R1: Tomato, Rachel, Mariam, Nadine

12.00 Matches
Tomato Ho
(Hkg) 3-1 Emilia Soini (Fin) 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 (42m)
Rachel Arnold (Mas) 3-1 Alicia Mead (Eng) 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (35m)
Mariam Metwally (Egy) 3-0 [wc] Salma Elalfy (Egy) 11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (23m)
Nadine Shahin (Egy) 3-1 Haya Ali (Egy) 11-5, 12-10, 2-11, 8-11, 11-6 (37m)

Nadine : I haven’t done so well for the past two years, so I have no pressure on me all, my ranking has gone  down, and I don’t have much confidence in myself. I started the match very well, trying not to focus on anything, trying not to feel down mentally.

She is a junior, very talented, and in the third, she just went ‘I have nothing to lose, I’m going to nick everything!’ So she started doing drop shots from everywhere, and everything went her way, the ball probably going dead as well.
I tried coming back in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough.

In the fifth I just let go of everything, and I thought “my fitness is better than hers” so I had to win that match, if only by fitness!

Mariam : I’m very happy with the way I control my mental focus. She is a very talented young player and maybe a bit inexperienced. I was hoping the ref would step in but he kept on saying everything was fine. But that’s not important in the scale of things.

Quite glad with the way I quickly finished the match. Since my knee surgery, I still have some little ‘warnings’ in the knee, but nothing like before. I tape it so I feel safer in the movement.

I pulled out of Chicago because of the knee, I had 4 tournaments in a row and I felt it was a bit too much for my body. And I think I was not ready for the London Open, but I had to do it as I pulled out of Chicago.

I just played BlackBall, I guess I’m just getting back into the match fitness, match by match. Not putting any pressure on myself, I’m trying to do my best, not thinking about the results, just want to be good and fit for the Worlds.

Rachel :  It feels good. Alicia has been playing well recently. She’s had a few good results so I was a bit nervous going in and this was my first time playing her so I thought it was a good start today.

“I think the change of opposition didn’t really affect me [Alicia was a last-minute entry]. I was maybe a bit more nervous in term’s of the last minute change, but I think we just adapt to it, see how Alicia plays and go from there.

“I was just making a few errors in the first game, going short to early so I thought I’d just rally a little bit longer and I think that changed it.”