6:42 am
17 Jun 2024

Teenager Fayrouz Floors No.4 Seed Gilis To Reach World Championship Quarters

14 May 2024

Egypt's 18-year-old Fayrouz Aboelkheir stunned No.4 seed Nele Gilis at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo to progress to the quarter-finals of the CIB PSA World Championships.

Gilis had initially fought back to take the third game after a dominant Aboelkheir stormed into a 2/0 lead. The unseeded teenager was back in command in the fourth though, dominating the middle of the court again as she closed out a shock 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 victory.

It's only the second time Aboelkheir has featured in the World Championships, but this will be the first time that the world No.19 will line up in the last eight of the sport's pinnacle tournament. The reigning British Junior U19 Open champion will take on US No.1 Olivia Weaver for a place in the semi-finals.

"It's my biggest win so far and it's my first time beating a top 10 player, so I'm over the moon," Aboelkheir said afterwards.

"I'm playing Nele and she's the world No.4, so I had to play my best squash today. I think last year I changed a lot, but I didn't get the wins and it's paying off now. I was trying to keep my focus on court as much as I can.

"She's been playing on the tour for a very long time and I've been playing on the tour for about three years. Just like the first game I had the lead and she got back into it. I was nervous when I had match ball."

In the men's event, reigning World Champion Ali Farag continued his bid to win a fifth World Championship trophy after he dispatched Argentina's Leandro Romiglio 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.

Romiglio was the first Argentine to appear in the last 16 of the PSA World Championships but was unable to oust the world No.1, who will go up against Tarek Momen in the next round after the 2019-20 champion came back to beat Frenchman Victor Crouin.

"It's always tricky playing someone for the first time even though both of us are older in age," Farag said afterwards.

"We've never got to play against each other, but we practiced together at Black Ball last month and after I got off court I thought 'why is Leandro not higher up in the rankings'? His level is definitely higher than his ranking and he's been showing that this week and he's been showing it the last few months.

"At the beginning, my length hitting was a little bit too high and he likes to hunt the volley. I watched a bit from his match with Miguel [Rodriguez] and he wasn't hunting the volley as much today and then he was hitting those low kills right from the start. I had to be wary of those two things, get my cross-courts a little bit wider and be a bit cleaner."