Growthpoint SA Open Squash Championships

Brooklyn Mall, Brooklyn Pretoria

The stage is set for the semi-finals of the 2018 Growthpoint SA Open Squash Championships to be  played at the Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria on Friday 10th August 2018 from 16h00.

The contractors led by Benjamin Hunt, son of former World Champion Geoff Hunt, worked through Wednesday night sanding the floor of the All Glass Court, which had proved too slippery to play the first set of quarterfinals on Wednesday evening . The court was declared good to play on on Thursday and the second set of quarterfinals  were completed on Thursday evening.

In the first quarterfinal played, 24 year old Rui Soares, the fourth seed from Portugal, had the measure of his opponent unseeded Blessing Muhwati (Zimbabwe) winning the first game 11-7. Muhwati, a student at UJ turned the tables in the second game.  Although Soares saved 4 game points, Muhwati clinched the game 11-9 to level matters. Soares wasted no time in racing through the third game in 6 minutes dropping only 1 point. The fourth game turned into a tussle as Muhwati’s placings had Soares moving all around the court with the Zimbabwean taking a 7-4 lead. Making use of deeper tighter drives, Soares  regained control and rattled off 7 consecutive points to win the game 11-7 and the match on his first match point.

Soares will clash  with second seeded Mohamed ElSherbini in the semi final on Friday .

A string of unforced errors by unseeded South African, Christo Potgieter, who had upset 7th seed Ben Coates (Eng) in the second round, allowed ElSherbini ranked 70, to pocket the first game 11-4 in only 6 minutes. With both players attacking at every opportunity points seesawed in the second game until 7 all.

The Egyptian held game points at 10-7 and 10-8 eventually winning the second game 11 – 8. Despite having broken strings while trailing 1-3 and having to change his racket, El Sherbini clinically tied up the match at 11-6 in the third game.

In the women’s quarterfinal 5th seeded Menna Nasser (Egy) was too experienced for her opponent, unseeded Jennifer Preece,  a second year student at UJ as she comfortably controlled the game 11-2 11- 8 11-4 in 18 minutes.

Nasser’s opponent in the semi-final will be third UJ student, Alexa Pienaar, the 2018 SA Universities champion. Pienaar caused an upset by defeating second seed Farah Momen (Egy) in straight games in the first round.

Pienaar had a tough tussle with Cheyna Wood (Central Gauteng) winning through 11-8 12-14 1-8 11-1 in 45 minutes.

Results:

  • Men: 4- Rui Soares (Por) 11-7 9-11 11-1 11-7; 2- Mohamed ElSherbini (Egy) bt Christo Potgieter (SA) 11-4 11-8 11-6
  • Women:  5- Menna Nasser (Egy) bt J Preece (SA) 11-2 11-8 11-4,  Alexa Pienaar (SA) bt Cheyna  Wood (SA) 11-8 12-14 11-8 11-1

Schedule : Friday 10th August

  • 16h00: 4- Rui Soares (Por) vs 2- Mohamed Elsherbini
  • 16h50: 4- Menna Nasser (Egy) vs Alexa Pienaar (SA)
  • 17h40: 1- Mazen Gamal (Egy) vs 3- Baptiste Masotti (Fr)
  • 18h30: 1- Milnay Louw (SA) vs 5- Farida Mohamed (Egy)

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