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23/09/2020
Manchester Open 2020

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Manchester Open 2020
Men's Draw
 16-22 Sept
National Squash Centre, $85k
PSA World Tour Silver

ROUND ONE
  16-17
SEP
ROUND TWO
18-19
SEP
QUARTERS
20
SEP
SEMIS
21
SEP
FINAL
22
SEP
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (34m)
Raphael Kandra (GER)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-7, 11-7, 12-10 (36m)
James Willstrop
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 (69m)
Joel Makin
 
Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 (84m)
Paul Coll


 
Mohamed Elshorbagy
9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11 (71m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
 
[14] James Willstrop (ENG)
11-3, 11-1, 11-1 (23m)
Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
[15] Greg Lobban (SCO)
11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (38m)
Richie Fallows (ENG)
Greg Lobban
11-4, 11-7, 14-12 (58m)
Joel Makin
[8] Joel Makin (WAL)
11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (50m)
Tom Richards (ENG)
[5] Paul Coll (NZL)
11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (67m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
Paul Coll
11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 (59m)
Fares Dessouky
Paul Coll
4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 (75m)
Tarek Momen
[10] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
11-4, 13-11, 11-1 (34m)
Alan Clyne (SCO)
[9] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (46m)
George Parker (ENG)
Mohamed Abouelghar
5-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9 (55m)
Tarek Momen
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY)
8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (56m)
Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 (71m)
Lucas Serme (FRA)
Karim Abdel Gawad
11-5, 17-15, 11-7 (47m)
Declan James


Karim Abdel Gawad
6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (48m)
Simon Rösner

Karim Abdel Gawad
11-4, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10 (67m)
Marwan Elshorbagy
 
[16] Declan James (ENG)
4-11, 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10 (67m)
Victor Crouin (FRA)
[11] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 (51m)
Nicolas Müller (SUI)
Nicolas Müller
11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 (52m)
Simon Rösner
[7] Simon Rösner (GER)
11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (39m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[6] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (39m)
Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
Marwan Elshorbagy
11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 (48m)
Adrian Waller


14-12, 11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8 (89m)
Ali Farag
[13] Adrian Waller (ENG)
11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (53m)
[WC] Patrick Rooney (ENG)
[12] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
11-7, 11-7, 11-2 (44m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY)
Gregoire Marche
11-1, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10 (56m)
Ali Farag
Nathan Lake (ENG)
11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Manchester Open 2020
Women's Draw
 16-22 Sept
National Squash Centre, $85k
PSA World Tour Silver

ROUND ONE
  16-17
SEP
ROUND TWO
18-19
SEP
QUARTERS
  20
SEP
SEMIS
21
SEP
FINAL
22
SEP
[1] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (43m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Camille Serme
11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 (67m)
Nele Gilis
Camille Serme
12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (56m)
Joelle King
Camille Serme
11-6, 11-8, 11-13, 4-11, 11-9 (69m)
Hania El Hammamy
Camille Serme
3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (45m)
Nour El Tayeb

 

[10] Nele Gilis (BEL)
11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (27m)
[WC] Lily Taylor (ENG)
Lucy Turmel (ENG)
12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6 (55m)
[13] Nada Abbas (EGY)
Lucy Turmel
11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)
Joelle King
[6] Joelle King (NZL)
11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (23m)
Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
[8] Salma Hany (EGY)
11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (37m)
Melissa Alves (FRA)
Salma Hany
11-3, 11-9, 11-6 (30m)
Coline Aumard
Salma Hany
11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (23m)
Hania El Hammamy
[14] Coline Aumard (FRA)
11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (36m)
Hana Ramadan (EGY)
[11] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8 (39m)
Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
Nadine Shahin
11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (22m)
Hania El Hammamy
[4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (29m)
Enora Villard (FRA)
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
13-11, 11-6, 11-6 (34m)
Lisa Aitken (SCO)
Sarah-Jane Perry
9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (51m)
Hollie Naughton
Sarah-Jane Perry
11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (35m)
Tesni Evans
 


Sarah-Jane Perry
11-8, 11-13, 14-12, 11-6 (51m)
Nour El Tayeb

[16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
11-7, 11-3, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7 (52m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG)
7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9 (46m)
Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Alison Waters
11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 3-11, 13-11 (61m)
Tesni Evans
[7] Tesni Evans (WAL)
14-12, 11-4, 5-11, 4-11, 11-9 (60m)
Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
11-5, 11-2, 11-2 (24m)
Emilia Soini (FIN)
Amanda Sobhy
11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 14-12 (44m)
Tinne Gilis
Amanda Sobhy
11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (35m)
Nour El Tayeb
[12] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-2 (32m)
Haley Mendez (USA)
[15] Donna Lobban (AUS)
13-11, 11-5, 11-8 (30m)
Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
Donna Lobban
11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (24m)
Nour El Tayeb
Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (28m)
[2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)

REPORTS PSA World Tour Silver

Finals

ElShorbagy and El Tayeb Capture First PSA World Tour Titles Post COVID-19

Egyptian duo Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nour El Tayeb have won the first PSA World Tour event to take place following the suspension of the PSA World Tour due to COVID-19 after respective wins over Karim Abdel Gawad and Camille Serme in the Manchester Open finals.

