The afternoon session of round two the Manchester Open is over as the first seeded players entered the draw at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England.
Read on for reports and reactions.
Subramaniam stuns Elaraby, El Tayeb eases through
In the first matches of the day, Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam shocked No.5 seed Rowan Elaraby of Egypt to set up a quarter final clash with Nour El Tayeb, who recorded a comfortable win over compatriot Farida Mohamed.
Going into their match, Subramaniam had lost her last two encounters against the World No.11, with Elaraby beating the Malaysian No.3 – who has missed a large chunk of the season after a serious traffic accident last summer – 3-0 in their most recent match, which came less than two weeks ago in the second round of the PSA World Championship.
Despite Elaraby’s record, it was the World No.40 who looked the more confident player today. The 24-year-old attacked well and forced a number of errors from Elaraby as she took the first game 11-9 in eight minutes.
Subramaniam continued to dominate in the second, with her attacks at the front proving a particularly effective weapon. Although the Malaysian had a wobble in confidence when she made two errors at 10-7 up to waste three game balls, she eventually converted 12-10 to take a crucial 2-0 lead.
Elaraby, buoyed by forcing an unlikely tie break in game two, came back well in an even third game and reduced the deficit with an 11-9 win.
However, the 22-year-old was unable to keep up the momentum, and Subramaniam, after seeing three match balls saved, dragged herself over the line and into the third round with an 11-9 victory.
After the match, Subramaniam said: “It feels good. I played Rowan in Manchester [in 2021] and got a good win against her. So having lost her to her two weeks ago in Chicago, I felt more prepared and happy today and I’m happy to be progressing so well. The last two tournaments were not that good because I put too much pressure on myself but I think I just went in to enjoy it.
“When we played at the World Champs it was different so I had a different game plan today, the court suited me really well today and I think today was my day. Rowan is a fighter and I’m just happy to win in four.”
On the first match on Glass Court One, No.3 seed El Tayeb enjoyed the smoothest of routes through to the quarters as she breezed past Mohamed.
Both players moved well in a flowing encounter, but El Tayeb never looked in danger.
The 30-year-old was in control throughout, placing the ball well and keeping Mohamed moving all over the court as she took a rapid-fire victory 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-2.
“It went better than any plan. I think to win, play well and win in three is good,” El Tayeb said.
“Siva [Subramaniam] is one of my favourite players. I like her style a lot and I’m not surprised, they’re both playing very well.”
Results Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Farida Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (21m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 (42m)
Spectacular Momen through in three, Mueller sees off Lobban
In the second set of matches, men’s No.2 seed Tarek Momen was in immaculate form to beat Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas, while Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller beat Greg Lobban of Scotland.
Momen, who beat Cardenas 3-2 in the second round of this year’s World Championship, looked in fine form throughout after an uneven start to game one.
The 35-year-old, back at the Manchester Open after a three-year absence, took the game to the Mexican No.1 well and played efficient, error-free squash to quickly take a 2-0 lead after 11-7, 11-6 wins.
Momen continued to play some of his best squash in the third, with the World No.7 able to see out the match in three with an 11-4 win to progress.
“I thought it was a good start. I arrived quite late yesterday and was on edge, thinking I might not be as sharp as I want to be. But thankfully I managed to get a hit two hours ago on the glass and that got things going,” Momen said afterwards.
“I had a good start, maybe a few errors in the first game, but throughout the match I think I executed my gameplan quite well and it’s a match I’m happy with.”
On Glass Court Two, Mueller avenged his World Championship defeat to Lobban as he made a rapid start to the match, taking the first seven points of game one on the way to an 11-6 win.
‘The Swiss Rocket’ continued to dominate in the second game and took a 2-0 lead thanks to an 11-8 victory.
Lobban appeared to have clawed his way back into the match when he had three game balls at 10-7 in the third game. Mueller, however, saw each one off calmly as he scored five unanswered points to reach the quarter final, where he’ll take on Momen.
Afterwards, Mueller said: “I’m very, very pleased with the way I played this match. He beat me last week at the Worlds, so I wanted to get my revenge. I had a good start at 7-0 and that helped with the confidence. I was down in the third and came back and was very relieved to win that one.
“It’s a lot of events, I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season, I have El Gouna next and then German league finals. I’m still enjoying it so hopefully I can put on a good show tomorrow.
“Accuracy is the name of the game against Tarek [Momen]. If you’re not accurate you’ll be doing a lot of moving. It’s all about hitting your targets.”
Results Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (34m)  Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (29m)
Kennedy gets first home win of the day, Whitlock through after Sobhy injury
Georgina Kennedy was the first English winner on day two as she powered past Egypt’s Nadine Shahin to reach the quarter final, where she’ll play Wales’ Emily Whitlock, who was 1-0 up against No.2 seed Amanda Sobhy before the American was forced to retire injured.
