Egypt’s World No.49 Farida Mohamed came from 2-1 down to take out Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and book her place in the second round of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum event.
The two players faced each other earlier in the season at the Open de France, where higher-ranked Aitken walked away with a 2-0 victory under the best-of-three format. However, today was not as straightforward for the Scottish player with Mohamed thriving from playing on home turf.
Mohamed started the better in the first game, building up a 9-7 lead as she put herself in pole position to take the opener. However, Aitken – who opted to wear the protective glasses for her match – battled back to put the Egyptian player under pressure with errors proving costly for Mohamed as Aitken took the first game.
The 18-year-old came back in the second to level the scores, before once again Aitken was able to take the advantage once again. A tight fourth game went in the favour of Mohamed, but not before Aitken saved game ball to push the game to a tie-break. However, she could not prevent the charge of the Egyptian who pushed the match to a deciding fifth.
The fifth proved to be straightforward for Mohamed with Aitken’s match plan quickly unravelling as the 18-year-old powered to the finish line by a 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3 scoreline to book a second round clash against New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King.
“Nothing was going my way today,” said Mohamed. “I was trying to cool the game and I’m happy I managed to win today.
“I tried to slow down the pace, and I think I just lacked patience in the first three games. I was going for shots too early, so once I managed to play two more shots, and keep the pace down, it helped my game. From 2-1 down, I gave it a last big push, I thought I lost the match, and thought to give it a last go. I’m very happy that I managed to turn things round.
“I’m playing Joelle [King] in the next round, I’ll try to play as best as I can and I’m looking forward to it.”
Elsewhere on the traditional courts, France’s Coline Aumard secured an 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 victory to move into the second round where she will face Black Ball Sporting Club’s own Salma Hany.
“Since Chicago, I have a bit of a niggle with my right adductor/hamstring, and it’s been preventing me from training as well as I would like,” said Aumard.
“It’s getting better by the day, and today, I get off court injury free, but it makes me doubt my physical abilities. I get on court, and really fear the injury flaring up and that burns a lot of emotional energy.
“Basically, I lack confidence at the moment. She felt that I was staying in the way voluntarily, I was not, maybe a bit slower than normal in my movement, because of my injury I guess.”
Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (43m)
Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3 (56m)