Held at the National Squash Centre under strict COVID-19 protocols, the Manchester Open is the first PSA World Tour event to be held since March. ElShorbagy won the final men’s PSA World Tour event before the suspension - the Canary Wharf Classic - and he picked up where he left off with an 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11 victory over Gawad to win his 42nd PSA title.

This win sees the World No.1 surpass French veteran Gregory Gaultier to become the sole holder of fifth place on the all-time men's PSA title winners list behind only Jansher Khan, Jahangir Khan, Mike Corren and Peter Nicol.

“It has been an interesting week," said ElShorbagy, whose victory came in the same city he won the 2017 PSA World Championship.

"The players have had to adapt but I am just really glad that the end result was the same for me. I wanted to win the title, I wanted to challenge myself, even with all the things we had to deal with differently. However, I think that squash was the winner, not just one player, we gave so many quality matches for the fans watching back at home.

“When I was 10 years old, whenever I was asked what my goal was. My goal wasn’t to get to World No.1, because I didn’t think that was a high enough goal. My goals were always to put my name in the history books of the sport. I am only 29, and hopefully I still have more time to get higher up the ladder.”

Meanwhile, El Tayeb has become only the second woman to get her name etched onto the trophy as she recovered from a slow start to down top seed Camille Serme 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3 in 45 minutes.

The World No.4 had won her previous three matches against the French player coming into the fixture but was outplayed in a quick-fire opening game as Serme dominated proceedings.

El Tayeb found her rhythm in the second though and won the next three games without reply to earn her 11th PSA World Tour title and her first since February.

“It has been a while since we played anything, obviously, but it is nice to win five matches in a row," said El Tayeb.

"I haven’t done that in so long so it is very nice to do it in the first tournament back, it is definitely a nice confidence booster for the rest of the season. Today was not my best performance squash-wise but I am proud of maturing a little bit, and I feel very good about today.

"I am very happy that I have won here to give me some confidence that I can play with the top girls. I hadn’t been playing well for the last six or seven months before the lockdown, so I am happy to be playing some decent squash."

ElShorbagy and El Tayeb will each take home equal prize money in excess of $11,000.

The next PSA World Tour event will be the CIB PSA World Tour Finals, which will be held at Cairo’s Mall of Arabia between Monday September 28 - Saturday October 1.

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit the tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
Semi Finals

Serme Only Non-Egyptian to Reach Manchester Open Final

France’s Camille Serme will feature alongside three Egyptian players on finals day at the 2020 Manchester Open after she overcame World No.6 Hania El Hammamy in a thrilling five-game battle at the National Squash Centre earlier today to reach the women’s title decider.

Serme and El Hammamy met four times last season – and shared two wins apiece – with both their World Championship quarter-final clash and their meeting at the Windy City Open yielding brutal five-game battles. El Hammamy’s win at the World Championship saw her overturn a 2-0 deficit to stun Serme and the 20-year-old came within a whisker of doing so once more.

The Egyptian battled back from two games down, but Serme was rock solid mentally in the fifth game and kept any nerves at bay as the top seed closed out an 11-6, 11-8, 11-13, 4-11, 11-9 victory. It’s the third time in succession that Serme has reached the final of the first event of the season after she won the opening event of the 2019-20 campaign, the Open de France, and reached the final of the China Open in 2018-19.

“In the fifth it was so close, I was thinking they [all the people watching] must be happy and enjoying it,” said 31-year-old Seme afterwards.

“I did learn a lot from the [World Championship] loss particularly. I felt like I had a lot of pressure when I played her at the World Championship and I don’t want to play with that pressure again, it’s too painful. Today I didn’t feel pressure even though she came back to 2-2, I was just trying to enjoy it.

“When you have no crowd [due to COVID-19 protocols] it feels like we’re playing an exhibition or a training match, but we still gave it our all. At the end I was just fighting for every point, I wasn’t sure if I could get to the finish line today, I just wanted to make it hard for her but I just did it.”

Serme will contest the final with World No.3 and second seed Nour El Tayeb after she dispatched England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in four games.

El Tayeb had never lost to Perry in seven previous PSA World Tour matches but her 100 per cent record over the World No.5 did look in doubt when Perry held three game balls in the third with the scores poised at one game apiece. However, the Egyptian player wasn’t to be denied as she came back to take it, before taking a comfortable fourth game against a tiring Perry to book her spot in her 22nd PSA World Tour final.

“It was one of those matches where I was not very happy with my squash performance, but I was happy with how I dug in and resisted," El Tayeb said.

"Luckily, she made a few errors at the end, which I think was an outcome of me digging in, I am very happy with the win for sure. Every time we play, she figures me out and keeps hitting straight lines and I am working hard on not being bothered by that. For now I am very happy with the head-to-head and I hope it doesn’t change because I think it is the only positive one I have [against players] in the top 10.”