Kennedy was at her best in today’s clash against an improved Shahin. The English No.1 came out flying, testing Shahin’s retrievals with relentless energy and good shot selection as she took a 2-0 lead after 11-5, 11-3 wins.
In a tough third game, Kennedy was able to hold out to book her place in the quarters with just 20 minutes spent on court after an 11-8 win.
After the match, Kennedy said: “I’m really happy. Nadine’s such a dangerous player, as you saw. She gets so many balls back and has so many options, so it’s really hard to read her. I’m really pleased to be off in three and it’s really sharpened me up, so I’m really happy with that.
“It’s awful [to hear about the injury to] Amanda. It also happened in Cleveland when we were due to play each other and she retired. We were talking about how, if we both got through, we were looking forward to a good match. But Whitlock and I have been drawn against each other in loads of tournaments this season, a few draw changes have meant we’ve avoided it but she loves this glass court and it’s going to be really tough.”
On Glass Court Two, Sobhy’s Manchester Open was cut short due to an injury, with the World No.5 retiring hurt when 1-0 down to the World No.21.
Results Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (20m)
Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 1-0 retired (8m)
Defending champion Makin safely through, Gawad comes through Harrity test
In the final matches of the afternoon session, Welsh defending champion Joel Makin beat Egypt’s Aly Abou Eleinen, while last week’s World Championship runner up Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt saw off a spirited challenge from USA’s Todd Harrity.
In an exhausting 17-minute first game on Glass Court One, Makin was able to assert himself better against Eleinen.
Despite both men taking up high court positions, it was Makin who was happier to play more aggressively, with the Welshman hitting numerous volleys while Eleinen struggled to get on the front foot.
After taking the first game 11-3, Makin won the second more comfortably, needing just nine minutes to earn a commanding 2-0 lead after an 11-2 win.
The third game, though, was a less straightforward affair for the Welshman. Eleinen gave a good account of himself as he tested Makin with a higher-tempo strategy.
The World No.10, however, was able to keep himself in front, wrapping up the match with an 11-9 victory to progress in three games.
“I wanted to be quite aggressive, step forward and play at a good pace,” he said afterwards.
“The start has to be elongated against someone as dangerous as him. I played him in a practice match not long ago and he went 2-1 up against me very quickly, so I know how dangerous he is and I really had to be switched on tactically.
“I know it may have looked one-sided, but if I’d started trading with him, counter dropping too much, trickles going in, he’d have been right back in it, so you’ve got to close him down and keep those straight lines to keep on top of him.
“It doesn’t feel any different [coming here as defending champion]. I’m trying to win all of the events. I haven’t done over the last couple of weeks but that’s the intent every time you come to an event like this, you want to try and win it. I’ve been happy with my form here over the last few years, reaching a final and winning another, but it’s a new week and there’s a lot of high-ranked players, with a World Champion here.”
On Glass Court Two, Harrity continued his impressive form that saw him cruise past Ramit Tandon in the first round. The American looked the sharper of the pair early in game one as he took an 8-4 lead after a number of tight, accurate drives.
Gawad, however, soon began to feel his way into the game, eventually reeling in Harrity before taking the opener 11-9.
The No.8 seed was pushed hard again in the second game, with World No.45 Harrity able to stay within touching distance throughout as both men struggled to put runs of points together.
At 9-9, however, Gawad was able to get the momentum he needed, and he took a 2-0 lead with a second consecutive 11-9 win.
The Egyptian stormed ahead in the third game as he looked to get off court quickly and seemed well set to record a 3-0 win with four match balls at 10-6. Harrity, however, clung on brilliantly to give Gawad an awkward time. The American, playing with real freedom, chased everything down that ‘the Assassin’ could throw at him and saved three match balls to pile the pressure on Gawad.
The 32-year-old, however, was able to make his final match ball count, and the World No.12 had Harrity desperately scrambling around the court before finishing with a volley that was just out of reach as the American charged towards the back.
Afterwards, Gawad said: “It feels good [to be back on court], I played very good squash last week and in the tournaments before and I’m looking to keep this up for this event and the rest of the season for sure.
“Todd played very well today. He dominated most of the match but I was the one trying to get back in the scoreline, he was leading for a lot and I managed to come back. He played good squash today, I was looking forward to it and I’m happy to get through.
“My goal is to win the tournament but I just want to play my best squash and hopefully the win will come.”
Results Joel Makin (WAL) bt Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-9 (47m)  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)
Results, Afternoon Session: Manchester Open Men’s Round Two Joel Makin (WAL) bt Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-9 (47m)  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)  Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (34m)  Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (29m)
Results, Afternoon Session: Manchester Open Women’s Round Two Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Farida Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (21m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 (42m) Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (20m)
Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 1-0 retired (8m)