Day TWO : Round TWO

The 2024 edition of the British Open continued today in Birmingham with 32 Round Two matches at the Rep Theatre (unusually, 9 matches there) and Edgbaston Priory, with yesterday’s Round One winners mostly up against some of the top 16 seeds

Wales’ Joel Makin was the only player to beat a top eight seed as he overcame Tarek Momen to record his first ever British Open win.

Elsewhere there were six women’s encounters that needed all five games to resolve.

Check out the afternoon and evening roundups and reaction below the results …

British Open 2024 : Mon 3rd Jun, Day TWO, Round TWO

Glass Court @ The Rep
[3] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-0 Katie Malliff (Eng)   11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)
[9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 3-0 [8] Tarek Momen (Egy)   11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)
[2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Rowan Elaraby (Egy)   11-9, 13-11, 11-5 (46m)
[2] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-1 George Parker (Eng)   11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4 (50m)
[7] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Eng) 3-1 Greg Lobban (Sco)   11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 (47m)
[1] Nour ElSherbini (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Siva Subramaniam (Mas)   11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (35m)
[3] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 [9/16] Victor Crouin (Fra)   11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (32m)
[6] Gina Kennedy (Eng) 3-2 Georgia Adderley (Sco)   7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5 (60m)
[1] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 Omar Mosaad (Egy)   11-1, 11-3 rtd (42m)

Edgbaston Priory
[9/16] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa) 3-1 Hana Moataz (Egy)    8-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (40m)
Hana Ramadan (Egy) 3-0 Nour Aboulmakarim (Egy)   11-9, 11-3, 15-13 (44m)
[5] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-1 Rachel Arnold (Mas)   9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (34m)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0 Andrew Douglas (Usa)   11-3, 11-6, 11-2 (28m)
Youssef Ibrahim (Egy) 3-0 Gregoire Marche (Fra)   13-11, 11-2, 11-9 (38m)
[6] Mazen Hesham (Egy) 3-1 Henry Leung (Hkg)   5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)
[4] Nele Gilis (Bel) 3-2 Hollie Naughton (Can)   15-17, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5 (74m)
[9/16] Salma Hany (Egy) 3-2 [9/16] Farida Mohamed (Egy)   11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 (58m)
[9/16] Satomi Watanabe (Jpn) 3-0 Zeina Mickawy (Egy)   11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (31m)
Balasz Farkas (Hun) 3-1 Dimitri Steinmann (Sui)   11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-4 (55m)
Mohamed Aboelghar (Egy) 3-0 Auguste Dussourd (Fra)   11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (30m)
[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-0 Juan Camilo Vargas (Col)   11-7, 11-9, 14-12 (37m)
[9/16] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-2 Tesni Murphy (Wal)   8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 (69m)
Tomato Ho (Hkg) 3-2 Malak Khagafy (Egy)   10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (71m)
[8] Olivia Weaver (Usa) 3-0 Lucy Turmel (Eng)   11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (34m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egy) 3-2 Aifa Azman (Mas)   11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 (55m)
Timothy Brownell (Usa) 3-0 [9/16] Baptiste Masotti (Fra)   11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (34m)
[9/16] Eain Yow Ng (Mas) 3-1 [9/16] Aly Abou Eleinen (Egy)   4-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (47m)
[9/16] Nada Abbas (Egy) 3-1 Grace Gear (Eng)   11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-2 (45m)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 3-0 Alex Tsz Kwan Lau (Hkg)   11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (73m)
[7] Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-1 Jasmine Hutton (Eng)   11-5, 11-2, 7-11, 13-11 (48m)
[4] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-0 Karim El Hammamy (Egy)   11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (35m)
[9/16] Marwan Elshorbagy (Eng) 3-0 Leonel Cardenas (Mex)   11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (48m)


Reports & Reaction

Evening Roundup : Kennedy downs Adderley in five

England No.1 Georgina Kennedy was forced to battle all the way to five games before finally overcoming Scotland’s Georgia Adderley in a five-game thriller at Birmingham Rep this evening.

All six of the pair’s previous matches had seen Kennedy win 3-0 and, given the Englishwoman picked up the Manchester Open title a fortnight ago, the form book was heavily in Kennedy’s favour.

However, it wasn’t plain sailing for the World No.5, who struggled to put away a tenacious Adderley. Adderley twice held a one-game lead after combining superb retrieval skills with deadly winners into the front of court.

