Day TWO : Reports & Reaction

Round Two at the NSC

The Manchester Open’s fourth edition continues with sixteen Round Two matches on two Glass Courts at the National Squash Centre.

Yesterday’s Round One winners come up against the top eight seeds today, with the winners going through to the quarter-finals, which take place on Friday and Saturday.

You can Watch Live on SquashTV, follow the matches on Live Scoring and our Social Feeds, and we’ll have reports and reaction right here with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.

Manchester Open 2022 : Day TWO, Thu 14th Apr, ROUND TWO

Glass Court 1
12.00   [3] Georgina Kennedy (Eng) bt Ho Tze-Lok (Hkg) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (30m)
12.45   [5] Youssef Soliman (Egy) bt Leonel Cardenas (Mex) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-1 (36m)
13.45   [7] Emily Whitlock (Wal) bt Emilia Soini (Fin) 3-1: 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (45m)
14.30   Patrick Rooney (Eng) bt [2] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-2: 13-11, 4-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (59m)

17.30   [2] Joelle King (Nzl) bt Sana Ibrahim (Egy) 3-1: 11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 11-9 (45m)
18.15   [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) bt Victor Crouin (Fra) 3-1: 6-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-6 (49m)
19.15   [1] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) bt Yathreb Adel (Egy) 3-1: 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (46m)
20.00   [3] Joel Makin (Wal) bt George Parker (Eng)  3-0:  11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (40m)

Glass Court 2
12.00   [6] Tesni Evans (Wal) bt Marie Stephan (Fra) 3-0: 11-4, 11-0, 11-5 (19m)
12.45   [4] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Shahjahan Khan (Usa) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (32m)
14.00   [4] Nele Gilis (Bel) bt Hana Ramadan (Egy) 3-0: 14-12, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
14.45   [7] Eain Yow Ng (Mas) bt Moustafa El Sirty (Egy) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)

17.00   Aifa Azman (Mas) bt [8] Lucy Turmel (Eng) 3-2: 6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)
17.45   Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) bt [6] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)
18.45   Jasmine Hutton (Eng) bt [5] Nadine Shahin (Egy) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (39m)
19.30   [8] Raphael Kandra (Ger) bt Lucas Serme (Fra) 3-0:  11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)

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Reports and Reaction

Evans powers past Stephan

Opening the day’s play on glass court two, France’s Marie Stephan came up against a ruthless Tesni Evans. The former British National Champion was in to form as she dispatched her opponent 3-0 in just 20 minutes.

Evans’ mixture of hard-hitting to the back and subtle touch to the front was causing all kinds of problems for Stephan. Evans steamrolled the first two games winning comfortably 11-4, 11-0 to place on foot in the quarter finals.

Stephan started to look more confident in the opening exchanges of the third game but as the score reached 6-4, Evans stepped it up a gear yet again. She won five of the next six points in no time at all to secure her quarter final place.

“I didn’t expect to play that well after the doubles that week. I think one thing that gave me confidence was that I love this court,” said Evans.

“We hit a lot of balls last week, I think it’s the movement that makes a difference. I knew I was going to hit it okay but it’s the movement and getting used to a smaller court. I also didn’t have Joel [Makin] covering half the court for me, which makes a big difference.

“I’ve played Gina a few times now, I beat her a few years ago but she’s improved so much since then and she’s beaten me a few times recently. I know it’ll be tough but I’m looking forward to it.”


[6] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Marie Stephan (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-0, 11-5 (20m)

No.3 seed Kennedy sets up British derby in quarters

England’s No.3 seed Georgina Kennedy put in an assured performance in her first ever meeting with Hong Kong’s Tze Lok Ho to beat the World No.34 3-0 and progress to a quarter final meeting with Wales’ Tesni Evans.

In a thrilling first game, Kennedy – sporting some heavy strapping on her right shoulder – recovered from a slow start to beat Ho 11-9.

