British Open  Hull (SquashSite Page)

Semi-Finals                                                      EGYPTIAN PHOTO GALLERY


[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-2 [1] Nour El Sherbini  5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (63m)
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-1 [6] Nicol David (Mas)  11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7 (56m)

[4] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-1 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy     11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (75m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [5] Ramy Ashour                           11-9 retired (20m)


[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-2 [1] Nour El Sherbini  5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (63m)

PSA Reports
Englandís No.1 Laura Massaro will appear in the final of the iconic Allam British Open for the fourth time after she mounted a stunning comeback against defending champion Nour El Sherbini to send the home fans into raptures.

Massaro, the 2013 British Open champion, looked to be heading out after an imperious start from El Sherbini saw the World No.1 go two games ahead inside 20 minutes. But Massaro, drawing on the energy of a passionate home crowd, dug in resiliently and swung the momentum of the match on itís head to come through in five and move to within one win of the iconic title.

Current World Champion El Sherbini, who last year became the first female Egyptian to lift the sportís oldest and most distinguished title, had been virtually untroubled up to this stage after claiming comfortable wins over Line Hansen, Annie Au and Emily Whitlock.

Englandís No.1 Massaro, meanwhile, claimed an impressive win over World No.3 Raneem El Welily to reach the last four and the 33-year-old had a 5-3 lead over El Sherbini on their head-to-head record Ė despite her defeat to the Egyptian in the final of last yearís PSA Womenís World Championship.

El Sherbini started strongly, driving powerfully and dominating the middle of the court as she took a two-game lead inside 20 minutes.

But Massaro began to feather in some delicate drops into the front, bringing El Sherbini further up the court and taking advantage of the available space as she began to dominate the match, with a packed crowd getting behind the Lancastrian as she closed out the victory by an 5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 scoreline.

I felt I just needed to be positive myself, but do it in a way that was from the right position. In those first two games, I was trying to play from behind her a little bit and in the last three games I tried to play in front of her.

When Iím moving well, Iím playing well. Against the Egyptians, you canít be at full stretch trying to touch drops in or mix around at the front. Theyíre too nifty around the front, I can normally tell if Iím playing well if my lobs are going well.

I felt a bit nervous when I came on in the fifth, my legs felt a bit wobbly. I had a split second thought of whether it was tiredness or nerves. At that point, I thought Iím back in with a chance now as the tables turned, youíve got nothing to lose at 2-1 or 2-0 down.

I really wanted to do well this week, especially being at home. There was a lot of pressure on me going into that fifth. They say that the home crowd helps and when youíre down at the end there, it definitely does.

[4] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-1 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy     11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (75m)

PSA Reports
World No.4 Nick Matthew ensured a historic day for English squash after he joined compatriots Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry in tomorrowís finals courtesy of a superb 3-1 win over World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy Ė marking the first time since 1953 that England have provided three finalists across both the Menís and Womenís games.

Matthew hadnít beaten ElShorbagy in a best-of-five match since the 36-year-old became the oldest World Series title winner of all time at the 2015 Windy City Open, but he put in a sublime display to limit the Bristol-based Egyptianís hard-hitting style.

The Yorkshireman fought back from 8-6 and 7-3 down in the opening two games to go 2-0 up, before ElShorbagy Ė sporting a swollen eye after his quarter-final battle with World No.8 Ali Farag Ė finally managed to gain some semblance of control in the third as he edged it for the loss of eight points.

But the English veteran Ė roared on by his home crowd Ė found his way back on top in the fourth and a delicate backhand drop at match ball saw ĎThe Wolfí complete the victory to earn his place in the final for the first time since 2014.

ElShorbagyís defeat means the 26-year-old will lose his World No.1 spot in next monthís rankings Ė with either World No.3 Gregory Gaultier or World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad set to overtake him. Gaultier must lift the title to become the oldest World No.1 of all-time, while Gawad will take top spot if Matthew beats Gaultier in tomorrowís final.

I was trying not to let the adrenaline get to me, I could feel my heart beating through my head knowing the crowd were cheering. You can get so pumped, you can become over aroused. I knew I needed to have aggression in my game against him. There was a patch in that second game where he just got on top, it was like a boxer being on the ropes.

I was conscious about getting into the middle of the ring, if you were, and trading blows. I didnít want to just go for the big ĎHayemakersí and I really wanted to plot my way around him.

I felt him wavering at the end which gave me belief. Never mind the World Rankings, Iím the World No.1 for my age. The peak is about five years ago, but me and Greg are trying to rip up that rulebook, we are always exchanging text messages saying stuff like Ďthere is still life in the old dogí.

Iíve not been in many World Series finals recently. I know what I need to be doing, but itís not always as easy as that. Once you get to a certain age you know what it looks like, but in many ways that makes it harder to implement.

[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [5] Ramy Ashour                           11-9 retired (20m)

Ramy gives it back to Greg

Fram Reports
You all believe that Ramy is injured, but in fact, he is just giving back the Free Pass to the Final Greg gave him for the Worlds in Wadi Degla back in December.

Yes, of course I'm kidding.

I have to find reasons to smile. Because right now, I know that Ramy doesn't need people looking at him with pity. He is the first one to always state "Elhamdoulillah" after very hit life seem to take a malignant pleasure bringing onto him.

So, let's smile people. And let Ramy handle his life/injury/calvary/crossToBear the way he wishes to: like the fighter he is.

The last match we played was here last year and we had an unbelievable five games.
I expected that we were going to have that kind of match today, but when I saw him warming up he was doing a lot of stretches and I could see that he was maybe getting ready.

But I could see in the first game, in the first few points, he was struggling a little bit and he was going for quick points. I just hope itís not too bad because heís been struggling for a while now and hopefully he can play next week in El Gouna.


[1] Nour El Sherbini
3-0 [13] Emily Whitlock (Eng)                        11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)
[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [3] Raneem El Welily            11-3, 13-15, 11-6, 11-6 (47m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-2 [7] Ali Farag               11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (82m)
[4] Nick Matthew (Eng)  3-2 [8] Tarek Momen          11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (82m)
[5] Ramy Ashour 3-2 Mohamed Abouelghar              10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (64m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 [13] Emily Whitlock (Eng)           11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini continued the defence of her Allam British Open title with a comprehensive straight games victory over Emily Whitlock in Hullís Airco Arena to seal her semi-final berth.

El Sherbini Ė who last year became the first Egyptian female ever to win the iconic title Ė had beaten Line Hansen and Annie Au to set up the quarter-final tie with English No.4 Whitlock, who had reached the last eight at a World Series event for the first time in her career after an impressive scalp over compatriot and former World No.3 Alison Waters.

But El Sherbini Ė who beat fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar in last yearís final Ė was too hot to handle for Whitlock, forcing her into several mistakes as she raced a game ahead in just seven minutes.

