Day FOUR reports & reaction

The 2022 edition of the Allam British Open – celebrating the Centenary of the sport’s longest-running tournament – continues today with eight more third round matches from the bottom half of the Platinum draws as the Quarter-Final lineups are completed.

The rest of the event will be played out on the Glass Court at Hull’s Allam Sports Centre, while the traditional courts will be used for the Masters competition, featuring 18 draws from ages 35+ to 80+.

You can watch all the action Live, follow on Live Scoring and our Social Feeds, and we’ll have reports, player reaction and photos right here, with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.

Allam British Open 2022 : Thu 31st Mar, Day FOUR, Round THREE (bottom)

[9/16] Olivia Fiechter (Usa) bt [7] Rowan Elaraby (Egy)   3-1 : 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (28m)
[4] Mostafa Asal (Egy) bt Patrick Rooney (Eng)  3-0 : 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)

[3] Amanda Sobhy (Usa) bt Jatsmine Hutton (Eng)  3-0 : 1-9, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) bt [9/16] Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-1 : 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (75m)

[1] Nouran Gohar (Egy) bt Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)  3-0 :  11-3, 12-10, 11-4 (27m)
[2] Paul Coll (Nzl) bt [9/16] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 3-0 :  12-10, 11-6, 11-9 (58m)

[8] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt [9/16] Nele Gilis (Bel) 3-0 :  12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (42m)
[6] Diego Elias (Per) bt Shahjahan Khan (Usa) 3-0 :  11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (46m)


Reports and Reaction

Fiechter opens day four with an upset

A seeding upset opened the day’s play as USA’s Olivia Fiechter produced a terrific performance to defeat No.7 seed Rowan Elaraby from Egypt in 28 minutes.

In a closely contested first game, Fiechter narrowed down the angles of her talented opponent and used her counter drop to great effect and started to stretch Elaraby into both front corners.

After taking the first game 12-10, the confidence of Fiechter was growing as she started to dictate the play with great accuracy. The USA No.2 mixed both the heights and paces to frustrate the No.7 seed. There was no stopping Fiechter as she continued to move through the gears taking the second and third games 11-7, 11-9 to move into the quarter finals.

“Rowan is so tough to play, she’s so skilful,” said Fiechter.

“She can do so much with the racket, I felt like every game was super intense and tight, I knew there would be a lot of big rallies and I felt like I played those big rallies well. I did a lot with my team to prep for this match and couldn’t be happier to be through.

“I think especially after my match before this, where I was 2-0 down to Tesni Evans, I knew I had to get myself going from the start, Rowan just had one of her best results, reaching the semis at Black Ball so I knew she’d be coming here playing confident squash. I knew I had to do the same

“It’s such an exciting time to be a part of Team USA we have a lot of players playing amazing squash, we had four players in the last 16 across both men’s and women’s and Amanda and I have been playing the entire week leading up to this and I know it’ll be a battle if we play and I’m looking forward to watching those two.

“Jasmine is a really aggressive, hungry player, I have no doubt she’ll bring it to Amanda and go for it and put on a show for you guys.”

Olivia Fiechter bt [7] Rowan Elaraby 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (28m)

Asal makes back to back British Open quarter finals

The only remaining Englishman in the draw was next onto court as Patrick Rooney took on No.4 seed Mostafa Asal in what promised to be an entertaining affair.

The quality of squash was high from the beginning of the match, both players using severe angles to expose the movement of one another and covering the court with ease.

Despite the rallies being extremely close, Asal showed his experience of the big stages and held on at crucial moments to take the two opening games 12-10, 11-9.

Rooney was not deterred however and continued to push the tall frame of Asal into all four corners and started to volley at a frantic intensity. Asal was simply too strong on the day and took the win in 50 minutes to make back to back British Open quarter final appearances.

Asal was full of praise for the Englishman after his win:

“I’m very very pleased to play here on this court, it’s a legendary tournament as well. I want to thank Patrick for the fair play and free-flowing squash. I used to watch him at the British Junior Open with all of his skills and me and my dad used to say ‘wow’ when we watched him. I want to thank him for an amazing performance.

“They are playing amazing [Rodriguez & Soliman], I think they’ll have a good battle, I hope it’s 3-2.

“It was 6-2 to him and I was a bit rushed at the beginning. I made some errors which weren’t in my tactics, but it was tough mentally in the first game and I’m happy to move through.

“I just love playing here, I want to thank everyone who is coming at 12:45, it’s a bit early but thank you for coming and supporting the squash.”