But crucially, Kennedy was able to regroup in a one-sided fourth game, which gave her the momentum she needed to pull through in the decider. The 27-year-old will play Egypt’s Fayrouz Aboelkheir for a place in the quarter-finals.

“I knew what was going to happen today in terms of what Georgia brings to the table,” said Kennedy.

“Every point is evil and it’s really difficult to play against her. I thought she played really well there, that’s the first time that I felt I could really lose that match. I didn’t feel my best out there, I felt really flat.

“I was thinking of World No.1 Ali Farag, he’s said in a few interviews that you have to find a way to win when you’re not feeling your best. That’s what Ben [Ford, Kennedy’s coach] said to me and I had to dig in.”

Kennedy’s England teammate Sarah-Jane Perry also had to dig in as she overturned a 2-0 deficit against Wales’ Tesni Evans.

Perry, who was born a stone’s throw away from The Rep, was in real trouble after an electric start from Evans, but the 2017 finalist dug in to force an 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 win.

“I think any time you play Tesni it is going to be really tough,” Perry said.

“We’ve played so many times over the years, and we know each other’s games inside out, so we are always trying to find another trick to add to our book. It was a big mental effort to come back from 2-0 down and it’s good to know that I still can. We’re very good friends off court and I didn’t like the way the match ended. It was a contentious decision.

“I saw the ball as okay [at 9-9 in the fifth], Tesni thought it was down, the referee wasn’t sure. Honestly, if I thought it was down I would have called it, but if it was then I am sorry.

“It’s always really special to be playing in the British Open, especially when it’s in your home city. I was born here just a couple of miles down the road, so it’s really special. I can’t wait to get out on that court at The Rep and play my next match on Wednesday.”

Women’s defending champion Nour El Sherbini also got her tournament under way as she avenged her defeat to Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam at March’s London Classic with a 3-0 win over the World No.10 tonight.

Elsewhere, men’s defending champion Ali Farag got the better of former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in the final match of the day, but he came through the wars to do it following a 30-minute pause in play after sustaining a facial injury.

The World No.1 was a game ahead and 6-1 up in the second before he raced through to pick up a Mosaad drop, catching his nose on his compatriot’s elbow in the process. After a lengthy break to stem the heavy bleeding, the four-time World Champion returned to court and saw out the rest of the game, before Mosaad then retired injured, shaking hands with his opponent.

Mohamed Abouelghar will await Farag in the next round.

“I’m all good, it’s a contact sport and it does happen,” said Farag.

“The only problem is I’m going to look uglier than I already was. But Nour [El Tayeb, Farag’s wife] has to deal with that, not me! Accidents happen and we have to get on with them.

“I do feel very sorry for him [Mosaad] because he doesn’t shake hands unless it is very serious. He had a tough one physically yesterday, and I could feel in the first that he wasn’t moving his best.”

Newly-crowned World Champion Diego Elias began his attempts to win a maiden British Open crown, wasting no time at all in beating Frenchman Victor Crouin to complete a comfortable 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 win.

Elias, who became the first South American World Champion last month, said:

“I’m very happy with my performance after winning the World Championships a couple of weeks ago. It was hard to get back into tournament mode and getting Victor in the first round is always tough, but it’s nice to start like this.

“I had a few celebrations, that’s for sure, I disappeared for four or five days, but after that I started getting focused for this one. It’s the British Open and it’s a very important tournament, I’m relaxed right now and I want to enjoy my squash and see what happens.

“I haven’t done that well compared to last season, I haven’t won any big tournaments until a few weeks ago, so I wasn’t happy until that win. Now it’s the British Open, so hopefully I can finish the season well.”

Afternoon Roundup : Makin scores first BO win

Welsh World No.9 Joel Makin scored his first ever win at the prestigious British Open at the seventh attempt after he put in a masterclass to oust World No.8 Tarek Momen at the Birmingham Rep Theatre.

Makin has endured an up-and-down season and spent two months out with an injury at the start of 2024 but returned to form with victory at the Manchester Open two weeks ago. He picked up where he left off there with a controlled performance that saw him complete an 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 win over the former World Champion.

Momen’s fleet of foot and impeccable racket skills make him one of the most dangerous players on the PSA World Tour, which Makin knew all too well having won just four of their previous 12 meetings. However Makin – who now lives in Birmingham – quelled his attacking threat to set up a third round match with Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim.

