11:05 pm
13 Jun 2024

Eleinen Ousts Hesham In El Gouna Shock

21 Apr 2024

In an exciting second day of the El Gouna International Open, Egypt's Aly Abou Eleinen took out world No.6 Mazen Hesham in the biggest second round upset in the PSA World Tour Platinum event in the Red Sea resort in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Amina Orfi defeated compatriot Hana Moataz in a five-game epic and Mexico's Leonel Cardenas upset world No.10 Welshman Joel Makin.

In a match that was competitive from the first rally, Eleinen recorded the first seeding upset of the tournament in a four-game thriller. Hesham fought quickly to 10-8 in the first game, but a spirited resurgence from Eleinen levelled the match at 10-10. Hesham claimed a third game ball, but it was Eleinen who claimed the first game 13-11.

It was Hesham who again earned the first game ball of the second game at 10-9, but this time the world No.6 kept his composure as the game entered a tie-break and restored parity at one-all.

The pair traded points to 8-8, before Eleinen won a string of three successive rallies to retake the lead in the match. Eleinen looked to be storming to a 3/1 win after taking a quick 5-2 lead in the fourth, but Hesham rallied back and took a 10-9 lead. The world No.13 saved two game balls before converting the match on the first time of asking at 13-11.

Speaking after the match, Eleinen said: "Twelve years ago, when this tournament started, I was a little kid watching these top guys play, and all I wanted was to be one of those guys. My dream is to win El Gouna."

Egypt's Orfi triumphed over compatriot Hana Moataz in a five-game thriller that drew a packed crowd to Court 1 at Squash Complex El Gouna.

The 16-year-old, who lost 3/1 to Moataz in round two of the Black Ball Open just seven days ago, took the first game 11-8 in a strong start to proceedings, but Moataz struck back, and restored parity at one-all after a tense tie-break. The pair traded games to 2/2 to set up an exhilarating decider. Both Moataz and Orfi had match balls, but it was Orfi at 15-14 that finally won the 87-minute epic after Moataz struck the tin.

Afterwards, Orfi said: "I felt I didn't play my best today. Coming into the match I was a bit nervous because I lost to her last week at Black Ball; I was thinking about revenge and my ranking and all that. I just tried to keep pushing because I felt my squash wasn't the best and that wasn't what was going to make me win the match so I tried just to keep going and in the end she's the one who made the errors and I'm the one who won the match."

Earlier in the day, Cardenas came back from 2/0 behind to claim victory over Welshman Makin. The world No.9 looked in command as he took the first game 11-7 before dominating the second game to win 11-1.

The Mexican halved the deficit as he won 11-8 to breathe life back into the affair. Makin struggled to implement the brutal consistency and physicality that had earned him a 2/0 lead and Cardenas pushed to win three successive games to beat the Welshman.

Elsewhere, India's Ramit Tandon took down France's Victor Crouin, Malaysia's Aira Azman defeated Georgia Adderley to reach a maiden Platinum third round, and in an all-England affair, Sarah-Jane Perry edged out Lucy Turmel in five games.