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)

Sobhy sets up all-American quarter final

USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy confidently booked her quarter final place this afternoon, beating England’s Jasmine Hutton in straight games.

Hutton came out of the traps firing with her aggressive style of play troubling the movement of Sobhy. The left-handed Englishwoman moved the ball around the court constantly in the first game but it was Sobhy who found a string of excellent winners to take the game 11-9.

More solid and structured squash followed from Sobhy. The American started to read the attacks of Hutton and countered accurately to pin Hutton in all four corners. After some tense rallies No.3 seed Sobhy advanced to the quarter finals, winning 11-7, 11-8 in the second and third games.

Sobby now faces compatriot Olivia Fiechter in the next round and had this to say after her match:

“Relieved to win, she’s a fighter and playing in front of a home crowd it’s not easy, she’s improved tons since we played in Chicago and I know she’s going to keep improving and I just happy I could get through today.

“There’s high stakes, we’re best friends but unbelievably competitive. We’re rooming together this week so she better sleep with one eye open, but it’s huge, we have two US players in the quarters and there’s more of us making it to later stages of tournaments, it shows that we’re becoming a powerhouse of a country in the sport. I’m very proud to be in this position, we have at least one player going through to the semis but I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that’s me.

“We know each other’s game inside and out, we practice all the time and do exhibitions together but it’s just about executing on the day. But we’ll both prepare the best we can and battle it out on court like true competitors, then probably go and get dinner afterwards.”

[3] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)

Rodriguez makes sixth British Open quarter final

Closing out the afternoon session on day four, veteran of the tour Miguel Rodriguez defeated Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in four games to advance to his sixth British Open quarter final.

Soliman capitalised on a slow start from Rodriguez and took the tempo to the Colombian who made uncharacteristic errors to trail 1-0, losing that game 11-6.

Rodriguez defeated No.8 seed Joel Makin to reach the last 16 and showed that form in the second and third games. He tactfully moved the ball around the court at quite a slow pace, which caught Soliman slightly off guard. The changes in pace troubled Soliman’s smooth and strong movement and gave space for Rodriguez to attack.

After winning the second and third games, Rodriguez continued to move Soliman and thanks to a controversial call from the referee, who called Soliman’s ball down at match ball, booked his place in the last eight in 75 minutes.

Rodriguez had this to say after his match: “I think I heard something on the tin but we don’t win matches based off just one point, it was a battle so far this week for me. I played him maybe two years ago and I won so I knew what to expect. I was a bit tired warming up, a bit stiff but then I warmed up and felt better and changed my strategy and it worked. I feel very privileged to be at this stage at my age.

“As a player, the first game can be edgy, it’s my first hit on the glass court and I’m still struggling a bit with jet lag so it was just a matter of adjusting like it did against Joel Makin, but I think in the second and third games I think I imposed my game.

“We’re different eras, I’m looking forward to it. I’m glad my match wasn’t that long today, I’m going to try and enjoy it and do my best tomorrow.

Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (75m)

Nouran Gohar storms into the quarters

Soon to be World No.1 Nouran Gohar took to the court for her third round match against Sabrina Sobhy next at the University of Hull. Both players defeated Malaysian opponents in the previous round, Gohar beat Sivasangari Subramaniam in four games whilst Sobhy beat Aifa Azman to advance.

After Gohar took a comfortable first game 11-3, Sobhy started to settle in her first match on the glass court. Sobhy tried her best to step in front of Gohar and move the Egyptian. As well as she did this in the second game, it was not enough to take it, Gohar doubled her lead, winning 12-10.

It was back to business for Gohar in the third game. Her hard-hitting was always moving the ball away from Sobhy, giving her no chance of taking the ball in short with any accuracy, Gohar would leap onto these loose attacks and thunder the ball past. Gohar won 11-4 to move into yet another quarter final.

Gohar said this after her win: “Sabrina is a very tough opponent and she retrieves everything and it’s always tough playing her because you think the ball is gone and it keeps coming back, but I was expecting this, I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I’m glad I could get my game plan back after that second.

“Both are very quick players (Nour El Tayeb & Nele Gilis), they retrieve so well, Nour is always diving and Nele is always running so I’m thinking a lot of running for tomorrow for sure. But I’m really looking forward to this one, so I think it’ll be a good match.

“I just hope they have a tough match and they’re going to be tired for tomorrow.

“I’m super happy to be back to World No.1. I can’t grasp everything at once because I won’t be able to celebrate because I’ll be on court, but I’m happy with how things went this year, and its been coming for the past six/seven years and sometimes you think you won’t be at this point again so now I’m just happy that I have improved and I’m back at this spot once again.”

