Makin, Perry, Kennedy and Aitken are the last Brits standing
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Sarah-Jane Perry and Georgina Kennedy were the only English survivors on a day when Belgium’s Tinne Gilis shocked World No.4 Amanda Sobhy in round two of the 2022 El Gouna International.
Gilis put in a magnificent performance as a trio of seeds exited the women’s draw of the final PSA World Tour Platinum event of the season.
World No.13 Gilis has been close to an upset for a while – notably taking World Champion Nour El Sherbini all the way to five games twice this year – and put together a superb performance to dispatch World Championship semi-finalist Sobhy by an 11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 scoreline at the El Gouna Squash Complex.
Gilis will line up against World No.16 Nada Abbas for a place in the quarter finals after the Egyptian came back from a game down to beat the younger Sobhy sister, Sabrina.
“It’s been a while since I’ve beaten a top 10 player, so it’s good for my confidence,” said Gilis.
“Especially because it’s the last Platinum event of the season, so it’s always nice to play well in the last ones. I’m really happy with how I played and how I focused throughout the whole match. Hopefully I can keep going for my next match.“[Beating a top seed] will help me for sure with my confidence. It will make me believe in myself more and I know I’m capable of doing it, so I’ll take that with me into my next match. I think she [Abbas] is a few spots behind me [in the PSA World Rankings], so it’s going to be a great opportunity for both of us.”
World No.28 Nour El Tayeb sent No.7 seed Rowan Elaraby out of the event as she avenged her 3-0 defeat to the 21-year-old, which occurred at March’s CIB Black Ball Open.
El Tayeb has made fantastic strides back up the PSA World Rankings since returning from a 14-month spell away from the action following the birth of her daughter and reached the semi finals of the CIB PSA World Championships last week.
The former World No.3 will be eyeing up a similar run this week in El Gouna, but must first make her way past England’s Kennedy, who required five games to beat South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller.
El Tayeb said: “I think the hangover from the Worlds is still here, I’m still not 100 per cent mentally focused throughout the match on my performance.
“I think my focus was better during the World Champs. But still, I wasn’t too hard on myself today, because I have confidence and play longer rallies, it’s in my favour. I can’t believe this is only the last 16. I beat Rowan, played two matches, and it’s only the last 16.”
Perry halted the run of Hong Kong giantkiller Ka Yi Lee with a straight-games victory, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 in 24 minutes.
England’s Lucy Turmel battled for 75 minutes before bowing out to Belgium’s Nele Gilis 10-12, 4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9.
In an all-British battle, Scotland’s Lisa Aitken beat Emily Whitlock of Wales 7-11, 11-2, 14-12, 11-7.
No.8 seed Salma Hany was the other seed to see her tournament come to an end at the hands of Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam, while reigning champion Nour El Sherbini and World No.1 Nouran Gohar both got off to winning starts, beating World No.32 Mariam Metwally and World No.20 Hollie Naughton, respectively.
In the men’s event, wildcard Aly Abou Eleinen continued his giant-killing run as he followed his first round victory over former World No.3 Omar Mosaad with a 3-2 win against India’s Saurav Ghosal, in which he overturned a two-game deficit.
Eleinen is appearing at only his second PSA Platinum event – with last year’s El Gouna International being his first – but the World No.76 has now reached the third round for the first time after a dogged performance saw him win 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 to set up a fixture with World No.6 Tarek Momen.
“For me, it was a matter of staying tough, staying strong and counting on my physicality to get through,” said Eleinen.
“When I was down 2-0, I told myself it came down to two things, give up or keep fighting. But here in El Gouna, I’m always going to keep flighting. When I saw [Tournament Promoter, Amr] Mansi coming to watch me play, the minute I saw him I just switched on, he gave me the opportunity and I was never going to let go of it. Now, I get get to play my idol, Tarek Momen.”
Meanwhile, Spanish veteran Borja Golan got the better of Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez in a brutal five-game battle, with the 39-year-old taking out the World No.14 by an 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 scoreline.
The World No.41 will now appear in the third round of a PSA World Tour Platinum event for the first time since February, 2020 and his opponent will be defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, who defeated Mexico’s Cesar Salazar.
Golan said: “At the end, neither of us was 100 per cent. It was 82 minutes of non-stop, hard work, we only stopped as there were a few dives, but that’s it.
“There were very few calls and we were feeling the legs in the last 10 minutes of the match. We kept fighting, and it was so nice to play a fair match like that with a good friend, to give your best and actually win – that’s the bonus.”
World No.1 Paul Coll got the better of Mazen Hesham in his match, while World Champion and 2019 El Gouna winner Ali Farag overcame England’s Adrian Waller in four games as he got his title challenge under way.
George Parker took a game off Tarek Momen while Patrick Rooney also lost in four to Baptiste Masotti of France.
Welsh No.7 seed Joel Makin was too strong for Sebastien Bonmalais but required 54 minutes to win three tough games 11-9, 11-9, 11-4.
2022 El Gouna International, El Gouna, Egypt.
Men’s Second Round:
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-4 (32m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 2-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1 (42m)
[WC] Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2: 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 (71m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6 (48m)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 13-11 (76m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (49m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-2: 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 (81m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (28m)
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (46m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (54m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9 (91m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (34m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (67m)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-2: 8-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6 (83m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 14-12, 11-9 (35m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (38m)
Men’s Third Round (Top Half, May 29):
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[WC] Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Baptiste Masotti (EGY)
Borja Golan (ESP) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Men’s Third Round (Bottom Half, May 30):
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) v Joel Makin (WAL)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v  Diego Elias (PER)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Mahesh Mangaonkar (EGY)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Women’s Second Round:
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 13-11 (35m)
Aifa Azman (MAS) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-3, 11-7 (56m)
Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-1: 7-11, 11-2, 14-12, 11-7 (47m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Ka Yi Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (24m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8 (56m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 (42m)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-8 (29m)
Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-1: 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 11-9 (39m)
Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-3, 11-5 (25m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt Sana Ibrahim (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (27m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
Donna Lobban (AUS) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-2: 11-8, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 (45m)
Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-2: 10-12, 4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9 (75m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (28m)
Women’s Third Round (Top Half, May 29):
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Aifa Azman (MAS)
Lisa Aitken (SCO) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
Nada Abbas (EGY) v Tinne Gilis (BEL)
Women’s Third Round (Bottom Half, May 30):
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Rachel Arnold (MAS)
Olivia Fiechter (USA) v  Joelle King (NZL)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (EGY) v Donna Lobban (AUS)
Nele Gilis (BEL) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour