The 2022 CIB PSA World Championships continued with a fourth day day at the Club S Allegria with 16 more second round matches from the bottom half of the draws, four of them on the Glass Court to finish off the day.
After today it’s evening matches on the Glass Courts only – Round Three taking place at Club S and the Egyptian National Museum of Civilization simultaneously over two days, with quarter-finals onward all at the Museum.
All the side court matches will be streamed live on the PSA YouTube channel with Glass Court action live on Squash TV. You can also follow with Live Scores and our Social Media channels, and we’ll have reports and reaction right here with a roundup to follow at the end of the day.
Reports & Reaction
El Sherbini comes back to beat impressive wildcard Ayman
Defending champion Nour El Sherbini recovered from an uncomfortable start to beat impressive wildcard Kenzy Ayman and set up a third round match against Belgium’s Tinne Gilis.
18-year-old World No.79 Ayman, who beat World No.29 Jasmine Hutton in the first round, caused El Sherbini no end of problems early on in the match, with her unconventional swing and aggressive positioning throwing the World No.2 off her game as she took a shock one-game lead.
Ayman continued to play well early in the second game, before El Sherbini eventually found some rhythm to take game two 11-7 and game three 11-4.
In an even fourth game, El Sherbini was able to finally put the match to bed with a hard-fought 11-9 win.
After the match, the Alexandrian praised her opponent: “I definitely [didn’t expect this performance]. It was my first time playing her and the first time I’d seen her play. A wildcard and upsetting in the first round. I think she’s being getting a lot of good results, winning tournaments.
“I didn’t expect this, she didn’t show any fear or any inexperience playing on the glass court, especially outdoors. I was definitely surprised, but I’m glad I had a little more experience than her to sneak every couple of points in each game.
“I’m going to look on the positive side. Being away [injured] for three months, just coming to play the world champs, which is the biggest event, so it’s hard and challenging, but it was a good testing match for me. This is going to get me in the mood. I’m sure I’m going to get better match by match.”
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [WC] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (48m)
Defending champion Farag through after entertaining bout with Salazar
Egypt’s defending men’s champion Ali Farag continued his perfect start to the World Championships with a 3-0 win over Mexico’s Cesar Salazar.
Farag was pushed to the limit in a fiercely-contested first game, with the Mexican consistently punishing Farag whenever the Egyptian went short.
Eventually, though, Farag was able to make the breakthrough, with his tactic of playing to the back of the court more often paying dividends as he took the first game 13-11.
After a dominant 11-1 win in the second game, Farag wrapped up the match with a tight 11-9 win in the third.
Afterwards, he said: “I’ve experienced all sorts of things before going on court. I don’t think I was necessarily slow off the blocks. It’s just that I wanted to play with intensity, but my fault was going too short, too early. I should have found my corners in the back first.
“Once I found my groove, I think I played well. My short game can still be better and in the third I tried it, but you can’t try it against Cesar! He’s going to kill you off. Thankfully I was able to pull that one back.
“[The crowd here] are brilliant. You love to see all the kids, they’re all so passionate about the game and about the sport.
“It’s a true honour to play in our own backyard. I cannot wait to go to the museum!”
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 13-11, 11-1, 11-9 (31m)
El Hammamy comeback downs Watanabe
Egypt’s No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy came from behind to beat somewhat unknown quantity Satomi Watanabe 3-1 to reach a third-round clash against England’s Georgina Kennedy.
Having spent the majority of the last two years training exclusively in Japan, World No.77 Watanabe’s true level was something of a mystery ahead of this year’s championship.
After beating England’s Lucy Turmel in round one, against Hammamy the Japanese No.1 picked up where she left off, taking the first game 11-8 as she took Hammamy by surprise.
Hammamy, though, was able to settle herself, switching up her attacks to take the next two games 11-5 and 11-9.
In the fourth, it soon became clear that there would be no upset. When El Hammamy took a 10-0 lead, the best Watanabe could do was attempt to avoid a bagel. The 23-year-old’s blushes were spared, though, as she clawed back two points before El Hammamy finished things off.
Afterwards, El Hammamy said: “It was obviously very hard, she took me by surprise to be honest. I’ve known Satomi for a long time. We’ve played a lot of junior tournaments together, British Open juniors, World juniors as well. But I haven’t seen her for a while, so I knew she was a great player, but I didn’t know what to expect today.
“It was definitely tough, I’m really glad I was tested today and I managed to get through it.
