The return of the PSA World Tour started brightly for Egypt’s World No.11 Salma Hany as she conquered France’s World No.35 Melissa Alves in straight games on the opening day of action at the Manchester Open.
The PSA Silver tournament is the first tournament to take place in six months after the enforced suspension of the PSA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hany ensured that she eased herself back into action with a confident display at the National Squash Centre.
The Egyptian, who is currently at her highest World Ranking, started strongly and showed the strength of her backhand as she hit her targets, while Alves struggled to put together a consistent run of play with errors costing her as Hany took an 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 victory in 37 minutes.
Hany will face another Frenchwoman in the form of Coline Aumard in the next round after she defeated Egypt’s Hana Ramadan on court three in Manchester.
The Manchester Open will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only), the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan) and multiple mainstream broadcast channels around the world.
“I’m so happy to be back,” said 24-year-old Hany afterwards.
“I love this court, obviously it is a challenging first match and Melissa is a very tough opponent. She is physically very strong, and she never gives up a point, so I had to make sure that I stuck to my plan. I tried to execute what I’ve been working on and enjoy being back on court.
“Maybe I wasn’t as sharp as I wanted, but that’s ok, we haven’t played in a long time, so I’m very happy to be through in three.
“I enjoyed being a normal human being [during the suspension] and not a squash player for a little bit and I was happy with the pause of the time and then we had good timing to put some work on. It’s good and bad, definitely good to be back on tour and a little bit of adrenaline going on. Hopefully the tour can continue, and we don’t stop again.
“There’s a lot of things going on, a lot of restrictions and a lot of rules, I’m sure not everyone is enjoying it but at the same time we have to accept it and be satisfied that we are back at a tournament under tough conditions. We isolate ourselves and don’t really get out of the hotel, it’s tough, but every athlete has to cope with the conditions they face. It’s a tournament at the end of the day and we have to be happy that the tournaments are back.”
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (37m)