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Tesni Evans pictured against Lisa Aitken

Manchester Open Day Two: Glass Court - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players featuring on the glass court at the National Squash Centre, on the second day of action at the 2021 Manchester Open.

Wales' Tesni Evans and Scotland's Lisa Aitken go head-to-head in the first match of the day with the likes of top seeds Hania El Hammamy and Marwan ElShorbagy also both in action on the glass court.

Glass court
All times local (GMT+1)
12:00 [3] Tesni Evans (WAL) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
12:45 [4] Joel Makin (WAL) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
13:45 Jasmine Hutton (ENG) v [2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
14:30 Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
17:30 Coline Aumard (FRA) v [4] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
18:15 Patrick Rooney (ENG) v [3] Diego Elias (PER)
19:15 [1] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v Rachel Arnold (MAS)
20:00 [1] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [WC] George Parker (ENG)

You can catch all the action live from both courts in Manchester on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Want to watch the action live? You can purchase tickets for the Manchester Open here.

For more information on the Manchester Open, please visit the official tournament website or follow the PSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Evans Reaches Quarters

Tesni Evans in action against Lisa Aitken

Wales’ World No.11 Tesni Evans secured her place in the quarter finals of the Manchester Open following an 11-8,11-7, 11-8 victory over Scotland’s World No.37 Lisa Aitken.

Aitken claimed a big comeback victory over Australia’s Donna Lobban in the opening round yesterday as she fought from two games down, however the Scot was unable to repeat that feat today as Evans got the better of her in three close games.

The two players were neck and neck in all of the games, until Evans was able to play the bigger points better and complete a solid performance to move into the quarter finals where she will face Belgium’s Nele Gilis.

“Lisa is a great player and has been playing really well recently,” said the Welshwoman afterwards.

“It’s great to see her back, I know she’s had numerous different illnesses and injuries, so it’s really good to see her back playing at that level. It was just a case at the end of each game I just pulled away a little bit but literally a couple of points in each game and it could have been 3-0 the other way.

“I just need to control it a little bit. Lisa plays a really fast pace and it’s not the way I play, so she’s much better at that than I am. I tried not to get caught up in that and try and use a bit of control, make no errors and make yourself hard to beat and hopefully it pays off.

“It’s a huge challenge tomorrow. Nele is a great player and has been playing really well recently. She’s very fit, athletic and keeps the rallies going all day long, so I’ve got to stay patient. It’s another chance to play another match and I’m really happy and I’ll take it as it comes tomorrow.”

[3] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (36m)

Makin Fights Back Against Waller

Joel Makin in action against Adrian Waller

Wales’ World No.10 Joel Makin was forced to come from a game down against England’s Adrian Waller to book his place in the quarter finals of the PSA Silver event.

It was a repeat of their British National Championship final, which took place just last week on the very same court, and despite a valiant effort from Waller the end result was much the same with Makin taking the victory once again.

Waller, who endured a tough five-game match yesterday, started strongly to go 8-4 up in the first before Makin started to chip his way back into the game, it wasn’t enough to throw Waller off though as the tall Englishman went ahead to take a 1-0 lead.

The Welshman responded well in the second, getting to grips with his game plan and forcing Waller behind him to take control of the middle of the court, which he was rewarded for as he drew back level. The two continued to battle it out in the next two games with a couple of scrappy moments with referee decisions playing their part, however, it was Makin that wrapped it up to move into the quarter finals.

He will face Egypt’s Mazen Hesham for a place in the last four tomorrow.

“It’s a difficult match to come into because I pulled it together really well on Friday,” said Makin in his post-match interview.

“I got off 3-0 easily and so he has nothing to lose when he comes back out and in the first game he probably hit seven winners and didn’t hit the tin, so I had to regroup and get the ball back past him. I was giving him far too much in the middle, which is frustrating so I had to readjust and get on top, put a bit of work in and I got there.

“Mazen is a very dangerous player, very tricky and deceptive. He’s got a lot of good options on the ball and his swing is a little different, so he’s difficult to read. He’s quality and it’s the same kind of thing as Adrian and you’ve just got to get on top, take control of the middle and once you’ve got them behind you the errors open up.

“I didn’t get it right today, but I had a good match on the glass court. I’ve been playing alright, getting everyone off 3-0 so it’s been decent – I just want to keep improving my squash.”

[4] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (56m)

Perry on Top Form Against Hutton

Sarah-Jane Perry against Jasmine Hutton

English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry got the better of compatriot Jasmine Hutton by an 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 margin as she booked her place in the last eight of the Manchester Open.