The Englishwoman ramped up the pace in the second, with her relentless, nonstop harrying preventing Ho from finding a foothold in the game, as Kennedy took a 11-3 win to leave Ho facing a mountain.

The World No.34 improved in the third, but was unable to make a decisive breakthrough as Kennedy secured the match with an 11-9 win.

After the match, Kennedy said: “After five days of doubles in Glasgow, a lot of people were going down injured and at the end of the week I was feeling so smug, thinking ‘I’m feeling fine, I don’t know how I’m doing this!’ But I took a rest day on Sunday, then played again on Monday and karma got to me! My body started to break down and I tweaked my shoulder a little on Monday. It just needs rest and luckily I’ve got the rest day tomorrow and I knew that if I could get through today, which I knew was going to be really tough because you never know what to expect as her short game’s so good. I just wanted to get through today and focus on getting myself back to 100 percent.

“I rate Tesni so much. She’s great and we get on really well off-court. I love playing her and it’s always fun. I remember watching her on SQUASHTV in this tournament and she’s had such a good run here. She loves this venue so I know it’s going to be really tough to beat her. But I know it’s going to be an enjoyable match and I’m looking forward to it.

“[Being No.3 seed] is a different pressure. Before, when I wasn’t seeded, people would call me ‘keen Gine’ because I’d be coming in and doing double sessions. But now that I’m up there I’m just playing my match and then want the rest day before I’m back to it! It’s definitely a different pressure, but enjoyable. It’s what I wanted so I’ve got to embrace it instead of fearing it!

“I put a lot into my physical side. I make it a mission of mine that if I lose a match, it’s not because I’m tired. I don’t think that’s ever happened and I always feel good on court, physically. So when my short game isn’t working I can resort to grinding it out and that’s sort of what I had to do today. I do like the fitness!”

“On my short stuff, I just need to be more confident now that I’m one of the top seeds. I need to play like a top seed instead of like I’m chasing!”

[3] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Tze Lok Ho (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (30m)

Soliman secures second successive win against Cardenas

Egypt’s No.5 seed Youssef Soliman beat Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas for the second time in as many months to reach the quarter-finals.

In the pair’s last meeting, a 3-1 Soliman win in the Karachi Open Championship semi-final last month, the match was a high-intensity clash.

Today’s match initially followed the same script.

In an even first game in which the pair traded blows for 16 minutes, Soliman eventually prevailed with an 11-9 win.

Although the second game began in a similar fashion, Cardenas’ focus appeared to slip after a controversial decision and Soliman pressed home when he had the upper hand to take the second game 11-5 and the third 11-1.

World No.15 Soliman will face either No.3 seed Joel Makin of Wales or England’s George Parker in the quarter-final.

“That first game was crucial,” Soliman said afterwards. He added: “Then, things started to open up for me. I was aware that we’d only played a few weeks ago so I knew how dangerous he is. I’m definitely happy to get through in three.

“Every match is different. Whoever I play tomorrow, they are different players and I have to get my tactics right against them.

“I’ll take it easy tonight [due to the rest day tomorrow]. I have the whole day tomorrow to watch and analyse. But today, it’s sunny out there and I’ll go for a walk and enjoy the day, then tomorrow I’ll start analysing and getting my tactics.”

[5] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-1 (36m)

Gawad dispatches Khan to reach quarters

The first men’s match on glass court two was between former World Champion and 2020 Manchester Open runner-up Karim Abdel Gawad and USA’s Shahjahan Khan.

The silky-smooth skills of Gawad were on display right from the start of the match with the Egyptian capitalising on the slightly dead conditions of the court and moved Khan into all four corners. Gawad took a 1-0 lead, winning 11-4.

This momentum continued from Gawad and the Egyptian was persistent in his attacks to the front of the court. Khan would have known that Gawad’s attacks to the front can be ruthless but struggled to stop the Gawad winners. Gawad doubled his lead in nine minutes, 11-7.

