AL-AHLY OPEN


Photos first days              Photos Semis
SEMIS

U11

[7] Eyad Hosam 3-2 [3] Ali Safwat        7-11, 7-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-6
[26] Yousef Hesham 3-0 [10] Adham Roshdy            11-0, 11-8, 11-6

Jana Galal 3-2 Farah Dwedar                  8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8
Kenzy Khaled 3-0  Malak Ebrahim                      11-8, 14-12, 11-7

As ever, the youngest are the feistiest... ! The intensity you find in the U11 is second to none and today was no exception.

Contrasting matches for the boys though with a easy ride for Youssef Hesham, but with a good behaviour at the end of the match from Adham Roshdy as he accepted to be "on the photo" whereas I could see how sad he was.. Very professional attitude at such a young age...

The first "come back" was from Eyad Hosam who started by being dominated by Ali Safwat, but clawed back with a crucial third, 14/12, to then take the match in 5!

For the girls, Kenzy Khaled managed to close the match in 3 although the second was very disputed, 14/12. But again like for the boys, Jana Galal was dominated in the first two games by a very determined and fired up Farah Dwedar who had no pressure, playing superb squash. But the "experience" of the big matches/points - Jana is the BJO U11 runner up champion - probably made the difference in the end, with Jana wining the next three games, 4, 3, 8.

             

U13

Lojain Elgohary 3-0 Shahd Ayman   11-3, 11-6, 11-3
[2] Fairouz Ehab Abouelkheir 3-0 Nour Megahed    14-12, 11-6, 11-7

[4] Yousef Roshdy 3-2 [1] Yousef Mohamed  0-11, 15-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3
[7] Omar Azzam 3-0 [22] Salman Sherif    11-3, 11-6, 11-6

All my apologies for this group as I was struggling with my internet connection despite having a plan A, B and C! So I completely missed the match of the day it seems, Yousef vs Yousef, a match which proves that you can lose a game 11/0 and still win the game in the 5th! As for the other one, Salman Sherif fought well, but couldn't stop Omar Azzam from getting to the final.

Same story I'm afraid for the girls, I was told the match between Fairouz Abouekheir and Nour Megahed would start at 3, and it was finished at 3! Sooooorry Fairouz, I'll make sure I don't miss it tomorrow Insh'Allah!

A simpler affair for Lojain Elgohary, 3/0 against Shahd Ayman...

U15

[15] Ahmed Wael 3-0 [2] Youssef Abd Elfatah            11-8, 11-6, 11-3
[20] Abdallah Basem 3-1 [14] Youssef Fahmy  12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4

[92] Basmala Aref 3-2 [1] Kenzy Ayman    11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9
[7] Noreen Hisham 3-2 [12] Haya Mohamed    7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8

Bad day for the higher ranked in the U15! Apart from Noreen Hisham that survived a tough five setter against Haya Mohamed to secure her final seat, it was a wave of upsets for that age group!

The bigger one of course being Basmala Aref, ranked 92, ousting the favourite of the event, Kenzy Ayman, in yet another 5 setter. Basmala took the lead 2/0 only to see her opponent claw back to 2/2, the under dog clinching the semi 11/9 in the 5th!

For the boys, again two upsets, with ranked 2 Youssef Abd Elfatah bowing to ranking 15 Ahmed Wael 3/0, while 20th ranked Abdallah Basem beat 3/1 [14] Youssef Fahmy, 3/1.

     

U17

[4] Mostafa Asal 3-0 [13] Yassen Shafee               11-4, 11-2, 11-5
[11] Karim al Barbary 3-1 [19] Housain Salem    9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8

[18] Sana Mahmoud 3-1 [15] Nour Khaled      11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5
[49] Hagar Shafee 3-1 [70] Narden Sameh      8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6

If Mostafa Asal, 2018  U17 British Junior Champ met no problems to qualify for the final, it was much more of a battle for Karim Al Barbary, 4 very disputed games, three that could have gone either way...

As for the girls, Nour Khaled couldn't pass the Sana Mahmoud barrier today - her huge battle with Malak Ashraf yesterday probably emptied the energy tank... A match with a few loud discussion - that I could hear from the office - but that went to the lower national ranked player Sana who now plays Hagar Shafee, winner of Narden Sameh in 4.

