2020-21 Finals : Day THREE

Day THREE featured six more best-of-three Group matches at the Mall of Arabia.

It was a mixture of Round Two and Three matches , with Hania El Hammamy, Joelle King and Mohamed ElShorbagy securing their semi-final places, but there’s still plenty to play for tomorrow.

You can follow the action here, LIVE on SquashTV or the PSA Facebook Page, check the Live Scores, and we’ll be posting match by match updates here, with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.

CIB PSA World Tour Finals : Thu 24th Jun, Day THREE

WB  R2  [2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 2-0 [4] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)        11-9, 11-7 (30m)
MB  R2  [3] Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-1 [6] Joel Makin (Wal)                       6-11, 11-4, 12-10 (64m)

WA  R3  [6] Camille Serme (Fra) 2-0 [8] Salma Hany (Egy)                        11-4, 11-2 (17m)
MB  R2  [2] Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-1 [8] Gregoire Marche (Fra)    13-11, 11-13, 11-7 (65m)

WB  R2  [7] Joelle King (Nzl) 2-0 [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)                 12-10, 11-7 (32m)
MA  R3 [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 2-1 [6] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy)  8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)

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Hania on the brink of qualification

 [2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 2-0 [4] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)     11-9, 11-7 (30m)

A second straight 2-0 victory sees defending World Tour Finals champion Hania El Hammamy move to the brink of qualifying for the knockout stages, depending on results later this evening.

The 2019-2021 winner came up against USA’s Amanda Sobhy in the opening match of day three, after after losing five of the first six points of the match, she fought back to

“Today was a very difficult match, even though it was a 2-0 win. I was very uncomfortable playing Amanda, like always, so I am really happy to be able to get the win.” The defending champion said.

“I didn’t have a very good start in the first game but I tried to push myself mentally to find a way back into the game. It is the best-of-three so I had to do it in any possible way. I am known for being 2-0 down and then coming back but in. This tournament, there is no way to do that so I had to find a way.

“I try to come out of the tournament, trying to take the positives. Even though I lose sometimes and I have tough losses, I try and take the positives and that is how I can keep pushing.”

Coll in prime position after beating Makin

[3] Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-1 [6] Joel Makin (Wal)   6-11, 11-4, 12-10 (64m)

New Zealand’s World No.4 Paul Coll is close to qualifying for the knockout stages, thanks to a last game tie-break victory over Wales’ Joel Makin.

It was the Welshman who took the first game relatively comfortably, but Coll fought back, taking the second game 11-4. The match became scrappy in the decider, and was littered with refereeing decisions, with the Kiwi eventually coming out on top after 64 minutes of play.

“It was a bit of an up-and-down match today, you know. He won the first pretty easily, then I won the second pretty easily and it got scrappy at the end of the third there. Really happy to close it out and to have two wins to start with. Really, really happy to get through that one.” Coll said.

“He is a very tough player, especially in these conditions when it’s hot, he makes it so hard to win a point. I have massive respect for Joel, I don’t think that was our best match we have played, but I am happy to get through and I will try and push on and get another win tomorrow and make it three-for-three in pool play.

“A win today was vital. Obviously, 2-0 would have been better than 2-1, but a win is better than a loss. I was just trying to win today and get two wins on the board.”

Serme keeps hopes alive

 [6] Camille Serme (Fra) 2-0 [8] Salma Hany (Egy)      11-4, 11-2 (17m)

Frenchwoman Camille Serme kept her chances of making it into the last four alive with a convincing straight games victory over Egypt’s Salma Hany.

The World No.9 was already out of the tournament after losing her first two matches, and Serme was able to make the most of that, allowing the Egyptian to score just six points across the match, which lasted 17 minutes.

Serme know has to wait until tomorrow to find out whether she will be in the last four, where she needed group-topping Nouran Gohar to defeat World Champion Nour El Sherbini for the Frenchwoman to advance.