The men’s final will see World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy take on World No.3 Karim Abdel Gawad after respective wins over New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Mohamed’s younger brother, Marwan.

ElShorbagy picked up the final men’s PSA World Tour title before the suspension – the Canary Wharf Classic – which came off the back of a quarter-final exit at the Windy City Open at the hands of Coll, who claimed his first ever win over the Egyptian at the sixth attempt.

However, in a high-quality, tactical encounter which saw both players explore all areas of the court in some high-octane, intense exchanges, ElShorbagy came out on top to win 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 after 84 minutes of action.

“When you play with someone who has never beaten you and then they beat you for the first time, they believe now that they can beat you, so the mentality is completely different," said ElShorbagy after reaching his 64th PSA final.

“I hate to say you learn from losing because why do I need to lose to learn? I want to win and learn within the match. I’ve been in this kind of situation against all kinds of great players, so I had to use my experience and be strong mentally. I definitely did that and it’s important to come back tomorrow fresh again.”

Gawad has won five of his 16 matches against the older ElShorbagy brother and progressed to the final after achieving an 11-4, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10 victory.

The 29-year-old surrendered a 6-3 lead in the third game as Marwan rattled off eight unanswered points, but Gawad finally converted his second match ball in the fourth to reach a 36th PSA title decider.

"Playing Marwan is always tricky, you never know what is going on in is head, he is the best on court in finding plans and changing plans,” Gawad said following the match.

“To be honest, after five months off doing very few exercises inside the house. I wasn’t feeling the best. Squash-wise, I can come back and still remember the shots, but the physical and mental side are most important for me. Every time I was leading in a training match, I would find myself losing the game and that is exactly what happened in both the third and fourth today, that is what I was trying to work on a lot."

The 2020 Manchester Open finals begin tomorrow (September 22) at 17:00 (GMT+1). Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and multiple mainstream broadcasters around the world such as BT Sport and ON Sport.

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit the tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
Quarter Finals

France's Serme Sends Defending Champion King Out of Manchester Open

Top seed Camille Serme has sent defending champion Joelle King out of the 2020 Manchester Open, PSA Silver tournament after claiming a 3-1 victory at the National Squash Centre earlier today.

Serme recovered from three game balls in the opening game to go ahead and, despite squandering a 7-3 lead to drop the second, the World No.3 was outstanding in the final two games to seal a 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory which will see her take on No.4 seed Hania El Hammamy in the semi-finals.

“I’m very happy to have won, it was a big match and I expected it to be,” said Serme.

“It seemed like there were long rallies and we were both running a lot trying to find our targets at the back and she did really well with her lobbing and having me in the back. I was trying be more in front of her.

“She had a bit of a low in the fourth after serving out and I thought that was my chance and I was happy to win it quite comfortably. In the last game, even though I was quite in front, I was a bit worried that she would come back, so I was trying to really stay focused.”

World No.6 El Hammamy swept aside fellow Egyptian Salma Hany in straight games in just 23 minutes. The 20-year-old will now go head-to-head with top seed Serme in the next instalment of their enthralling rivalry, with the pair winning two apiece in their four battles during the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, 2019 runner-up Tesni Evans followed King out of the tournament as she fell to England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry in straight games. Both players had fought for 3-2 victories in the previous round, but it was Evans who appeared to struggle more with the physicality of the match, with the Welsh player pulling up with an injury at the end of the second game.

She was unable to move properly, and although she put up a strong fight in the third game, it was Perry who secured victory in just over half an hour, setting up a clash with World No.4 Nour El Tayeb in the semi-finals.

“I don’t think that was the best of Tesni today," Perry said.

"I didn’t want to get dragged into the long up-and-down the backhand exchanges which have been present in some of our previous matches. I tried to just step up and take control, I know I have played well in practice, so I just tried to get that out on court."

El Tayeb, meanwhile, overcame United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy in straight games.

In the men’s event, World No.2 Ali Farag and World No.4 Tarek Momen saw their title challenges come crashing to a halt following defeats against World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy and World No.5 Paul Coll, respectively.

ElShorbagy has been something of a bogey player for Farag down the years - winning three of their last five encounters, including the El Gouna International final in 2018 - and came out on top in a scrappy, feisty affair by a 14-12, 11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8 scoreline.

“I expected to win today, but I was very disappointed with the way I played," said ElShorbagy.

"I need to watch the match again and learn from the mistakes I made. I know the level I could play and I know I could play ten times better than this. I am just happy with the win, but I expected more from myself if I am honest."

He will play fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad after he recovered from a game down to defeat Germany’s Simon Rösner.

Meanwhile, Coll avenged his defeat to Momen in the final of November’s men’s PSA World Championship with a 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 victory.

Momen outclassed Coll in November’s World Championship title decider and followed that up with another 3-0 triumph against the Kiwi at the Troilus Gold Canada Cup three months later. But Coll prevailed in their latest battle and he will line up against World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy for a place in the final.