[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 12-10, 11-4 (27m)

Coll beats Marche in a close three

Next up was the turn of defending champion Paul Coll from New Zealand. ‘Superman’ was up against Frenchman Gregoire Marche, both looking to book their quarter final place.

The opening exchanges were dominated by Coll. The World No.1 pinned Marche in the back corners and forced errors from the Frenchman’s racket, to run out to a 7-1 lead. Marche responded however and patiently made his way back into the game by changing the pace and working Coll. Marche saved two game balls to level at 10-10. Two errors from Marche followed and handed Coll a 1-0 lead.

Coll stepped up a gear in the second game and got himself in front of Marche more often so was able to play more accurate drops. These attacking shots paid off as he took a 2-0 lead, winning 11-6.

Coll booked his place in the last eight, winning 11-9 in the third game and continues his title defence. Coll will play either Diego Elias or Shahjahan Khan in the next round.

Coll had this to say about his match afterwards: “He’s extremely talented with the racket and very quick, so I tried to tie him down and keep it straight and accurate, maybe I got a little passive at times but I was very happy with my overall length hitting and thought I contained him quite well.

“It’s one of the things I love most about squash is constantly evolving my game and adding different parts, learning and making myself better every day, it’s one of my favourite parts of being an athlete, that’s why I analyse every day and continually try to figure out what works best.

“I was very happy with that, I’ll change my game plan depending on whom I’m playing next. I thought that was tactically good today, I did exactly what I wanted to, maybe could have been a little more clinical at the front but overall very happy with that.

“I haven’t seen much of Shahjahan, obviously know Diego very well, either way, it’ll be a good match.”

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-9 (57m)

El Tayeb gets revenge on Gilis to reach the last eight

In the final women’s match of the day, Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb overcame Belgium’s Nele Gilis in 42 minutes to secure her place in the British Open quarter finals.

The pair recently met at the Windy City Open with Gilis winning that match 3-2 in an hour. El Tayeb looked in fierce form as she started the match moving Gilis into all areas of the court. After saving game balls, El Tayeb took the lead 12-10.

The rallies continues to be close and hard-fought, Gilis’ more attritional style was proving tough to break down for El Tayeb but the Egyptian found a way, using great deception to halt the movement of Gilis and take the next two games 11-9, 11-8 to move into the quarter finals.

“I’m very happy to be standing here,” admitted El Tayeb.

“It’s very hard to play with running around with a baby all day. Nele beat me a month ago in Chicago so I’m very happy with the way I played and to be through.

“I think last time I started badly, I was playing her game and today I tried to insert some shots, and every day I’m improving since my comeback and so today I think I’m a better player than last month so, for today I’m very happy.

“Maybe I need to keep playing smart, I’m one of the older ones on court, I’m a parent know so I think I need to play on the experience I’ve gained over the last 12 years on tour and hopefully it can pay off In the next round.

“She’s the number 1 and I’m in the 40’s so I’m still climbing, it’s very exciting to play the top girls. I’ve been seeing her confidence grow and how she’s been improving and I’m just excited to play and see how I can do.

“A break from squash was maybe something I needed, I’m enjoying the squash now with less pressure, having Farida here relaxes me in ways and trying to go as long as I can in these tournaments.”

[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (41m)

Elias closes out day four with a win

Closing out day four, ‘Peruvian Puma’ Diego Elias booked his place in the quarter finals after confidently beating USA’s Shahjahan Khan in straight games.

Elias’ silky smooth style was in full flow from the start of the match. He manoeuvred Khan all around the court at his medium pace but stayed in control always. Hi touch to the front troubled Khan’s movement and gave him no time to settle.

After securing the opening game 11-4, Elias was tested in the second game but ultimately proved too good once again and played the big points well to win 11-9.

Elias secured the third game to move into the quarter finals, where he has set up a repeat of the last year’s quarter final match with eventual winner Paul Coll.

Elias had this to say after his win: “I think I played well, Shahjahan is playing well and at his highest ranking, I played my last match 48 hours ago on the other courts so I guess I was a bit sleepy but I came back and will be okay.

“I don’t think was playing my best because of not playing in a couple of days and not playing on the glass, I tried to play at a good pace and hit well to the back with nothing fancy.

“Paul and I have played so many times in training, we haven’t played too much in PSA. It’s going to be a great match and he’s a great friend, I’m so happy he’s at no.1 right now but hopefully, I can take that spot from him.

“I’ll recover now, I’m here with my Physio, I’m just going to try and do all my recovery well to be ready for tomorrow.”

[6] Diego Elias (PER) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (45m)