“I still have on dream, to win the World Championships one day. That is my main dream, my main goal. This tournament is good preparation for the World Championships in three weeks’ time.” Serme said.

“Obviously, I think all the French people love coming here to train. There are so many good players and they always welcome us. They are happy to have us around so it is very nice to come here and train. The crowd, they know squash, they enjoy it.”

Momen survives against Marche

[2] Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-1 [8] Gregoire Marche (Fra)    13-11, 11-13, 11-7 (65m)

He needed to win, he did win. Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen kept his chances of reaching the semi-finals with a third game victory over Frenchman Gregoire Marche.

Having lost to Paul Coll in his opening match, Momen needed to win to keep his hopes alive, and after two tie-breaks, his clash with Marche, the tournament’s No.8 seed, was level. However, ‘the Viper’ came from a 6-3 deficit in the third to win it 11-7, and he now sits 2nd in Group B.

“It was a brutal match mentally because I fought so hard in that second game to come back from 9-5 down. I wanted to close it out 2-0 because every point in this tournament counts and I wanted to get the four points.

“Losing that one [the second game] hurt a bit given that I had match balls and I missed it by a millimetre on two drop shots. It was very frustrating but then I wanted to do what I did against Paul [Coll] so I wanted to come back in the third.

“He turned on an extra gear, made no errors, everything was going where it was supposed to go, and I felt that I was getting outplayed until 6-3. Then I used my experience and I used matches where I was down. I pushed hard to come back, I believed in myself that I could do it and I just had to put in the effort.”

King Secures Semi-Final Spot

[7] Joelle King (Nzl) 2-0 [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)    12-10, 11-7 (32m)

With a victory over Sarah-Jane Perry, New Zealand’s Joelle King has secured her place in the last four, thanks to winning both of her pool matches so far.

King needed just over half an hour to secure the victory, which included a win in a first game tie-break. She will face Hania El Hammamy in her final pool match tomorrow, with the pair both through, and battling it out for top spot in Group B.

“SJ and I live an hour and a half away from each other so we play a lot of practice matches together obviously it is always different when you step on court in a tournament situation but it is nice to be familiar with the players you are playing against, you know, although everyone is improving so you have to keep learning and seeing what improvements they are doing,” King explained.

“Theres a lot of people to thank, out on court it is the player but there are a lot of people behind me in England who are working on these things with me. It has definitely not been a strength in the past and I definitely have Hadrian [Stiff], Laura and Danny [Massaro] to thank for that.

“Playing Hania tomorrow and we are both in the same situation. We have both won two matches so it just brings a new challenge. I go out on court every time to win, so I will give it my all tomorrow.”

Marwan downs Mohamed in ElShorbagy battle

[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 2-1 [6] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy)  8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)

Marwan ElShorbagy got the better of his older brother, Mohamed, in the last match of the evening, winning 2-1 in a quick-fire encounter.

After winning the first game, Mohamed secured a spot in the last four, before Marwan came back to win the second and third games with ease to take the win.

“Today’s match was a little bit different of course. I knew my brother only needed one game to qualify so I knew as soon as he won the first game, things were different for him, he was a bit more relaxed knowing he was qualified.

“I had a tough night last night, very disappointing. I just had to try and stay as professional as possible in the match, keep my focus as much as possible, and it was just another match with my brother. It is always tough to play him. The conditions were a little bit different today, because, as I said he needed just one game. Now I am hoping for a result tomorrow.

“It is a tough group. I beat the World No.1 and World No.2 and I still don’t know whether I have qualified or not. I have enjoyed being part of that group and being a part of the World Tour Finals. Karim [Darwish] does a great job, very good organisation.”

Only Mohamed ElShorbagy is through to the last four in the men’s event while a win for Mostafa Asal would see him through to the semi-finals in Group A. Group B could see all four men make it into the knockout stages, with all four playing tomorrow.