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12/12/2018
Black Ball Open 2018

Black Ball Open 2018
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Black Ball Open 2018
03 - 09 Dec
Cairo, Egypt, $180.5k

ROUND THREE
06 DEC
QUARTERS
07 DEC
SEMIS
08 DEC
FINAL
09 DEC
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (29m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
Mohamed ElShorbagy
11-4, 11-9, 12-10 (57m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
Karim Abdel Gawad
12-10, 6-11, 11-9,
15-13 (90m)
Tarek Momen
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-6, 13-11, 7-11,
11-8 (62m)
Ali Farag
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
14-12, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7 (63m)
Diego Elias (PER)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 (53m)
George Parker (ENG)
Mohamed Abouelghar
11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 (55m)
Tarek Momen
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
13-11, 13-11, 11-4 (48m)
Raphael Kandra (GER)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER)
5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (72m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Simon Rösner
5-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3 (54m)
Paul Coll
Paul Coll
11-4, 11-4, 13-11 (47m)
Ali Farag
[6] Paul Coll (NZL)
11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (46m)
Chris Simpson (ENG)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) 
11-6, 12-10, 11-1 (36m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Saurav Ghosal
11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (34m)
Ali Farag
Mostafa Asal (EGY)
11-4, 13-11, 11-3 (32m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY)
ROUND ONE & TWO
2nd round: Top Half
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 11-7, 13-11, 2-11, 12-10 (53m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (43m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-1 (35m)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [WC] Shehab Essam (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (35m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (70m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (44m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5 (41m)

Round Two Bottom Half
[3] Simon Rösner (GER) bts Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-2: 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-3, 9-3 retired (74m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (75m)
[6] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (35m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [5] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-2: 11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 (79m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-1, 13-11 (36m)
Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-2: 15-13, 4-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8 (89m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (30m)

1st round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bye
[9/16] Max Lee (HKG) bye
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (62m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-2, 11-2, 11-3 (20m)
[9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI) bye
[9/16] Diego Elias (PER) bye
Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-4 (45m)
[7] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bye
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bye
[WC] Shehab Essam (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8 (62m)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 11-8, 13-11, 10-12, 11-8 (81m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 (26m)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) bye
Tom Richards (ENG) bt [WC] Shady El Sherbiny (EGY) 11-8, 11-6, 13-11 (34m)
[9/16] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bye
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bye
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bye
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-8, 11-8, 6-0 ret. (27m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (43m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt Vikram Malhotra (IND) 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (29m)
Zahed Salem (EGY) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 11-6, 11-6, 12-10 (43m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Edmon Lopez (ESP) 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (47m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 7-11, 11-9, 5-8 ret. (37m)
[6] Paul Coll (NZL) bye
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bye
[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bye
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 12-10, 11-6, 11-4 (36m)
[9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bye
[9/16] Declan James (ENG) bye
Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 16-14, 3-11, 11-8, 11-6 (89m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Joshua Masters (ENG) 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (52m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bye
REPORTS
Egypt’s Gawad Beats Farag to Win  Black Ball Open Title

Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad is the 2018 CIB Black Ball Squash Open champion after he defeated compatriot and World No.2 Ali Farag in the final at the Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo, Egypt, earlier today.

The Black Ball Squash Open is the first major tournament to take place in Egypt’s capital since the men’s 2016 PSA World Championships and it was Alexandria-born Gawad who came out on top in a four-game battle with compatriot Farag.

The title is Gawad’s first at a PSA Platinum event since the 2017 Tournament of Champions, as he showed he his back to his best, producing some stunning squash throughout the week to knock out World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, World No.4 Tarek Momen and then World No.2 Farag to earn the title.

26-year-old Farag, meanwhile, was competing to not only win the title, but also to become the new World No.1 in January’s World Rankings if he won the tournament. However, the nerves looked to have got the better of the Egyptian at the start of the match, as Gawad opened up a two-game lead.