“We’ve had some battles over the last couple of years,” said Makin afterwards.

My squash was sharp and if my body is responding like it did there I can make it difficult for the best players. I’m happy to win that, he’s obviously at the end of his season and he’s pretty tired, we’re all in a difficult place with our bodies but everyone is pushing.

“I hope everybody enjoyed the matches and it should be another good day of squash.

“He’s so attacking and it’s so easy to sit back and defend out of the front. You always end up on the back foot, so I had to be proactive, take the initiative and be direct with my attacks. That’s what you train for and I put it together well.

“Part of being a good player is playing on any court conditions at any time with no excuses. [Ali] Farag’s won eight tournaments in the last year and there were a lot of different court conditions, you have to find a way to work it out and play it to your advantage.”

Men’s England No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy is also through after overcoming fellow Briton Greg Lobban in four games. ElShorbagy, a three-time British Open champion, will go up against USA’s Timothy Brownell or France’s Baptiste Masotti in the next round.

“Greg did really well in Manchester, he took out a lot of top guys and now he’s in the top 16,” said ElShorbagy.

“He’s at his best ever ranking and I didn’t take this lightly. My team and I prepared very well for the match and it was tough. Anytime I lost focus, he jumped on it, and anytime he lost focus, I jumped on it. It was a good match, high quality, and I’m really glad to go through.

“With everything I’ve done in my career, I’m not here for a last 16 or quarter-final. I’ve never aimed for those rounds, you have to aim to win the event, even if you have not been playing well or getting the results, you have to trust yourself.

“If you don’t have the mentality that you want to win all the time, or that you are the best player in the world, even if you’re not World No.1, then you should not be here.

“That’s the mentality I have, I go into every match to win it. Sometimes it doesn’t work, a lot times it doesn’t work, but a lot of times it does work, too.”

Meanwhile, Farkas Balazs has become the first Hungarian to reach the last 16 after beating Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann, while two-time British Open champion Paul Coll dispatched England’s George Parker in four games.

Over at Edgbaston Priory Club, Belgium’s No.4 seed Nele Gilis was pushed all the way to five games by Canada’s Hollie Naughton, eventually avoiding an upset to claim a 15-17, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5 win after 74 minutes of tough squash. The 28-year-old will now play Salma Hany, who edged past compatriot Farida Mohamed 11-9 in the fifth, for a place in the last eight.

“To be honest, it was purely a mental battle for me today,” Gilis said.

“I woke up not feeling too well today, so physically I wasn’t there and I really just had to find a way to win and dig deep every point. I’m just proud of myself that I was able to do so, because Hollie [Naughton] is such a tough opponent.

“Maybe if I had snuck that first game, maybe my confidence would have been a bit better, but I’m just glad that I was able to come back from that. After the first game I wasn’t sure if I had the energy for that. I’ve been in this situation many times before. I do know that I can dig myself out of any hole and find a way to win.”

Back at The Rep, newly-crowned World Champion Nouran Gohar kickstarted her attempts to add a second British Open trophy to her collection after a comfortable 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 win against England’s Katie Malliff.

“She has a lot of talent,” Gohar said.

“I watched a couple of her matches to see what I should be doing and she’s a big talent. I like as well the attitude that she has on court. Even when she’s waiting for the serve she’s not intimidated and I love seeing players like that.

“It reminds me a bit of myself when I was younger and coming up. She was fighting hard until the very last point and it’s good to see, it’s very good for the sport. I’m happy with the way I handled her, in the last game she obviously played very well, but I gave her some easy points which usually I would be careful of.

“They always ask me what is my favourite tournament and British Open always comes up on the list because of the crowd. Even if I’m playing an Englishwoman they are very fair and I know they are going to cheer for my good shots. They are very knowledgable about the game and they appreciate good rallies and good points.

“I love when people appreciate what we’re doing and you can’t find this anywhere else apart from England. I’m Egyptian, so they always favour me [in Egypt] but I always feel very sorry for non-Egyptians playing in Egypt. But here it’s very fair, very nice, and having this venue at the theatre is amazing.”

Gohar’s next opponent will be Hong Kong’s Tomato Ho, who fought to a tough 3-2 win against Egypt’s Malak Khafagy, while 2022 champion Hania El Hammamy navigated a tricky fixture with Rowan Elaraby.

Day One effects mini-gallery …