Another seven minutes passed and the World Champion continued to put Whitlock to the sword, taking a 2-0 lead having dropped just seven points in total.

Blink and you would have missed the third as 21-year-old El Sherbini took the final game 11-4 to book her place in the semi-finals and move one step closer to retaining her title.

Iím definitely happy, I was playing well and all my shots were good.

I was really focused from the start of match, I didnít want to go into her game because she always slows the pace and loves to drop, so I wanted to play with my game more. I think it worked, so I am happy.

Itís good to be fresh and ready for tomorrow, but sometimes itís better to stay on court. I think Iíll look at it [the short match] as an advantage. I just need to be ready for tomorrow, so Iíve saved some energy.

We get used to upsets now, every tournament there is upsets, so Iím not surprised anymore because anyone can beat anyone now. The game is getting harder and challenging. I wasnít thinking about whether sheíd beat Alison, I was just focusing on my game.

[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [3] Raneem El Welily          11-3, 13-15, 11-6, 11-6 (47m)

World No.5 Laura Massaro gave her home fans at Hullís Airco Arena plenty to cheer about after the 2013 champion took a step closer to the final after a strong performance against World No.3 Raneem El Welily.

Massaro, who last year bowed out at the quarter-final stage, led the head-to-head record between the two by 16 wins to El Welilyís nine and the Lancastrian began brightly in a first-game blitz, taking the ball early and volleying prolifically to go one game up for the loss of 3 points.

The 33-year-old kept her onslaught up at the beginning of the second, moving into a 6-3 lead, but El Welily stepped up the court to take the ball on the volley with more regularity, and the approach saw the Alexandrian reel Massaro back in to force a tie-break.

Both players squandered two game balls in a tense ending to the game, before El Welily finally converted at the third attempt to draw level.

The duo hit their corners well in the third until Massaro pulled away from 5-5 to restore her lead and, smelling the scent of victory amidst some terrific boasting in the fourth, she pressed on to close out an 11-3, 13-15, 11-6, 11-6 triumph Ė which will see her lock horns with 2016 winner Nour El Sherbini in a repeat of last yearís PSA Womenís World Championship final.

My plan against Raneem is always just to work hard and try not give her too many angles.

We know each otherís games so much, itís almost like trying to second guess each other in a way. Itís just about going on there, moving well, picking up well and hitting the ball well. Then you can genuinely go on against anyone who is top four in the world and see how the game progresses and pans out and whoever plays the best on the day will come out on top.

I was pretty livid after the second, [husband and coach] Danny [Massaro] and DP [coach David Pearson] were trying to calm me down. I forgot that I was up so much in the second, but I knew I definitely had a couple of game balls. I was really angry with myself because, playing a player of that level, you just canít let leads slip.

It was a big quarter-final. It always feels like a big match when you play Raneem, it definitely felt bigger than a quarter-final.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-2 [7] Ali Farag               11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (82m)

Mohamed's head is up and back on the job

We are not going to dwell on the past three matches between Mohamed and Ali. Suffice to say that once, Ali surprised Mohamed in Detroit on a traditional court, followed by a match in the quarters of Al-Ahram where a controversial pickup made the headlines, leading to a ďrevenge matchĒ in the Worlds in Cairo back in December Ė Mohamed wining that match but with so much testosterone and anger he was basically flat for his next match, the semis against Gawad.

Since, both made peace Ė as it should be. Itís all a question of respect, and accepting that some days, you can be not good enough and accepting defeat as gracefully as possible, as the next match will/should/could have another outcome. Or as the English say ďupwards and onwardsĒ.

Today, Mohamed was back at his best: intense but not over the top, focused but not angry nor revengeful. Every point was not followed by a huge Yalllllla or/and with a fist pump directed at his camp.

No. Just solid, fast and intense squash from the World number one, that dominated the first game with his power and hard hitting really, 6/4, 8/4, 95, and despite a few uncharacteristic errors, Mohamed takes the first game 11/8 in 15m Ė hard work Ė and it looks like Ali is not able to find any really solutions.

But Ali is one of those players that can absorb and transform their opponentís power to their own advantage. And thatís what he did beautifully in the 2nd, close up to 6/6, finally forcing Mohamed to play at his own pace, mid pace, up 9/7 for Ali, Mohamed 9/9, and two great length, 11/9 in 17m.

And about the same scenario in the 3rd, close up to 7/8, then 10/7 Ali as he is absorbing and reading Mohamedís game so beautifully, 11/8, 16m.

Incredibly, Ali picks up where he left off, with the confidence that comes from having beaten your opponent two out of three last encounters: 8/4, 9/5. The world number 1 seems like he is giving up after playing 5 tins in no time.

But Basma is sending him a subliminal message: Raise your head, you are a champion. And it works. Ali just relaxes for a split second, and finds himself game ball down, 10/9!

A few decisions at this point, but squash is played in good spirit. Mohamedís length is impeccable, Ali is getting very little to work with and on his second game ball, he takes the 16m game, 12/10.

If Ali starts well the 5th, Mohamed is now believing again he can do it, and has found the same intensity and ferocious hitting he had in the 1st. Ali is now unable to contain the Alexandria Champ, and from 5/5, Mohamed is soaring high, very high, scoring the following 6 points, playing that same squash that led him to lead the World for the past two yearsÖ.

I felt like Iím kind of having a bad period this season, but I feel like this period is turning out to be one of the greatest periods of my life.

At 9-4 down, I felt like I was giving up a little bit, then I looked at my mother and she gave me a look which told me not to go down like that and that it wasnít the kind of body language you go out on court with.

So I thought, ok Iíll fight, whether I lose or whether I win, I wanted to go out with no regrets. Of course thatís not the reason why I won from 2-1 down and 9-4 down, he had to help me little bit of course.

He lost a little bit of focus maybe because he thought I gave up with my body language. All of a sudden I changed gear, pushed myself and started fighting again. It can sometimes mess with your opponentís head.

It was one of the best times Iíve seen him play and it was by far the best match I have played this season.

We were congratulating each other on playing a great match. I thought it was played in great spirit, we might have had our issues in the past, but because of how much we pushed each other, it made us have so much respect for each other at the end of the match.

When we were shaking hands, we were both looking at each other knowing that weíd pushed each other point by point. We were both thinking the same way, that this is the way weíre going to kill each other for the rest of our careers.

For me, the rankings donít matter, theyíre far from my mind right now. Iíve been World number 1 for the last 28 months, whether I lose it or keep it, Iíve lived every single second of it and enjoyed every single second of it.

If I keep it for longer, itís a bonus, if I donít, Iíve already done it. For me, this is not about keeping the ranking, not about winning the British Open, itís about playing like a winner and thatís what Iíve been doing since I played that fifth game against Dessouky.