The start of the third saw Farag come out fighting to take four points without reply to build up a strong lead, with the World No.2 also being able to hold off a late surge from Gawad as Farag took the third to get a foothold back into the match.

However, it wasn’t meant to be for the World No.2 as the wait to climb to the top of the World Rankings continues after Gawad held his nerve to ensure that he claimed his second successive title after winning the Pakistan Open PSA Bronze tournament last week.

“I had so many times where I was down,” said Gawad following his huge win. “All those months, all those days, I pushed and pushed. There were bad times, really bad times, but my team handled those bad moments. It finally paid off this week, and I’m back to my form.

“I wasn't 100% there physically but thanks to my team, I had a good recovery until 4am this morning and I didn't feel exhausted today.

“It’s been a very tough tournament, especially for me as I’ve not been playing at this level for so long now and to be back and winning this major tournament means a lot to me.

“I’ve been working so hard to try and get back to my form that I used to play and I’m really happy to be back and end the year with a major tournament.

“Ali is my brother, we’ve grown up together and we’ve played so many times at juniors. He has been handling so much pressure this week and I’ve been there before, so I know how he feels. I had two or three times to become World No.1 and I kept losing every time, so I know how hard it is but sooner or later he will be World No.1 because he’s very consistent.”

Farag added afterwards: “Karim was by far the best player all week. He thoroughly deserved that win. Karim was a World No.1 deservedly and he had a bit of a dip in his form last season because of some injuries but he very much deserves to be where he is today.

“I’m really happy for him and his team.”

World No.9 Gawad takes home over $25,000 in prize money from the PSA Platinum event after he claimed his 20th PSA title.

The next Platinum tournament will be the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions which will be a joint men’s and women’s tournament and takes place in New York from January 16-24, 2019.
 
Egypt’s Farag and Gawad
Set Up Final Showdown


Egypt’s World No.2 Ali Farag and World No.9 Karim Abdel Gawad will meet in the final of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum event, after they defeated New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the semi-finals, respectively.

Farag defeated World No.7 Coll in straight-games to reach the final and now has a chance to replace Mohamed ElShorbagy, who exited the tournament in the last round, at the top of the World Rankings to become the new World No.1 if he beats Gawad in the final tomorrow.

The Egyptian never allowed Coll – who was featuring in his second semi-final at a PSA Platinum event - to settle into any kind of rhythm or consistency as he dominated from the outset in front of a packed-out partisan home crowd to take a comfortable two game lead.

The Kiwi refused to go down without a fight, however, and produced a dogged performance in the third to push Farag all the way to a tie-break before the World No.2 converted to claim an 11-4, 11-4, 13-11 victory and book his place in his fifth PSA final of the season.

“I think it has to do with the crowd here,” said Farag afterwards. “They push me in every single point. Paul came back strong at 10-7 match ball – I was looking in the eyes of Nour [El Tayeb] and my parents and they gave me the courage to keep going.

“It’s obviously a dream for everyone to become World No.1, but if you keep thinking about the results and the rankings then it’s only going to hold me back. You want to take it one step at a time and you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself.”

Farag will now face compatriot Gawad for the title after he put in another strong performance in Cairo, Egypt to overcome World No.4 Tarek Momen in a thrilling 90-minute battle.

The recently crowned Pakistan Open champion enjoyed a huge win over current World No.1 ElShorbagy in the last round and was able to back that up with another upset to reach the final of a PSA Platinum event for the first time since the 2017 El Gouna International.

27-year-old Gawad took the opening game before intelligent play from Momen saw the 30-year-old draw level. However, former World Champion Gawad continued to dig in deep and fight for every point to take a 2-1 lead, before the fourth game saw a very tight affair with high quality squash from both players before Gawad clinched an 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 15-13 victory.

“This is my third tournament in a row and I didn’t have a rest in between, so of course I’m really happy with my performances here and I’m really happy that I can stand on my feet and play until the last point here.

“When I woke up this morning, I was very happy about what happened yesterday. But I learned my lesson when I became World No.1 in El Gouna, and the next day, I just wouldn’t play. So, I made sure I was focusing on today’s match.

