Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players in action on the side court on day one of the women’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open Platinum event.
Here’s the schedule for this afternoon
(All times are local GMT+2)
17:30 Hollie Naughton (CAN) v Tessa ter Sluis (NED)
18:15 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v Anna Serme (CZE)
19:15 Enora Villard (FRA) v Farida Mohamed (EGY)
20:00 Nicole Bunyan (CAN) v Zeina Mickawy (EGY)
You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.
Naughton Dispatches Ter Sluis
World No.20 Hollie Naughton made a winning start to 2021 with a 3-1 triumph over Dutchwoman Tessa ter Sluis.
Naughton will take on either Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy or Canada’s Nicole Bunyan for a place in the third round.
“I think that when I’m ahead in the score, like I was in the third at 7-3 up, I’m getting ahead of myself, thinking ‘oh, this is over’ and taking my foot off the gas,” said Naughton.
“Then I’m getting tenser and tenser back to square one, but with so much more pressure.
Today I was trying to feed off the court, trying to get as comfortable on there as possible, knowing that she is very talented when she’s got the ball on the racket.
“But I knew that I could expose her movement. So even when I was losing, I was telling myself to make it as difficult as possible and that she might give me a few errors when she gets tired. And luckily enough, she did at crucial times.”
Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (32m)
Tomlinson Takes Out Serme in Five
Millie Tomlinson in action
England’s Millie Tomlinson required five games and 62 minutes to defeat Czech Republic’s Anna Serme in a nail-biting contest.
The match featured tie-breaks in the first three games, with World No.27 Tomlinson scraping to an 10-12, 12-10, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6 victory which will see her take on either Farida Mohamed or France’s Enora Villard in the next round.
“She has a flick that really caught me up, and she is also very agile,” Tomlinson said.
“She moves around very well, and I helped her at the start by making far too many errors.
“I didn’t play my best today but I’m happy to get through, happy I didn’t fold mentally and that I didn’t give up.”
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Anna Serme (CZE) 3-2: 10-12, 12-10, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6 (62m)
Mohamed Ousts Villard
Farida Mohamed (left) takes on Enora Villard
19-year-old Farida Mohamed was in fine form to see off France’s Enora Villard in straight games.
Mohamed impressed at December’s Black Ball Open when she took World No.2 Nouran Gohar to five games and she will look to run deep into the tournament, with a fixture against England’s Millie Tomlinson up next.
“I had only my two coaches with me, we are only allowed to two people, so I had Tameem El Welily and Ahmed Shohayeb, and that made me feel at home,as they are always with me whether I’m in Alexandria or Cairo,” said Mohamed.
“She [Villard] surprised me, I didn’t know she could play so many attacking shots and she never gave up and didn’t give me any cheap points. She managed to keep me moving around too.
“I just signed with CIB, it’s my first big sponsor and I guess I was feeling the tension today. Up to now, I was coming to event as the challenger, I had only to do my best and I was not expected to win. But now the shoe is on the other foot, I am expected to perform and I am expected to win. That makes a big difference.”
Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-8 (27m)
Mickawy Closes Out Day with Win over Bunyan
Zeina Mickawy in action
Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy prevailed in the final match of the day with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Canadian Nicole Bunyan.
Mickawy, the World No.24, prevailed 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 in 29 minutes and will line up against another Canadian – Hollie Naughton – in the last 32.
“In the first game, I was up score-wise but I was finding it hard to close the rallies and win the point,” Mickawy said.
“All credit to her as Nicole has got a great basic game it’s very solid. She was pushing me to the back of the court and I had to volley a lot to overcome her game plan. She is also covering a lot of ground and is very hard to beat.
“As the ball got heavier, I found it a bit easier to find winners, it was a bit less bouncy and it helped my game. I am working a lot on the strengthening of my body with my physio and training partner. I feel I’m not 100 per cent yet, but I’m getting closer.
“I feel that if I’m able to impose my game, I can do good things. So I am trying to relax and enjoy my squash as much as I can.”
Zeina Mickawy (EGY) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (29m)