[4] Nick Matthew (Eng)  3-2 [8] Tarek Momen          11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (82m)

Tarek doesnít believe, Nick doesÖ.
Fram Reports
Funny how you sometimes get an epiphany after wondering for years why a player just clips the tin at the same moment of each game/match he/she plays. The common explanation is ďhe/she is going for too much because his/her opponent is retrieving so well. Yes. Thatís what I wrote again and again.

But what if in the case of Tarek in particular Ė as I happen to know the boy since like forever Ė it was actually a question of doubting himself and his squash, more than actually what his opponent does or doesnít do?

Tarek is one of those terribly gifted player Ė like his wife Ė that happen to clip the tin, again and again and again at crucial times. Why would he go for that shot at that time, when a simpler shot would have suffice as the work had been done and the set up leading to a winner? Because Tarek just doesnít believe his squash is good enough. I know, he doesnít believe me. But I truly believe I am right on this oneÖ.

Anyway, moving on, with The Alien Nick Matthew still raging and kicking and taking no prisoner. Nickís relentlessness gets into his opponents mind, under their skin. And they really feel helpless, that there is not solution, that they wonít be able to kill him off. And you know what? They are right. Very few people on his earth have managed to do so!

Helped with a few tins from Tarek at crucial times, 9/6 (3 in a row), Nick zooms and takes the 14m opener, 11/9. Good response from Tarek, daring more attacking with more margins, 4/1, then very close 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. Nick sees his game ball disappear when a let is overturned as no let, followed by another no let and a tin, 12/10 for the Egyptian.

Nick is back in complete control in the 3rd, 3/1, 6/3, 9/5, tin, tin, 11/6 Nick, only to see the Egyptian taking the English by the throat and not letting go 7/2, 8/3, tin tin tin bless him, 11/7, to get to a decider.

And in comes The Alien again, out of nowhere in the 5th, fresh as an English Rose, 6/1, 8/4, 11/6 in 13m. Incredible accuracy, tightness, donít start me on his lob. And if some people thought that Nick was not at his best in this game, well, I dread to see what he is going to do when he is on his game!!!!

It was like a rollercoaster, heís that type of player youíve got to stay consistent against because heís going to have his periods where he plays incredible and then makes mistakes,Ē revealed Matthew.

I saw Lauraís game earlier and I was inspired by her getting through. The crowd were great supporting her, but I didnít give them that much to cheer about in terms of my positive play. Hopefully Iíll get a bit more of that tomorrow with them right behind me.

I just focus on my own stuff and let that take care of itself. Obviously weíre very proud to represent England, but every time I step on court Iím representing myself, my family, my club, my city, Yorkshire, England and everything else.

I heard Charlotte crying when I was 8-5 up and getting a bit tense, but it really relaxed me for the last few points. It made me remember life is more important than a game of squash. I was chasing after her for my warm down, sheís a character and sheís brilliant, that sort of stuff is more important than squash.

Good luck to all the guys playing for World No.1, but Iíve literally not given it a second thought, itís nothing to do with me. Iíve had my time there and whoever gets the World No.1 position, at any stage, they always fully deserve it.

It was an amazing feeling walking on court being the World No.1 and if Karim goes for it good luck to him, but Mohamed isnít going to give it away easily. Greg wants to be the oldest number one, which is a bit of sub-plot.

[5] Ramy Ashour 3-2 Mohamed Abouelghar              10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (64m)

Ramy Weathered the NickStormÖ
Fram's Reports

Abou started the match against the Artist exactly where he left affairs off yesterday.

Playing sublime winners, Abou just couldnít put a racquet wrong. Pushing and turning Ramy in the four corner, he didnít mind the good lengths and the deep crosscourt the former World Champ kept throwing at him. A bit like against Gawad in the worlds, Ramy was outplayed for the first two games, although the first game was truly close 2/2 , 4/4, 6/6, 7/7, a little edge for Abou, 9/7, 9/9 says Ramy, 10/9, a rare tin offers Ramy a life line, 10/10

Abou finds a winner than a first dive from Ramy canít save Ė bad news when the Artist starts throwing himself all over the place, as he tries and protect his bionic leg Ė and a tin give Abou a 13m first game.

The second is dominated more frankly by the Zamalek Player from 5/5, number of unforced errors steady for both players, 3 each in that game. But Ramy making the error as he set up an ďeasyĒ winner to close up the rallies he worked so hard to set up. Frustrated, the Artist canít do anything to stop the Magical Touch from Abou to go 2/0, 11m, 11/7.

The third is even more worrying for the Ashour Fans, as from 5/3 up, Ramy tins 3 shots in a row, Abou truly magnificent, up 7/5, and 9/6. But two errors at that point offer a bit of oxygen tent to Ramy, when from 9/9 finds two winners, 11/9, 13m.

The fourth is a bit of a game Ramy used to play when he would atomise his opponents: out of the blue, the Artist finds winners all over the place: accurate, incisive, tight squash and quick rallies, he forces 6 errors out of Abouís raquet, 11/5.

The 5th sees a Ramy as fresh as out of bed really. Springing all over the court, he zooms up to 6/2. Abou claws in, and shoots a few superb winners again, 4/6, 5/7. But Ramy is too fresh physically while Abou is tinning the shots that used to find the nicks, and itís the end of the NickStorm, 11/5.

Ramy is in the semis of the BO, like last year, against Gregory GaultierÖ

Iím just going through the match in my head right now, it was a very interesting match, it went back and forth, I cannot stress enough how AMAZING he played. He wasnít just playing like any normal day, he wasnít playing like any normal player, he was playing extraordinary.

I was a bit sleepy and lazy, but when I watched what he was doing closely I started to understand what he was doing then I could capitalise. I had a plan and a couple of strategies and one of them worked.

He was slamming every ball in the nick, it takes a lot for someone to take me out of my rhythm and my momentum. He did that in the first two games because first of all he was playing amazing but I wasnít on it mentally, I didnít have that explosive edge.

There was a lot of tactics happening out there, there was a lot of different strategies that I used and I had to pay attention carefully and closely to what he was doing.

I knew what to expect from him but thatís not normal, thatís not every day squash. He canít play like that every time, eventually when you play like that you run out of nicks and deceptions. He was very close to winning, I had to do something. Iím glad I played smartly rather than spontaneous or impulsive, I wanted to keep hitting the ball and running around but that wasnít the right strategy.

Itís such a tough sport, we say this all the time, but we have to keep saying it, the amount of mental effort you do on court, tells a lot about you really. What you do on court. If you count the number of lunges we do on court, in the four corners, and for each point, each point, that a lot of lunging.

