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Coline Aumard in action at the Manchester Open

Manchester Open Side Courts: Day 1 Afternoon Session

The Manchester Open kicked off today, as squash returned to the main stage for the first time in over six months, following the enforced suspension of the PSA World Tour due to COVID-19.

For the first two days of the PSA Silver level tournament, there is side court action alongside the main glass court, with a total of 16 matches being played on the traditional plaster courts.

Here is a rundown of what happened in the afternoon session of side court action on day one.

Aumard Battles Past Ramadan To Book Round Two Spot

In the first match on the side courts at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, Frenchwoman Coline Aumard got the better of Egypt’s Hana Ramadan in a tight three-game affair.

The pair had met on the PSA World Tour three times before this clash, with Aumard having only been victorious in one of those, back in September 2015. However, she made sure of the win in this match.

In a very stop-start first game, neither player was able to pull away until the very end, as the Frenchwoman, reached a first Platinum quarter-final in the last tournament before the six-month hiatus, was able to win it 11-9.

The second game was paused halfway through after an issue with the lighting in the venue, but Aumard was able to keep her composure to take that as well, before moving into a big lead in the third game.

She led 4-0, but Ramadan came back to move into a 6-4 advantage, and the young Egyptian started to threaten a comeback. However, the World No.20 was able to seal the victory to book her place in the last 16 against another Egyptian, in World No.11 Salma Hany.

Result:
[14] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (36m)

Coll Comes Through Tricky Masotti Test

Coll (left) and Masotti (right) in action

In his first match back after the six-month layoff, World No.5 and World Championship finalist Paul Coll had to battle his way past France’s Baptiste Masotti to secure his place in the second round of the Manchester Open.

The Kiwi took a lengthy first game, but the young Frenchman fought his way back into the clash by winning the second game, letting out a roar of emotion as he tied the match at one game apiece.

However, Coll’s fitness and skill levels came to the fore, and he was able to reel off the final two games comfortably to book his place in the last 16 of the PSA Silver event.

“Pretty happy with today. It was a bit of a slow start, but its really nice to be back on court after six months off,” Coll admitted.

“[There were a] few nerves in the opening two sets but I managed to make them long enough and stay in the rallies. I thought I was a bit unlucky to lose the second, but credit to Baptiste who was playing well.

“I felt a lot better in the third and fourth, a lot more aggressive. I stepped up the court a bit more. Overall I am pretty happy with the performance and I got the tournament off to a good start. Gonna stay in my room and be a good boy and then mahi again on Friday, so looking forward to it!”

Result:
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 (67m)

Shahin Secures Last 16 Spot

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Nadine Shahin set up a clash with World No.6 Hania El Hammamy in the second round of the Manchester Open, after she had to fight her way past Canadian No.2 Danielle Letourneau on Wednesday afternoon.

After winning the first game, the Egyptian saw her lead diminished as Leourneau produced some stunning squash to take a run of points in the second. She then had game balls in the third, but Shahin was able to fight back to win it on a tiebreak.

The 23-year-old was able to maintain that momentum to assure her passage through to the last 16 as she took the victory in four games, to set up that all-Egyptian tie on Friday.

Result
[11] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8 (39m)

Dessouky Overpowers Clyne

Dessouky (left) doing battle with Clyne (right)

Egypt’s Fares Dessouky made his move into the last 16 of the Manchester Open after dispatching Scotland’s Alan Clyne in straight games at the National Squash Centre.

After a tight start to the first game, the tournament’s No.10 seed quickly rattled off seven straight points to take the game 11-4, but he had to fight to maintain that momentum in the second game.

Clyne had two game balls to level the match, but Dessouky was able to save both of them, before seeing a game ball of his own be denied. He eventually took it on a tie-break 13-11, before allowing the Scot just a single point in the third game.

This convincing victory sees the World No.12 maintain his perfect record over Clyne, and he books his place in the last 16 of the PSA Silver event, where he will face New Zealand’s Paul Coll.

Result
[10] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-4, 13-11, 11-1 (34m)