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Rowan Elaraby (left) in action against Donna Lobban (right)

Black Ball Open RD2: Elaraby Storms into Last 16

Egypt’s World No.21 Rowan Elaraby got her CIB Black Ball Squash Open campaign up and running with a win over Australia’s World No.31 Donna Lobban in the second round of the PSA Platinum event taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

Lobban, who was playing her 400th PSA match, had got the better of the former World Junior Champion in all three of their previous meetings. However, this time it was Elaraby’s turn to break that streak as she oozed confidence to romp to a straight-games victory at the Black Ball Sporting Club.

The Alexandria-born Egyptian had enjoyed a huge win just last week at the Windy City Open in Chicago where she ousted defending champion Nour El Tayeb on her way to her second PSA Platinum quarter final.

And the 19-year-old showed she was only getting stronger as she took a close first game, before holding off a comeback from Lobban in the second, with the Australian saving five game balls. That marked the turning point in the match as Elaraby was then able to comfortably took an 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory in 26 minutes to set up a potential re-match with her compatriot, El Tayeb, in the third round.

She will face either Belgium’s Tinne Gilis or El Tayeb in round three, depending on the outcome of their round two clash later today.

“I’m just trying to play my best squash and see how it goes,” said Elaraby afterwards.

“I was training very well before Chicago, so I’m really happy it’s going well and I’m playing my best squash.

“It’s amazing playing in front of my home crowd. Everyone gets to watch and support, so I guess that’s the best part to have everyone supporting all of the Egyptians. I’m happy playing here.”

Lobban said: “I felt a bit lost on the glass court today to be honest. The rallies were very short, and it's a bit frustrating because I know that I can play better than that.

“But the glass court is very unforgiving. If you don't hit your marks then you’re in trouble, and today she did it better than me. It's so different from a traditional court where you can get stuck in and find ways to come back in the match. But on the glass, it's getting away from you so quickly.”

[16] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt Donna Lobban (AUS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (26m)

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