The good thing is that we burn a lot of calories, so we can have a good dinner, and thatís something I likeÖ

Matches like this really motivate me a lot, give me a lot of confidence, and it shows me how I am. I just feel I get more confidence getting through that kind of matches: in my body, in my mental ability.

Squash is a very intriguing sport. A lot of people ask me ďwhat are you thinking about when you are on court?". Iím just thinking about the sport. I think about how hard it is, how much I have to push, and how much I have to be stronger than this.

Sometimes, I just forget that I have somebody with me on court. Itís nothing disrespectful. I just zone out, itís a lot of work! I cannot handle having someone else on court, there is so much happening in my head already, I cannot think about someone elseÖ

Greg never gets any hard games before the semi-finals, he is normally very dominant in the first couple of rounds and it gives him an edge because he is in better body shape.

Everybody wants to win the British Open, it doesnít get bigger than that, Iíll do my best tomorrow, may the better player win, weíll see how it goes.

Obviously Iím not in 100% condition Iíve played a couple of tough matches, Iíll try to recover the best I can and see how it goes tomorrow.

Who Played Who - H2H W

Who Played Who - H2H M

Second Round


Media preview

[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Mayar Hany      11-5, 11-1, 11-9 (29m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Daryl Selby (Eng)       12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (37m)
[3] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [12] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)   11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (27m)
[15] Donna Urquart (Aus) 3-2 [Q] Nada Abbas     8/11, 11/3, 11/8, 6/11, 11/1 (46m)
[2] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 [11] Nour El Tayeb          11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 (54m)

[8] Tarek Momen
3-0 Paul Coll (Nzl)                               11-6, 11-9, 20-18 (62m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 [10] Annie Au (Hkg)                      11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
[7] Ali Farag 3-0 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (Hkg)                            11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (30m)
[5] Ramy Ashour 3-0 Diego Elias (Per)                             11-9, 11-6, 12-10 (42m)Mohamed Abouelghar 3-1 [2] Karim Abdel Gawad     6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 (64m)

[15] Donna Urquart (Aus) 3-2 [Q] Nada Abbas     8/11, 11/3, 11/8, 6/11, 11/1 (46m)

PSA Reports
16-year-old Egyptian qualifier Nada Abbas was prevented from adding to her shock defeat of 2016 runner-up Nouran Gohar in the opening round after a narrow defeat to World No.18 Donna Urquhart to five games in round two.

Urquhart admitted she knew Ďabsolutely nothingí about Abbas after learning that she would be facing her in round two, but Abbas put in a strong display to signal the arrival of another potential Egyptian star.

The encounter was Abbasí first competitive match on the glass court in her burgeoning career and she started from where she left off against Gohar, taking the first game after forcing Urquhart into several errors.

30-year-old Urquhart managed to regain control by taking the second and third, but Abbas Ė who is ranked World No.45 Ė wouldnít go down without a fight and battled back, taking the fourth to set up an intriguing decider in the fifth.

But Urquhartís class and experience showed as she comprehensively took the fifth 11-1 to advance through to the quarter-finals stage for the first time since 2009, where she will meet World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry.

Speaking after her victory, Urquhart said: ďI know now sheís a tough little competitor, her style is to try and hit it really hard and she likes that fast pace.

I needed to try and control the pace, slow it down, mix it up a bit more and not get sucked into playing that hard, fast pace which suited her more.

There was a little doubt in my mind because anything can happen in a fifth game, especially because I felt like I wasnít playing well at that point so I was a bit
worried. I knew I could improve a lot from the fourth game, I knew I was better than that and I guess it really went my way in the fifth.

Maybe my experience came into it at the end there, I donít know if she was nervous in that fifth game so maybe my experience helped me get over the line today.

ďI never felt nervous, even given the fact she had beaten the World No.4, Gohar. I know it was completely different conditions at the [University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre] to today. I didnít go into today with any nerves I just went out and played my game.

[2] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-1 [11] Nour El Tayeb          11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 (54m)

Steve Cubbins reports
The Frenchwoman started well, leading 5-1, but had to fight back from 5-7 to take the lead. She closed out a tight second, but Tayeb came out strongly to reduce the deficit.

Serme led through most of the fourth, but at 9-8 a conduct stroke was given to Tayeb, after her crosscourt from the back had hit Sermeís racket.

Rewind: in the third game Tayeb had smacked Serme on the leg from the back of the court. A stroke was awarded but Tayeb insisted a let be played.

At the end of the fourth the referee siad it had to be a stroke to Tayeb, or a conduct stroke against her because she had ďplayed acrossĒ her opponent. He opted for the latter, and the score was 10-8 match ball rather than 9-all.

Tayeb saved one, but Serme took the second on a stroke. The players stayed on court talking for a while after, no doubt discussing the Ďincidentí.

2015 champion Camille Serme overcame World No.13 Nour El Tayeb despite a contentious end to their second round match in Hullís Airco Arena.

Serme was 2-1 up and 9-8 up in the fourth, when a cross-court effort from El Tayeb struck Sermeís racket Ė resulting in a controversial conduct stroke being awarded against the Egyptian player to hand Serme match ball.

World No.2 Serme then converted at the second attempt to set up a quarter-final meeting with five-time winner Nicol David Ė a player who Serme has never beaten in 15 attempts.

To be honest Iím relieved to be through. Iím not really sure what happened on court [at the end], I need to see the match again to really see what happened. She came to me and asked why I didnít offer a let like she did [earlier on in the match].

But it was a different situation, to be honest, I think that she gave that let because she was 7-3 up, and it is easier to give a let when youíre winning, rather than 9-8 in the fourth.

Iím very happy to be through, but I donít know how I managed to get that win. I was trying to get in front of her and play a bit faster, she responded well to playing even tighter, so I couldnít volley anymore.

ďIíve never beaten Nicol. To be honest, I knew I had a tough draw, I didnít want to look any further than this second round. Iím going to enjoy it and be more relaxed on court, Iím very much ready to get that first win over Nicol.

[5] Ramy Ashour 3-0 Diego Elias (Per)                          11-9, 11-6, 12-10 (42m)

Ramy Focused and Relentless
Fram reports
If in Chicago, Ramy appeared troubled and not as fit as he would have liked, in Hull, the brain and the body seem in check.

Having trimmed down and tactically spot on, Ramy put his opponent through the Egyptian Mill, but Diego replied shot for shot and helped Ramy to check if his body was in running Ė literally Ė order!!!

First game, rallies are long and intense. Ramy is patient, so is Diego, 2/2, 3/3, a great succession of winners for the Peruvian, and itís /63 for Diego. Back to 6/6, 8/8 Ė thanks to a few errors from Diego (4 against 3 for Ramy). Ramy takes the opener in 13m, 11/9 on his second game ball.