“I always look for my coach, in these tough moments when you feel like you’re not playing your best, that’s when you need someone to reassure you that you’re actually get in the gameplan you want.
Result Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 3-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-2 (40m)
Asal cruises through
In the last match of the day, Egypt’s World No.4 Mostafa Asal put in an assured performance to see off compatriot and former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in three games.In a battle between two of the game’s most powerful players, Asal began the match at a furious pace and didn’t let up for a moment.
The 21-year-old displayed his typical relentless energy as he took the first game 11-5 before quickly ending the match in 33 minutes with 11-3 and 11-4 wins.
Afterwards, Asal said: “I’m super proud that I’m playing in front of my country and my friends. It gives me lots of confidence and I have won finals on this court. Step-by-step, match-by-match, I’m going to focus on the next one.“It’s a dream to play at the museum. We have an army of fans here in Egypt and I think all of the other players will be a bit worried!
“Omar is an unbelievable player and a legend for Egyptian squash. I improved a lot of my basic game because of him. All the time, me, my father, my coaches, watched him and how he attacks with volleys to the back corners. I’m really thankful to share a court with him for a few years and I’m so glad that I managed to win today.
“Lots of fans are coming to the museum. I’m playing for the fans and for my country and my team, Al Ahly Club.”
Excellent El Tayeb performance sees 2019 finalist into third round
World No.28 and 2019 World Championship finalist Nour El Tayeb overcame Egyptian compatriot and World No.7 Salma Hany in an entertaining match to reach the third round.
Both players looked sharp at the beginning of the match and Hany had a golden opportunity to take a morale-boosting opening game win with two game balls at 10-8.
El Tayeb, however, was able to save both and take the first game 12-10.
Hany responded with a hard-fought 11-9 win in the second game to level the match, before El Tayeb blew her opponent away with a dazzling display of accurate hitting, winning the match with a pair of 11-3 wins in the third and fourth games.
In the other two matches, England’s Georgina Kennedy and Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam recorded comprehensive wins, with Kennedy beating Canada’s Danielle Letourneau 3-0 in 26 minutes and Subramaniam beat Egypt’s Nadine Shahin by the same scoreline in 25.
Afterwards, El Tayeb – who will face Subramaniam in the next round – said: “At the start of the match, it felt like I didn’t have any structure in my squash. And lately, the structure is what gives me the confidence and allow me to settle.
“In the first two games, I had no structure at all. It felt like whatever shot popped into my head, I’d play it. Which is not me. Well maybe when I was 10, 11, until 15, but it didn’t work!
“Today, my plan was to lengthen out the rallies, and make her make the error. But I was actually playing something in the middle, thinking it was enough but going for short at the wrong time.
“I don’t know why but in the third, I switched and managed to go short now, a bit of hold, because I had been going to the back a lot. And then when I got 5, 6 points, I saw it was working, and I felt more confident.
“In the fourth, I was sure she was going to go for it, but I guess we were both very nervous. Neither of us wanted to lose the Worlds in the second round. So much at stake for both of us. But I’m glad, maybe a bit of experience, a little bit of belief, of confidence in the 3rd and 4th, carried me to the win.
Kennedy added: “I was really happy with that, it’s my first World Championships and I want to go as far as I can. I’m not just here to make up the numbers, I want to see how far I can go and it’s important to win these first few rounds as comfortably as you can.
“I’m so excited to move to the museum, I’ve heard such amazing things and if I do get the chance to play Hania [El Hammamy] in the next round if she wins today, then British Open champion, World No.3 in Egypt – it’s the best place in the world for squash against such a champion. I’m not just here to give her a good match, I will be going in there to win it.”
Subramaniam said: “I’m happy to get through to my third round, it was a close match and Nadine is a really good player, but I’m happy to get through in three games.”
 Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt  Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (25m)
 Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt  Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (26m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 11-3 (44m)
Youssef Soliman ends wildcard Elshafei’s run
In the first men’s matches, there were straight-game wins for Egypt’s Youssef Soliman, Peru’s Diego Elias and India’s Saurav Ghosal, as wildcard Yassin Elshafei’s run at the World Championships came to an end.
World No.99 Elshafei had impressed in the first round as he came from behind to beat Asim Khan, but today’s opponent – his compatriot and World No.16 Soliman – proved a step too far for the 20-year-old.
Elshafei threw everything he could at Soliman in the first game, but was unable to deal with the 25-year-old’s attacking prowess, as Soliman took the first game 11-7.
Soliman continued to dominate after the first game and was able to wrap up the match in 32 minutes with 11-5 and 11-3 wins.
