R1 : Men’s Batch Three, Soliman scrapes through
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 Mazen Gamal (Egy) 13-11, 11-6, 14-12 (46m)
Dimitri Steinmann (Sui) v3-0 Borja Golan (Esp) 13-11, 8-9 rtd (35m)
Todd Harrity (Usa) 3-0 George Parker (Eng) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (41m)
Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-1 [wc] Aly Abou Eleinen (Egy) 12-10, 14-12, 3-11, 11-8 (80m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-1 [WC] Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY)
Youssef: I was not expecting that at all to be honest. I was confident, and then he caught me off guard, he was playing so well. So I told myself ok, I’ve got to find a way. And then I thought ok, now I’ve got the first game, it’s going to be ok. But it was NOT OK!
I was physically alright, I just didn’t feel I was in the tournament. I kept telling myself, next game, I’ll be better, next game, I’ll be better. But I wasn’t. And that’s all credit to him. It’s not like I was not ready or anything. He pushed me hard.
Mind you, it could be a good thing to be prepared for what’s waiting for me tomorrow, Paul Coll. It’s all about being mentally prepared, well I think today did that beautifully. Now, I’m definitely in the tournament!
I’m just happy I found a way.
He is so hungry, even when he was down, he never gave up, he kept fighting. And yes, it’s a long 4 setter, although we had a few injury breaks. But that’s what we train for, to get through those kind of matches and hopefully being more prepared tomorrow.
Aly : I play in Penn University, and I work with Gilly Lane and Stuart Crawford.
I’m just so excited to play here in Gouna. I was supposed to play in April last year, then in November, it kept being postponed. I am so happy to finally get to play here, I have been waiting for this tournament for God knows how long! So grateful for this opportunity.
I have been working so hard, and I also want to be a top professional player. I am originally from Alexandria but I moved to the States when I was 15 and I’ve been in Penn for now 3 years. I have been working with top class coaches. But when I finish my studies, I probably want to come back to Egypt as everything about squash happens here really… But I’m taking one day at a time, and see where it takes me.
I was grateful to come here, and didn’t want to take the opportunity for granted, I wasn’t to give it all. I’m very happy with my performance, I’m going to learn from it and move forward.
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0 Mazen Gamal (EGY)
Nici: I’m lucky to get away 3/0 cause the score line has got two tie-breaks, first and last game.
I never felt comfortable out there today. He made it, let me put it this way, I didn’t put the ball past him. So I was struggling to get my length, then I was attacking from stupid positions. Then he punished me, when you are trying to play boast from the front 17 times, and you lose it 16 times out of 17…. You eventually got to learn…
But it’s nice we got the chance to play here. Hopefully I’ll be ready for the next match, I’m playing Mazen. I played him in Egypt two or three years ago, in Egypt, he beat me three one I think.
I like his game so it’s going good and fun. I just got to make sure I can play my game, I am feeling very good at the moment, so I’ve got to make sure I play to the best of my abilities. I’m feeling confident, so looking forward to it..
Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0 George Parker (ENG)
Todd: Egypt has been great. I’ve learned so much out of the past 6 months or so I have been living here. All the best players are there, it’s like a microcosm of squash, and it’s amazing. I’m learning so much from my coach Haitham Effat and the other players. Also I am playing a lot of matches, and I am getting better at wining matches, I guess, which is in fact wait for it, the purpose of it all.
I worked with Haitham on some techniques and so, but mostly, he is so experienced, he’s watched so much squash over the course of his coaching career. I think his help with me has been as much the mental aspect and how to think, how a winner or a champion thinks. And not worrying about the score, trusting the process in fact. I do everything the hard way so yes, it took a little while…