R2: Satomi, Nour ES, Rowan, Zeina

12.00 Matches :
[9/16] Satomi Watanabe (Jpn) 3-0 Tomato Ho (Hkg)   11-7, 11-9, 11-3 (29m)
[1] Nour ElSherbini (Egy) 3-0 Rachel Arnold (Mas)   11-7, 12-10, 11-3 (25m)
[8] Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 3-0 Mariam Metwally (Egy)   11-4, 11-0, 11-8 (22m)
Zeina Mickawy (Egy) 3-0 Nadine Shahin (Egy)   13-11, 11-4, 12-10 (30m)

Sherbini v Arnold

The No.1 seed cruised to a 5-1 lead in the first game before Arnold could get a foot in the match. The Malaysian kept pace with the Egyptian in the tail end of game one, but El Sherbini’s early lead was too much to overcome as she clinched the first game 11-7.

The second game continued in a similar vein as the first with Arnold maintaining a slim lead over the No.1 seed to 7-6, where El Sherbini battled back to win 12-10. The ‘Warrior Princess’ looked in control of the match after the close-fought second game, and swiftly converted game three 11-3 to earn her place in third round.

Sherbini :  “I’m feeling really good, Rachel’s a really good player and we played recently in Chicago. It’s a bit awkward to play your first match on a traditional court as I usually start on glass, so it took me a bit to get used to the court. I managed to play my game and am definitely happy to win in three.

“She’s a very good player, very attacking and this court was sometimes a little dead. She was playing amazing shots and I was just trying to stick to her in every rally, so she couldn’t build a big lead – which she still did in the second. I’m just glad I won that second as it makes a huge difference.

“I’m going to try to enjoy the sun now, the weather is amazing and Gouna is my favourite tournament. I love coming here and will definitely try to enjoy the rest of the day and catch up with all the people and I’m looking forward to being on the glass!”

Elarabi v Metwally

In a strong start to the tournament Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby, the No.8 seed dominated compatriot Mariam Metwally to win 3-0 in just 22 minutes. Elaraby controlled the first game, before scoring 11 without reply in game two to go one game away from the third round. Metwally pushed back against the onslaught of the World No.10 as they traded points to 7-7, but Elaraby proved her quality as she won the third game 11-8 to reach round three.

Rowan : Incredibly hard to play against Mariam, as she can play sublime winners with exquisite racquet skills, but as her fitness is not at the top yet after her knee surgery, she needs some resting moments during the match.

Some excellent rallies today, Rowan looked a bit more relaxed that she was in BlackBall, she explained why in her aftermatch chat.

Mickawy v Shahin : A very high quality/fair game match to start the day on court 4 today. Those two players had ups and downs with confidence issues and injuries. And it was great to see them battling away, being able to perform at their best.

A very tense Zeina – wanting to impress the numerous friends/family that came to support her – and a Nadine that had nothing to lose. The result: Zeina getting ahead in the score, would then go for a little too much, and Nadine clawing back to put the maximum pressure on her opponent.

And if Nadine didn’t get a game ball in the first an third, she saved a few of those. She will be happy with her performance, whatever she is doing, she is on the right tracks back.

Zeina : Happy and relieved. I was very nervous, I know Nadine is very very dangerous. If you lose focus for a second, she can beat you in a flash! She is very tricky.

I’m very happy to take that match in 3, although I was never able to relax for a second during that match, and although I was leading the whole way, I wasn’t sure to finish the winner at all.

Nadine love a fast pace, opening up the court, but I know if I would get tired quickly if I played that game. So I tried to calm matters down, slow down the pace, attack when I had the opportunity.

Tomorrow I’m playing Rowan. We have been playing since the juniors, we know each other’s game very well, we know what to expect of each other, although our rankings are not close. But I know it’s going to be a good match, tricky, of course, but I am looking forward to it, maybe I can push through and win!