Day One Afternoon Round-Up

The opening day of the British Open saw a whopping 32 matches, with half of those taking place in the afternoon session in Birmingham.

The Edgbaston Priory Club played host to the tournament’s first day, with four courts of exciting action beginning at 12:00.

The biggest surprise of the day saw American Timothy Brownell get the better of World No.25 Sebastien Bonmalais in a four-game battle.

Brownell, ranked 28 places below the Frenchman, was in control of the early exchanges, and he raced into a two-game lead. Bonmalais fought back to win the third, but the American was able to regroup, and he came through in four to set up a clash with World No.8 Mazen Hesham.

“Seb is a phenomenal player, he is one of the fairest players on Tour so it is always good fun to play with him. It’s always going to be a clean game, and always about the squash,” Brownell said.

“I had a lot of nerves in this match. A lot of people think it is easy to play as the underdog when there is no pressure on you, but the way the Tour is, it is so tough at the Challenger 10 level that I really just wanted to make the most of this opportunity.

“In the third game, I obviously tightened up a little, I had to start the fourth well because he can back up physically. I knew it was never over, and I am so happy to get through! What a huge win for me!”

Frenchman Baptiste Masotti was one of three men to win in five games, as he got the better of former World No.1 James Willstrop. It was a match that swung both ways, but in the end, the French No.3 was able to get over the line to move through to the second round.

“When I saw the draw, I knew that it was going to be a nightmare playing James in the first round. I was very glad I didn’t play on the glass court in front of a full house, I was glad it was on a normal court,” Masotti said.

“You need to play good squash to win against him, even with him being older and older. I think he is a legend of the game, growing up watching his matches. His squash is so accurate, he sweats squash. He is squash!

“I was stressed, it was not easy for me to come out of this match. I evacuated all the stress that I had in my body since the draw came out and now I can focus on the rest of the tournament.”

Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Tsz Kwan Lau and Egypt’s Karim El Hammamy also won in five, in very differing fashions. There were also victories for England’s Patrick Rooney, Spain’s Iker Pajares, Mexico’s Cesar Salazar and Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini, who all reached the last 32.

In the opening batch of matches, Egypt’s Mariam Metwally went the distance as she got the better of Hong Kong’s Ka Yi Lee. The pair did battle for 50 minutes, with the Egyptian eventually coming through a deciding game tie-break 14-12 to book her second round berth.

“I played Ka Yi in Malaysia and I lost, so today I was just trying to focus as much as I could and it worked well,” Metwally said after her win.

“I’ve been struggling with an injury since Black Ball, so I wasn’t playing my best. Today I was trying to stick to my game plan as much as I could. I was trying not to make it a long match, but I was happy to win.

“In the fifth I was struggling a bit with my ankle. I was trying to stay focussed and I was trying to keep pushing. I’m just happy with the way I managed the match today.”

Hong Kong’s Tomato Ho also won in five in her opening day contest, as she defeated Egypt’s Hana Moataz. The Hongkonger lost the third on a tie-break, but fought back brilliantly, reducing the number of opportunities she was giving the Egyptian, to come back from 2-1 down to win 3-2.

“I feel as though I didn’t play very good today, but I’m still happy to win 3-2 because she’s a tough opponent. I saw her recent result, which was a good result for her, so I’m happy I won 3-2 against her.

“I feel a bit tired now! Hopefully I can get some good recovery and the physio treatment helps and I get a good rest ahead of tomorrow’s match.

“In the fifth game I just forgot about what I’ve done in the previous four games. I just wanted to start afresh in the fifth game and I started pretty good with a 4/5-0 lead and I’m happy I could win it in the end.”

Nada Abbas and Yathreb Adel both added to the Egyptian contingent in the second round, while there were also wins for Frenchwoman Melissa Alves, England’s Lucy Turmel, Canadian No.1 Hollie Naughton and Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam.

Men’s First Round Results:
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 11-13, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 (93m)
Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-2: 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3 (50m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (32m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (33m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 3-1: 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7 (60m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 7-0 retired (10m)
Timothy Brownell (USA) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-1: 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2 (53m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 (54m)

Women’s First Round Results:
Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (20m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Ka Yi Lee (HKG) 3-2: 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 14-12 (50m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 15-13 (49m)
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Chan Sin Yuk (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (22m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
Tomato Ho (HKG) bt Hana Moataz (EGY) 3-2: 6-11, 11-4, 12-14, 11-9, 11-3 (52m)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (27m)