Khan showed his fighting spirit in the third game and took the pace to Gawad. He started to rush the Egyptian force Gawad into errors. Khan saved two Gawad match balls to set up a tiebreak and give himself a fighting chance in the match. Gawad then won two gruelling rallies to take the game 12-10 and the match in 32 minutes.

“It’s my first time playing Shahjahan and we’ve trained a bit before so it’s nice to play him and nice to get through to the quarters.

“I have good and bad memories. I lost first round here last year but reached the final the year before. I’m just trying to focus on my game and concentrate in every match.

“Well, I’ve played both Saurav (Ghosal) and Matthieu (Castagnet) quite a lot over the years and they’re both very dangerous players. I’ll just focus on my recovery and look forward to hopefully a good performance tomorrow.”


[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (32m)

Whitlock overcomes spirited Soini

Wales’ No.7 seed Emily Whitlock is through to the quarter final after a see-saw win over Finland’s Emilia Soini.

In the pair’s second meeting on tour, Whitlock kept tidy lines and used the back of the court well as she took the first game 11-7 in nine minutes.

The Welshwoman continued to keep her nose in front of the Finn, taking the second 11-6, despite a couple of errors which she explained as being due to an eye injury, to take a 2-0 lead.

Soini fought back well in the third game to force her way back into the match with an 11-8 win, though there were nervy moments as Whitlock saved five game balls.

The No.7 seed gathered herself well in the fourth game, though, eventually overcoming Soini’s spirited defence with an 11-9 victory to see out the match 3-1.

Explaining the difficulties she had had throughout the match, Whitlock said: “I can’t see out of my right eye.”

“Emilia’s probably the worst person to play because she lifts it so much and I was really wary of the height. On the forehand side in particular I wanted to play straight but I couldn’t judge it.

“At least I’ve had a match on here now, because it’s more difficult to see when this court was in Hull. I’m just struggling to judge the ball and Emilia was playing well and she got me on a few short shots and going up to down was a little tricky. I was trying to get a better length and play the right way, but you just have to battle through sometimes. Not every day is a great day and you can’t take that away from Emilia, she put me under pressure. I live to fight another day.

“I’m glad that my match was on this court, because going from court two to this one, even though it’s glass, it’s a different glass and it plays differently to this one. I’m hoping I can improve on today.”

[7] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-1: 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (45m)

Rooney claims biggest scalp to date as he downs No.2 seed ElShorbagy

England’s Patrick Rooney produced a spectacular performance to stun No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy and reach the quarter-final, where he will play either German No.8 seed Raphael Kandra or France’s Lucas Serme.

In a thrilling first game, it was largely a case of Rooney’s attack testing ElShorbagy’s defence, with little to separate the pair as the opener reached 10-10.

When the experienced ElShorbagy took an 11-10 lead, Rooney appeared to be on the back foot. However, a stunning burst from the Englishman saw him put together three consecutive points to take the first game 13-11.

ElShorbagy, though, responded quickly to take a 4-1 lead in the second, before the pair exchanged points at a rapid rate as the length of rallies dropped. The Egyptian, though, looked by far the sharper of the two and was good value for his seven-minute 11-4 win to level the match.

Buoyed by that strong game two performance, ElShorbagy continued to press and took the third game 11-8, only for an exciting fightback from Rooney to level the match with an 11-7 win.

Rooney came out the quicker in the decisive final game and killed off the match with an 11-9 win to seal a famous victory in front of a jubilant home crowd.

“Get in!” Rooney said after the match.

“That’s my biggest scalp to date. Going in today, I didn’t think I was out of depth, I thought I could win. I tried my best to play good squash and had a good first game. I lost my length a bit in the second and third and you can’t do that against a player that good and he put me away for it. But I managed to regain my composure and get back in it.

“[The tempo] felt quite comfortable all the way through that. We’re both really good at controlling the ball and controlling the middle, so whenever either of us play a loose shot it felt under pressure immediately. It was back and forth the whole way through. I’m just happy to keep it together towards the end. That last game I was just thinking ‘get your serve on the sidewall.’ That was my tactic and see what happens after that.

