Day THREE : Siva topples Tayeb

The 2023 VITAGEN Singapore Squash Open continued today with eight second round matches from the bottom half of the draws at the OCBC Arena with the last eight quarter-final spots claimed.

Seven of the matches went to seeding, but there was one huge upset as unseeded Asian Games Champion Sivasangari Subramaniam took out top seed Nour El Tayeb in four nailbiting games.

Reports and Quotes below the results …

VITAGEN Singapore Squash Open 2023 : Day THREE, Round TWO (bottom)

[4] Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-0 Georgia Adderley (Sco)   11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (36m)
[7] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa) 3-1 Nour Aboulmakarim (Egy)   8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (35m)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-1 Zeina Mickawy (Egy)   11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 (48m)
Siva Subramaniam (Mas) 3-1 [1] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)   11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10 (53m)

[4] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-0 Saurav Ghosal (Ind)   11-3, 11-7, 12-10 (46m)
[5] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Leandro Romiglio (Arg)   11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (41m)
[8] Fares Dessouky (Egy) 3-1 Curtis Malik (Eng)   11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3 (50m)
[2] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 Ramit Tandon (Ind)   11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (30m)

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Sabrina recovers to reach quarters

[7] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa) 3-1 Nour Aboulmakarim (Egy)   8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (35m)

USA’s Sabrina Sobhy kicked off day three with a win over Egypt’s Nour Aboulmakarim as play commenced on the glass court at the OCBC Arena.

The American got off to a slow start and admitted afterwards that she has been struggling with jet-lag and had been feeling tired in the mornings. Aboulmakarim had no such trouble in the opening game as she closed it out 11-8.

Sobhy never looked back after gaining control of the match in game two and won the last three games with some ease.

“It’s always difficult playing Nour I played her at the ToC and it was the same, she has such a strong start with her attacking game and I was a bit nervous which benefits her. So that all makes coming back tougher.

“I tried to focus not about winning but to just run around, ease the nerves and find my length. The jet lag has been really difficult, so it’s difficult to play at 12. So I just tried to stick to my disciplined tactics instead of just going to bed mentally, which is where my body wants to be really.

“I was having so much fun on court last year, I’m aware that all matches and tournaments are different and it won’t be the same as last year but I know that I perform well in this tournament and I feel good here so I haven’t got any big expectations, I just want to pay well and continue to enjoy myself.”

Coll powers past Romiglio

[5] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Leandro Romiglio (Arg)   11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (41m)

Recent U.S Open champion Paul Coll was up against Argentina’s Leandro Romiglio in his opening match. As expected, the pair were locked into some lengthy exchanges in the opening game but it was Coll who got the better of them to dominate the opener.

Romiglio started to find his feet in the second and third games but it was still the Kiwi on top as he closed out the match in three.

“It was interesting, it was my 500th match today and against some who I’ve never seen or played before. I’ve seen his name on the rankings but I had to research him this morning to see what to do.

“I saw what his base game was and where his strengths were but I had to play my game too. There were definitely areas where I want to attack and I thought I did the well today.”

Tinne on song in Singapore

[4] Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-0 Georgia Adderley (Sco)   11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (36m)

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis was the next woman to reach the quarter finals as she overcame a spirited effort by Scotland’s Georgia Adderley to advance.

The match was played at a fast and furious pace but it was Gilis who was the more clinical of the two as she took the first two games both 11-5. The third game ran away from Adderley with Gilis closing it out 11-3 to set up a quarter final clash with Sabrina Sobhy.

“The scoreline didn’t do this match justice. It was such a good match, Georgia is such a good player and she has been improving so much. We played last year so I knew what to expect but every single point today was a fight and I’m just happy to be through.

“I really enjoyed this match, when I’m like this I think I play my best squash so I’m happy to be through in three today.

“I’ve played Sabrina  a couple of times. I know it’s going to be close and a big battle but I know it will be clean and a good match so I’m looking forward to it for sure.”

Asal downs Ghosal

[4] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-0 Saurav Ghosal (Ind)   11-3, 11-7, 12-10 (46m)

‘Raging Bull’ Mostafa Asal  powered his way into the quarter finals of another Gold event as he dispatched India’s Saurav Ghosal in straight games for the second successive event.

The Egyptian started in strong fashion, Ghosal having no answers as the first game went 11-3. The Indian got closer in the second, and even closer in the third as he recovered from 3-8 to force extra points. Despite saving three match balls though, Asal wasn’t to be denied.

