QF: Tinne 3-2 Salma

[7] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 3-2 Salma Hany (EGY)  11-8, 11-0, 7-11, 10-12, 11-5 (68m)

Guys, have a little thought for Greg Gaultier tonight. He had three of his players to coach in a row. Started with Nour El Sherbini, then Mohamed ElShorbagy, and now it was Tinne’s turn to greyer his hair…

For me tonight, the key was Tinne’s retrieval talent. What ever Salma threw at her, she was retrieving and in a good position, allowing her to counterattack or counterdrop immediately. The work she is doing with the Frenchman is paying dividends.

It had started pretty well for the Belgium girl. The opener was close enough to 5/5, a good push for Tinne, 8/5, game ball 10/6, and taking the game in 12m of intense squash.

The second is a whitewash, 11/0, no fault of Salma (only three errors in the middle of the game), just clinical squash from the Belgium.

As often, when a player is baggled,  the response is pretty fiery. And it’s exactly what happened. Salma was finding more and more superb attacks and their succession ended by tiring her opponent, from 3/3, 7/4 to Salma, back level 7/7, but Salma’s positive and aggressive squash get the better of the Belgium, and it’s 11/7 for the Egyptian. 10m game.

A good start for Belgium in the 4th, 3/0, but Salma tasted victory; she knew she had the weapons to overcome Tinne’s resistance. And she pushes hard, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9.

A no-let gives the Belgium her first match ball, 10/9, but another no-let takes it away—with a conduct warning for descent. Encouraged by her camp and the crowd, the Egyptian closes that fourth in 19 very long minutes, 12/10.

Whatever Greg told his player at that point worked. She came back firing as she did in the first two games, 4/1, 8/2. And if Salma kept attacking and finding some superb/lethal attacks, the Belgium was not to be denied, and it’s 11/5 in 13m on her third match ball…


“I started the match with a lot of confidence. I know what she’s capable of but I just felt really good on court and enjoying my time. In the first two games I felt like everything was going pretty well but in the third I think she thought she had nothing to lose and just fought her way back in and she did that pretty well. She wasn’t missing but I was missing my targets.

“I’m just happy and very relieved I managed to sneak the fifth, now I’ll reset and focus on what I did well.

“There was some traffic sometimes. There were definitely some dodgy movements but I think the ref did well to punish her or give me a let when she did a bad movement. I’m happy I didn’t let that into my head and kept focusing on my own targets.

“It was crucial having Gregory in my corner. Greg made a big difference for me. Not even just today, I’ve had some very tough matches and it was just little things that I didn’t see and he sees so well. His knowledge of the game is so big. Sometimes you need someone to tell you that it’s going to be alright, plus the tactical advice too!”