“I’m stoked, I set myself a goal of winning a lot of these ones when we first come back and it was a big one there against Tarek,” said Coll.

“[Before the match] I was trying to get myself in a good head space with a bit of breathing work to calm me down. I’ve been speaking to my mental coach and we’ve been speaking about playing squash like I play monopoly. I play monopoly very intensely but I also smile a lot, so it’s about trying to get a combination of both and keeping me relaxed."

ElShorbagy will look to gain his revenge on Coll following the Kiwi’s first ever victory over the Egyptian back in March at the Windy City Open, which was the penultimate men’s PSA World Tour event to take place before the COVID-19 enforced suspension of professional squash.

The No.1 seed overcame Welshman and training partner Joel Makin 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 in 69 minutes.

The 2020 Manchester Open semi-finals begin tomorrow (September 21) at 17:00 (GMT+1). Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and multiple mainstream broadcasters around the world such as BT Sport and ON Sport.

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit the tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
Round Two Lower Half

Evans and Perry Survive Five-Game Battles to Set Up Manchester Open Last Eight Clash

The world’s top two British Players - Tesni Evans and
Sarah-Jane Perry - narrowly escaped surprise defeats on day four of the 2020 Manchester Open, PSA Silver tournament after they claimed 3-2 victories over World No.14 Alison Waters and World No.25 Hollie Naughton inside the National Squash Centre earlier today.

Evans, the 2019 runner-up, made it back-to-back 3-2 wins following her round one win against Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy as she scraped a nervy 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 3-11, 13-11 win against the experienced Waters.

The Welsh player overturned two match balls in a tense decider and held her nerve on her first match ball to vanquish the former World No.3.

“I think I got away with one there, I am a bit lucky that I snuck that at the end, she outplayed me for most of the match, especially in the two games she won," Evans said.

"It was a matter of either being too passive or too aggressive and I couldn’t find the middle ground. I just had to keep fighting and be a bit brave at the end. I didn’t want to come off and regret it really.

“I have so much respect for Alison, we are really good friends off the court. We have been having some pretty similar practice matches so it felt the same. She is a legend, she has been out here for so long and she continues to get better and better, I have so much respect for her and I am sure that won’t be the last time we have a battle.”

Evans will lock horns with England No.1 Perry for a place in the semi-finals. Perry, the World No.5, completed a superb comeback from 2-0 down to beat Naughton - the first time she has managed to overturn that deficit since she overcame Evans at the Hong Kong Open back in November 2018.

Perry had prevailed in all four of their previous matches on the PSA World Tour but was blown away by Naughton in the opening two games as the Barnsley-born Canadian applied all the pressure on her higher-ranked opponent.

Perry’s never-say-die attitude meant that she dug in her heels though and she held her opponent at bay in the next three games to book her place in the quarter-finals, winning 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 in 50 minutes.

“It is never all over, I don’t know when the last time I came back from two games down was, I haven’t even won 3-2 for an awfully long time,” Perry said afterwards.

"I know Hollie is a great player, she has been down training with me and I know how well she is moving. She put a lot of pressure on me in the first two games by getting a lot back, even in that last game she wasn’t going to let me win when I was 10-1 up, she wasn’t going down without a fight. All the plaudits to her and it made me fight, maybe I was just craving that extreme battle out there.”

Meanwhile, No.2 seed Nour El Tayeb defeated Australia’s Donna Lobban and she will line up against United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the next round. Sobhy defeated Belgium’s Tinne Gilis by a 3-1 margin.

World No.2 Ali Farag continued his Manchester Open campaign in the men’s event as he overcame Frenchman Gregoire Marche, but he was made to work hard for his 11-1, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10 victory.

Farag, who had won all five of their previous meetings on the PSA World Tour, outclassed Marche in the opening game but the No.2 seed was pegged back after a superb response from his opponent. Farag did restore his lead in the third though and overturned three games balls to take the fourth on the tie-break.

“It’s a shame that there is no crowd to watch this," said Farag, referring to the lack of spectators due to COVID-19 protocols.

"We draw off the energy of the crowd and I wish they were here to be as entertained as we were on court. We train for these kinds of matches and it’s always more pleasurable to have a crowd behind the glass.”

Farag will play World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy for a place in the semi-finals. ElShorbagy defeated England’s Adrian Waller by a 3-1 scoreline and his head-to-head record with Farag is currently locked at four wins apiece.

“I was happy with my performance today, I think I played better than in the first round,” said ElShorbagy afterwards.

“I would say I was sharper but I think I need to relax a little bit. I was in a rush in the second game and I wasn’t thinking about what I should be doing in the rallies themselves. But I’m happy with the way I played and I think it will make me sharper."

Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad also confirmed his place in the quarter-finals after beating England’s Declan James in straight games. He will play Germany’s Simon Rösner, who defeated close friend Nicolas Mueller 3-1 in the final match of the day.