“Since the start of the season I’m only losing to Ali Farag, so he’s a very tough player. Hopefully tomorrow we can perform and play a very good match. I’m feeling great on court and I’m just enjoying my squash these days.”

The final will take place on Sunday December 9. The match will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 19:00 local time (UTC+2).
 
Egypt’s Gawad Takes Out World No.1 ElShorbagy to Reach Semi-Finals

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad produced the shock of the tournament after he downed current World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach the semi-finals of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum tournament in Cairo, Egypt.

The Black Ball Squash Open is the first major tournament to take place in Egypt’s capital since the men’s 2016 PSA World Championships and Gawad produced a sensational performance in front of his home crowd to reach his first semi-finals at a Platinum PSA tournament since 2017.

World No.9 Gawad played some exquisite squash in the first game, showing his quality with pinpoint accuracy to put the reigning World Champion in serious trouble. ElShorbagy then tried to up the pace to disrupt Gawad, but he was too strong to take the match by an 11-4, 11-9, 12-10 scoreline in 57 minutes.

“Mohamed is No.1 in the world and is the most consistent player in my generation,” said Gawad following his huge win. “He has been winning all of the tournaments in a row, so to win 3-0 against a tough player like him is unbelievable.

“I just had to be very strong mentally today and push until the last point in the match. This win means so much for me. I wanted that win so badly, I wanted to reach the semis to improve my ranking, but more than everything else, I wanted to prove to my coaches that the hard work we have done in the summer is finally paying off.”

Gawad will now face compatriot and World No.4 Tarek Momen for a place in the final after he defeated World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar in a high-quality battle to progress.

Cairo-born Momen took the first game, before Abouelghar made life difficult for the World No.4 in the second to draw level with some exceptional squash on display from both players. However, the class of Momen – which has seen him enjoy his strongest year to date on the PSA Tour - shone through in the end to prevail an 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 winner and reach his fourth successive semi-final this season.

“I have to say I was surprised by the level of squash we both produced tonight,” said 30-year-old Momen afterwards. “I think that’s probably the highest quality we have ever produced against each other.

“Karim is going to be a tough match for sure. He’s played ridiculously well today. I’m going to try and push myself to the limit because I want to reach the final.”

Elsewhere at the Black Ball Sporting Club, New Zealand’s World No.7 Paul Coll enjoyed a big win over Germany’s World No.3 Simon Rösner to reach his second semi-final at a PSA Platinum event.

Coll was slow out of the blocks, as Rösner – who endured a tough five-game battle yesterday with France’s Gregoire Marche – took the first game. However, the momentum completely shifted in the second as the Kiwi mounted an impressive comeback to level the scores, before going on to take the win by a 5-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3 victory in 54 minutes.

“I’m just really happy that I could mentally fight through that,” said the New Zealander. “I didn’t feel comfortable out there and my length was patchy in the first. He’s had a great season and a long season, so I’m just happy that I could come off today as the winner.”

Coll will now face Egypt’s World No.2 Ali Farag in the semi-finals after he defeated India’s World No.12 Saurav Ghosal in straight-games.

The Egyptian proved too much to handle for Ghosal as he powered to an 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 victory much to the delight of a packed-out home crowd at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

“I’m really happy with the way I played today,” said World No.2 Farag. “We don’t get to play in front of a crowd like this often, so I want to make the most of it. It’s really a pleasure to play in front of them, so I hope that I can keep progressing into the later rounds of the tournament.”

The semi-finals takes place on Saturday December 8. Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 19:00 local time (UTC+2).
 
Top Seeds Prevail to Quarter-finals

Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy and World No.2 Ali Farag both prevailed to reach the quarter-finals of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, along with the other top seeds on day four of the PSA Platinum tournament in Cairo, Egypt.

Reigning World Champion ElShorbagy was in formidable form to comfortably dispatch rising Malaysian star Eain Yow Ng in straight-games to progress.

