R2: Youssef Soliman 3-0 Yahya Elnawasany

[12] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0 Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)

Next opponent: Mazen Hesham / Lucas Serme

Fast, intense, clever squash between two sparring partners who train with the same coach, Hesham El Attar (Yahya also works with Karim Ali Fathi). It was incredibly quick pace, accurate, four corners squash. Long rallies, hard work with Yahya making the error at the end, very frustrating for him.

I love those two players, they give it all every match and leave everything on court. Today was no different.

Youssef : We train together, he is a very competitive in training, we have a lot of battles. I knew he likes to play fast, I like to play fast too. So today, I had to adjust.

I KNEW… The rallies were so hard, I was worried about it, he had nothing to lose, his hands are quite good, so it was very tricky. I had to be prepared.

The score doesn’t reflect how tough it was out there. The rallies were good, fast, we twisted and turned each other, fair, clean movement, it was a very good match.

He tested me a couple of times. On 4/4, in the middle of the game, I had to push and give it that extra energy, and I think I did that well today.

Tactically I tried to the volley away from him because he is so good, the way he is reading his opponent, in training he is super good, and he is finding his way in matches now. I had to clear the middle, and when I was doing so, I had more chances. And having the hard rallies, it’s good for me and it’s good for him.

If we go according to seedings, it should/could be Mazen. The H2H is 2/2, but he has improved and changed his game tremendously recently. I used to be able to contain him and get errors out of him. But the last time we played, I couldn’t believe how much he changed, the way he played, was a big surprise for me. He just played length game, length game, he didn’t go short AT ALL, hardly any errors. I feel I’m ready for the battle, physically as well for his twisting and turning, and long rallies as well…