R2 : Men’s Evening Starters

Egyptian trio Mohamed Abouelghar, Mazen Hesham and Mohamed ElSherbini joined in the last 16 by India’s Ramit Tandon …

[9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 3-0 Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)    11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (49m)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham (Egy) 3-1 [wc] Yahya Elnawasany (Egy)    11-9, 11-3, 1-11, 12-10 (44m)
Ramit Randon (Ind) 3-1 Lucas Serme (Fra)    10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (58m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (Egy) 3-1 Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)    8-11, 4-4 rtd (25m)

Mohamed Abouelghar gets the better of three close games …

Mohamed : I felt great today. I haven’t played this event in two years. And I’ve never made it to the Pyramids. So I was more excited to play today because I had a chance to play in front of the Pyramids and hopefully taking it from there.

Mathieu is a very tough opponent he was always fighting for every point, so I knew it was going to be hard but I’m happy I managed to stay calm at the end and not going to go and find the tin.

I’m working on not going crazy, just to keep it easy and calm.

Well actually, this will be my first time ever at the Pyramids. Last time I went there was as a spectator in 2006, to see Palmer against Gaultier and I was 12!!! Never managed to get back on there since.

Ramit : I think Cairo is my lucky charm….

The first game I play more his game. I tried to keep it long, I didn’t move him enough, I realised that I was taking him short, he was a little tired, and that’s actually my natural game. But in that first, I was trying to make it long and it didn’t work that well, so I switched back to my natural game.

In the second, we had a few long rallies, but I was taking all the opportunities to go short and keep it steady. I was not trying to pick winners, I was just trying to move him around because of the lot of work he’s put in his body the day before.

I kept adding the pressure hoping that he would break down, and that’s what finally happened.