POSTED DAE : Sept. 5, 2015
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) heads into tomorrow's semifinals after a 3-2 win against Jaymie Haycocks (ENG). It was a face-paced match that could have gone either way. Haycocks controlled the court in the first game, but was left behind in the second as Mangaonkar went on a run, leading 9-3. The third game saw Haycocks mixing up his shots, while Mangaonkar relied on his volley, going Haycock's way 11-7. The fourth game was close, with the two trading points all the way through. But in the decider, Mangaonkar dominated, racking up 7-2 lead before taking the match 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 in 73 minutes.
"Definitely not my best squash," Mangaonkar said. "But I'm just happy to get through the win. I give all the credit to Jaymie for putting me under pressure. I think that's the best he's played in a long time. I just have to be sure tomorrow I don't make the same mistakes I made today. I'll have to be calm and composed. I hope to play well and get a win. It's an important match."
Joshana Chinappa (IND) dominated her match against Lee Ka Yi (HKG), racking up a quick lead in the first game that sent it her way. Ka Yi put up a good fight in the next two, kept it long, and the two traded points until Ka Yi took the third game off Chinappa. In the fourth game, though, it was all Chinappa. She shot ahead on a 10-1 lead, too much for Ka Yi to close, and Chinappa took the match 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2 in 36 minutes.
"I was confident in the first two games," Chinappa said. "In the third, she really stepped it up and put me under pressure. I made a few errors that cost me. But I managed to get it back in the fourth."
Sandhu loses to top-seed Waller
Harinderpal Singh (IND) always had his work cut out for him against top-seeded Adrian Waller (ENG), but a near-flawless performance by Waller proved too much. Waller played a solid, controlled game from the start, making only onforced error well into game two. Sandhu's best chance came at 9-8 in second game, but one error and a brilliant shot by Waller closed the gap and sent the game his way. In the third game, Sandhu seemed a bit hurried, allowing Waller to rack up a big lead, 7-3. It proved too much for Sandhu and Waller took the match with only three unforced errors 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 in 40 minutes.
"It was a solid match on my part," Waller said. "The key was the second game. Harry had most of the game, but I managed to claw back at the end."
"I started well in the first game," Sandhu said. "Then I just gave away everything with a lot of errors. I started playing too short, too often. He stuck to the basic game really well and that payed off."
El Hammamy juggernaut heads to semis
Egypt's El Hammamy siblings are on a roll with another pair of wins in today's quarterfinal. Karim El Hammamy (EGY) played an aggressive game against Mohamed Reda (EGY), working the corners while Reda tried to keep the game long. Reda took control in the second game, but struggled to hold on. In the third and fourth games, El Hammamy had Reda out of the T in long, pacey rallies. In the end it was a test of endurance, and El Hammamy took the match 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 64 minutes.
"We know each other and train at the same club, so we know each other's way of playing," El Hammamy said. "He kept me to the back corners. We have a very contrasting game. In the second game, his basics were deep and he managed to control my game plan. I realized I had to play longer rallies to win the match, and I did."
"Karim played quite well," Reda said. "He finished the points better. It's my first tournament of the season, so I had to get back in the rhythm. Hopefully I'll be better for the next one."
Photo above: Karim El Hammamy; Photo credit: Nitesh Square
Hania El Hammamy (EGY), too, slogged her way into the semifinals with a win against countrywoman Nouran El Torky. El Hammamy took control from the start, getting in front of El Torky and keeping her off the middle with some well-placed flicking. Game three saw El Torky refocus and mix up her game to be more physical. The decider match was close, but El Hammamy clinched it after several key unforced errors from El Torky, winning 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7 in 50 minutes.
"I feel tired," El Hammamy said. "I played well in the first two games, but in the other two, I lost my concentration and she played better. In the last one, I managed to play like the first two games again. The last game was really close, but I managed to win."