The 2020 Manchester Open quarter-finals begin tomorrow (September 20) at 11:00 (GMT+1). Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour  (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
Round Two Top Half

Coll & Momen Set Up World Final Repeat In Manchester
(More pictures to follow)

The quarter-finals of the 2020 Manchester Open will feature a rematch of last season's PSA Men's World Championship final after Egypt's Tarek Momen and New Zealander Paul Coll, ranked world 4 and 5 in the world respectively, claimed wins on day three of the PSA Silver event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

Momen, the reigning World Champion, overcame the challenge of world No.11 Mohamed Abouelghar in an unpredictable encounter in which he came back from a game down to win 5-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9.

The third game proved crucial as Momen twice fought back from a game ball down and he held his nerve during the crucial points in the fourth to finally close out the win in 55 minutes.

"I started the match really well in the first four or five points but then for some reason the nerves got to me and I couldn't keep playing like that, I got very tense," said Momen.

"I think that's maybe because I haven't been dealing with nerves for the past six months, so it's something that I need to train on maybe and get used to again. Thankfully in the second game I managed to regroup and get over this nervousness. He also had an up and down performance, in the second game I didn't think he played that well and I had a pretty big lead and won that game so easily.

"Up until the third game neither of us were playing well at the same time and then in that third game we played some really good rallies and I'm very pleased with that. In terms of my mental toughness, I felt like I was progressing throughout the match, I played the big points well and I held my nerve in a couple of very difficult situations in the third and fourth game, so there is a lot to be pleased with."

Coll has lost his last two matches against Momen - including their battle in the World final in Qatar last November - and will look to get one over on the Egyptian after he beat Momen's compatriot Fares Dessouky 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10.

The Kiwi had to be on his mettle and recovered from 9-8 down in the fourth game to book his spot in the quarter-finals of the inaugural men's Manchester Open.

"I was really looking forward to the first match but I didn't really play my style and I came off court not really enjoying it, I was a bit passive," said Coll following the match.

"I spoke to my coach and he gave me a rocket and told me to be a lot more aggressive. I enjoyed that a lot more, I felt a lot more like myself and it definitely got the juices flowing."

World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy kept up his impressive start to life following the suspension of the PSA World Tour due to the global COVID-19 pandemic as he swept aside former world No.1 James Willstrop in straight games.

Despite being a relatively short match at just 34 minutes, the 24th meeting between the pair was a high-quality affair. 29-year-old Elshorbagy - eight years Willstrop's junior - played some clean and tidy squash to dispatch his opponent, moving 13-11 ahead on their Tour head-to-head record in the process.

He will take on Welshman Joel Makin in the last eight after the world No.10 overcame the tenacious Greg Lobban to book his quarter-final spot.

Top seed Camille Serme continued her tournament with a hard-fought victory over Belgium's Nele Gilis in the women's event as she prevailed by an 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 margin after 67 minutes of play.

Serme was tested by the world No.16, who was able to take her first ever game off the French player at the third attempt during a fine display. But Serme held firm after winning a comfortable third game before edging the fourth to earn her place in the quarter-finals.

"It was a tough battle. It is always going to be hard against Nele," Serme said afterwards.

"Physically, she gets most of those balls if your shots are not good enough. Today, I didn't find my targets like I wanted to and she made it tough for me. I was battling against myself and my opponent, it was one of those days where you feel up and down but the win is the most important thing in the end and I am happy to be through."

Defending champion Joelle King will line up against Serme in the next round after an impressive performance from the Kiwi world No.8 saw her defeat England's Lucy Turmel in straight games.

"Lucy had a big win in the first round [against Nada Abbas] so I was aware that she is playing good squash," King said.

"Also, she is coached by Laura [Massaro] who is in my team as well. I was well aware of the dangers she possesses, I just wanted to come out here and stamp my authority on the game. There were a couple of blips where I came off it a little bit but it didn't linger for too long which is really positive."

The other winners on day three were Egyptian duo Hania El Hammamy and Salma Hany and they will go head-to-head in the quarters following respective wins over Nadine Shahin and Coline Aumard.

Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour  (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
Round 1 Lower Half

Evans and James Narrowly Avoid Upsets on Day Two of Manchester Open

2019 runner-up Tesni Evans narrowly avoided an opening round upset against Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy earlier today as she snuck a 3-2 victory to reach round two of the 2020 Manchester Open, PSA Silver tournament taking place at England’s National Squash Centre.

The PSA World Tour has resumed in Manchester for the first time since the global COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to professional squash in March, but Evans’ absence from the sport has been longer than most after she sustained an ankle injury at January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions which had kept her out of action until the tour’s suspension.

Evans took a 2-0 lead but she soon began to tire and Mickawy took full advantage of the drop in intensity as she came back to level the scores against an increasingly frustrated Evans. There were some scrappy periods of play in the latter stages of the match and it was nip and tuck in the decider, but Evans held her nerve to dodge what would have been the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

“I’m relieved and shaky, I don’t know what that was,” said Evans after her 14-12, 11-4, 5-11, 4-11, 11-9 victory.