Ng has been playing some incredible squash this week which has seen him knock out the likes of experienced Australian Cameron Pilley and New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson. However, the challenge of the reigning World Champion proved to be a step too far as ElShorbagy powered to victory.

He will now face compatriot and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in the last eight after he overcame Peru’s World No.11 Diego Elias by a 14-12, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7 scoreline in 63 minutes.

“He’s 20-years-old and has potential to be a World No.1 one day and a World Champion,” said the 27-year-old Egyptian afterwards. “This is the first time we play, but I told him we are going to play many times in the future.

“I’m one of Gawad’s fans, I absolutely love his squash. The last few times we have played we have always had tough matches. Last season he had a little bit of a lack of motivation but this season he is back playing at his best again and it is a pleasure to watch.”

Elsewhere, World No.2 Farag continued his impressive form that has seen him claim two titles so far this season as he overcame World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal in straight-games.

17-year-old Asal enjoyed a huge upset in round two after he downed England’s World No.19 Declan James in a five-game thriller to set up a clash with Farag. However, the young Egyptian was unable to compete with the experience of the World No.2, who comfortably prevailed by an 11-4, 13-11, 11-3 margin.

“Mostafa is such a great prospect for Egyptian squash,” said 26-year-old Farag. “He’s playing really well, and he showed in the first two matches that he can challenge all of the top players.

“In the second he started off firing and he took the game to me. I am just happy that I didn’t give this one up and I got the reward in the end and I think that gave me a psychological advantage to go on and get the win.”

Farag will now face India’s World No.12 Saurav Ghosal after he took out Egypt’s former World No.3 Omar Mosaad to reach his first quarter-final at a PSA Platinum event this season.

“I’m happy to win that and beating him 3-0 in Egypt. It’s my first quarter-final in the new Platinum structure. I felt like I put a lot of work in over the summer and maybe didn’t have as much to show for it in the way of results, so it’s very satisfying to have that small breakthrough into the quarters.”

Meanwhile at the Black Ball Sporting Club, Germany’s World No.3 Simon Rösner survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals.

The German found himself staring down the barrel of defeat against Gregoire Marche after the Frenchman built up a two-game lead.

However, Rösner’s class was able to shine through as he mounted an impressive comeback in the third to win 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 and secure a quarter-final berth. He will now face New Zealand’s Paul Coll for a place in the semi-finals after he comfortably dispatched England’s Chris Simpson in straight-games.

“I felt a bit flat in the first two games,” said Rösner afterwards. “I was struggling but I just didn’t want to go down 3-0 and wanted to give it my best shot in the last tournament of the year.

“I’m very happy with how I dealt with the situation and played my way out of it and happy to be in another quarters.”

The final quarter-final fixture will see an all-Egyptian battle between World No.4 Tarek Momen and World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar after they both enjoyed successful days in Cairo.

Momen defeated Germany’s World No.17 Raphael Kandra in straight-games, while Abouelghar overcame a resilient George Parker of England to progress.

“It’s a matter of how well he’s [Abouelghar] going to hit those winners,” said Momen following his win. “You have to be on your toes and it makes it tense. I have to be solid, all the matches we have played have been tough but I’m going to fight until the end and the player that plays the best will get the win.”

The quarter-finals takes place on Friday December 7 when the likes of ElShorbagy and Farag battle it out for a place in the semi-finals. Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 17:00 local time (UTC+2).
 
Egypt’s Asal and Mosaad
Claim Big Round Two Wins


Egyptians Mostafa Asal and Omar Mosaad both enjoyed huge wins as round two of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum tournament came to a close in Cairo, Egypt.

World Junior Champion Asal caused the biggest upset of the day when he defeated England’s World No.19 Declan James in a five-game thriller at the Black Ball Sporting Club to reach the last 16 of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time.

At just 17-years-old the young Egyptian proved that he has all the attributes to be a serious contender on the PSA World Tour after he battled back against the Englishman to prevail 15-13, 4-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8 in 89 minutes.

