PSA Day Two Roundup

Mohamed and Aumard Cause Upsets on Day Two of Black Ball Open

Egypt’s World No.49 Farida Mohamed and France’s World No.36 Coline Aumard both caused big upsets on the second day of action at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open to claim respective wins over World No.6 Joelle King and World No.13 Salma Hany in Cairo, Egypt.

Round two of the PSA Platinum event taking place at the Black Ball Sporting Club saw the top seeds fall in the top half of the draw as 18-year-old Mohamed came from two games down to take out New Zealand’s King in a monumental comeback.

The Egyptian was staring down the barrel of defeat as King started the game well, looking relaxed and focused, to take a two game lead. However, Mohamed came out firing in the third to take it, before drawing level in the fourth.

Pressure continued to build on King in the final game with Mohamed having a revived sense of confidence on court as King eventually served out on match ball to allow the Egyptian to close out 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 in 49 minutes.

“I was trying to calm the game and I didn’t believe that I could win after being two games down,” said Mohamed.

“I saw her as Joelle King, and didn’t really play my best. But in the second, I was down 10-2, and I only lost 11-7, which gave me a lot of confidence. I thought it’s not that hard. But most of all, what helped me was that 2-0 down I was not tired, neither mentally nor physically and so, I knew I could push.”

She will go on to face Aumard in the next round after the Frenchwoman also enjoyed one of the biggest wins of her career as she took out Hany to claim her place in the last 16.

Aumard and Hany had faced each other just under two weeks ago at the Windy City Open where the Egyptian took a comfortable straight-games victory in 29 minutes. However, today’s match proved to be anything but straightforward for Hany, who was playing at her home club in Cairo, as Aumard produced a big performance to move into round three.

“In the first game, I had no length whatsoever and I was a bit weary with my leg,” said Aumard. “But in the second, you could see the rallies getting longer and more disputed. There were a few traffic problems, but nothing unusual considering we both like to attack and have an aggressive style.

“Thing is, when you are home, it’s either you are on fire or it stresses you and today, I felt like she was more stressed than normal. I did my best to make her doubt and I tried to make it as hard as possible for her.”

Meanwhile, World No.1 Raneem El Welily got her title defence off to a strong start with a 3-1 victory over South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller, while the woman she beat in last year’s final – Nour El Sherbini – also got a round two win, beating England’s Millie Tomlinson to continue her winning streak following last week’s Windy City Open title triumph in Chicago.

“Alexandra played really good squash today and she put me under a lot of pressure in different corners of the court,” said El Welily.

“It was a little bit of a flat start today but all in all I’m very happy with my performance. To come out today with the last two games and the way that I played them, I think I’m pleased with that and I’ll go home hungry for more for sure.”

El Welily will face World No.15 Yathreb Adel in the next round after she came from a game down against Hong Kong’s Joey Chan, while El Sherbini will face World No.20 Nadine Shahin following her five-game thriller against compatriot Hana Ramadan.

The last 16 will also serve up a re-match between World No.5 Nour El Tayeb and former World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby after the youngster knocked out El Tayeb in last week’s Windy City Open.

El Tayeb displayed a business-like performance to take out Belgium’s World No.19 Tinne Gilis in straight-games. While, Elaraby enjoyed her own strong performance to axe Australia’s Donna Lobban by an 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 margin.

“I knew that Tinne had been playing well recently and she had just got into the top 20,” said El Tayeb. “So, I was very focused about that.

“I’ve never done well in Egypt, playing in front of a home crowd, but it’s nice when your family can come and support. Hopefully I can play well here, and we’ll see how it goes.”