“It was so up and down and she was taking my rhythm all the time and I hate that because I like to play with a lot of rhythm. It was really difficult, she played really well and was hitting shots from everywhere. I’m not really sure how I won but I’ll take that today and hopefully try and improve as the week goes on.

“I told myself to show how much I wanted it and at times I just sat back off her and let her take control of it. I took myself away and tried to give myself a good talking to. If someone was there talking to me they would give me a right load of abuse, so I tried to show myself just how much I wanted to win that and I think that just took me over at the end.”

Evans will play England’s Alison Waters in round two, while No.2 seed Nour El Tayeb (left) will line up against Australia’s Donna Lobban in the last after beating World No.46 Jasmine Hutton 11-5, 11-7, 11-4.

Due to social distancing guidelines enforced at the tournament following the global COVID-19 pandemic, players are not allowed to have their coaching team on-site at all and are also required to have their own hotel rooms rather than sharing with their spouses. El Tayeb normally rooms with husband and World No.2 Ali Farag and relished the chance to catch up with him after her match.

“I haven’t seen him for the last few days, so it’s nice to chat, I miss him,” said El Tayeb.

“It is different, I’m not going to lie, but it doesn’t bother me very much that there is no one watching. I knew Ali was in the venue, so I was a bit calm knowing that my family is around and I’m very happy to be playing again."

Elsewhere, England No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry came through a scrappy match against close friend and housemate Lisa Aitken to advance to round two to set up a clash with Canada’s Hollie Naughton, who upset No.16 seed Millie Tomlinson to become only the second unseeded player to reach the second round of the women’s event.

In the men’s draw, England’s Declan James saved match ball to vanquish the challenge of World No.42 Victor Crouin.

There is a 20-place gap between the pair on the PSA World Rankings, but the gap on court was far smaller as James fought back from the brink of exhaustion to battle to an 4-11, 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10 victory after 67 minutes of exhilarating action.

“The brain just goes dead when you’re at that level of exhaustion," said James afterwards.

"You can’t put two and two together without making five. It was just so hard. I expected it to be tough because he is a good mover. He had some good results last season and he came out of the traps so quickly! I was doing a lot of work, so at the end it was just about survival, and he was going to have to claw the win away from me."

James will take on World No.3 Karim Abdel Gawad in the last 16 after Gawad overcame another Frenchman, Lucas Serme, also by a 3-2 margin.

It was a real ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performance from the former World No.1 who showcased his impressive racket skills to take a 2-1 lead, but in the fourth he reverted to the casual style of play that cost him in the opening game.

Serme was able to level the scores up, but Gawad often rises to the occasion when a match enters a fifth game, and it was no different here in Manchester as the momentum shifted back into the Egyptian’s favour as he completed a 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 win in 71 minutes - the longest match of the tournament so far.

“It was a very hard match, it’s always tough playing Lucas,” Gawad said following the match.

“He’s moving very well on court, he’s quick and he also has some very good shots, so it’s hard to play with him, especially after seven months or so off. Playing him in the first round is very tough."

Elsewhere, World No.2 Ali Farag got off to a winning start against England’s Nathan Lake, while there were also wins for World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy and World No.8 Simon Rösner.

Rösner will play close friend Nicolas Mueller next after the World No.32 upset World No.15 Omar Mosaad in the day’s final match to become the only unseeded man to make it to round two.

Round two of the 2020 Manchester Open begins tomorrow (September 18) at 11:00 (GMT+1). Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour  (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
Round 1 Top Half

King Gets Title Defence off to Winning Start as Seeds Dominate in Manchester

New Zealand’s World No.8 Joelle King got her title defence off to a winning start at the Manchester Open as professional squash resumed for the first time since the six-month enforced suspension of the PSA World Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament, which was originally scheduled for May 2020, is being held behind closed doors at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England and is delivered in partnership with Manchester City Council with all players and staff following strict COVID-19 protocols.

King took the PSA Silver title in Manchester last year when she defeated Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans in the final and the Kiwi once again looked strong on the National Squash Centre glass court as she powered past Latvia’s World No.59 Ineta Mackevica in just 23 minutes.

“I think I got every bit of nerves I had in the system out,” said King. “Sometimes it’s difficult when you’re playing a player that you haven’t seen that much. Personally, I haven’t seen Ineta play and she is quite a tricky opponent. Sometimes you have set players that you play against all the time and you have plans for them and then you get a spanner in the works, someone like her, then it’s nice to get over the line in three.”

The World No.8 will take on England’s World No.37 Lucy Turmel in the next round after she upset the seedings on day one by defeating Egypt’s World No.19 Nada Abbas in four games on the side court at the National Squash Centre.

“I was down 9-1 in the second,” said Turmel. “But I know that I am very fit at the moment thanks to all the training I have done during the lockdown so I trusted myself to stick in and I went 2-0 up.
“I am really happy. It is only the second tournament where I have got through to the second round and I am pleased that the hard work has paid off.”