World No.52 Asal will now face World No.2 Ali Farag for a place in the quarter-finals after he comfortably overcame France’s Lucas Serme in straight-games earlier in the day.

“It feels incredible to play in front of this atmosphere,” said 17-year-old Asal following his victory. “I want to thank all of the people that came to cheer for me.

“It feels amazing, to be able to play the World No.2 – he is my idol and I hope to be able to play a good match with him.”

Elsewhere, it was also a good day for Asal’s compatriot Mosaad, who took out Colombia’s World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in another long five-game battle.

Cairo-born Mosaad started strongly in front of his home crowd and was able to survive two comebacks from the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ to book his place in the last 16 of the PSA Platinum tournament.

The Egyptian will now face India’s Saurav Ghosal in the next round, after he defeated Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi in straight-games.

“I was expecting this tough match,” said 30-year-old Mosaad. “I have played a couple of matches with Miguel and they have all been 3-2, so I just played my game and focused.
“Playing against Miguel is really tough, he’s so fast around the court. I had to be strong mentally more than physically, so I’m really happy with my performance today.”

Elsewhere at the Black Ball Sporting Club, England’s Chris Simpson enjoyed a big win over Egypt’s World No.26 Zahed Salem.

The 31-year-old Englishman was forced to dig deep to hold off a resilient Salem to claim an 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in 75 minutes.

“It’s a massive win,” said World No.40 Simpson. “So far this season I’ve not been confident, I lost from match ball up in my last tournament and then in the fourth I thought about that a little bit and I thought ‘right, concentrate’ but he came back. In the fifth when I was 10-7 up I think I again played some not so great rallies but I was just willing myself to win somehow.”

Simpson will now face New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the next round after he claimed a dominant straight-games win over United States No.1 Todd Harrity.

The other last 16 clash will see Germany’s World No.3 Simon Rösner face France’s Gregoire Marche after they enjoyed respective wins over Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Hong Kong’s Leo Au.

The third round takes place on Thursday December 6 when the remaining players battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals. Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 12:00 local time (UTC+2).
 
World No.1 ElShorbagy
Gets Off to Winning Start


Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy got his tournament off to a winning start on the second day of action at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum tournament in Cairo, Egypt.

2018 Hong Kong Open winner ElShorbagy had to be at his best to conquer a resilient Max Lee of Hong Kong, who pushed the Egyptian all the way in an entertaining four-game battle inside the Black Ball Sporting Club.

However, it was the number one seed – who received a bye into the second round – who prevailed in front of his home crowd by an 11-7, 13-11, 2-11, 12-10 scoreline to book his place in the last 16.

“I had to be sharp and any loose shots I played today he took full advantage of and he showed what a great player he is,” said reigning World Champion ElShorbagy afterwards. “He is such a great talent and it was never easy from the first point. I’m just glad I pulled through in the end because that fourth game could have slipped away.

“I’ve had a good start to the season, maybe I’ve had a few dips at a couple of tournaments, but Hong Kong got me back on track again. I’m coming here, and I want to try and play my best squash.”

ElShorbagy will now face Malaysia’s 20-year-old Eain Yow Ng in the third round after he secured another big win when he defeated New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson in straight-games.

“Every game I was leading, and Campbell kept coming back really strongly,” said Malaysian Ng following his second round win. “I had to stay focused and I feel like I did that well today. I’m happy to go through in three and hopefully be fresh for the next round.”

Elsewhere at the Black Ball Sporting Club, Peru’s World No.11 Diego Elias claimed a 3-1 win over Switzerland’s World No.20 Nicolas Mueller to set up a rematch with Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad.

Gawad – who defeated Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip in straight-games in round two – defeated Elias in the final of the Pakistan Open PSA Bronze tournament over the weekend to lift his 19th PSA title.

“I’m looking forward to playing Gawad on Thursday, so I can get my revenge,” said the Peruvian after his confident win. “He played really well on Sunday, I think he played so well that I didn’t know what to do but I know what to expect now and I’m prepared for that.”

