Egypt’s World No.11 Fares Dessouky is through to the second round of the CIB Black Ball Open following a 12-10, 12-10, 13-11 victory over France’s Baptiste Masotti.
World No.37 Masotti showed his intent from the off as his free-following attack saw him go 10-5 up and look as though he was going to comfortably close out the first. Dessouky, who reached the semi-finals of the Qatar Classic, had other ideas though as he found his range and punished Masotti’s loose shots to save all five game balls and convert himself at the first time of asking.
That proved to be the pattern for the three games in their round one encounter with all of them going down to wire as Masotti took his chance to save Dessouky’s chances in the second and third. However, after saving three match balls the Frenchman began to rush his play too much and his errors cost him dearly with the Egyptian closing out the match at the fourth attempt.
He will face either 2018 champion Karim Abdel Gawad or Mohamed ElSherbini in the next round.
“It was a very tough match today,” said Dessouky following his victory.
“It was tricky, it’s the first time I have played against Baptiste. It was very tough, I couldn’t handle my nerves, until the end of every game I was giving up so many points and he played incredibly well. I’m very happy to be through.
“I take these kind of things as a challenge, to come back and play well – keep my head up and it worked today, so I’m very lucky.”
Masotti paid tribute to Enzo Corigliano, following the news of the passing of the French player yesterday: “Enzo has always been part of my life, from a very young age, I remember him, arriving on events with his Stabilo shoes, black with flames, I remember them vividly. And if we were not close, he was always part of my life. So a big hug to his parents, Jenny and Greg, and his brother and sisters.
“We can only try to pay him the homage he deserves. French squash in particular is a big family, and this is a huge blow to our family. And today, I'm proud I was able to play the best I could for him. He would have loved to play a tournament like this one.
“That makes us want to appreciate squash, and remember it's only a game, a game of squash. That we need to enjoy it, and also look after each other, have empathy toward each other. We are alive. And we need to remember to enjoy life.
“I will always love you Enzo, you are part of my family, we hope you are at peace, that you are looking at us, and that you are enjoying what you see.”
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0: 12-10, 12-10, 13-11 (49m)