Soliman’s opponent in the next round, Elias, was also able to make it through his match unscathed, after getting the better of France’s Sebastien Bonmalais 11-9, 11-3, 11-7.
Joining them in the net round will be Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal, after the 35-year-old beat the USA’s Todd Harrity 3-0 in 48 minutes.
Speaking after the match, Soliman said: “I’ve trained with him a few times, so I was expecting a tricky match and for sure I got one. The first game, I was surprised with how he was with my base game in the first game, he was dropping really well but I’m really happy I closed out the first one.
“Then I started taking more confidence with my shots and I’m definitely happy to be through this one.
“I’m excited to be on the glass, it’s my first time ever on an outdoor glass court. I don’t have any expectations, it might work better, it might work worse. We’ll see how it goes.”
Elias said: “Two days ago, playing a tough match like that [a 3-2 win over Patrick Rooney] opens the lungs and makes you feel better and better. Also, I got used to the court. I’m feeling more confident.
“I think I played better today, even if the first game was not great. The ball was very bouncy and I couldn’t attack and go short as much as I wanted to. But after that, I think I played better as the ball was more dead.”
Ghosal added: “I think it’s good to get off in three and I’m happy to win.
“I think Todd played really well, he put me under a lot of pressure and he found the back of the court and the length a bit better than me and he’s done that this week. I watched him play his first round and he was finding the back of the court really well, he found the right pace and that made it hard for me.
“I didn’t play badly, but I felt like I wasn’t able to control him as much as I would’ve liked to, but that’s credit to him because he hit the length and pace and was taking it in short really well too.
“He put me under a lot of pressure and I think I probably just played the backend of the games a little bit better and hung in there, got the right shots in at the right time to pull away and win those games. All of those games were really tight.
“When you looked at the draw and looked at where it was [the museum glass court], you want to get through those matches as soon as you can because it can get hard on the body and you want to save yourself as much as possible.
“The museum is going to be a grand occasion and is something all the players want to play at.”
 Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt [WC] Yassin Elshafei (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-3 (32m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (39m)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (48m)
Sobhy shocks in US showdown
In an all-American showdown, World No.24 Sabrina Sobhy upset World No.10 Olivia Fiechter to book a third round match against England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.
Fiechter led early in the first game, only to be continually frustrated by Sobhy’s remarkable powers of recovery. The quick-footed 25-year-old covered all four corners expertly to take the opening game 12-10.
While the first game was a tight affair, a Sobhy blitz in the second left Fiechter with a huge amount to do, as Sobhy opened up a two-game lead with an 11-5 win.
Fiechter pushed hard in the third, but was unable to find a way through, and Sobhy ended the match with an 11-9 win.
Like Sobhy, Perry took her first game 12-10. The Englishwoman had initially been troubled by French World No.30, but, once she settled, was able to play her natural attacking game to take the match 3-0 in 26 minutes.
Elsewhere, Belgium’s Tinne Gilis put close friend Hollie Naughton to the sword. Canada’s Naughton battled well, but could not find a way past an in-form Gilis, who will play the winner of the clash between wildcard Kenzy Ayman and World No.2 Nour El Sherbini.
“I’m still processing a bit!” Sobhy said afterwards. “I’m very pleased with how I played and stuck to my game plan the entire match, it was very close and tight. I’ve grown up playing her and I know how dangerous she can be and she has that admirable grit where she never gives up. I knew that if I eased up at all it could change in a second. I was pleased to stay strong that entire time.
“We’ve played each other since we were 13 a million times, we know each other’s game. It’s a win-win for both people because you can both have those advantages going into a match. It’s an equal playing field.
“SJ is an unbelievable squash player. We’ve played each other a big amount of times since I’ve been a pro and she’s someone that can make me feel kind of clueless out there. She’s the higher seed, so I’m just pleased to have made it through to the third round.”
Perry said: “Today, I was just trying to play and let myself play. There were a couple of decisions in the first, where I started to say something and then I just stopped myself, and went ‘well don’t play the ball in the middle, and there’s not decisions!’
“I stopped playing the ball in the middle, or less, and that little bit of impetus allowed me to get in front of her, whereas she was in front of me in the first game. And she is very good when she is in front. She is very dangerous. We had a couple of battles before, and I didn’t want one of those.
“I knew that, even I didn’t win all the points, I needed to play from the front. No panic from my bad start, got eventually in front, and managed to cause some errors. When you hit some nice shots, some nice lines, it actually creates simple, just simple opportunities. The more simple the opportunities, the better. And then I can do the other bits.”
