Great Survivor to go on ...
Mum gets the iPad, naturally ...
Dipika Pallikal v
This promised to be a tough encounter and
thatís how it turned out to be, giving the
lie to the suggestion that the womenís game
is less hard and less competitive than the
menís. On a warm, bouncy court points had to
be earned and errors counted double.
Pallikal, who has recently made her way into
the top twenty for the first time began
positively and led throughout the first
game, using the backhand short angle to
effect. At 10-7 she won the game on a
stroke. She had control in the second, too,
leading 9-6,but as Hawkes persisted,
Pallikal became a little restless and it was
Hawkesí persistence and accuracy that
brought her deservedly level. Pallikal, as
she had in the first two, had early marginal
control in the third and although a few
unforced errors kept Hawkes well in
contention, Pallikal, staying more composed
this time, took a2-1 lead,11-8.
The pattern of the first three games
remained the same as Pallikal, mixing
defence and attack adroitly, led 6-3 and
8-4. To get to match ball she hit a backhand
volley nick off the serve and closed out the
match 11-7. There was never much in a
well-contested match and although the New
Zealander did not yield for a moment,
Pallikal probably deserved the narrow win.
11-7 9-11 11-8 11-7,
Simon Rosner v
Mohammed El Shorbagy
Here was an interesting match between former
World Junior champion, Mohammed El Shorbagy
and improving German no.1,Simon Rosner.
There was little in the early exchanges to
four all, five all, but Shorbagy led
7-5,before Rosner was awarded a soft stroke
on the backhand, as often happens, to take
him to 6-7 and back to parity at 7 all.
A lovely forehand drop by Shorbagy from mid
court levelled the scores again at 8 all. A
weak angle into the tin from Rosner gave
Shorbagy a game ball at 10-8;then 9-10,A
prolonged cat and mouse rally with extreme
shifts of pace was won by Rosner and a
tiebreak it was,11-10,a third game ball to
the Egyptian and with a backhand cross court
volley, played with certainty into the nick
he took the first 12 -10 . Rosner, attacking
more, quickly went 3-0 up in the second, but
in truth it was Shorbagy who looked to have
the extra shot so far and he attacked his
way into a 4-3 lead.
A tin restored parity at 4-4,another gave
Rosner a 5-4 lead, which Shorbagy nullified
with a clever straight backhand. A hard
rally at 7-6 to Shorbagy, which Rosner
dominated, ended at 8-6,though two of the
Egyptianís pick ups were questionable.
Rosner did question them, but was turned
down by the officials.
Shorbagy went to 9-7 with a winner, then
10-7 with another. A weak drop into the tin
on the forehand by Rosner handed Shorbagy a
2-0 lead. 2-0 seemed a long way back for
Rosner, especially in such a physical
encounter and now a win for him was remote.
Undaunted apparently, Rosner led
2-0,4-2,5-3,but not for long as Shorbagy
drew level at 6 all and 7 all.
A bad error, though, gave Rosner an 8-7
lead, which he converted to 9-7.Two sharp
backhand winners by Shorbagy and it was nine
all; an error by Rosner 10-9 match ball;
perhaps a fortunate let kept him alive and
then came the tiebreak. A delicate backhand
drop gave Shorbagy a second match ball and
that was enough for a hard fought 3-0
passage into the last sixteen.
Palmer (Aus) bt
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 11/6,
11/13, 11/5, 11/5 (70m)
DAVID LIVES TO PLAY
playing on the central court while Thierry
and Bozza were battling on the slightly
colder court at the back, David was not put
under as much pressure than he was against
Several reasons in my humble opinion. One.
First round was on Sunday, and from the
first match on (David/Alan), the central
court seats were absolutely jam packed,
making this warm court even bouncier. Today,
Davidís shots were getting much better at
the front, and that put much more pressure
on his opponent.
Two. Alan doesnít have the same history with
Dave. For Ryan, David is the hero, the team
mate, the sparring partner. Not the same way
to handle the match from a mental point of
view. Three. Ryan had a little drop of
energy in the 4th, which Alan didnít have in
David had a few moments where he showed a
bit of fatigue, and so did Ryan, especially
in the 4th. To be noted that Davidís strings
completely fell off his racquet on game ball
12/11 in the 2nd, and that he kept playing
and playing until the racquet bits started
to fall off on court! Game to Ryan, of
It was a nice match to see, although there
were a few discussions with the ref, in
particular from the young Aussie, who felt
that one of the side ref was having some
personal vendetta against him. As I didnít
see what the decisions were, I cannot
comment, but true or false, it did seem to
affect a bit his concentration at times.
so difficult to play somebody youíve been
looking up to for yearsÖ. We played in the
US Open and I think I gave him too much
respect there, whereas today, I definitely
thought I could win.