Top seed France’s Camille Serme held off a comeback from USA’s Sabrina Sobhy to book her place in the second round with a 3-1 victory and will now face Belgium’s Nele Gilis in the last 16 after she downed wildcard Lily Taylor in straight games.

Serme’s compatriot Coline Aumard also booked her place in the next round courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Egypt’s Hana Ramadan.

“I knew it was going to be a tricky match, so I’m very happy to be through,” said Serme afterwards.

“There’s many challenges. First of all, it’s a different glass court, compared to the one we train on in Paris, few funny bounces, but I guess it’s the same for both of us. It’s really hot as well, so it’s tough to not be able to wipe our hands. The biggest challenge was to find the targets in the back of the court, and I think that was the key in the match.”

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, Egyptian trio Hania El Hammamy, Salma Hany and Nadine Shahin were all on the winning side on the first day of action in Manchester as they claimed respective victories over France’s Enora Villard and Melissa Alves, and Canada’s Danielle Letourneau.

“It feels great to be back,” said 20-year-old El Hammamy, who was last in action when she lifted her maiden Platinum title at the Black Ball Open in Cairo in March.

“Everyone was waiting for squash to be back and I was very excited and really looking forward to the tournament. I was ready and I really wanted to be back.

“I was really frustrated when the tour got suspended. I was in good form and I wanted to keep going and keep playing tournaments because I was expecting so much from myself. Now, that I’m back I’m focusing on the tournaments and I have confidence and feel like I can keep going like I did in Black Ball.”

In the men’s draw, World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy picked up where he left off before the suspension as he displayed a confident performance against Germany’s Raphael Kandra to take an 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 victory.

“I’m really happy to be back,” said the World No.1 afterwards. “It’s really exciting for all of the players to be back competing and seeing everyone in the zone again. I was really nervous before I played, but I’m just really happy to be back on court and competing again.

“When I saw the draw, I knew it was going to be a different match because he’s a lefty and he goes for shots. Usually when you haven’t played for a while, you want to just get used to the glass court and get used to competing, but with Kandra he breaks that rhythm with the way he plays.”

The Egyptian will take on England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop for a place in the quarter finals after he made light work of Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam to book his place in the second round.

Meanwhile, World Champion Tarek Momen also got his campaign at the PSA Silver event off to a winning start with a 3-1 victory over Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.

The two players have enjoyed some competitive battles of late, with their two matches this season going all the way to five games. However, this time proved more straightforward for Momen as he was able to fight back from a game down to secure his place in the second round, where he will take on compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar, following his hard-fought victory over England’s George Parker in the last match of the day on the glass court.

“I’m pleased to have been able to push towards the end and with the last couple of points, I took some risks and it paid off,” said Momen following his win.

“It feels a lot more like practice [with no fans], of course the nerves and tension are there but when I hit a dropshot and nobody is sat outside watching I probably think I’m back home practicing. We’re getting used to it, I watched a lot of tennis before coming here, so I’m getting the vibe of playing in front of no audience.

“It will definitely affect each player in a different way. I would like to think of myself as someone who can push through regardless. We miss having people watching and cheering because that’s what we play for, but there are people watching and just behind a screen and not here.”

New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Wales’ Joel Makin also got off the mark at the PSA Silver tournament with Coll defeating Frenchman Baptiste Masotti in four games, while Makin overcame England’s Tom Richards in straight games on court three in Manchester.

“I’m pretty happy with today. It was a bit of a slow start, but it's really nice to be back on court after six months off,” Coll admitted. “[There were a] few nerves in the opening two sets but I managed to make them long enough and stay in the rallies. I thought I was a bit unlucky to lose the second, but credit to Baptiste who was playing well.

“I felt a lot better in the third and fourth, a lot more aggressive. I stepped up the court a bit more. Overall I am pretty happy with the performance and I got the tournament off to a good start.”

Coll will face Egypt’s Fares Dessouky in the next round, while Makin takes on Scotland’s Greg Lobban following their victories over Scotland’s Alan Clyne and England’s Richie Fallows, respectively.

“I think my mentality was really good,” said Lobban. “With the stoppages and stuff that would have bugged me in the past, but I feel I’m a lot stronger now, it’s one area that I really dug into in a lot of depth during the lockdown and I think that was the strongest part of my game today.”

Round one of the Manchester Open continues tomorrow, Thursday September 17, at 11:00 local time (GMT+1) and the action will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and
the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour  (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Manchester Open, visit tournament’s official website or follow the PSA World Tour on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Manchester Open: Men’s Round One Results (Top half)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (34m)
[14] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-0: 11-3, 11-1, 11-1 (23m)
[15] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (38m)
[8] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (50m)
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (67m)
[10] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-4, 13-11, 11-1 (34m)
[9] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (46m)
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (56m)

Manchester Open: Women’s Round One Results (Top half)
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (43m)
[10] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [WC] Lily Taylor (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (27m)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt [13] Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6 (55m)
[6] Joelle King (NZL) bt Insta Mackevica (LAT) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (23m)
[8] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (37m)
[14] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (36m)
[11] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8 (39m)
[4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (29m)


