Joy and Despair as Men’s Main Draw Decided
The second day of play at the National Squash Centre saw the last 16 places in the men’s main draw – the whole of round one is played tomorrow – taken, while 16 ladies booked themselves into tomorrow’s qualifying finals.
The men’s matches started with a series of upsets, with just one of the first six matches going to seeding as Jan Van Den Herrewegen, Rui Soares, Bernat Jaume, Karim El Hammamy and Edmon Lopez all beat their higher-ranked oppponents.
Jaume and Lopez were joined by Iker Pajares, who won another tough encounter, and along with Borja Golan they make a record-breaking main draw presence for Spain. Perversely, Jaume was drawn against Golan.
Hammamy, who ousted fourth-seeded American Chris Gordon, was joined by fellow Egyptian Youssef Soliman, the second seed who came from 1-2 down to deny Kristian Frost. They too were drawn against compatriots, Hammamy meets Omar Mosaad while Soliman meets Mohamed Reda.
Other notable successes included Chris Binnie adding a Caribbean (and a first-ever Jamaican) presence to the draw, Eain Yow Ng joining fellow former-world-junior-champion Hammamy in the elite stages, and Mahesh Mangaonkar and Harinderpal Sandhu boosting Indian interest.
There was double English success as youngsters George Parker and Richie Fallows won, but no joy for Jaymie Haycocks, Lyell Fuller and Adam Murrills, the latter two losing the final matches of the day, both to Frenchmen as Auguste Dussourd and Baptiste Masotti delightedly joined their four compatriots in tomorrow’s draw – no all-French clashes there.
Egyptians dominate women’s qualifying
Egyptians dominated the women’s matches with seven winners – four of whom, Hania El Hammamy & Yathreb Adel plus Mayar Hany & Rowan Elaraby clash in tomorrow’s finals.
Japan are guaranteed a slot as Misaki Kobayashi and Satomi Watanabe both won – Watanabe impressively taking out second seed Sam Cornett – setting up a repeat of their Nationals final just a few days ago, while it was Hollie Naughton who won the all-Canadian match against Danielle Letourneau.
Plenty of updates, photos and quotes on our NOW in Manchester feed …
After two busy days with 32 matches across four courts, tomorrow is even busier with 32 men’s matches plus 8 women’s qualifying finals …