“I’ve been in the situation lots of times where I’ve been 10-6 or 10-5 up and lost, so I’ve had a lot of practice of keeping it together! It paid off today because he’s good at putting loose shots away. I knew at 10-7 up that he could easily bring it back and I just had to think ‘get it together, finish it off!’

“Now I want to go home and have a bath!”

Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt [2] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 4-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (59m)

Yow Ng books place in last 8

In a highly anticipated affair, No.7 seed Eain Yow Ng from Malaysia faced Egypt’s Moustafa El Sirty for a place in the quarter finals.

With both players having completely contrasting physiques, this made for an interesting match up of El Sirty’s pace and power against Yow’s smooth movement and accurate squash.

Yow was helped throughout the match by El Sirty errors, which started early. Yow was also able to move in front of El Sirty and counter-attack superbly. Yow took the opening game 11-7 in 12 minutes.

Refereeing decisions started to creep into the match as both players were determined not to give away any ground around the middle of the court. Yow dealt with these stoppages best and stayed strong in his game plan to take the second game 11-6.

More errors continued to flow from the racket of the Egyptian. Yow kept the ball straight and tight on the backhand side and always kept El Sirty moving. The tall frame of the Egyptian continued to threaten when given loose balls, but too many unforced errors handed Yow a place in the final eight. 

“I thought I did really well to keep my focus and concentration today. There was always going to be contact and decisions but I felt like I was moving well and didn’t get involved in any situations.

“I had to keep the ball pretty tight to the wall and keep him out of the middle. He’s so dangerous around the middle of the court so I just tried to play accurate squash and that was what I did today.

“I’m playing either Mohamed [El Shorbagy] or Victor [Crouin] next. They’re both really good players, I’ve played Mohamed quite a lot and trained many times with him so I know what to expect but I’ll just recover the best I can and be ready for whoever it is.”


[7] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)

Azman fights back to beat No.8 seed Turmel

England’s Lucy Turmel moved into a top-eight seeding due to the late withdrawal of Rowan Elaraby, therefore received a bye in round one. Aifa Azman also went through to the last 16 without playing a match as Scotland’s Georgia Adderley withdrew.

Turmel started the better of the two in the opening two games, hitting clean drives to the back of the court, setting up numerous attacking opportunities. Turmel took full advantage of these chances and took a deserved 2-0 lead.

Azman responded however and showed true fighting spirit to work her way back in the match. Azman’s forehand boast was dragging Turmel so far up the court. The momentum continued for Azman as she fired off winner after winner to take both the third and fourth games confidently 11-6, 11-8 to set up a fifth and final game.

The Malaysian got off to the perfect start as she ran out to a 6-1 lead. Turmel tried to fight her way back into the match but the accurate play of Azman was proving difficult to break down. Turmel saved three match balls to make it 10-8 to Azman but it wasn’t enough to stop the Malaysian advancing to the quarter finals.

Azman had this to say after her recovery:

“I started really slowly in that match. Because I was expecting to play yesterday and then didn’t end up playing it kind of threw me slightly. But I’m overall happy that I managed to get back to game plan and get over the line.”


Aifa Azman (MAS) bt [8] Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)

King Fights Past Ibrahim To Reach Last Eight

After suffering an injury in Glasgow last week at the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships, New Zealand’s Joelle King was able to fight her way past the up-and-coming Sana Ibrahim to book her spot in the last eight of the Manchester Open.

The Kiwi, who is the No.2 seed for the competition showed her qualities easy on to take the first two games, but the young Egyptian came roaring back, taking the third with ease to push the match on.

King had to dig deep in the fourth game, and as the rhythm of the contest got disrupted, it was the New Zealander who was able to keep her composure to claim the win, and move through to the last eight of the tournament, where she will now face Malaysia’s Aifa Azman.

“Sometimes, you just have to find a way to win, you know. As we have seen this week, a lot of players who have come straight from the World Doubles have either got some kind of injury, or are just mentally exhausted,” King said.