“Saurav is such a legend, at 37, what he’s doing is unreal. There’s no way I’ll still be playing at that age, at 37 I’ll be staying on the couch. To come back and fight in that third deserves full respect. Every point that he brought back, I was getting more edgy. But I’m happy to close it out.”

I’m just really happy to be here this time, unfortunately I was injured last year so I’m happy to be here this time. I’ve got Paul tomorrow, we always have 100+ minute matches and I think everyone will have the popcorn ready for this one but I’m excited for it.”

SJ through to another Gold quarter

[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 3-1 Zeina Mickawy (Egy)   11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 (48m)

The two players had met four times before, with the England’s Sarah-Jane Perry taking the win on every occasion over Egypt’s Zeina Mickawy.

SJ took her chances better in a tight first game to take an 8-3 lead. The Egyptian fought back to 8-7, but the Englishwoman got the winners needed to win a scrappy first game. The Egyptian looked stronger in second game, quickly building to an 8-1 lead, but Perry fought back, levelling at 9-9 and taking a two game advantage.

Mickawy managed to stay stay in the game and forced the match to a fourth game, in which she led 9-8 but it was Perry who finished stronger to book her spot in the quarter finals.

“Zeina’s such an attacking player, and when they’re going in, they’re going in well. As that ball was getting more and more soft, her shots were getting shorter and shorter. She’s a quality player. We’ve had some big battles before and she’s a real fighter. I had to use all my fighting power today. If you don’t take your half-opportunities then she’s firing one in.

“We had some battles of our own. Sometimes that’s all you can do in the moment. If I start focusing on technical aspects or anything like that then I lose my focus. Hopefully that will improve in the next round but today it was just about getting over the finish line which I crawled over.”

Siva stuns top seed Tayeb

Siva Subramaniam (Mas) 3-1 [1] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)   11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10 (53m)

This was the second meeting in quick succession for the Egyptian and the Malaysian, having faced each in Malaysia Nour El Tayeb knocking Subramaniam out her home tournament in the semi final.

This time though Subramaniam took an early 5-1 and despite a fight-back from Tayeb took the opening game comfortably. The second was tighter with Subramaniam ahead for the most part, btook extra points to double her lead..

Tayeb fought back, controlling the scoreboard in the third, but it was Subramaniam who had the advantage for the most part in the fourth.

Tayeb closed, had one game ball but at 10-11 match ball down scrambled a return at the front and took cover on the floor as Siva attempted to return from the back wall.

Appeal, stroke, a video ref decision that was a foregone conclusion and Siva had her biggest win.

“I think that’s the best I’ve played so far ever since I came back from last year. I think what made the difference today was just my consistency. I played Nour a few days ago [at the Ace Malaysia Cup] and the loss is still fresh in my mind so today what made the difference between me and her was the consistency.

“The consistency in just trying to be more patient – sometimes I tend to rush, sometimes I make too many errors. That’s what happened last time so today I tried prolong the rallies, push her, believe in my fitness and I think I did well just in terms of placing the ball and just carrying on the rally even if she’s picking up.”

Elias eases past Tandon

[2] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 Ramit Tandon (Ind)   11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (30m)

World #2 Elias  came out of the blocks in usual manner, taking control of the rallies and putting pressure on his opponent. The ‘Peruvian Puma’ proved to be too much for the Indian as he took just three points from the first game.

Elias didn’t let up and Tandon couldn’t break the shackles as Elias eased through to the quarters in half an hour.

“I felt pretty good, pretty smart with a lot of pace in every rally so I think that was working in my favour. I played Ramit a few weeks ago and it was much tougher so I knew what I could expect and I’m just happy to win three games.

“I think in the U.S. Open, I played a little bit too much to the front and Ramit is really good at the front – he has really good hands so I just played a lot more solid. My basic game was a lot more solid so I’m very happy with that.”

Dessouky digs in to defeat Malik

[8] Fares Dessouky (Egy) 3-1 Curtis Malik (Eng)   11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3 (50m)

In a first meeting between the two, the first game went almost point-for-point as Malik looked sharp and kept up with the former World #7. Dessouky managed to push on from 6-6 to take the lead, and was much more dominant in the second, doubling his advantage 11-4.

The third was close again as they traded points to 8-all, but it was Malik who finished stronger this time. The fourth was all Dessouky though, as he set up a quarter-final meeting with Diego Elias.

“I think I started really well. I’ve watched Curtis in the U.S. Open and he also beat a good opponent in the last round. He was a tough match and I’m glad to be through.

“It’s always a tough match between me and Diego, so I’m looking forward to it.”