Gilis reflected: “It’s always hard playing a good friend, it’s not fun. But at the end of the day, when you step on court, you try to forget that and focus on other things and on your own squash.
“We both want to win, so we gave our best. I just tried to focus on my own squash and not focus on our friendship at that point, I’m pretty happy with how I played today.
“I felt a lot more confident on court than I did in my first round match. I just tried not to give her anything because she’s a dangerous player and has been playing well recently and she was up for it. It was a good opportunity for both of us and she was ready to beat me as well, I’m very happy with how I handled the situation.#
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (26m)
 Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt  Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 (34m)
 Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt  Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-9 (35m)
Epic Ibrahim comeback in final traditional court match
In the final set of matches, Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim played out a classic with Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.
World No.12 Ibrahim got off to the worst possible start when the mercurial Al Tamimi took the first two games, with the Qatari’s 12-10 in the first – in which Al Tamimi overturned four game balls when 10-6 down – a particularly thrilling battle between two attack-minded players.
Ibrahim, who made the last 16 of the championship last year and earlier this year finished runner up in the Platinum-level Windy City Open 2022 Presented by the Walter Family, provided the perfect response to falling behind.
The 23-year-old left-hander went after Al Tamimi in the third game and quickly opened up a 6-2 lead. The Qatari battled back to close the gap, but was unable to continue the momentum and Ibrahim eventually took the third game 11-9.
Buoyed by this win, Ibrahim continued to impress. Backed by vocal home support, Ibrahim levelled the match with a crushing 11-2 win in the fourth, before completing the comeback with an 11-7 win in the fifth.
In the other two matches, 2017 runner up Marwan ElShorbagy had to do things the hard way as he came from a game down to beat spirited Hong Konger Henry Leung 3-1, while Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller – who will face ElShorbagy in the next round – impressed in a 3-0 win over Germany’s Raphael Kandra in 28 minutes.
Speaking afterwards, Ibrahim said: “The first game I was playing really well, I was 10-6 up, and then for some reason, I just wanted to win the point so quickly, I don’t know why, I think that was the turning point and he was playing so well.
“He was executing his plan so well, I knew what he was doing but I just couldn’t counterattack his game plan. Yes, just a mental lapse in the first game caused me the first two games.
“In the third, I was playing well. From the start, I told myself ‘you are playing well, don’t over think things, just keep playing each point as it’s the last point’. And I went up 6-3 and 10-6, and then he made up to 9-10 again! I thought it was going to happen as it happened in the first.
“Having Rodney Martin out there, Mike Way, and my coach Omar Abdel Aziz, that plays a part. When I was down 2-0 down, I was thinking ‘I don’t want to lose 3-0, my family is there!’ And I still believed I could win the match. At no point in the match, did I think I couldn’t win the match. Because I was playing well.
“As I have now finished my studies, I want to go all the way on the Tour. I love playing, I love the practice, and playing matches like this make me love the sport even more. I just want more experience, the chance to play the top guys, and then, I’m hoping to get to the top.”
ElShorbagy said: “It was a bit tricky, two days ago Iker [Pajares Bernabeu] didn’t play, so I wanted to be as sharp as possible today. When I played in Wimbledon earlier this year and James [Willstrop] pulled out, I felt a bit flat when I started, so I was hoping today I wouldn’t be as flat. Henry had his first match and got into the tournament before me, I wouldn’t say it was my best performance but I’m happy to get through.
“Nicci has been playing very well and playing with a lot of confidence lately. He had a lot of good results in March in England – Wimbledon, Canary Wharf and the British Open, so he’s been getting into the later stages of events. I’m just happy to be competing against him again and hopefully he doesn’t beat me three times in a row.”
Mueller, meanwhile, said: “There are some matches you want to win more than others and that was one of them. I felt I played very well from the start and felt in control in most of the rallies. He had a tough first round and I think that took quite a bit of energy out of him. I felt fresh and good, my length was good and my width and short game, I started to get a bit nervous towards the end, I think it’s the first time for me being in the third round of a World Championships and hopefully the journey doesn’t end here.
“It’s a new day in two days’ time, but knowing I can beat him [Marwan ElShorbagy] is in the back of my head and if you go in with confidence then it’s beneficial. I’m looking forward to it.
“I didn’t know where my form came from, it just clicked and I’m enjoying my game and my body is feeling good. Hopefully I can keep that form going until the end of the season.”
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (28m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 14-12 (46m)
 Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (64m)