There was also joy for England’s George Parker who continued his strong start to the season by reaching the last 16 in Cairo, courtesy of a 3-1 win over Egypt’s Karim El Hammamy – who had caused an upset in the previous round by knocking out compatriot Mazen Hesham.

“All credit to Karim – he’s such a good counter player and makes you hit a lot of balls to the front,” said the 22-year-old Englishman. “Sometimes you see your margin go down and you start to hit tins and lose your head but luckily I managed to hit a lot more winners than tins today and I just dug in.”

Parker will now face Egypt’s World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar for a place in the quarter-finals at the PSA Platinum tournament after the Egyptian defeated wildcard Shehab Essam by an 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 margin.

“I just made sure I played simple squash and nothing too fancy and I’m happy with the way I played,” said Abouelghar following his victory.

“I don’t have a good history in Egypt. I’m coming into this tournament confident and I’m playing well. I worked on a lot of things over the summer and I’m glad to see that they are paying off and I hope I can break the losing streak here.”

Germany’s Raphael Kandra also marched through to the third round, beating England’s former World No.12 Tom Richards by a 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 scoreline in 44 minutes to set up a last 16 tie with World No.4 Tarek Momen, after he prevailed in a four-game encounter with Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly.

The second round continues on Wednesday December 5 when World No.2 Ali Farag begins his tournament. Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 12:00 local time (UTC+2).
 
Egypt’s Essam and El Hammamy
Cause Upsets

Egypt’s Shehab Essam and Karim El Hammamy both claimed big wins on the opening day of action at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open in Cairo, Egypt as they reached the second round for the first time in their careers at a PSA Platinum event.

The Black Ball Squash Open is the first major tournament to take place in Egypt’s capital since the men’s 2016 PSA World Championships and it was a successful day for the home talent at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

Tournament wildcard Essam claimed the first upset of the day after he downed Scotland’s Greg Lobban by an 11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8 margin in 62 minutes.

Egypt’s World No.80 played without fear to conquer World No.31 Lobban and reach the second round, where he will now face compatriot and World No.10 Mohamed Abouelghar.

“I was lucky to get the wildcard, so thanks to Black Ball,” said the 23-year-old Egyptian. “It was a really good win for me and I went for it for it with all I could.

“Abou is a good friend of mine, he is a great player and in the top ten now. I’m looking forward to it and to playing a good match with him.”

Meanwhile, Essam’s compatriot El Hammamy also claimed a big win of his own after he took out World No.34 Mazen Hesham by an 11-8, 13-11, 10-12, 11-8 scoreline to set up a second round encounter with England’s George Parker, who defeated Wales’ Peter Creed in round one.

El Hammamy was forced to hold off a resilient Hesham in an 81-minute intense battle on the glass court at the Black Ball Sporting Club as he booked his place in the last 32 for the first time at a major PSA tournament.

“Mazen is a great opponent and one of the most talented players on Tour,” said 23-year-old El Hammamy. “It feels good to win the first round against him and especially for me as it’s my first time advancing to the second round at a major event, so that’s good for me.”

They will be joined in the next round by fellow Egyptians Zahed Salem, Karim Ali Fathi and Mostafa Asal after they enjoyed wins over Mazen Gamal, Tayyab Aslam and Youssef Soliman respectively. While, tournament wildcard Shady El Sherbiny, Omar Abdel Meguid and Mohamed Reda all fell to defeats in the opening round.

Elsewhere, Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng battled back from two-games down against experienced Australian Cameron Pilley to record a big win, in what has been an impressive season so far for the 20-year-old Malaysian.

Ng was staring down the barrel of defeat against World No.27 Pilley, however, the Malaysian fought back in spectacular style to secure a second round berth, where he will now face New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson after he defeated Finland’s Olli Tuominen.

“I knew that Cam is an experienced and really good player,” said Ng after his victory. “He came out firing in the first and second game and I couldn’t really find the answer to it. But I just stayed calm and focused and it worked out in the end.