“So today, against a hungry young opponent, I just tried to slow things down and find a way to win it at the end of the day.

“Between all of us, we are probably covering every part of the body [in terms of injuries]. With doubles, I think you take for granted how hard it actually is, because there’s two of you on court sharing the load. You tend to get a lot of injuries because you’re playing on one side, so repetitive, quick movements, and some days with four matches.

“You’re up, you’re down and some days you don’t really know which way is forward but that is part of playing this sport and being at the top. You have to turn back up, get yourself ready to go and come out and perform. It certainly needs to improve from here, but certainly happy to be in the winners box today.

“It takes an army. I have had some amazing people working on me here in Manchester. What we are is the product out on court, but it’s the team behind us. It is really important to have good people looking after you. I am based in Bristol so I came to Manchester a little bit. It is nice to be here with good weather! I am enjoying it and I want to put my name on as many trophies as I can. The quarter finals is the next step but let’s see from here.

“We watch all these youngsters coming up the ladder. She [Aifa Azman] won a Bronze event not so long ago and beat a number of top ten players. I played her earlier this year in Washington and I got the win there but tomorrow is another day. They’re all hungry, nipping at our heels and I am sure she will be a tough opponent.”

[2] Joelle King (NZL) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 11-9 (45m)

Castagnet downs Ghosal to advance

Next onto court was a battle between two veterans on the PSA World Tour, India’s Saurav Ghosal and France’s Mathieu Castagnet.

Catagnet, known for his attritional style, got to work on narrowing down the angles of Ghosal and keeping the Indian buried in the back corners. Castagnet used his superb movement to soak up Ghosal’s attacks and counter against the Indian.

After taking the first game 11-9 in 15 minutes. Castagnet continued to frustrate Ghosal. With no errors coming from the Frenchman’s racket, winners had to come from Ghosal. But the Indian No.1 was struggling to convert his chances. Castagnet took a 2-0 lead, winning 11-5.

Ghosal is still coming back from injury and struggled to properly impose his game on Castagnet. The Frenchman kept his concentration throughout and didn’t give Ghosal a chance to get into the match at all. The Frenchman took the third game 11-8 to book his quarter final place to play Karim Abdel Gawad.

“I’m so happy to be through. Saurav is such a good player. He’s still struggling a bit with an injury so he wasn’t completely at his best. I just tried to keep my focus and not let him move me around. So overall happy to be through.

“Of course, with every win I get I think about carrying on playing professionally but I have to make the right decision for my family and this is something I just can’t sustain.

“I have only played with Karim [Abdel Gawad] once before and I had just come off a tough match previously so I feel better now than I did then so I’m looking forward to this match.”


Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [6] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)

ElShorbagy Fights Back To Beat Crouin

World No.3, and the tournament’s top seed, Mohamed ElShorbagy, had a shaky start to his second round match at the Manchester Open, but he showed his qualities to come through in four against Frenchman Victor Crouin.

The pair had only met once on Tour before, with Crouin yet to take a game from the Egyptian, but he did so to start this match, as he hit some great line and length, and stayed in front of the former World No.1.

ElShorbagy bounced back quickly, to win the second 11-3, but he then had to battle his way through the third game, saving game balls en route to a tie-break victory, one he took 14-12. The ‘Beast of Alexandria’ was able to clinch the spoils in four, winning the fourth 11-6 to book his spot in the quarter finals, where he will face good friend and training partner Eain Yow Ng.

“I was enjoying too much, I was excited too much. I was feeling like I wanted to play so much because I haven’t been playing well the last few events,” ElShorbagy admitted.

“It definitely has not been the best season in my career. I came here and I had to change my mentality, to enjoy the game again, and to remember why I play the game. I play because I love the sport, you know! Because I have won so much in my career, when I started losing, I forgot why I play the sport, so once I got too excited at the beginning of the match, you forget how you want to play. He is a quality player, we saw what he did against Paul [Coll] in Canary Wharf, even if Paul was not on his best that day, but still, when Paul doesn’t have a great day, he still isn’t easy to beat. He has shown what he is capable, and I definitely didn’t take anything for granted today.