The World No.6 continued her impressive form from last week at the British National Championships which saw her win her third title at the event as she comfortably got off on the front foot in her match today and never looked in trouble to take the win in straight-games.

She will face Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam in the next round following her win over Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby on court three.

“I’m pretty happy with that, I just wanted to start well and get the intensity up from the start,” said Perry.

“Jazz is a really good athlete and her squash is getting better and better all the time. We have the same coach and we train quite a lot together, so I know the dangers she possesses, I tried to come out quickly and get going from the start. Sometimes I’m quite slow out of the blocks but I didn’t want to do that today and let her get her confidence up, so I was pretty happy with how I did that.

“There’s a lot of things, particularly the shot selection and things like that is really important and I know when I really need to apply those pressure points and make the rallies longer and force errors that way. She is definitely the more physical out of the two of us but I was jumping on the volley that first game, which is a combination of my intent and hitting my targets at the back and knowing when to hit those volleys.

“You don’t usually get this many tournaments too close together, so you don’t normally get to carry over that confidence and things so quickly, so that was perfect last week – I got better as the week went on and even in the final, I got better as it went on. I feel sharper each time I go on court and it’s just trying to keep that continuing and carry on the good squash.”

[2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (25m)

Ibrahim Takes Out No.2 Seed Gawad

Youssef Ibrahim

Egypt’s World No.18 Youssef Ibrahim added another impressive upset to his list after defeating former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in the second round of the Manchester Open.

Ibrahim has been making a name for himself on the men’s tour with his string of confident performances which came to fruition when he axed World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the third round of the Qatar Classic at the end of last year.

And the 22-year-old showed he was still one to watch, despite struggling with a knee injury in 2021, as he pulled together a dominant performance against No.2 seed Gawad to reach the quarter finals of the PSA Silver event.

The young Egyptian was completely on top in the opening two games to take the lead before Gawad looked as though he was going to attempt a trademark comeback in the third as he rattled off the points to take a 9-4 lead. Ibrahim was not going to let the third get away from him that easy though as he got his focus back to fight back to 9-9 before closing out in style.

He will face fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar for a place in the semi-finals tomorrow.

“I feel very happy, Karim and I train with the same coach – Omar Abdel Aziz and he’s one of the people that was my idol with Shabana that I followed since I was very young,” said Ibrahim.

“He’s the guy that played the best squash on tour, he’s the guy that I watched the most, that’s a bit of an advantage because I know how he plays and he hasn’t seen me play that much. I will take that as an advantage, but we play a lot in practice as well. He’s unbelievably talented and I will play a similar style, I’m left-handed but we are both very attacking. I had to take the game for him, if I waited in the back then he is very deceptive in every corner of the court, so I had to keep myself disciplined in this tournament and not be too flashy or excited. I wanted to keep my nerves down, it’s a massive win – I didn’t want to play Karim because we are friends off court and someone I looked up to, he is one of the people I love to watch but I’m very happy to win.

“I had a really bad injury since the beginning of the year, I wasn’t able to train properly or get strength and conditioning because I had a really bad knee injury, so I wasn’t giving it 100%. Thankfully before Chicago, my knee was fine and my body was fine so I was able to get a few months of good physical training.”

Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 15-13, 11-3, 11-9 (50m)

Aumard Secures Emotional Win

Coline Aumard

Frenchwoman Coline Aumard claimed a first victory over a top ten player after she defeated India’s Joshna Chinappa in a wonderful five-game contest at the National Squash Centre.

The pair were meeting for the third time on Tour, but for the first time in almost six years, and twice in the match, it was the World No.10 who took the advantage, with her quick hitting disrupting the Frenchwoman’s rhythm.

However, Aumard would not be deterred from her task, as she came back to level the match twice, including securing the fourth game after an incredible rally, which ended with a lovely flying volley.

The World No.25 eventually took the win after just under an hour, winning the final game 11-5 to book her place in the last eight of the tournament, where she will face Emily Whitlock, meaning at least one unseeded player will be in the last four in Manchester.

“Am I dreaming? I don’t know! I felt good before the tournament started. I was just in a happy zone for the last two weeks. I believe in myself and I am so pleased I won! It was a massive battle. I mean, I do rate Joshna, so much! When I started on the PSA, she was already a top player, so to beat her today is big. I am very pleased for the win!

“I’m not going to repeat myself, but I have had such a tough year. I haven’t seen my family for 20 months so it’s for them. I am so sorry to not be at home with them, so this win is for them!

