2024 Reports Round Two

R2: Fares Dessouky 3-1 Victor Crouin

Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-1 [7] Victor Crouin (FRA)  12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9 (54m)

In all honesty, Fares is the one making or breaking the game. Because he’s been away so long away on injury, we forget how incredibly talented Fares is with the racquet.

Playing complete random squash, with shots coming from nowhere powerful, then high, then perfect length to the back, not to mention crispy attacks, the Boy from Alexandria is unreadable at times. Of course, because he’s been away, he makes a lot of errors, lacks match fitness, and goes a bit out and in, and out and in. But his panache squash is truly a pleasure to watch, although he still goes a bit too quickly to the ball at times, creating unnecessary contact.

Today, from the first rally, he took Victor to the throat and never let him go, taking the time away from the French, who likes to have time on the ball to settle and apply his “Chess Squash”. He was close of course, but as he says himself, not solid enough on the crucial points, not able to close out of the opportunities he is creating.

Fares was as confident at the end of the match as one can be. He is looking for the title here, make no mistakes….


Often, on the court, I need time to organise myself and set up my tactics. Fares doesn’t give me any time at all. He plays up front very quickly, and he uses a lot of power. This power prevents me from organising myself to go to the ball.

He also breaks the rhythm a lot, whether it’s by taking his time between rallies or even in the way he plays. There’s no rallies; it’s either he scores the point quickly, he makes a mistake, or there’s a decision against me or against him.

It’s not easy on the court. Every time I catch up on the score, I make a few small mistakes at the worst possible moments. He, on the other hand, becomes very solid towards the end of the games: 10/8 in the first game, I serve poorly, he immediately punishes me, and then in two shots, he gets the perfect cross-court length.

In the last game, it was the same. He hit a double wall on my backhand side that I didn’t see coming, which he hadn’t played throughout the match. I, on my part, am not solid enough at the end of the games, with balls sometimes coming back to the middle.

Now, there are things I’ve worked on in training that I implemented well today, but I still have this problem of too many direct faults, too many penalties due to poor positioning, and too many free points where he can really score the point.

It’s consistency in the back of the court and in tactics that I lack today to get the upper hand. I think there is room for improvement if I keep my tactics in place and avoid easy mistakes. I need to lead the exchanges and win points, as I did in the third game. Even if he lets the game go, he also gives up because he has no solutions.

That’s what I need to do at 0/0, from the first point of the match. Or even at 0/0 in the fourth game.


“It was a very tough match – Victor is playing so well these days and he’s been on form for the last couple of years. Today’s win means a lot to me and it shows that Rankings is just a number, it’s nothing just a number and I can beat anyone on court. I’m happy with this one.

“This is the first time where I’ve played a very tough match since my back injury. I’m trying to get back and I’m trying to get some confidence on court in terms of fitness, not just squash. That was a good win for me.

“As I said, Rankings is just a number and anyone can beat anyone nowadays. It’s going to be a tough match and I hope both Gregoire and Mostafa play five games!”