Day Two: Evening Roundup

Day two came to a close with eight matches in the evening session, as the seeds continued to enter the draw at the second round stage.

Read on for reports and reactions from the National Squash Centre.

The action continues tomorrow on SQUASHTV with the quarter finals of the Manchester Open all on Court G1, Live scores are available on the PSA World Tour website here.

Watanabe Takes Out Perry While Gilis Fights Past Adel

Japan’s Satomi Watanabe is through to the quarter finals in Manchester after getting the better of England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, the World No.10, in a five-game contest.

The duo were doing battle on Tour for the first time, and it was the Japanese No.1, who made history by becoming the first player from the nation to break into the world’s top 20 earlier this month, who took the early lead.

She would go on to lead 2-1 after the pair exchanged games, and Watanabe then led 7-3 in the fourth. The Englishwoman, buoyed on by the home crowd, was able to fight back, though, and came through to win the fourth.

Watanabe then saw Perry save three match balls from 10-6 in the fifth, but the Japanese star was able to take the fourth match ball, winning the deciding game 11-9 to book her quarter final place where she will play either Welsh No.1 Tesni Evans or Egypt’s Nada Abbas.

“It was my first time playing SJ in an actual match on Tour, she is very talented and experienced. At the end, I was really struggling to keep concentrating, because it was so nervewracking even though I was 10-6 up. I am so happy to close it out like this!” Watanabe said.

“I was expecting the crowd to be more on her said because it’s her home here in England, but I was really happy that some of you supported me, so thank you! I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I am glad that I can be on this court again.

“Tesni [Evans] is really talented. We have played a lot in practice, and she is insane. Nada [Abbas] is one of the fastest women on court. I am looking forward to playing either on of them tomorrow!”

Over on Court G2, Belgium’s Nele Gilis had to fight from behind to defeat Egypt’s Yathreb Adel at the National Squash Centre.

The pair had met three times before, with Gilis winning the most recent of those, in December’s Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Squash Open. It was Adel that got off to the quick start in this contest in Manchester, though.

The Egyptian, who has been as high as World No.13, won the opening game 11-8. However, from there, Gilis was able to play her attacking game. She allowed the Egyptian to score just seven points across the next two games, before taking a tight fourth game 11-8 to move through to the last eight.

“Yathreb [Adel] is one of the most talented players on tour. Anything loose in the middle she punished me, the court is quite dead so anything loose in the middle she was so severe,” Gilis said.
“I managed to finally get the ball past her and lift it slightly to move in front. I’m just very thankful I took the fourth game, she was coming back at me and I was getting edgy and she was just firing it in and like I said she’s so dangerous.
“I feel good, I feel like I’ve played my best season so far. Reaching the top 10 for the first time was a big goal of mine and there’s been other things that have exceeded my expectations too. I know a lot of players are tired from the season and want it to end but I’m already looking forward to the next one.”


Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt [4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 (60m)

[7] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8 (44m)

Farag and Crouin Both Win In Four

Four-time World Champion Ali Farag had to come from behind to overcome the challenge of Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu, battling back after losing the opening game.

The Egyptian secured his fourth World crown in Chicago just seven days ago, and he was flat in the opening game of his first match after that triumph. Pajares took full control of the opening game, winning it 11-5.

The World No.4 fought back strongly, though. As expected, he started to put his stamp on the contest, and won the second game 11-6. The Spaniard was then in control in the third, and had four game balls at 10-6. However, Farag saved all four, and then won the next two points to take the game 12-10.

A tight fourth game also went the way of the four-time World Champion, and it is Farag who advances to the quarter finals in Manchester.

“I am very proud to get through today. Iker played well and started really well. He is very solid and he gets a lot of balls back. He never gives you any errors, you have to earn every point and that is not easy because of how quick he is,” Farag said.

“His length game is also very good so it is not easy to get in front of him and impose your own game. I knew I was going to be a bit flat after the past couple of months. The build-up of pressure at the Worlds, the pressure kept on getting higher and then once the tournament, the pressure balloon is completely deflated and you have to build it back up again from the beginning.

“I have spoken to Mohamed [ElShorbagy] about it because it has happened to both of us after winning the World Championships before, and I was prepared for it. I came early and warmed up well but Iker didn’t give me a chance to get into the match. I am very proud to get through despite the circumstances.”

Frenchman Victor Crouin, the tournament’s No.3 seed, got the better of Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal in a well-contested four-game contest on Thursday evening.

Crouin won the opening game comfortably, but Ghosal fought back, showing the Frenchman that it would not be easy for him. The Indian won the second game 11-7 to level up the match.

From there, though, Crouin took control of the match. He dropped just five points in each of the next two games to continue his good form, and to reach the quarter finals of the Manchester Open.

