R3: Olivia 3-1 Malak

[5] Olivia Weaver (USA) 3-1 Malak Khafagy (EGY)  11-0, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2 (36m)

Yes, because Egypt desperately needs another talented/focused young player! Malak impressed me again today. She is one of those players that need reassurance and to learn to get settled in a match, putting too much pressure on themselves.

Hence the 11/0 in 5m.

But once she got going and let the arm go, she not only found an excellent length game but also some exquisite backhand volley winners, feather and all, from all court positions!

She is extremely gifted with a racquet, she is very fit, and just got eventually a bit tired in the 4th, courtesy of the hard work those two girls produced today. But a lot of winners, and a few too many errors at the end.

Olivia will be happy to get on the glass, I am more impressed by not only her squash, but her humility, analysis ability, and personality. Great addition to the squash world.


It’s tough playing those young up-and-comers. They just play without any fear out there. She made the round of 16 in the ToC, she had some great results. I never played her before and I actually never saw her play before. So it’s always interesting playing a new opponent and getting a feel for their rhythm and their kind of pattern of play.

I was a bit on edge because it was a new opponent, so I know I really had to come out firing and finding my targets. Obviously, happy with how the first game went!

And then, it’s always tough to back up a game that’s 11/0. It actually happened to me in BlackBall as well where I felt I lost my focus a bit, lost my structure. She is so dangerous if you leave anything out. I was forcing some stuff, lost my urgency in my movement a bit.

Happy that after that second, I was able to put my act together, and started to find my targets again. And when I got some physicality into it, it was in my favour and then was able to force some errors from her.

Never played on the glass in Gouna, my first time. It’s as stunning as it get when it comes to a venue. I had my eye on getting the opportunity to get to play on that court.

I am playing the winner of Nouran/Amina. Similar styles but one is being more experienced than the other! If I get to play Nouran again, I just lost to her in BlackBall, and definitely learnt a lot from that match, I’d be excited to get another shot at her…