I was happy to get the second one, I needed
a good start in the 3rd, but he stringed a
few points and maybe I just worked a bit too
fast there, too many errors.
My game plan was to take him to the front as
much as possible, and to a certain extend,
thatís what I did to start with, but after
that, he took away my angles, crosscourted a
lot, and I just couldnít play short anymore.
Plus, itís quite bouncy on there, and itís
difficult to stretch him.
He has had a remarkable career and at 35, he
is still so goodÖ.
sure, maybe he was a bit nervous at the
start, I started well, then slowed down a
bit in the middle, but finished strongly in
that first one. In the second, I played
well, I was up comfortably 8/4, but let him
It was a very pleasant much, no traffic or
let problems. I felt physically fine today,
much better than during my first round, and
actually, it was quite a nice feeling to see
Ryan struggling a bit physically in the 4th,
meaning that I still got a bit more in the
I got away with a few things today, which I
wonít be able to allow myself doing
tomorrow, especially at the end of the
games, because Thierry is dangerous, and
even more so when he is behind. Iím truly
looking forward to that match, itís a good
opportunity for us to go a step further in
Ryan is like Zac and Kasey, they are
training very hard with Rodney Martin in New
York, and itís starting to pay off. They are
the new generation coming up, the future of
Australia, and itís good to see them getting
closer to the topÖ
Lincou (Fra) bt
Stewart Boswell (Aus)
11/5, 8/11, 11/7, 11/7 (66m)
starts well in the match, he is the more
active, quick on his legs, taking a maximum
of balls on the volley to prevent Boswell to
own the T.
In the second game, Boswell is in control.
He finds better lengths than Thierry, and
concludes many rallies with backhand
In the next 2 games, Thierry takes control
again, playing long and hard in the forehand
corner. He finds good openings on the
australian loose shots, and concludes a lot
of rallies on his volley dropshots.
Toward the end of the match, Boswell seems
to struggle physically, he will miss several
dropshots which he didn't during the firs 3
really came up there, determined to win,
sometimes itís a question of mental
preparation, these days, I have times where
not that hungry, so I have to use my mind to
I knew Stewart would be strong physically,
so I had to make sure that I move the ball
around and I think at the end, I managed to
I was much better physically, and I played
more in my comfort zone than I did in the
first round against Shawn. I felt
comfortable, both squash wise and physically
It was all about a mental battle for the
domination of the T, and I had to get in
front, but itís was not an easy task. His
length and width is inch perfect, and if you
cannot prevent yourself from crosscourting Ė
which you canít afford against him Ė well,
his volley is just too good.
I was lucky that my drop shots worked today,
which meant that I was able to score a few
points, and if not, make him work a bit
moreÖ With Stuart, itís all about making him
move, but not opening the court too much.
Iím playing David Palmer now, Iím really
looking forward to it, weíve both given
everything we had in our career.
Darwish (Egy) bt
Wael El Hindi (Egy)
11/9, 11/3, 11/4 (52m)
was 3/0, but a hard 3/0Ö..
Itís impossible to know what to expect when
you play Wael, weíve been playing each other
since we are 13 or 14, we know each otherís
game inside out. I had a few losses against
him, so I had to be focused from the start.
First game, well, pretty crucial, 17
minutes, I was glad to take it. That court
was very bouncy, didnít suit either of our
games! So, only solution was to move him as
much as I could, and take the ball away from
him, as he is one of the best players in the
middle, forcing him to go to the four
corners, again and again.
Itís good to see where I stand fitness and
pace wise. Iíve been training and coaching
in the States, but itís difficult to stay
match fit when you donít have partners to
Today, I kept on dropping off pace wise,
mental wise, whereas Karim kept going and
was more consistent, and that what makes the
difference between the top people, and the
Iím going to take the rest of the year to
try and get match fitter, and come back and
start travelling again, playing more
tournaments. I want to come backÖ
Golan (Esp) bt 
Omar Mosaad (Egy)
6/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/7 (76m)
In the first
game, lost a bit of concentration, dropped
the length, dropped the intensity, and he
took full advantage of it. He played so well
I can feel the confidence coming back. I had
a few good wins in Spain just before coming
here, and thatís what made the difference
today I think. We were pretty close squash
wise today, but I had that 30% plus
confidence in my game.
I think it was all about mental strength.
There were so many lets, stops start game,
and I was able to not lose my focus at all.