Second is dominated by the Egyptian, 5/2, 7/4, 9/5, 11/6 but more errors from Ramy, 4, only 3 for Diego, but a superb ďShabana-likeĒ tactic for Ramy, deep, relentless, not going for too much but still keeping the pressure. Not flashy as he was about 4, 5 years ago. Just solid, intense and gruelling. 11/6 in 10m.

The third, Ramy shows signs of tiredness Ė I know, thatís not usual Ė but it could only be lack of match fitness. Diego smells blood and truly show the lights of the shining star heís soon going to be, pushing Ramy to the core, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8. 10/8 game ball for Peru, but out of nowhere, The Artist soars on court, dispatching winner after winner and itís 12/10 Ramy in 15m.

Best news for Ramyís supporters: not a stretch. Not a dive. Thatís good. Very good.

Media previewItís good to be back playing the British Open, itís a lot of pressure, itís a big tournament, everybody wants to win it. Iím just glad to be around.

I played Chicago two weeks ago, I lost against Rosner in the first round, but I was happy with my performance. Today, I had reached the second round, this is progressÖ

I came out today knowing he was going to come out firing without any pressure. He really played well. He pushed me all over the court and was on top of me in the last game and if I was not moving well, I wouldnít have been able to play like I did.

I didnít want this one to go to four or five, so I had to squeeze everything out to get those last couple of points.

Trouble when you are injured is that only one part of your body is injured, not the other parts. So I try and keep my body moving. Itís mentally very challenging of course. You have to stay focus. The worst part for me when I get injured is the weight. I love food, I love Nutella, I love desserts. Thatís the hardest part.

On top of that, there is a mental discipline how, when you are injured, can you do everything right and stay disciplined when you are injured. And I guess I succeed at that part, I really contain myself, and I have to succeed, otherwise, I would go nuts.

When I get injured, I play with my left hand a lot, I spend a lot of time on court, itís good to have a good relationship with the court, with the four corners, staying and spending a lot of time on the court. Thatís where I feel the most relaxed, the most ďmyselfĒ, when Iím playing, when Iím fighting, when Iím thinking, am I going to be able to come back. There are only so many years I can be on court: Iíll have to find another court outside this court to be good atÖ

Last year, all the way to the final, the matches were tough on my body. That gives me a lot of confidence because my body can handle more than I think.

Iím trying to step it up, I just want to be like the other players, I want to play every tournament. I want to get to that level, but I donít want to be stupid about it by keep playing tournaments not knowing the limits of my body.

Itís about finding the right balance, it takes time and youíve got to be smart. It takes a lot of trial and error, so the aim for me now is to just stay in the game. Itís an amazing sport, I just want to be a part of it.

Too much pressure for Gawad
Fram reports
I often quote James Willstrop "Squash is such a mental game it's a joke". And never more than tonight, we've seen the damage/power that mind can play on players minds.

Karim was not the Karim we know tonight. That boy who is normally more laid back than a whole town of Australians was tense as a violin cord. Disputing decisions, showing signs of frustration, that's not the Karim we've seen time and time again under tremendous pressure.

Why? Number 1 spot, that's why. Had he won the match, Karim would have dethroned Mighty Shorbagy - who gets to live another month and probably more as number 1. And I truly do not believe Karim was ready for it. Willing yes. Ready mentally to be at the top and having every single player on the planet gluing a dart board on his back? I don't think so.

Karim has come up the rankings slowly, but surely. We all knew how good he was, for years - a bit like Abou really - but his fitness was not up to the top rankings. world Champ? Fine. Beating Mohamed twice in a row, and Ramy in the final of the World. OK. But world number 1? "Do I deserve it?" "Am I good enough". "Can I take the pressure?"

Now, let's put things back into perspective. Karim's body has not been at his best for a few months now, and the World Champ has been running on fumes for a long time. Add to that a very heavy cold/flew, and you are a Karim not at his best, but with a golden racquet and magical tactics.

In front of him, Mr Tin Abouelghar. Joke, absolutely ridiculous skills, squashwise but a magnet attraction for the Tin, making him lose so many matches he should/could have won. times and times again. And the knowledge that last time those two played, Abou only lost 11/9 in the 5th, that was in the WD World in Cairo, back in December 2016.

Tonight, Abou was in the "RIDICULOUS OUTRAGEOUS SKILLS" mode. He atomised Karim from the second game on, going for his shots that normally end in the tin, and today died in the nick, again, and again, and again. He also hit extremely hard, taking time away from a Karim that was a bit on the weak side physically, preventing the World Champ to take his breath back, varying angles, power, height.. Incredible performance. At all level.

Karim was on the back foot from the second onwards, while Abou not only was on the war path, but as good as he ever was, as good as we always knew he could be.

Incredible, astonishing match from Abou, who finally, finally reaches the level of squash he deserves. The level of squash WE deserve from him. Such a gift. SUCH A GIFT.

Do. Not. Spoil it. Ever. Again.

We train day in, day out for four hours a day, weíre sharing a room this week and weíre best friends.

I try to maintain my game, if Iím going for winners Iíll just keep going, if itís not coming off and I keep hitting the tin, I have to change my plan, but luckily today it worked.

I know it was a very big deal for Karim, if heíd have won heíd have become the World No.1 and I think that relaxed me a lot. I had nothing to lose, I just wanted to go out, enjoy my squash and prove something for myself.

It was mixed feelings for me. I really wanted him to become World No.1 because I know how hard he works, but on the other side I wanted to win. I was thinking about that before the match, but as soon as I went in, I didnít think about anything other than winning.

I believe in myself, but I am playing against the very top guys. I have no pressure and Iím enjoying my squash.

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 [10] Annie Au (Hkg)      11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)

PSA Reports
World No.1 and defending champion Nour El Sherbini cruised through to the quarter-finals of the 2017 Allam British Open with a comfortable straight games victory over Hong Kongís Annie Au. World No.12 Au had no reply to El Sherbiniís dominance as the 21-year-old displayed an impressive array of long and short shots, which cut out the tireless work of a determined Au.

The match lasted just 25 minutes as El Sherbini raced into a 2-0 lead, despite a mini-comeback from Au late in the second, but the number one seed finished off the match with consummate ease by powering to victory in the third game.

The Egyptian goes on to face Englandís Emily Whitlock Ė who scalped former World No.3 Alison Waters Ė and will no doubt be looking to upset the home crowd as she bids to continue her march towards a second successive British Open crown.

It doesnít always look as comfortable from outside the court, but I feel like I was playing well. I was ahead of her the whole match and thatís given me the win in the end. Maybe in the middle I lost some concentration, when I have a big lead then Iíd lose a few points, but I played better than yesterday [against Line Hansen] so thatís good for me.

I didnít watch Emily's match but I was surprised that she won, that is a good win for her and itís the first time sheís got past the second round and she definitely deserved it. We grew up together in the juniors, but we never played each other, I think weíve only played once on the PSA World Tour about four years ago. Itís weird that we never practise or trained together so Iím excited for the match.