“Right now, I can’t think of distance [to the top two] . I haven’t even been making it to the latter stages of a tournament in the last few events. I have to be honest with myself and I cannot compare myself to what they [Paul Coll and Ali Farag] are doing. They have been playing at another level, mentally, physically and technically. That is something I have to deal with myself.

“One bad season for me does not mean I am finished, I am allowed to have a bad season. It is just that everyone forgot, because I have won so much in my career, the expectation of me is to be making finals, or at least semis, you know. If I play a few bad tournaments, that means I am not there anymore.. But I am only 31-years-old and I have never seen an athlete who has won so much in his career, who is then finished at 31.

“It is a stage in my career where there are a lot of changes happening. There is a different generation playing, my own generation is playing much better. These changes can take you by surprise sometimes and you have to go back, train and make changes. I never think for a second that I won’t come back.

“I have had a lot of challenges in my career, with different generations and much tougher players. I played against Ramy [Ashour], Nick [Matthew], Greg [Gaultier], [Amr] Shabana, these guys were warriors! If I can compete with those guys, ten I can compete with today’s guys, I know I can come back at some point. Maybe not this tournament, or the next one, but I will get there at some point.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-1: 6-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-6 (49m)

Perry Downs Adel To Advance

Women’s top seed, and English No.1, Sarah-Jane Perry was not at her best in her first match of the Manchester Open, but she was able to grind, and make her way into the quarter finals of the Silver level competition, overcoming Egypt’s Yathreb Adel in four games.

It was a slow start for the World No.6, as she was unable to get the ball through to the back of the court, with Adel getting up and on the volley, and punishing any loose balls. That gave the Egyptian the first game in quite comfortable fashion, but a change in tempo from the Englishwoman saw her take back control.

After winning the second game, the third went to a tie-break, and crucially for Perry, she claimed it 12-10. That gave her the momentum she needed, and although Adel threatened a comeback in the latter stages of the fourth, the English No.1 booked her place in the last eight, where she will now take on compatriot Jasmine Hutton on Saturday afternoon.

“I was so patchy today. Sometimes, when you’re playing someone as skilful as Yathreb, if you can get on top of them and keep that pressure on, you can start to run away with it,” Perry said.

“Unfortunately, I was too patchy and she is too good to let that happen. You saw anytime I didn’t put that ball in the corner, she was just slotting it away. More than anything, I am just happy to get through that.

“It was a very smart that I only played one event last week [in Glasgow], in just the women’s doubles and not both! Thanks to Nick Matthew for the extra motivation earlier. I didn’t want to join the ‘Doubles Graveyard’ as he put it on Twitter. I wanted to show that actually, I am hitting the ball well, it is maybe the patterns and things, which are slightly different to doubles, they were in and out. It was a bit all over the place, but I love playing here in Manchester. I just wanted to play here again! I have to say thanks to the Kenilworth contingent, Steve and James, that came up to watch. Steve was my coach for 15 years, [I was] thinking of all the things he told me.

“We have the same coach, we train together quite a bit, she [Jasmine Hutton] has been doing fantastically well this season, going up and up and up. I did hear a scream and I was hoping that it was for a win and not an injury. She is fantastic, and she is super athletic, we have already had some good matches, and I am looking forward to that on Saturday.”

[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (46m)

Hutton upsets Shahin to reach the quarters

England’s Jasmine Hutton has caused a big upset as she’s defeated No.5 seed, Nadine Shahin, in four games to advance to the quarter finals of the Manchester Open.

Hutton has been in good form of late and carried that momentum through to her match tonight. Hutton was slightly slow off the mark as Shahin thundered drives and kills past the Englishwoman.

After losing the first game 11-8, Hutton responded in style. She started to twist and turn Shahin with a mixture of short and long shots. Shahin struggled to impose her game on the game and Hutton levelled the match at 1-1.

