Day Two Roundup
Subramaniam takes out Evans in Round Two
Malaysian World No.36 Sivasangari Subramaniam caused an upset on day two of the El Gouna International Squash Open, PSA World Tour Platinum event as she sent World No.10 Tesni Evans out after a five-game battle at the El Gouna Squash Complex.
Subramaniam has played well on Egyptian soil in the past – beating her first top 10 player, Amanda Sobhy, at the CIB PSA Women’s World Championship in Egypt back in October 2019 – and found her range early on to take a one-game lead.
Welshwoman Evans, making her first PSA Tour appearance of 2021, fought back to take a 2-1 advantage, but it proved to be in vain as she succumbed to 22-year-old Subramaniam in the fourth and fifth games.
“Obviously I played very well in the first game, I was really warmed up and very comfortable,” said Subramaniam afterwards.
“But in the second and third, I was giving her plenty of errors. She was not winning, I was just giving her points and it was very frustrating. From the fourth game on, I told myself I have the fitness, so I was just going to keep pushing the ball back even if I had the opportunity to volley.
“That worked well, the rallies were going longer, and I think she was feeling it too. It’s a good win, so I’m happy to be back.”
Subramaniam will take on No.2 seed Nouran Gohar next after she got the better of Zeina Mickawy in straight games, while England’s Lucy Turmel enjoyed a surprise win over USA’s Olivia Clyne.
Turmel, the World No.37, completed her first win over a top 15 player as she beat World No.12 Clyne by an 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 scoreline to book her spot in the last 16 of a Platinum event for the second time. The 21-year-old will take on World No.5 Amanda Sobhy next, with Sobhy coming from a game down to beat Canada’s Danielle Letourneau.
“I spoke to my brother just before the match and asked him if he had any advice,” Turmel said.
“His advice was to get in front of her and stay in front of her and that’s the simplicity of what I did. Thanks to my brother for the advice he gave me. This tournament I really wanted to prove to myself I could play the level I think I can play at and the aim is to go home happy with the way I performed.”
Sobhy’s USA teammate Olivia Fiechter upset the seedings with victory over World No.13 Nele Gilis and she will play World No.9 Salma Hany for a place in the quarter-finals. New Zealand’s Joelle King and Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby were the other two women’s victors.
In the men’s event, former World Junior Champion Karim El Hammamy followed up his opening day upset of Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi with a 3-0 win against World No.16 Zahed Salem.
Salem was coming off the back of a maiden Platinum quarter-final last time out at the CIB Black Ball Open two months ago, but he suffered an early exit to El Hammamy, who won an intense match 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 in 64 minutes.
“He doesn’t play high percentage squash, his shots are very calculated, so I had to attack, I couldn’t just wait and sit as he was going to put the pressure on me,” El Hammamy said.
“I’m playing Karim Abdel Gawad [next]. We don’t know how the Baby-Faced Assassin is going to do. Yes, he’s just come back from a foot injury, but believe me, he can win on one foot, so I have to wait and see and watch.”
Gawad, a two-time runner-up at this event, got the better of Mohamed ElSherbini in four games, while World Champion Tarek Momen began his tournament with a 3-0 win against Iker Pajares Bernabeu.
World No.15 Gregoire Marche was also victorious on day one as he upset the seedings to eliminate World No.10 Miguel Rodriguez. Marche ended a four-match losing run against the former British Open champion when he beat him at the CIB Black Ball Open two months ago and followed that up with a confident 3-0 win in El Gouna today.
The Frenchman will play Germany’s Raphael Kandra after his win over Marche’s compatriot, Lucas Serme, while World No.4 Paul Coll and World No.41 Victor Crouin are also through courtesy of wins against Youssef Soliman and Shahjahan Khan, respectively.
“It was a good draw, when you think that Grégoire has to play Miguel, with all due respect to Alan [Clyne] and Shahjahan, it’s not the same level of players,” Crouin said.
“I’m happy of course that I’m in the third round and I’m playing Paul on the glass court. I’m feeling good, and I cannot express how happy I am to play on the glass. I can’t wait as normally I watch it from behind my screen on SQUASHTV.”