Iím doing my best to retain my British Open Title, Iím just focusing on every match and once I finish it, I go through it step by step. I think thatís better for me, I want to win this title as I havenít won a title so far this year, so I am going to do my best.

[5] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Mayar Hany      11-5, 11-1, 11-9 (29m)

PSA Reports
2013 British Open champion Laura Massaro booked her place in the quarter-finals of the sportís longest-running tournament for an eighth successive year after beating 20-year-old qualifier Mayar Hany in straight games in round two.

World No.33 Hany went into the match full of confidence after upsetting the odds in the opening round by knocking out World No.11 Joelle King, and the Egyptian started brightly as she quickly established a 4-1 lead.

But she wasnít ahead for long, with World No.5 Massaro finding her rhythm and taking the first in the process, before blitzing into a 10-0 lead in the second, eventually winning it 11-1.

Hany battled well in third and threatened to mount a comeback, but made a few too many errors to prevent Massaro from wrapping up the win in three games.

She came out quite attacking and it took me a few rallies to calm things down a little bit. I needed to get some longer rallies into the game, she gave me a few errors to help me get momentum in the first. In the second I just tried to get on the volley, take the ball early and just keep the pace really high.

I was breathing heavy at the end, so she must have been. She didnít come off court after the second, so I thought she was going to be firing on all cylinders, and fair play to her she changed the plan a little bit.

She started staying in the rallies with me a little bit longer. Itís what youíd expect when youíve beaten someone 11-1, they arenít just going to keep doing the same thing. I was proud of myself for coming through that in the end.

Itís really nice to play in front of a home crowd, it really does pick you up. We get that against us everywhere we play in the world, so itís nice to have that on our side and hopefully the crowd can really get into the quarter-finals.

[3] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [12] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)   11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (27m)

Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily earned her place in the last eight courtesy of a win in three games against Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa.

The pair traded points in a series of short rallies, with El Welily having the better in all three games as she hit some sumptuous winners to claim her fifth win in six matches against Chinappa Ė whose sole victory came in a first round upset in the 2015 Qatar Classic.

El Welily is now three wins away from claiming a share of the lucrative $150,000 prize purse, which is equal to that on offer in the Menís event for the first time in the tournamentís distinguished history.

Equal prize money is great for the sport. This is one of the few sports to do that and Iím proud to be part of such a great organisation. As a female player, I couldnít be more pleased.

Iím in a place where I think so much about my game and Iíve been talking a lot lately with my coaches and have had a lot to work on.

Thatís helped me mentally and it keeps me motivated to try and apply what Iíve been working on instead of just walking onto court and then starting to think about my game.Ē

[8] Tarek Momen 3-0 Paul Coll (Nzl)     11-6, 11-9, 20-18 (62m)

Fram Reports

What a pleasure to see Tarek at the top of his game against a player he has a few bad memories with! Even if he won in Qatar against Paul, 17/15 in the 5th, it was a painful match, that cost him to lose the next one, against Grťgoire Marche again in a 5 setter over 90m.

You add to that another painful loss in the Channel Val final back in December, and you have a mentally nervous Egyptian.

Tarek played superb squash truly today. He took the weapons Ė physical Ė out of Paulís racquet, accepted to play at times some very long, gruelling, mid pace, rallies, to then push the incredible New Zealander into fast pace battles, wrong footing him again and again with his trademark backhand volley flick that Paul just couldnít read today.

If the match looked ďwonĒ as the Egyptian came back from 6-0 and 7/2 down to take the second 11/9, leading 2/0, it got more complicated in the 3rd!

Nothing between the players up to 5/5, Paul playing some sublime fast reflex squash, 9/6, 10/7. Cut a very very very long story short Ė 31m 3rd game Ė Paul had 8 game balls, but itís finally, finally Tarek that clinches his 4th match ball, 20/18.

Raneem was calm, composed throughout, and never in doubt.

I canít call that a 3/0 victory, the last game alone was two games and a half! I didnít think it was going to end, but Iíve had experience with those types of games against Paul.

It seems like every time I play Paul, thatís the situation! I remember the first time we played in Qatar, 17/15 in the 5th, over a hundred minutes, it was ridiculous. And all the way through the 3rd game, I was only thinking about that match, and how it was just a replica of that matchÖ

I felt I was more disciplined throughout the whole match, and, then, towards the end, when you see the finish line, you just want to end it, and I sort of change my game, I was more opened to play any shot, I think I made a few errors as well, some really good winners.

He seemed to get better and better every minute, and I was keen on finishing it in three games, otherwise he would have come back in the 4th, and play better and better, and who knows what might have happened. So I was so glad to finish it in three games.

Iím a kind of a random person. As a kid, I used to struggle a bit physically, I was much weaker than the other kids, and I used to use my flicks to my advantage, and I wasnít that good at my basic game. So I had to make up for it with my short game: thatís how I built up my game. As a senior, I had to develop my basic game, of course, but my short game is still predominantÖ

I knew what to expect and it was very important I won the third. Paul has been a rising star on the PSA World Tour and heís become the person to beat because heís physically unbelievable. Heís so fit, his reach is ridiculous he gets to every ball and now he has a really good touch to the front corners and a very good basic game.

So you have to play really, really well to beat him. I was pleased with how I played throughout the whole match.

[On Matthew vs Rosner] Every player in the top 20 is hard to crack, obviously theyíre a bit different, theyíre not as fast as these guys but have so much experience and skills on the court. It will be a difficult game but I am looking forward to it.

[7] Ali Farag 3-0 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (Hkg)            11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (30m)


Bit of a weird one that was between Ali Farag Ė who has realised he can hit the ball hard, Elhamdulillah, and Hong Kong strong coming up player, Tsz Fung Yip.

First game, pretty tight, good run for both, mid pace with Ali attacking nicely, but Yip keeping in sight. But when he came back, basically, nobody showed up on court! Ali manoeuvred him completely, always in front of him, dispatching the shots as Easter Bunny with Chocolate, and Yip, very passive, looking like injured or just outplayed.

And Ali picked up where he left in the 3rd, 6/0, 7/1, to slightly relax and let the Hong Kong player put his foot in the door. That was enough. We suddenly had a match on our hands, great rallies out of nowhere, Ali under pressure, and Yip playing finally the squash we know he can play!

A very close finish, 8/8, 9/9, with Yip clipping his shot at 9/9, Ali only too happy to finish Ė with a superb neverending rally, stunning squash on match ball Ė 11/9 AliÖ

He didnít go down without a fight, especially in the first, I think he was dominating most of it. I never really settled in that first, he holds the ball very well, I was struggling to get my ball deep in the back, and trying to attack, and dominate the T area, trying to volley, I was always on my toes. But I managed to stay with him, he gave me a few errors, for which Iím very grateful for.