       

U19


[6] Mostafa Asal
3-0 [4] Yahia Nosany                    11-3, 11-6, 11-5
[5] Omar el Torky 3-0 [22] Abdallah Yasser              11-8, 11-6, 11-4

[1] Jana Sheha 3-0 [9] Nour Ramy                          11-6, 11-9, 11-4
[25] Nada Abbas 3-0 [8] Salma Yasser                                     w.o.
 

Mostafa keeps his unbeaten run in Egypt this year! The Al-Ahly boy is yet to lose a match in his country in both U17 and U19 group I'm told - he is as we know U17 BJO champ of course... Yahia tried his best and fought nail and tooth but Mostafa's relentless accuracy at the back forced errors out of the Wadi Degla boy...

Mostafa will meet Omar El Torky tomorrow as Omar clinically dominated a very patient Abdallah Yasser. The rallies were long and gruelling, but I never felt that Omar was really put under pressure today.

As for the girls, Salma Yasser was w.o. today, so Nada Abbas will play against top favourite Jana Sheha, who played a good game today against Nour Ramy - although a few 'away with the fairies' moments, as ever!

To be noted that poor Nour actually banged her right knee with her own racquet - painful and impressive, but hopefully, not too bad of an injury we hope!!

Seniors

Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 Islam Adel
[3] Ahmed Hosny
3-0 [2] Abdel Fatah Fahim 

Yathreb Adel
3-0 [2] Dina Faried             
[1] Nada Ehab 3-0 Sohaila Omar              11-7, 11-4, 11-5

A bit of a funny age group that one, with Karim and Islam playing conditioning games, Yathreb Adel dominating Dina Faried that never stopped running but we do not have any detail on the score - the scoresheet is blank, and a good battle for Ahmed Hosny, former PSA player who is coming back to competition, there again, no score against Abdel Fatah Fahim! Only score we actually have, I saw a very in control Nada Ehab, sending poor Sohaila Omar to visit the four corners, again and again, draining the energy out of her opponent!

QUARTERS DRAWS


Thanks to Ahmed for the hard work as he translated/updated each age group draw for us... Merci!!


Captain Nasser Zahran
as you never saw him!!!!

6 February 2018 - Quarters

That player looks like Karim Abdel Gawad...
Or when I realise I'm a real blond through and through...


I just popped around Al-Ahly Club today, before really starting working tomorrow for the semis. I was lucky enough to meet with Mister Big in Alhly Club, Mr Raouf Abdel Kader who is very proud of the evolution Squash is taking in one of the most famous Sports Clubs in the world. Who doesn't know Al-Ahly Football Club???

But quickly, Mr Abdel Kader stresses how much the other sports are important in Al-Ahly Club. "We are not just about Football! We are "the Club of the Century", not only in football, but we have 12 other sports, including Volley-Ball and Handball, Gymnastics, and so on, but we are developing our Squash entity at the moment.

"The History of Squash started thirty years ago, but only with two courts. Then two years ago, we expanded our squash facilities to what it is today, eight courts, trying to attract as many members we could to play squash, with the angle of "quantity more than quality". That was our short term goal.

"But now, we have a long term goal, which is to focus on quality as well as quantity. We have our stars of today, Karim Abdel Gawad and Yathreb Adel. But we have also created an "Olympic Program" in Al-Ahly Club, with the vision that our young athletes will one day be part of the Olympics.

"That's why we have recruted Mostafa Asal, British Junior U17 Champion, but also Jana Galal, British Junior Champion U11 runner up, who we hope one day will participate to the Olympics as we believe squash will be Olympic soon
... "

As they say around here "Insh'Allah"!!!

Then I went down the stairs, and found the first court on my left, with players that looked like U19 boys... Ok I didn't have my glasses on, sue me. So I put myself on the left corner, as ever, starts shooting my action photos, then check on my camera my shots... And I think to myself, 'that's funny, that player looks like Karim Abdel Gawad'. And I start shooting again... finally realising that it was INDEED Karim Abdel Gawad, playing in the event of course as is Yathreb Adel, as they are both under contract with Al-Ahly Club!

As Steve Cubbins commented - all the way from Witley Bay, England, under snow: BLOND....

And I was lucky enough to finally meet Karim's fiancée, Farah Bendary, what a graceful and beautiful young lady, Karim my friend you are a lucky man!

So there we are, with a nice program of matches starting at 12 tomorrow. Stay tuned people, more to come!!!!


Al-Ahly Stars with
Yathreb's Dad

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