Manchester Open: Men’s Round One Draw (Bottom half) – To be played Thursday September 17
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
Victor Crouin (FRA) v [16] Declan James (ENG)
[11] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [7] Simon Rösner (GER)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
[WC] Patrick Rooney (ENG) [13] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[12] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
Nathan Lake (ENG) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Manchester Open: Women’s Round One Draw (Bottom half) – To be played Thursday September 17
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG) v Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v [7] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Emilia Soini (FIN)
Haley Mendez (USA) v [12] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
[15] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) v [2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)

Manchester Open: Men’s Round Two Draw (Top half) – To be played Friday September 18
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [14] James Willstrop (ENG)
[15] Greg Lobban (SCO) v [8] Joel Makin (WAL)
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) v [10] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
[9] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [4] Tarek Momen (EGY)

Manchester Open: Women’s Round Two Draw (Top half) – To be played Friday September 18
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) v [10] Nele Gilis (BEL)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) v [6] Joelle King (NZL)
[8] Salma Hany (EGY) v [14] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[11] Nadine Shahin (EGY) v [4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
 
Manchester Open Draw Released as PSA World Tour Returns

The PSA World Tour will make a long-awaited return when the world's top players line up at the Manchester Open, PSA Silver tournament between September 16-22 as the six-month suspension of professional squash due to the global COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.
The tournament, originally scheduled for May 2020, will be held behind closed doors, will be delivered in partnership with Manchester City Council and will follow strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of all players and on-site staff.
Following the inaugural women's tournament in 2019, a men's Silver tournament has been added to the bill and the men's draw will feature the entirety of the top 10, with World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy headlining the draw ahead of World No.2 Ali Farag, World No.3 Karim Abdel Gawad and World Champion Tarek Momen.

ElShorbagy will begin his tournament against Germany’s World No.29 Raphael Kandra, with a possible second round clash with Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez, who faces Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in round one, in store.

The World No.1 will face tough competition to get to the final, with his side of the draw including World No.4 Momen, New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll and Peru’s World No.6 Diego Elias.

At the opposite end of the draw, Farag will line up against Scotland’s Greg Lobban in round one with the likes of compatriots Gawad and Marwan ElShorbagy on his side of the draw, along with Wales’ World No.10 Joel Makin, who will face France’s Victor Crouin on the opening day of action.

Along with Makin, there is strong home interest in the men’s draw in the form of England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop, Declan James, Tom Richards, Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller, while the wildcard place is awarded to St. Helens-based Patrick Rooney.

Meanwhile, the women’s draw is led by France’s World No.3 Camille Serme, with the likes of defending champion New Zealand’s Joelle King, World No.4 Nour El Tayeb, England’s World No.5 Sarah-Jane Perry and Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans all included in the draw.

Serme will begin her tournament against USA’s Sabrina Sobhy and could face Egypt’s World No.6 Hania El Hammamy in the semi-finals, should the draw go to seeding, with the two contesting some of the best matches of the 2019-20 season.

Title holder King (right), who defeated Evans in last year’s final, will begin her title defence against Latvia’s Ineta Mackevica in round one.

At the opposite end of the draw, Egypt’s El Tayeb will come up against England’s Jasmine Hutton in round one, while home favourite Perry will take on Scotland’s Lisa Aitken on the opening day at the National Squash Centre.

Last year’s runner-up Evans will face Egypt’s World No.26 Zeina Mickawy in round one with fellow Brits Jasmine Hutton, Lucy Turmel, Alison Waters, Millie Tomlinson and Julianne Courtice providing home interest, while World No.80 Lily Taylor is awarded the wildcard spot.

Action from the tournament will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and Facebook (excluding Europe and Japan). The semi-finals and finals will be shown live on BT Sport in the UK and other international broadcasters globally.

For more information on the tournament, visit the official website or follow the PSA World Tour on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Manchester Open: Men’s Draw
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Tayyab Aslam (PAK) v [9] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
[13] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Declan James (ENG)
Tom Richards (ENG) v [6] Diego Elias (PER)
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [12] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
[11] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [4] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
Victor Crouin (FRA) v [10] Joel Makin (WAL)
[14] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [8] Simon Rösner (GER)
[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[WC] Patrick Rooney (ENG) v [16] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[15] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
Greg Lobban (SCO) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)


Manchester Open: Women’s Draw
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) v Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[WC] Lily Taylor (ENG) v [10] Nele Gilis (BEL)
[13] Nada Abbas (EGY) v Lucy Turmel (ENG)
Ineta Mackevica (LAT) v [6] Joelle King (NZL)
[8] Salma Hany (EGY) v Melissa Alves (FRA)
Hana Ramadan (EGY) v [14] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[11] Nadine Shahin (EGY) v Danielle Letourneau (CAN)
Enora Villard (FRA) v [4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG) v Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v [7] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[5] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Emilia Soini (FIN)
Haley Mendez (USA) v [12] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
[15] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) v [2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)


 


 

 

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