Egyptians Abroad – Queen City

Canada – Final              SquashSite

Danielle beat Menna 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 4-11 (44 min)
Summary: Game 1: Menna takes the first point, but Danielle comes in for the second. Menna takes the third point with a nice drop shot that lands just above the tin. The flip flop continues, as Danielle gets the fourth point for 2-2. A stroke is awarded to Menna in the front. Danielle takes the next one with a drop. Most of the points are being won up at the front of court. Danielle takes the first consecutive point with a drive from the front of the court. 4-3 for Danielle, and Menna drives a low and hard shot down the wall, which Danielle can’t quite pick up. 4-4 as Menna serves, and Danielle hits one into the tin. 5-4 for Menna, and after a long rally Danielle catches Menna on her heels as she hits a cross court. 5-5, but Danielle hits the tin. 6-5 Menna, and Danielle’s crosscourt has an unexpected bounce out of the corner… A few more rallies ensue, and it’s 8-6 for Menna. Danielle hits a high crosscourt that just touches the outer red line. Our longest rally of the game so far ends with a stroke being awarded to Menna, and Menna takes the first game.

Game 2: Menna is awarded a stroke as Danielle’s drive pops out loose. Then, Danielle hits one into the tin. Menna hits a crosscourt that just gets past Danielle as she stretches for it. 3-0 for Menna. Danielle hits a drop shot that the ref called down, but Danielle did not think so. 4-0 for Menna. Danielle hits another drop shot, and Menna thought it was down this time, but the ref said, “No, that ball was good.” 1-4 as Danielle serves it, and Menna gets another stroke in the back corner. 5-1 for Menna, and Danielle gets a drop shot off of Menna’s boast. 2-5 Danielle, and Danielle’s shot comes just slightly off the wall. A stroke is awarded to Menna. Then, Danielle gets another point off a drop shot. 3-6 Danielle, and Menna hits a tight drop that Danielle can’t quite dig out. Danielle gets another off of a drop. 4-7 Danielle, and Menna gets two in a row. 9-4 Menna, and Danielle hammers a medium-length drive from the middle. 5-9 Danielle, and she hits a perfect length shot that dies in the back. 6-9 Danielle, and Menna hits one into the tin. Now it is 8-9 as Danielle serves, and she hits another perfect drive into the backhand corner. 9-9, and Menna turns and asks for a let, but the ref does not award the let. 10-9, and Menna hits one into the tin. Game to Danielle, 11-9.

Game 3: Danielle hits one into the tin, as Menna takes the first point. 1-0 Menna, and Danielle hits a backhand drive that grips too close to the wall for Menna to pull out. 2-1 Danielle, and a stroke is awarded to Menna 2-2, and Danielle returns the serve into the tin. 3-3 Danielle, and she hits a crosscourt drive. Menna asks for a let off of Danielle’s drop, but no let is awarded. 6-3 for Danielle, and this time a let is awarded to Menna. Still 6-3, and makes an unforced error – a drive into the tin from the back. 4-6 Menna, and Danielle volleys a loose drive into the tin. 5-6 Menna, and Menna hits a drop from the middle, as Danielle is trapped in the back corner. Now tied up at 6-6, and Menna cannot quite make it to Danielle’s boast before the second bounce. A very long rally ends with a crosscourt bouncing off the back wall, into the middle, so a safety let is played. Another long rally ends with Danielle’s boast landing in the nick. Then, Danielle hits a boast into the tin 8-10 as Menna serves now, and Menna’s shot bounces loose, resulting in a stroke. Danielle takes the win.

Game 4: Menna walks onto the court just as the ref calls, “Time.” Danielle leads 2-1 as we begin the fourth game. Menna gets the first point, but then Danielle returns a serve with a winning drop shot. The next rally ends with Menna’s drop shot from the back. 2-2 as Menna serves, and the athletes get tangled up, Danielle asks for a let, and they play the let, indeed. Menna asks for a let, but the ref said, “No let. You were only going for the player.” 3-2 for Danielle, and Menna returns the serve with a perfect drop. 3-3, and the players get tangled again. A let is played. 4-3 for Daniele, and after a long rally down the backhand wall, Danielle hits an attacking trickle boast. 6-3 for Danielle, and Menna takes a moment to tie her shoes. Danielle practices her drop shots in the meantime. 7-3 for Danielle now, after the last rally ends with no let being awarded to Menna, and Danielle hits a winning crosscourt. A few more points go by, and the score is now 9-4 for Danielle. A few shots in the front end with a boast as Menna is standing back. 10-4, and Danielle wins the Queen City Open from a serve that Menna cannot quite return.

Menna Hamed reaches the final in Canada!!!