“The draw is packed this week, everyone wants to get the points on the board as the events come to an end. I’m trying to secure a spot in the World Tour Finals and that’s my first win against Saurav [Ghosal]. He was one of those players that I hadn’t got a win against so I was looking to get that. I have a lot of respect for him, I was looking forward to an enjoyable match and I got that,” Crouin said after his win.
“We both are smaller guys, we’ve both made it to the top 10, we both have strengths that got us there and for sure we’re trying to focus on accuracy rather than pure power and strength. It’s another aspect of our games that make it enjoyable for both us and the crowd.
“We’re nearing the end of the season and I feel a bit tired but I think it’s not necessarily how many events you play but it’s how far you go in them. Travelling is ok for me but if you’re playing multiple tough matches back to back it takes its toll on the mind and body.”


[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (50m)

[3] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (43m)

Defending Champion King and Wales’ Evans Into Quarter Finals

New Zealand’s Joelle King got her title defence underway at this year’s Manchester Open with a tough victory over England’s Jasmine Hutton.

The Kiwi is a two-time winner of this tournament, having been victorious in both 2019 and 2022, and it looked like she was getting her campaign off to a relatively comfortable start, winning the opening two games of this match within 20 minutes.

The Englishwoman fought back brilliantly though, and would go on to level the match, winning both the third and fourth games. However, a quick start from the Kiwi saw her take a five-point lead, and she would go on to win the fifth comfortably, to advance to the last eight once again in Manchester.

“Obviously, first of all, credit to Jazz. Even when I was 2-0 up and I had a bit of a cushion in the third, she came back fighting. I think I started to feel better towards the end, like Ali [Farag] said about a bit of flatness coming from the World Champs,” King said.

“If you enter a tournament, you show up to try and win it. Even when it was 2-2, I tried to think about the mental side more than anything. Mentally, I was a bit in and out and Jazz took full advantage. So I am happy to get through!

“You have about a month or six weeks to plan what you’re going to play. Sometimes, you don’t know how you’re going to feel. That is what life on tour is about. it is not just one tournament, it is about backing it up time and time again. That’s what sets the top players apart, those who back it up again.

“Obviously, it is nice to defend titles, but for me it is just enjoying tournaments, and trying to win as many as I can before I finish. that is quite a healthy relationship to have with the sport. I don’t think about rankings any more, I am just trying to make the most of every opportunity.”

On Court G2, Welsh No.1 Tesni Evans came through a tough test against Egypt’s Nada Abbas, winning in straight games to advance to the last eight.

The pair were playing for the second time in three months, with Abbas having won their second round encounter at the DAC Pro Classic back in February.

There would be no repeat of that result in Manchester though, as Evans was in control throughout the contest. She won in straight games to book her quarter final spot.

“We only played in February and she beat me. There’s no secret that I love playing here and especially on this court and I was really excited to put in a good performance,” the Welshwoman said.
“I normally get caught up in what my opponent can do and not what I can do. I make the mistake of going quite passive and not going short and attacking as much as I should but I thought I found the right balance today.
“I don’t know what it is about Manchester but I love playing here and can’t wait for another chance to play out on that court again tomorrow night.”


[1] Joelle King (NZL) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-2: 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-2 (51m)

[8] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (29m)

Rooney Comes Back From Two Down To Win, Dessouky Overcomes Mosaad

England’s Patrick Rooney came from two games down to overcome No.5 seed Youssef Soliman and to move through to the quarter finals of this year’s Manchester Open.

Rooney made the semis of this competition last year in his breakout performance on Tour, but it looked like he would suffer an early exit this year. He led in both of the opening two games, but Soliman’s grit and determination saw the Egyptian fight back to take both and hold a 2-0 advantage.

However, buoyed by the home crowd, the Englishman was able to stay in the contest. He won a tight third game 11-9, before then cruising to the fourth to send the match into a deciding game. The fifth could have gone either way, but Rooney took it to the delight of the home fans, and he will now face four-time World Champion Ali Farag on Friday night.

“It was tough! I thought I was playing well in the first two, I had two good leads. Coach [David] Campion kept telling me to keep with it, I was playing well. It was frustrating to lose those games, but I am proud of myself for keeping my concentration, because it took a lot of digging in,” Rooney said.

“I am the one on the comeback, so it was about keeping a level head. Keeping myself.. About the stoppages, I had the momentum and he was just trying to reset. I had to not think about what he was doing, think about the next point and all that stuff.

“He’s [Ali Farag] got no chance, has he! I play well for some reason on this court, I don’t know why. I have never played Ali on before, there is no pressure on me. I am just looking forward to the challenge and see what I can do!”

In the last match of the day on Court G2, Fares Dessouky downed compatriot Omar Mosaad in an all-Egyptian contest.

After Dessouky claimed the opening game, the second then went to a tie-break. Both men had their chances to take it, but it was eventually Dessouky that claimed the second 12-10.

That was crucial for the tournament’s No.6 seed, who went on to drop just three points in the third game, closing out the victory in three to reach the last eight.


Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt [5] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-9 (73m)

[6] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-3 (36m)

Results, Evening Session: Manchester Open Men’s Round Two

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (50m)

Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt [5] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-9 (73m)

[3] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (43m)

[6] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-3 (36m)

Results, Evening Session: Manchester Open Women’s Round Two

[1] Joelle King (NZL) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-2: 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-2 (51m)

Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt [4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 (60m)

[7] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8 (44m)

[8] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (29m)