R3 : New Giza women’s matches

Egyptian duo Rowan Elaraby and Farida Mohamed are the first quarter-finalists after victories over English opponents.

Elaraby was dominant as she beat Jasmine Hutton in straight games while Mohamed followed up yesterday’s upset over Sarah-Jane Perry with a tough four game win over Lucy Turmel/

R3 : [8] Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 3-0 Jasmine Hutton (Eng) 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (26m)

English strong hope Jasmine had nothing to lose against the newly top 10 Tinkerbell but was struggling to read the Egyptian game, although she covered a heck of a ground today.

In the third, all seemed done and dusted at 10/2, but a good run of points from Jaz who strung some lovely attacks, clawing back to 7/10 before the Egyptian finally closed the third and final game.

Rowan : I have been struggling with my body since Manchester. It’s not the best timing, I have been struggling with my movement for three events now. I try to be on court, mentally more than physically. It’s the challenge now.

At 10/2, I just felt a pinch in my leg, and it just worried, my mind went blank. So I had to regroup. Thankfully I got it back, I don’t know how I would have reacted had I lost that game to be honest.

I have been trying to recover from my injuries, but it’s very hard to do so at the moment because of the tournament schedule, especially after I just reached my new ranking of top 10.

I got excited when I saw the new rankings, I talked with my doctors, and I told them I want to be on court, just enjoying my squash, I’ve got nothing to lose in that event, I want to be relaxed and play my squash. We will review my body after the tournament, I’m thinking about the US Open.

Farida Mohamed (Egy) 3-1 Lucy Turmel (Eng) 12-10, 11-13, 11-5, 11-8 (46m)

It’s Soooooo much easier to play/win against somebody way above your ranking than somebody whose ranking is closer to you and that you are expected to beat, especially after a big win the day before.

And for Lucy, bless her English Heart, imagine how she felt, higher ranked than Farida (28 for 34) but knowing that the day before, her opponent beat the number one of her country for the second time in two events.

On the other hand, playing an Egyptian in Egyptian is never easy and in a way, the pressure being on Farida, Lucy surely didn’t have any chip on her shoulder and was able to play having very little to lose, well, except the chance to reach the quarters of a Platinium in front of the Pyramids.

The mach was never comfortable for either of them. Farida, choosing at times the wrong line to the ball was penalised by no lets that didn’t agree with her that much, was not happy with Lucy’s movement at times, and Lucy, just got on with things, only looking very deeply to the ref when she was not amused by a decision, in a manner that Malcolm Willstrop would have found pretty acceptable.

At the end of the day, I feel it was not about Lucy and how Farida was going to handle the pressure today. She did well, down 10/8 in the first game, she scored 4 points to close it 12/12 in 9 m. It looked the same path in the 2nd, down 10/7 – very frustrated with the ref – Bazooka Farida forced a decider, but this time the English girl was more aware, and Lucy clinched it 13/11 in 11m.

The third well, Farida very up for it zoomed to 7/1 before taking the game lead 11/5 in 8m.

Nerves came back for the Egyptian in the 4th, and it’s was a seesaw battle, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7 before Farida was able to impose her power on the accurate squash from Lucy, and it’s 11/8 in 10m.

Farida is on the glass. At the Pyramids. First time quarters of a Platinum. First time at the Pyramids.

Farida : Yesterday, the upper hand was for Sarah Jane, she is number 7 in the world, so it wasn’t that much pressure. Today, although Lucy is better ranked than I, but I felt I should win the match. So it was so much more pressure than yesterday, and actually, I could feel it before the match.

Lucy played really well, she was fighting till the end, she was game ball in the first game, and she won the second, so it wasn’t easy at all. Her physicality is amazing, and she plays really great length, so very tough to move her out.

I’m glad I manage to get that win 3/1, I was afraid it would go to 2/2 because I knew she was going to fight until the end.

Tomorrow, a rest day, finally. But then again, I’m happy to have it tomorrow, I prefer that after a big win, to play right away, then having a bit of a rest.

It’s my first Platinum quarters and first time at the Pyramids, against Danielle or Nour. Last year, when I won against SJ, I thought I was going to play on the glass at the Pyramids but it was here, and I didn’t reach the glass. I really wanted to play there, and if I get to play Nour, I hope it will be a better match than last time I played against her.