9:27 pm
20 May 2024

Ibrahim & Bonmalais Make Maiden Tour Semis At Australian Open

22 Mar 2024

Sana Ibrahim and Sebastien Bonmalais are into the semi finals of a PSA World Tour event for the first time after progressing to the last four of the City Tattersalls Group Australian Open Bronze-level event in Sydney.

Ibrahim has been a quarter finalist at best at Bronze and Silver-level tournaments previously, but the Egyptian advanced to the last four for the first time with an accomplished performance against Rachel Arnold.

The Egyptian's unrelenting aggressiveness forced key errors from Arnold's racket as she claimed an impressive 11-7, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5 victory over the tournament's No.3 seed from Malaysia.

"I feel so happy about this," she said. "I was thinking about whether I was going to win today or not and reach the semi-finals as it's something big for me. I've played Rachel before at the Squash on Fire, but I lost in the quarters there.

"It wasn't going to be easy today as I knew she would play better today and I wanted to reach the semi finals. When I was 2/1 up and leading I was thinking about it, but I told myself it's 0-0 and just focus on each point. I'm so happy about this."

Top seed Salma Hany awaits Ibrahim for a place in the final following her 3/0 success over Aira Azman.

Hany was in excellent form in round two yesterday, and the world No.11 picked up where she left off against Azman to secure her spot in the last four with her accuracy paying dividends.

The other semi-final in the women's event pits the No.4 seed Tomato Ho against the No.2 seed Amina Orfi. Ho fought back from one game down to see off Yiwen Chan 3/1, while Orfi delivered a clinical display against Marie Stephan, winning in straight games.

In the men's competition, Bonmalais earned his maiden semi-final appearance on the World Tour after defeating Henry Leung 3/0.

The Frenchman's patient play was rewarded as he extended the rallies to force a number of errors from Leung, helping Bonmalais go two games up.

World No.33 Bonmalais, who's been a quarter finalist at PSA World Tour events three times before, found the back corners well in the third to round off an excellent performance over Leung in 42 minutes.

"It sounds good [being in a semi final of a World Tour event for the first time]," he said afterwards.

"It's been a long time since I started going up the rankings and playing the bigger tournaments, and I'm happy I managed to win 3/0 today and keep some energy for the rest of the tournament.

"I played well today. Henry is a tough player and a fighter. Last time I played him I knew I had to have a lot of pace and move him around the court.

"That's what I did today and I'm happy and I'm looking forward."

Bonmalais meets No.2 seed Youssef Soliman for a place in the final. The world No.12 overcame David Baillargeon in straight games.

Soliman absorbed plenty of pressure from the Canadian No.1, as the Egyptian came out on top in the majority of the lengthy rallies between the two. Soliman sealed the match 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 in 39 minutes.

The men's top seed Victor Crouin will take on No.4 seed Dimitri Steinmann for the third time on the World Tour in the other semi. French No.1 Crouin dispatched Tsz Kwan Lau 3/0 in 35 minutes, while Steinmann won by the same scoreline against Ryunosuke Tsukue.