorrow is another day. They’re all hungry, nipping at our heels and I am sure she will be a tough opponent.”

The quarter finals of the Manchester Open begin tomorrow (April 15). The top half of the draw will be in action and play begins at 14:00 (BST). All of the matches will be shown live on
Mexico’s Cardenas Downs Willstrop As Manchester Open Gets Under Way

Mexico’s World No.39 Leonel Cardenas secured one of the biggest wins of his career on the opening day of the Manchester Open, as he defeated former World No.1 James Willstrop at the National Squash Centre.

Willstrop came into the tournament off the back of a long week at the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships in Glasgow, and that showed, as he struggled with his movement – something the Mexican took full advantage of.

Cardenas was able to come through an opening game tie-break, and from there, he looked in control, going on to win in three in under 40 minutes. His reward is a meeting with Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in the second round.

“I am really happy. Playing James Willstrop is an honour for me, I grew up watching him playing, and winning tournaments, so I am really happy with my performance,” said Cardenas.

“I tried to play with a good rhythm. I knew James was coming from the World Doubles, so I hoped he was a little bit tired, and I was able to take advantage of that.”

Elsewhere, Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet rolled back the years as he produced a superb performance to vanquish World No.25 Adrian Waller in straight games to claim his first win at the Manchester Open.

Matheiu Castagnet in action

The 35-year-old was a picture of composure as he kept an increasingly frustrated Waller at arm’s length to complete an 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 victory which will see him take on India’s SauraGhosal in the next round.

“I have such good memories here when I reached the final [at the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix] and I beat [Mohamed] ElShorbagy when he was ranked World No.1,” said Castagnet.

“It’s always been a pleasure for me to play in front of a crowd where I have felt a lot of support, even if we are in England. We had a really great battle, I knew it wouldn’t be easy for him today because he had to play the World Doubles last weekend and he had to use a lot of energy. When we played the first couple of rallies and he was starting to talk to the ref, I knew that I had to push as much as I could.”

It was also a good day for England’s No.1 Patrick Rooney, who continued his good run of form as he axed Scotland’s Greg Lobban in straight-games to advance in Manchester.

Rooney will face No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy for a place in the quarter finals.

“The first game was a battle to get through, where we were working each out, but I knew he has just come back from a week of doing two events at the World Doubles,” Rooney explained.

“In the back of my mind, I knew he might be a bit fatigued. I tried to make the first as hard as possible, and then tried to follow up on that, not let up any pressure, and that worked as well!

“It’s good to be back, playing in front of a home crowd. I can take a lot of confidence from that, I thought I was hitting the ball well, moving well. Coming off a week of doubles, I thought I would be a lot worse off today, but I was okay, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

He will be joined in the second round by compatriot George Parker who comfortably moved passed wildcard Simon Herbert to book a last 16 match-up against Wales’ Joel Makin.

In the women’s draw, England’s Jasmine Hutton will fly the home flag in the last 16 after overcoming compatriot and wildcard Julianne Courtice in four-games on the newly built glass court inside the National Squash Centre.

Jasmine Hutton in action

Hutton, who beat Courtice in five games a week ago today at the Annecy Rose Open, made a confident start as she hit her targets and gave her opponent little time on the ball to take a two-game advantage.

World No.55 Courtice recovered to hold six game balls in the third game as Hutton lost her focus, however a display of attacking squash from the latter saw her come back to within two points. Courtice stepped up the court and went on the attack herself to save off the comeback from her opponent and halve the deficit.

Hutton wasn’t to be denied though and she kept her composure in a crucial fourth game to record an 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 victory in 40 minutes and will face Egypt’s Nadine Shahin for a place in the quarter finals.

“My concentration was really poor, I was dipping in and out and I did it again in the third today, where I was leading and I kept making some silly errors at stupid times, which wasn’t good enough. But I’m happy to pull through in the fourth,” said Hutton afterwards.

“I’m trying to stay mentally tough when it’s getting tight. Some people use techniques where they just take it point by point, I’m trying to do that a bit more.”

Top seeds Sarah-Jane Perry and Joelle King make their entrance into the draw tomorrow after receiving a bye in round one and will face Egypt’s Yathreb Adel and Sana Ibrahim respectively.

Adel earned her place in the next round courtesy of a comfortable 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 win over fellow Egyptian Menna Nasser.

The 26-year-old had beaten Nasser in two of their previous three encounters and she made it two wins on the bounce to set up a second round fixture with No.1 seed Perry.

“I’m very happy to be through, Menna is a very close friend of mine, so it’s hard to play a close friend in the first round,” said Adel.

“We both have respect from each other and we both wanted to win. When we step on court we just concentrate on our games, and what happens on court, happens on court.”

Ibrahim, meanwhile, completed a straightforward 11-3, 12-10, 11-3 victory over Czech Republic’s Anna Serme in under half an hour to reach the last 16.

Round two of the Manchester Open take place tomorrow (April 14). Action will once again take place across two glass courts and begins at 12:00 (BST) when the top seeds enter the draw. All of the matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV.

Fans can stay up to date with the latest news on the tournament by visiting the event website or follow the PSA World Tour on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram YouTube,TikTok.

ElShorbagy and El Sherbini To Lead Manchester Open Draws

For the second time in 2022, Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Sherbini will be the top seeds of a PSA World Tour event, as they headline the draws at the Silver level Manchester Open, which will take place from April 13-18 at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The venue, which houses a glass court and six traditional courts, will have another glass court erected in the indoor athletics arena, providing a new amphitheatre for the competition, while the existing glass court will play host to matches on the opening two days of the tournament.

48 players will be in action across the six-day event, with World No.1 Nour El Sherbini being the star attraction in the women’s draw. She has never featured in this event before, but did make the final of the AJ Bell PSA World Championships in December 2017, which was also held at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The 'Warrior Princess’ will receive a bye through to the second round of the competition, where she will face one of two compatriots, in either Sana Ibrahim or Nada Abbas. No.6 seed Nele Gilis would be her quarter final opponent, while a meeting with either England’s Georgina Kennedy or fellow Egyptian Rowan Elaraby could come in the last four.

Home favourite Sarah-Jane Perry will be the No.2 seed for the women's draw, and she could face a host of compatriots in the early rounds. Either Egypt’s Yathreb Adel or fellow Englishwoman Lucy Turmel lie in wait for the World No.5, before a possible meeting with Jasmine Hutton or Julianne Courtice in the quarter finals. Perry would then face either New Zealand’s Joelle King or Welshwoman Tesni Evans in the last four.

In the men’s draw, there could well be a ‘Shorbagy Showdown’, as brothers Mohamed and Marwan are seeded to meet in the final. Older sibling Mohamed will be the top seed for the event, and will face either France’s Auguste Dussourd or Victor Crouin in the last 16. Possible battles with Malaysian No.1 Eain Yow Ng and fellow World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad could come before the final.

If he is to meet his elder brother in the final, then No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy will have to get the better of either England’s Patrick Rooney or Scotland’s Greg Lobban in the second round, before possible meetings with Germany’s Raphael Kandra and Welshman Joel Makin en route.

There will be plenty of home hopes in the draw at the PSA World Tour Silver level tournament, with the likes of James Willstrop, Adrian Waller and George Parker and wildcard Simon Herbert joining Rooney in the draw, while Kennedy and Perry lead the way for the English in the women’s event.

Action from the National Squash Centre in Manchester will be shown live on SQUASHTV
For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow the PSA World Tour on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok