R3: Victor without a racquet beats Aly cramping…

[8] Victor Crouin (Fra) 3-2 Aly Abou Eleinen (Egy) 10-12, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9 (95m)

Incredible. Ridiculous. Fair. Intense. Magnificent. Suspense. Emotions.

All of that. In any particular order.

Just think about arriving at 90m of squash, 7/7, one breaks his racquet (and don’t have any more) – Victor – and the other one first twists his ankle, and then cramps in the two calves while saving two match balls (from 10/7). We are at 9/10. The crowd is going wild.

And Aly serves down. I kid you not. 11/9. Game over.

The whole match was fair and clean, they have so much respect for each other. I counted one little block each the whole match…

Victor had a game ball at 10/9 in the opener, a giant of a rally at 10/10, and it’s the Egyptian that clinches it, 12/10. 21m.

Second, close up to 4/4, Victor finds his pace, 11/6, 13m.

In the third, close the whole way, but no game ball for Victor, Aly needs 3 to close the game, 12/10 again, 21m again. To be honest, I thought the French would let go at the point. But he surprised us all by giving it a HUGE push, took Aly by surprise, taking the game in 7m, to level two games all.

The fifth is surreal, a few errors creep in the Egyptian game from 7/6 up… no wonder as probably the cramps were starting to make their damage.

A 23m last game. Just look at the replay. You won’t regret it. A classic.

Aly I’m a bit speechless to be honest.

In these matches, both players deserve to win. Our matches together never disappoint! We always give it everything we got. Last time it went my way, this time, his, it always comes down to the wire.

I cramped in the last couple of points. Before that, I twisted my ankle, which was a bit unfortunate. But all credit to Victor, he played amazing squash, as usual.

I kept telling myself, this could be the last match of my season, so I would regret it if I didn’t leave everything out there.

Obviously, I would have loved to make it to the quarters of El Gouna but there is always next time you know?

Always things I could have done better, our games are sort of similar in intensity and style, so as I do every time I play him, I’m going to go back and see what I could have done differently.

We are both 23 years old, and we have that kind of matches, so hopefully we’re going to keep on having those matches until….

Aly’s mum, Omneya

I’m so proud of Aly, he’s made a wonderful season, he’s jump 7 places this season. I’m so proud of my son, and now I just want you to enjoy the off season.

Hassan, Aly’s dad.

I’m so proud also of what he has achieved this season, enjoy your vacation and get ready for the next one.


“That was as crazy as it can get, I think! It was a crazy scenario at the end, but I’m really happy to be through to be playing another match and going to the other venue to play on the glass.

“It’s the end of the season, Aly always brings the best out of me and it went down to the last two points so I’m glad it went my way this time.

“I was 2-1 down and I didn’t know how I would come back. I came back in the fourth, fired some crosscourt nicks when I had the opportunity it went in. I pulled it back to 2-2 and in the fifth, when it was seven-all I could see he wasn’t looking good but he wasn’t showing many signs of cramp.

“At 8-7 I hit a crosscourt drop and he rolled his ankle which would have been impacted by the cramp. He came back, I broke two rackets and a string, so I had to finish the match with a broken racket, which isn’t very professional! I could see he was cramping and I had to think about how to play a shot with a broken racket and move him around so I could hurt him a little bit.”