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Nada Abbas lunges for the ball on day one of the Black Ball Open

Black Ball RD1: Abbas Axes Turmel

Egypt’s World No.27 Nada Abbas avoided an upset against England’s Lucy Turmel as she recovered from a game behind to reach the last 32 of the CIB Black Ball Women’s Squash Open.

Their only meeting on the PSA World Tour came a year ago tomorrow, as Abbas overcame World No.47 Turmel by a 3-1 margin at the Calgary Women’s Squash Week event, and their clash in Cairo went to the Egyptian by the same scoreline.

Turmel made a superb start to their encounter at the Black Ball Sporting Club, winning six of the first eight points as she pushed Abbas to the back of the court and pounced on the ball at the front to rattle off winners.

She continued her fine form to build up five game balls, and although she squandered four of them, Turmel was finally able to convert to take the lead.

The second game was a slightly scrappier affair with some loose shots from both players resulting in a series of strokes and let decisions being awarded by the referee. Turmel again had the better of the game to go game ball up, but Abbas came back at her, winning the next three points in succession to draw level.

Turmel’s missed opportunity to take a 2-0 lead proved crucial as Abbas really found her range from the third onwards, taking the ball short with aplomb and dropping just four points en route to a 2-1 advantage.

Turmel struggled to hit her targets on her backhand drop and Abbas read her every time to go five match balls ahead in the fourth. Turmel saved three of them but a volley drop into the tin handed the win to Abbas, who will play India’s Joshna Chinappa in the second round.

“I didn’t find my length from the beginning until the end of the match, so after the first game I just tried to play the ball back deep, go for the volleys and try not to play her game,” said Abbas afterwards.

“I also tried to play the critical points better, so I’m glad it went my way. Tomorrow is a rest day, so I’ll recover from today’s match and will try to play on the glass court tomorrow to find my length better.”

Canada’s Hollie Naughton is also through to the next round courtesy of a comfortable 3-0 win over Dutch player Tessa ter Sluis.

Naughton will play World No.2 Nouran Gohar for a place in round three.

Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 (56m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-0: 13-11, 16-14, 11-6 (28m)

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