That I think makes also the difference in
Sorry, but I would like to thank a few
people, the Spanish people that came to
support me this week, Carlos, Chimo, Paco,
Victor, Alex, and of course, my National
Coach Tina Casas, and at last but not least
John Milton and Jesus Souto, my two coaches.
Itís so good to be back.
Shorbagy (Egy) bt Simon Rosner (Ger)
12/10, 11/7, 12/10 (49m)
really happy with this win today, and even
more so in 3, which makes it a perfect
preparation for tomorrowís match.
I came into this match knowing that it was
going to be tough, he is so hard to beat
these days, and I had to be focused from the
Last week we played in the German League,
and he beat me 3/1, but I came out having
learned a few things, and really work hard
on the tactic for this match. And Iím happy
to say that I think I played a clever match
from a tactical point of view.
when it comes to the World Open, all the
players are just playing at their best, and
thatís no different this time. And
personally, Iím in a good form for the
biggest tournament of the year.
Nick tomorrow. Well, I think I was a bit
unlucky to be seeded 9 for this event, and
our match is maybe earlier, but in a
tournament, it doesnít matter if you lose in
the first round, or in the final. Youíve
just got to win each and every one of them.
We played in the US Open, he beat me 3/1,
and there again, Iíve learned a few things
from that defeat. Now, going to go back to
my room, and work on it from a tactical
point of view, while being aware that Nick
is the best in the world in that
Looking forward to that match, but it would
be nice to have two El Shorbagy in the last
I was a bit unhappy not to take the first or
the third, I think maybe it would have been
different had I taken on of themÖ It was
I never felt comfortable on there, he didnít
give me a chance to play my game, and today
was the better player reallyÖ
Barker (Eng) bt
Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
9/11, 11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (57m)
was up in the first, then relaxed a bit
really, 9/7 up, and lost it 11/9! Good
lesson to learn there. He was up in the
second as well, but I closed that one and
finished well, but again in the 4th, I had
little switch off, but still, I live to
fight another day.
Cameron, thatís going to be tough, but we
are in the last 16, so every match is going
to be toughÖ.
I played very well for a game and a half, I
was up 5/3 in the second after taking the
first 11/9. I had again a good consistency
in my shots and game, and when I dropped
off, he got on top of me. And once he had
the first under the belt, he grew more
Pilley (Aus) bt
Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/9, 11/3, 11/5 (46m)
the end of the first, wheelís came off!!
In the first, I felt I was in front of him,
playing accurate and good squash and he
started cracking a few winners, playing like
he had nothing to lose, just loosen up and I
lost that one pretty quickly!
In patches, I thought I was playing level
with him, first and in the middle of the 3rd
but then at other times, I wasnít! How?
Well, pretty basic, I lost both length and
I hate losing of course Iím disappointedÖ
The first game he went full on, he took full
advantage of my loose cross courts, and was
playing great straight kills and drop shots.
From 6/8 down, I just hack my way the first
game and that momentum carried me to the end
of the match.
In the 3rd, he came back strong at 5/5, but
I put my head down and powered my way to the
Shabana (Egy) bt
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
5/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/9 (50m)
SO FAST, SOOOO
we had on court today the Mature Shabana and
the Kid Shabana, AKA Karim Abdel Gawad, who
played out of his skin, no fear, no
pressure, just perfect length and winners
all around, Shabs style.
Shabana, well, canít say he enjoyed it bless
him, but he couldnít help smiling times and
times again at the nerve, the invention, the
speed, and the accuracy the contender showed
It was beautiful, nice, fair, clean,
accurate, fireworks Squash, with a boy that
grabbed any opportunity that was given to
him. Only an example. Match ball Shabs 10/2.
ďIím going to kill him at the backĒ thinks
the former World Champion. He hit a couple
of tins, next thing he knows, itís 9/10
I saw the future of Egypt squash today, and
between Marwan and Kid Karim, itís looking
was a nice game. Of course, I can see the
similarities with me when I was young, the
ďholding my opponent by the neckĒ part in
I know that kid well, he lives five minutes
away from my house, and we train often
together. And I think Iím going to train
more and more with himÖ.
I did not underestimate him today, and yet,
I did. I didnít expect him to be as good as
that. The boy is a monster, a monster of
squash, in the good sense, of course. And I
could rise my game, but freak, so can he!
Marwan El Shorbagy
(Egy) bt  Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/8, 11/7, 4/11, 4/11, 14/12 (92m)
think I played this game as if it was the
final of the World Open.