“I am just super happy. I will try to focus for tomorrow, but for now, I just want to enjoy it. I wish I could go and give them [family and friends in the crowd] a massive hug but I will have to wait until I can go home! Thanks so much for coming to watch me and I love you!”

Coline Aumard (FRA) bt [4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-2: 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5 (58m)

Elias Battles Past Rooney

Diego Elias (white) and Patrick Rooney (grey) on court

The ‘Peruvian Puma’, Diego Elias, had to fight his way into the quarter-finals following a lengthy battle with England’s Patrick Rooney on the glass court.

Elias is the No.3 seed for this week’s event, but it was the young Englishman that took the opening game, showing some real skill and ability, along with some fast feet to deserve the advantage in the contest.

The World No.8 fought back to take the second in some style, but Rooney had his chances, and was 8-5 up in the third. However, Elias took the last six points in the third to go 2-1 up, and he then went on to win the fourth game as well to book his place in the last eight, where he will face Egypt’s Omar Mosaad.

“I wasn’t that relaxed really. It was a tough match, he is a good player! We played juniors together, he took a while to get to this level, but now he is at this level he is playing some really good matches. I have seen him play the last few tournaments and he is doing great. It was really tough today, I had to run a lot, he has great hands!

“I think, he took a while to get physically ready. He is getting there, he is getting fitter every tournament. I think it is experience, like I started playing on the PSA when I was really young. He took a bit longer to start playing, and I think he will get towards the top for sure.

“He was hitting great shots. I was making the rallies long and then hitting a loose cross-court and he was hitting it so close to the nick and the tin. He had a lot of winners to get to 8-5 [in the third] and I was just waiting for the errors to come.

“The body is feeling good. It took me a while to get back to 100%. I spent the last two weeks with Paul [Coll] in Amsterdam training together. I knew I could be there for longer than Pat, because I was with Paul for two hours every day on court!”

[3] Diego Elias (PER) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (52m)

Top Seed El Hammamy Safely Into Quarters

Hania El Hammamy

World No.7 Hania El Hammamy is into the last eight of the Manchester Open after a convincing performance against Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold in her first outing on the glass court at the National Squash Centre.

El Hammamy received a bye through to the second round, and the young Egyptian is the top seed for the tournament. She showed her class from the off, restricting Arnold and not allowing her opponent to showcase her abilities.

The Malaysian found a winner here and there, but El Hammamy was able to shut her down for the majority of the contest, winning out 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 to set up a clash with Belgium’s Tinne Gilis in the quarters on Wednesday evening.

“It really feels good to compete again after the World Championships. [I am] really excited to be the top seed in the tournament and really excited to see what this week has for me,” El Hammamy said.

“I am trying to work on myself, to relax and not put it in my mind that I am the No.1 seed. It didn’t work well for me in the Worlds when I put pressure on myself so I have just come this week to play my best squash, and hopefully I can win it.

“Rachel is a very dangerous player. I played against her twice and one of those was 3-1. I remember the one in Hong Kong and it was tough. I wanted to be focussed and not give her an opening, and I am glad I managed to do that!”

[1] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (25m)

ElShorbagy Downs Parker To Advance

Marwan ElShorbagy

Top seed Marwan ElShorbagy is through to the quarter-finals of the Manchester Open after defeating England’s George Parker in a hotly-contested clash at the National Squash Centre.

The World No.5 needed 42 minutes on court, in a battle that swung this way and that in each game, but in each of those, it was the Egyptian that came out on top.

Parker saved three match balls in the third, to come back from 10-7 to send it into a tie-break, but ElShorbagy was able to regroup to win it 12-10, booking his place in the last eight where he will face Qatari No.1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.

“I am happy, really happy to win today. I know George, I know how good he is. He has had a few good results, he played well at the World Champs, played well at the British Nationals,” the top seed explained.

“I have been following him because I know he has a really good future and if he keeps doing what he is doing, he will keep causing trouble for the top players. He is a good player, playing better, calmer on court, thinking more and using his squash more, and he is a very dangerous player.

“First round is always a tricky match. I watched [Karim Abdel] Gawad earlier today and that made me a little bit tense. When you see a top player losing early in the first round, it gives you what you need, what I needed today. I got a little nervous today watching Gawad lose so I knew I could lose if I was not 100% sharp today, and I played well.

“[Abdulla Mohd] Al Tamimi must have played well to beat a player like Miguel [Rodriguez]. He must have played really well. He is a dangerous player, he is tricky and he can do a lot with the ball. I will have to be sharper tomorrow because he uses the hold well, he is a vey good player. I am playing all those youngsters now and I am not that young anymore, so I am looking forward to it.

[1] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 12-10 (42m)

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