2023 Reports 2023 Round Two

R2: Farida fades as Hania gets stronger

[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0 Farida Mohamed (EGY) 13-11, 11-8, 11-1 (35m)

From where I stand, Farida looked in complete control at the start of the match, and to be honest, I could see a possible upset coming up as the Columbia student was despatching the shots in the first part of the opener, 7/3, 8/5. A few errors started to creep in, along with giving away a few strokes, and we were back level, 8/8, Hania back in the match.

Mind you, the Wadi Degla lady needed 4 game balls to close the opener, but closing she did, 13/11, Farida not having a chance at taking the game. Longest game of the match, 14m.

The second game saw a Farida cutting corners from the start, 3 errors, offering a lovely start to her opponent, 4/0, 5/2. A big effort from the Alexandria girl, and it’s levelled 6/6; 7/7. A big last push from Farida, solid rallies and nice attacks but Hania takes a solid advantage, 11/8 in 11m.

And in the last game, I guess both head and body were gone, and it’s a quick 6m last one for Hania, 11/1.

Just for the record, Farida gave away 7 points in the first game, and 6 in the second. That’ s a heck of a lot. So many errors, and every time, Farida was looking at Ahmed Shohayeb, hers and Nour El Sherbini’s coach. Not sure that helps much with the focus on the match….

“It was a very tough match against Farida, she’s a very gutsy player and she likes to go for it every time she has a chance. I had to be as sharp as I could and had to be alert so I could get whatever I could. I’m happy to get through.

“The last tournament I played was ToC and that was a long time ago. It’s a bit tough to play the first round, you have to adjust and keep yourself mentally sharp. It was a good first round for me to get going and get sharper for the next round.

“She’s [Gilis] a very talented player, she has been rising and just won a title a week ago, her biggest to date. She must be very confident, so I will have to be focused and ready. We’ve always played great matches and hopefully tomorrow is going to be another fun match.”