I told you I did a big preparation with Ian
Thomas for this event - that guys means
somuch to me, I want to thank himÖ
I made sure that I didnít let the stop and
starts disturb my focus, I was told that
Daryl was sometimes talking a bit with the
ref, and to keep my concentration at all
cost and I tried and played my game.
the second game, I remember him slowing down
the pace, and I canít remember much from the
3rd and 4th. In the 5th, I remember
thinking, when I was down 4/0, come on, give
it a big push, you are NOT going to lose
easy, you are not going to give up, and I
started to go for my shots.
Iím so happy, this is my first world Open,
Iím so happy to reach the last 16 and play
on the glass court, it means a lot to me.
And Iím now playing James Willstrop, that I
I want to thank my mum, who is in Egypt, who
I love so much, my dad, I know he wanted me
to win that match so much, and my brother,
who is always there for me.
Iím just so proud of my brother, this is the
best day of my life, Iím so happy. He played
bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (Mex)
11/3, 11/9, 11/5 (49m)
In the first game, Greg is in control. He
finds perfect lengths which provide no
opportunity for his opponent to attack the
front of the court.
In the second game, Greg doesn't put as much
pressure and his lengths aren't as deep as
in thenfirst game. He will make 5 unforced
errors which will allow Salazar to come back
to 9/9. Greg will however clinch the game
11/9, without playing any forehand dropshots
despite some clear openings.
In the third game, Greg is playing on a
faster pace and finds his superb length
again. He now uses all his range of shots
and the mexican is struggling physically to
stay in the rallies. He will concede the
match obviously exhausted.
was bound to be tired from his game
yesterday against Adrian, so I made sure
that the first game was really long, with
hard long rallies. He plays a lot at the
front and counterattacks really well, so I
really had to take it to him.
In the second, I was up 6/2 and he came back
right in, I had to make sure I was going
back to basics, tight drives and patienceÖ.
In the third, I speeded up the pace and I
could see that he was starting to really
suffer physically, so I kept pushing but
with a very low percentage game I didnít
want to reiterate the previous game errors.
Still, he must be happy with his tournament,
he qualified, and then went pretty far in
the tournament, he must be very proud.
Greg is such a great player, he played so
fast, he is so strong. And today, I felt
slow and heavy. At times, I was able to
push, but not for longÖ.!
I had a great time here, Iíve learned so
much, I had the opportunity to play with
great players, the experience has made me
stronger, and Iím sure itís good for my
Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt
Nicolas Muller (Sui)
8/11, 9/11, 11/3, 11/8, 11/5 (60m)
didnít realise that I had a day of rest
tomorrow, and that I was going to play on
the glass court. It would have taken a lot
of pressure off if I had known, I was so
worried about my body, sore hamstring. That
is an excellent newsÖ
Iím thinking too much, for weeks now, you
are thinking about the importance of the
tournament, and itís all about finding the
balance between enjoying it, and still win
to get to the next roundÖ Itís all about
managing these thoughts.
I hate this court by the way.
He played extremely well, he was so up for
it, and I couldnít help myself clapping at
his shots! I could speak more about his
game, more interesting than talk about me!
One thing Iíve learned on the tour, is that
when you are under pressure, you canít think
BIG. Youíve got to think about small things,
not about beating the guy, about the next
round, the tournament. No, youíve got to
think about how to swing your racquet, about
every single drop of sweat that come off
your body, small steps.
glad Iím through, Iím glad he pushed me as
hard as he did, and honestly, I couldnít
have been disappointed if I had lost,
because if it would have meant I had only
myself to blame. He was playing so well, and
if I hadnít been accurate, digging hard,
playing as tight as possible, if I hadnít
given it my 100% and been patient forever, I
couldnít have come back and won.
This game made me tougher, Iíve learned a
lot, thatís the kind of feeling that puts
you in the zone, if you win that is,
otherwise, you find yourself in the checking
zone at the departure gate!!!!
I got better as the match unfold. I had to
push my lungs to try and get oxygen in,
because since Qatar, I havenít been able to
do anything, expect walk and swim, complete
rest to make sure the body was fine.
So, Nicki, thanks for being that good, and
Iím sure weíll have some more though
matches, and Iím pretty sure youíll be in
the top 10 really soon.
One sentence to describe the match? Big
boost for the next match.
canít remember last time I was that
disappointed after losing a match.
After the second, he came out firing, and
his confidence grew with a few winners. And
after that, well, he was just being RamyÖ.
What that man was able to do while not
moving at his bestÖ.
He made a phenomenal come back, well, I gave
him the chance to come back, not being as
sharp and as tight as I was in the