“I’ve been playing good squash lately and my confidence is pretty high. I came in without any pressure, so I just stayed focused and concentrated on playing well and hopefully I can continue doing the same.”

There were also wins for England’s Tom Richards and Chris Simpson after they prevailed against Egyptian wildcard Shady El Sherbiny and Spain’s Edmon Lopez in their respective first round fixtures.

Hong Kong duo Tsz Fung Yip and Leo Au were also both at their best to beat England’s Nathan Lake and India’s Vikram Malhotra to set up respective second round clashes with Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad and France’s Gregoire Marche in round two.

While there were also victories for Scotland’s Alan Clyne, United States Todd Harrity and France’s Lucas Serme on the opening day of action in Cairo.

The second round begins on Tuesday December 4 when number one seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will begin his tournament. Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 12:00 local time (UTC+2).

 

World No.1 ElShorbagy
To Face Hong Kong’s Lee in Black Ball Opener


World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, winner of last week’s Hong Kong Open, will look to keep his winning streak going when he opens up his CIB Black Ball Squash Open campaign against Hong Kong’s World No.14 Max Lee when the first ever edition of the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament takes place between December 3-9 at the Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo.

The CIB Black Ball Open will be the first major tournament to take place in Egypt’s capital since the men’s 2016 PSA World Championships and Alexandria-born ElShorbagy will look to extend his run of successive wins over Lee to three matches after both players receive a bye into round two of the event.

ElShorbagy is on the same side of the draw as World No.4 Tarek Momen, who ended a four-year PSA Tour title drought when he won the Channel VAS Championships earlier this season, while Karim Abdel Gawad, winner of the 2016 World Championship, will also feature in the top half of the draw.

Ramy Ashour, the man Gawad beat in that 2016 final, fails to feature at the event after withdrawing due to a persistent knee-injury which has prevented him from appearing at any tournaments this season so far while Mexican Cesar Salazar and Spaniard Borja Golan are also absent due to injury.

Meanwhile, just days after meeting in the final of the Hong Kong Open, World No.2 Ali Farag is seeded to meet ElShorbagy in the title decider once again but faces a number of difficult challenges en route, with the likes of World No.5 Simon Rösner, World No.7 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and World No.8 Paul Coll all featuring on the lower half of the draw.

Matches held on the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Entry to the first day of the tournament on Monday December 3 will be free of charge. Tickets for the rest of the tournament are available from TicketsMarche.

A women’s Black Ball Open will take place in March 2019. The PSA World Tour Gold tournament will be staged at the Black Ball Sporting Club between March 11-15.
 
Inaugural Black Ball Open
Brings Top-Class Squash Back to Cairo


Cairo will host a major PSA Tour event for the first time in over two years next month when World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy tops the inaugural Black Ball Squash Open draw between December 3-9 at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

The Black Ball Open - which will offer over $180,000 in prize money - will be the final PSA World Tour Platinum tournament of 2018 and is the biggest professional squash tournament to take place in Egypt’s capital since the men’s 2016 PSA World Championships.

Alexandria-born ElShorbagy will be the No.1 seed and will appear alongside fellow Egyptians such as Ali Farag, Tarek Momen, Karim Abdel Gawad and Ramy Ashour.

Gawad and Ashour met in the final of the World Championships in Cairo two years ago, with Gawad taking the sport's biggest trophy after Ashour was forced to retire through injury.

Germany’s Simon Rösner will headline the non-Egyptian title charge and the World No.5 will look to build on back-to-back Platinum finals at the U.S. Open and Qatar Classic.

Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez, New Zealand’s Paul Coll, India’s Saurav Ghosal and Peru’s Qatar Classic semi-finalist Paul Coll are also involved.

Matches held on the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Entry to the first day of the tournament on Monday December 3 will be free of charge. Tickets for the rest of the tournament will go on sale on Monday November 12.

A women’s Black Ball Open has been scheduled for March 2019. The tournament will be a PSA World Tour Gold event and will take place at the Black Ball Sporting Club between March 11-15.

 

 

 

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