Nour told me between games  to try and stay as sharp as possible, not to hit the shots randomly, to try and reach the corners, and it worked in the 2nd.

In the third, it worked up to 7/1 or something, then I relaxed a little bit, and he is not a person you want to do that against.

Iím just very happy to win, I think a shift of momentum could have happened if heíd have won that first game. He definitely played the better squash, but I just stayed with him and thankfully squeezed three errors out of him in the last few points so the first game made a big difference.

He is very hard to read, most of the Asian players move very well and itís hard to get them out of phase, they have good rhythmic movement. He also moves the ball around very well, he holds the ball from everywhere, the front and the back, so I could never really settle on the íTí which made it difficult for me throughout the match.

Every tournament I come to I try to win it, there isnít a reason to come if I donít want to win it. Obviously, I take it match by match, game by game and point by point. I put my best into every point as if it was the last point of the match and hopefully it will pay off.

I have loved it here since I was very young. I know it is clichť, but the British Open is the most prestigious tournament. Itís a dream for anyone to play in it.
Iíve only came to this event, once, last year. I managed to reach the quarters as well, and to reach it again is a pleasure. And hopefully, 1, 2, 3 more to goÖ.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-0 Daryl Selby (Eng)       12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (37m)

PSA Reports
World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his efforts to add a third British Open title to his collection after he halted Englishman Daryl Selby Ė avenging his first round defeat to the 34-year-old in Decemberís Channel VAS Championship.

A patient, composed display from Selby saw him repel ElShorbagyís attempts to ramp up the pace, and the World No.15 held two game balls in the opener after a couple of cross court nick attempts from the Egyptian landed on the top of the tin.

But ElShorbagy, who beat compatriot Ramy Ashour in last yearís final, came out on top of some high-quality exchanges at the back end of game one, with some chest-thumping bravado helping him to take four straight points to go ahead.

That seemed to wake the 26-year-old up and he soon doubled his lead for the loss of four points, before Selby finally found a foothold in the match once more to go 3-0 up in the third.

But ElShorbagy moved back up through the gears as the momentum swung back in his favour and he took the match 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 in 37 minutes to reach the last eight.

Thatís the hunger I used to have when I was climbing up the rankings.

When I got to No.1, I wanted to win everything, which I havenít, so I am still hungry. I was pumping myself after every point, I wasnít angry with anyone else just myself, I told Daryl it wasnít about him, it was me. I was happy to see him playing well, thatís nice for him.

I played the way I love to play, aggressive, hard, patient and varying the shots when I needed to. Iím just really happy I did everything I needed to do today.

Everything went perfectly for me, Iím just really happy, it felt more like me, like the way I used to play. I play hard and aggressive, a lot of people misunderstand that and they think that is not a nice way to play the game, but thatís the way I am and the way I play.

21st March - First Round

21st March - First Round

[1] Nour El Sherbini
3-0 Line Hansen (Den)                 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (21m)
[8] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-0 Mariam Metwally              11-5, 7-2 retired (12m)
[Q] Mayar Hany 3-1 [9] Joelle King (Nzl)             7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (42m)
[3] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [WC] Fiona Moverley (Eng)   13-11, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)
[Q] Nada Abbas 3-1 [4] Nouran Gohar              12-10, 14-12, 5-11, 11-8 (45m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) 3-0 [16] Salma Hany Ibrahim            11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (38m)
[11] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 [Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)        11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (18m)
[2] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-0 [Q] Hania El Hammamy     11-9, 12-10, 11-3 (34m)

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy
3-2 Fares Dessouky 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 (93m)
[7] Ali Farag 3-1 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)                        11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 11-1 (54m)
[8] Tarek Momen 3-0 [Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)                        11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (35m)
Max Lee (Hkg) 3-2 [6] Marwan ElShorbagy         5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (61m)
[5] Ramy Ashour 3-0 [Q] Zahed Mohamed                          11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (29m)
Mohamed Abouelghar 3-1 [Q] Charles Sharpes (Eng) 11-3, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6 (41m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Omar Mosaad       13-11, 6-11, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 (72m)

[1] Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Line Hansen (Den)                 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (21m)

Defending champion Nour El Sherbini began her 2017 Allam British Open campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Pregnant Denmarkís Line Hansen Ė coming through in just 21 minutes.

El Sherbini looked comfortable as she eased her way into the tournament to set down a marker for the rest of the week.

I feel like Iím playing well and Iím looking forward to seeing how it goes this week.

Winning here last year was very big for me. But Iím trying not to think about being the defending champion Ė Iím trying to just win the title again.

I havenít won a tournament for a while but Iím happy with how Iím playing and Iím pleased to back towards some of my best form.

[Q] Nada Abbas 3-1 [4] Nouran Gohar              12-10, 14-12, 5-11, 11-8 (45m)

Last yearís British Open runner-up Nouran Gohar fell to a shock defeat in the opening round of the 2017 instalment after she succumbed to 16-year-old Egyptian qualifier Nada Abbas.

Abbas, a two-time PSA World Tour title winner, counteracted Goharís trademark hard-hitting style brilliantly, with the World No.45 slowing the pace right down and controlling the ball well at the front of the court.

The opening two games both went to tie-breaks, with both players having two game balls apiece in the second, before Abbas finally converted at the third attempt.

Gohar refocused during the break between games and halved the deficit for the loss of five points in the third, but Abbas continued to put pressure on the World No.4 and she closed out the fourth to claim a win that will send ripples through the Womenís draw.

Itís a great feeling, itís the first time Iíve ever beaten anyone in the top 10, I canít believe it.

I tried to break her game and to not let her play a fast game. I tried to slow things down a little bit and go for shots in the front more.

Thereís no pressure on me, so I want to play my best squash. I want to go as far as I can, if I play like this then I could go to the quarter-finals.

Nada Abbas

Tesni Evans (Wal) 3-0 [16] Salma Hany Ibrahim            11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (38m)

Evans claimed her fourth win in five matches against Egyptís Salma Hany Ibrahim, the player sitting directly below her in the World Rankings.

The pairís last meeting came in Novemberís Wadi Degla Open Ė where Evans prevailed to reach her biggest ever semi-final Ė and the 24-year-old from Rhys continued where she left off there to take an 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 victory in 38 minutes.

I knew it was going to be hard today, but what I did seemed to pay off.

ďIt will be fun to play SJP.... Sheís playing really well at No.8 in the world, obviously sheís playing some of her best squash, so itís going to hard, but Iím looking forward to having a go.

[3] Raneem El Welily 3-0 [WC] Fiona Moverley (Eng)   13-11, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)

PSA Reports
Egyptís Raneem El Welily halted home city hero Fiona Moverley in the first round of the British Open, putting in a sharp display to triumph in less than 30 minutes of play.