From this point, Hutton went from strength to strength. She continued to dictate the pace of the game and force Shahin into many difficult and challenging movements. Shahin looked like she had ran out of ideas towards the end of the match as Hutton took both the third and fourth games 11-9, 11-6 to book her spot in the quarter finals.

“I’m really happy with my performance. That’s probably my biggest win on the tour so far,” said Hutton.

“I started very frantically in the first game and just got completely dragged into playing her style. I tried to mix it up and slow it down because she likes to hit really hard and fast and she was just all over me at times.

“Once I got myself in front I started to feel a lot better and confident and I’m just really happy to be through to a quarter final. I did well at the British Open but this feels like more of a breakthrough because it’s the quarter finals.”


Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (39m)

Kandra wins three tight games to progress

Closing out play on glass court two was a win for Germany’s Raphael Kandra. The German No.1 defeated fellow European Lucas Serme in three tight games.

The rallies were close throughout the whole match. Kandra started off at a blistering pace and fired the ball in short regularly with good accuracy. Serme continued to move the ball around the court but Kandra had an answer for all of the Frenchman’s weapons. Kandra took a 1-0 lead, winning 11-8.

More of the same followed as the pace remained comfortable for Kandra. The German was able to move onto loose balls from Serme and counterattack. Serme continued to try and disrupt the rhythm that Kandra had settled into but despite the rallies being close and competitive, Kandra was too strong on the day. He secured the second and third games both 11-9 to reach the quarter finals.

Kandra’s opponent will be crowd favourite, Patrick Rooney, on Saturday. Kandra had this to say about that quarter final and his match today:

“My game plan was to take it short quite early and force him to do something with the ball. I felt in a good rhythm against him. He gives me a lot of chances to go short so I actually like playing him. But I felt good, moved well and we’ll see what the rest of the tournament holds.

“It’s a little weird being a seeded player because I only played my first match today and now I have a rest day so it’s hard to say I want to keep the rhythm because I haven’t picked up much of that in just three games.

“Me and Patrick played once before on PSA in Egypt and he beat me 3-0. He’s a really good player and I’m actually really looking forward to playing him in front of a crowd. I know they’ll be on his side but I really like the court so I’m looking forward to it.”


Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)

Makin Overcomes Parker For Last Quarter Final Berth

Joel Makin secured the last quarter final spot at the Silver level Manchester Open with a comprehensive victory over George Parker, in the day’s only all-British battle at the National Squash Centre.

The pair had only met twice before on Tour, but they know each other’s games, having trained together for the best part of a decade. That worked in Makin’s favour in this contest, as he was able to read what Parker was doing for the majority.

After two comfortable games, in which the Englishman could only muster eight points across them, the third game was much tighter, with Parker threatening to take the match past three. However, Makin shut any possible comeback down to win in 40 minutes, and set up a contest with Egypt’s Youssef Soliman on Saturday.

“I knew it would be like that! We have probably played twice a week for about ten years now, so you know exactly what is going on. We have played a lot of hard matches, and done a lot of good work together as well,” the Welshman said.

“We read each other’s patterns and we get out of each other’s way, and that means George is better, because if he isn’t involved with that [decisions], then he is playing high quality squash at an aggressive pace, and that is where is good, so I knew it would be hard.

“It has taken hours [working on his short game] and it is going to be another 5-10 years, but I hope the quality is going to get there. I am enjoying it, I am trying to work on my squash, I want to improve it. I have a good base, and I am always adding to it. I did alright there, George picked me off on a few, but it is a long process.

“It is easier to recognise at different levels because you can see the patterns more. The best players read the patterns, understand what their opponent is doing, and then try to limit what their opponent can do from certain areas. It might look like they can do anything, but you might just have a couple of giveaways, and areas you can pick someone off.

“I have not been in the form I have wanted to be in, my results haven’t been there, but I have been putting in work consistently. If I put a good week together, there’s no reason I can’t challenge.”

[3] Joel Makin (WAL) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (40m)