R1: Mickawy 3-0 Merlo, Ibrahhim 3-1 Khafagy, Alves 3-0 Aboulmakarim, Tong 3-1 Stephan

The evening session kicked off with wins for Zeina Mickawy, Melissa Alves, Tong Tsz-Wing and Sana Ibrahim who beat the last of the wildcards, Nour Khagafy.

Zeina Mickawy (Egy) 3-0 Cindy Merlo (Sui) 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (20m)
Sana Ibrahim (Egy) 3-1 [wc] Nour Khafagy (Egy) 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1 (38m)
Melissa Alves (Fra) 3-0 Nour Aboulmakarim (Egy) 12-10, 11-3, 11-5 (26m)
Tong Tsz-Wing (Hkg) 3-1 Marie Stephan (Fra) 16-18, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (51m)

Sana Ibrahim (Egy) 3-1 [wc] Nour Khafagy (Egy) 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1 (38m)

Sana Ibrahim progressed to the second round of the El Gouna International having defeated tournament wildcard Nour Khafagy 3-1. Sana, who’s ranked 181 places higher than Khafagy, was ahead after taking the first 11-6 only for the 16-year-old Egyptian to pull a game back to restore parity.

However, Ibrahim’s experience told when she restored her advantage with an 11-3 victory before comfortably securing a second-round spot by winning the fourth 11-1.

Sana : It was very tough, she had nothing to lose and I was very nervous.

I was only playing from the back, which is not my game at all. But after I lost the second game, my coach Yasser told me you have got to relax, play YOUR game, so I tried and relaxed, starting to play at the front of the court more, not overthinking too much.

I was telling my coach between the games that I really couldn’t feel the ball, couldn’t feel my shots, that I couldn’t control my ball. My drop shots were so high, and my shots were so passive. And he kept telling me to relax, to let go.

I’m playing another Egyptian tomorrow, it will be my first time playing against her, Yathreb Adel. We played once in a local tournament in Egypt, but never on PSA, and that’s completely different.

She is just a skilled player, I’ve got to have my boasts really strong, close to the walls because she will be attacking from the volley. I’ll have to move her around the court.

The first match is always very tough, but hopefully, I’ll be able to relax a bit more tomorrow, now I’m in the mood of the tournament…