The former World No.1 was at her enigmatic best in the first, trading outright winners with needless errors as Moverley gamely stuck in with her to make it as difficult as possible, but the Englishwoman couldnít convert on her opportunities, allowing El Welily to eventually take the first 13-11.

From then on El Welily only got better. Finding her line and length with increased precision she was just too good for the local player and saw it out in style to ease into the second round.

It wasnít the best of starts Ė I felt like I was a bit loose and not as sharp as I wanted to be.

Hopefully I will be stronger next match. The court here is very different from most of the other ones I play on around the world so it took me a while to find the right shots.

[8] Tarek Momen 3-0 [Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)                        11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (35m)

Alan has been playing really well over the past few months. It was a match which I had to be 100 per cent prepared for. I think I handled it quite well today.

I was very focused and I played some of my best squash today. The first two games were very tough, they were very close and I just managed to edge through until the end.

I was happy to build up a good lead in the third and that gave me a confidence boost. From then on, I just kept playing my game and I'm very pleased to get off in three games.

The fresher you are, the better chance you have in the next round.

[7] Ali Farag 3-1 Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)                        11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 11-1 (54m)

PSA Reports
Egyptís Ali Farag ended a two-match losing streak to Australian No.1 Ryan Cuskelly, completing a 3-1 victory to get his 2017 campaign off to a strong start.

The tall Harvard-graduate had lost to Cuskelly in the final of the Motor City Open in January, but went two games ahead after moving Cuskelly around the court skilfully, with the second game seeing the World No.8 drop just one point.

A resurgent Cuskelly found his way into the encounter in the third, taking it 11-9, but Farag went back up through the gears to romp to an 11-1 victory once more in the fourth, setting up a second round clash with Hong Kongís Tsz Fung Yip after his match with Stephen Coppinger was cut short due to a back injury to the latter.

None of the games were easy, despite the scores, the rallies were tough from both of us.

I was just lucky in the second and the fourth to run away with the first few points and I think that gave me the edge to play a little more freely. Iím very happy because the last few times we played, he beat me.

Everyone looks forward to the British Open, itís the second biggest tournament after the World Championship and itís everyoneís dream to win it. I come to every tournament trying to win it and I will try to take it step-by step.

Today was a tough one and tomorrow will be a tough one, nothing is easy, but I will give it my best.

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-2 Fares Dessouky 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 (93m)

PSA Reports
Mohamed ElShorbagy kept alive his hopes of becoming the first man since Jansher Khan to win three consecutive British Opens by narrowly edging his way through a highly charged five-game battle with compatriot Fares Dessouky.

After twice taking game leads ElShorbagy found himself 3-6 down in the decisive fifth and staring at an acrimonious first round exit. But the 24-year-old managed to raise his game and do just enough to come through 11-8 and escape from the clutches of defeat after what had been a highly charged and highly strung affair Ė which called the referee into action time and time again.

With testosterone in the air there was palpable tension between the two, with ElShorbagy at one point calling Dessouki a Ďdrama queení while the younger man looked to have tripped up the World No.1 during one passage of play. But in-between the histrionics the duo put together some spellbinding squash and ElShorbagy could well be boosted by the win Ė with his last World Series win at the U.S. Open beginning in similar circumstances with a get out of jail win over Cesar Salazar.

The Egyptian, now based in Bristol, will hope to keep his winning run going in Hull to win a third straight Open title Ė where his status as World No.1 is also on the line with both Karim Abdel Gawad and Gregory Gaultier in a position to overtake ElShorbagy atop the standings.

Iím not sure I would say I escaped today.

My results of late havenít been good. At 5-3 down in the fifth I looked to the sky and just asked whatís been happening this season. I think since January Iíve been playing better, but Iíve not been getting it right mentally.

Iíve been fighting myself all season. But today I was proud of how I managed to fight until the end. He was very clever and stopped the momentum at times and I had to deal with it, Iím pleased I did.

Iím playing with no expectations right now Ė but if I can be the first player since Jansher to win three in a row Iíd love that. Itís just about getting it right mentally and the fifth I did that.

Iíve been in the final of 11 of 13 World Series events and have been No.1 for 28 months, and I think itís natural for that to catch up on you at some point.

I knew there was going to be a point where my level would drop and the motivation went a little. I think having that when Iím 26 is good for me though because I can learn so much from this and come back stronger Ė Iíve seen Nick, Greg, Sahabana and all those players go through these kind of times so I know I can come out stronger again at the end.

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 Omar Mosaad       13-11, 6-11, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 (72m)

PSA reports
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad used a get out of jail card to escape from a tense five game battle with Omar Mosaad in the first round of the British Open Ė a victory that keeps Gawadís hopes of overtaking Mohamed ElShorbagy atop the World Rankings alive.

I was very disapointed for Mosaad and myself to have to play him first round. He is very tough to play against and heís like an older brother to me.

I had to play my very best to be able to win and I think Iím just very lucky to come through in five today.

The British open is a dream for every player. Players like Shabana and Darwish told me what this event meant when I was young and coming up so I will keep working towards achieving the dream of winning this prestigious tournament.


20th March - Qualifying

[1] Hania El Hammamy 3-0 Rachael Chadwick (Eng)          11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (24m)
[4] Mayar Hany 3-1 [15] Amina Yousry                    11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 (39m)
[13] Nada Abbas
3-1 [7] Hollie Naughton (Can)         11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)
[11] Samantha Teran (Mex) 3-1 [1] Nadine Shahin  17/15, 13/15, 11/8, 11/5 (55m)

[3] Grťgoire Marche (Fra) 3-0 [16] Karim Ali Fathi         11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (50m)
[4] Zahed Mohamed 3-1 [15] Lucas Serme (Fra)    11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 (55m)
[14] Mohamed Reda 3-1 Nathan Lake (Eng)   11/6, 9/11, 11/7, 11/6 (53m)

19th March - Qualifying 1st Round

[1] Hania El Hammamy 3-1 Sarah Campion (Eng)  11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8 (42m)
[4] Mayar Hany 3-0 Grace Gear (Eng)                          11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (18m)
[15] Amina Yousry 3-2 Milnay Louw (Rsa)    6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (43m)
[13] Nada Abbas 3-1 Laura Pomportes (Fra)      10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6 (38m)
[1] Nadine Shahin 3-0 Zeina Mickawy                        11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (28m)

[16] Karim Ali Fathi 3-0 Stuart McGragor (Eng)            11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
[4] Zahed Mohamed 3-0 Richie Fallows (Eng)               11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (34m)
[14] Mohamed Reda 3-0 Lyell Fuller (Eng)           11/4, 10/12, 11/7, 11/8 (47m)


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