Nikki Todd (CAN) vs [5] Menna Hamed (EGY)
Result: Menna beat Nikki 11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 6-11 (43 min)
Summary: This is the first match of the semi-finals on Saturday afternoon. This will be an exciting match to watch no matter who wins since we’ve got the fifth seed for the tournament versus our local hero, Nikki Todd! Todd takes the lead in game 1 with a score of 4-3 and wins the point on a backhand drop that leaves the crowd cheering. She hits her next serve out. Oops. Regardless, she sticks in the game until the score is 9-7 for Todd who uses her home court advantage by hitting the back-floor crease and rolls the ball out! It’s game ball for Todd now and she finishes the rally right away. Game to Todd.

Hamed takes the first point in game two when Todd holds on a trickle boast but hits the tin. Hamed takes the lead at 4-3, letting Todd make the mistakes first. The next rally is long, and the two players battle it out and give the crowd a show. Hamed calls for a let when Todd hits a forehand drop and moves back into her. The call is no let. Todd serves the ball out for a second time, bringing the score to 7-6 for Hamed. Two more tins by Todd gives Hamed a good lead at 9-6. Todd hits a beautiful backhand drop to keep her in the game, but tins in the next rally. 10-7 game ball for Hamed, and Todd tins off of the serve. Game to Hamed.

Games are two-all now. Todd is still smiling on court, but that’s not surprising! Hamed comes back on court looking stoic and ready to take this game and the lead in the match. The score quickly shoots up to 4-3 for Hamed. She hits an incredible drop shot that Todd somehow retrieves. In the next rally, Hamed gets her revenge from last game and the ball rolls out from the back-floor crease. Todd returns the favour by hitting the tightest forehand kill shot that the crowd had ever seen! Todd has a safe lead now, at 9-5. A mishap in the next rally gives the point to Hamed, who then keeps the streak going and brings the score to 9-9. This rally is incredibly long with both players retrieving great shots. Hamed finishes this rally on a forehand kill. It’s 11-10 game ball for Hamed now and Todd tins her drop after a long rally. Game to Hamed.

Games are 2-1 now for Hamed. Someone in the crowd predicts we’ll be going to five, but we’ll see! Hamed takes the lead in the game right away. Several mistakes by Todd later, she stares into the crowd and rolls her eyes. That’s about as much frustration we’ll ever see from her! It’s 7-4 now for Hamed, and Todd tins a forehand volley drop. Another few tins from Todd brings the score to 9-5 for Hamed. The crowd does not want this match to end yet! Hamed has match ball now, and Todd hits the tin after a few shots. Game and Match to Hamed.


Menna Hamed 3-1 Ka Yi Lee (HKG)  11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9 (39 min)

Game 1:
We have the fourth and fifth seed playing now. Both players appear very calm and focused. It is clear they are both taking this particular match very seriously, as they should, Menna takes a mid-game lead, bringing it to 5-2. Menna asks for a let, but the ref says, “No let.” She looks to her coach in the crowd, and it seems he agreed with the call, so Menna lets this one slide.
Ka Yi comes back a bit at 5-7, but then hits one into the tin. Both players are interesting to watch for different reasons. Ka Yi, because she seems to glide – never appearing to exert herself – yet gets to everything. Menna, because she maintains such composure. She is in total control of her reactions. Menna leads 10-7, but Ka Yi hits a drop as Menna stands near the back. 8-10, and a stroke is awarded to Menna for the win.

Game 2:
Menna comes back from a focused talk with her coach. She took the conversation very seriously. He must play an important role in her career. Ka Yi takes advice from Vanessa Chu – the other athlete from Hong Kong. Menna hits a nice trickle boast, bringing it up to 2-1. She lets out a very humble fist bump, but then Ka Yi hits some length that dies in the back for one point, followed by a tight length shot for another. 3-2 for Ka Yi, and Menna returns the serve out. And then Ka Yi gets another one.
These are quick rallies. 6-2 for Ka Yi, and she hits a winning drop. It seems those are working well for Ka Yi, particularly on the backhand. The momentum stops as Menna hits a tight drop shot that Ka Yi cannot pull off the wall. Then, another rally-winning drop shot from Ka Yi, followed by a cross court. 9-3 for Ka Yi, and Ka Yi hits yet another backhand drop to gain the point. 10-3, and Ka Yi hits a cross court drop, rather loose, but with enough power that it slips past Menna before she can get her racquet in the right place. Ka Yi takes it.

Game 3:
Menna comes back onto the court first and hits the ball with a sense of intensity. Ka Yi takes the first one after a relatively quick rally. Then, Menna gets one with a good drop shot, followed by a perfect cross court drop. 2-1 for Menna, and she gets another one. 3-1, and Ka Yi mishits a drop on the backhand – for the first time – into the red line at the top of the tin. Then, Ka Yi gets two more, bringing it to 3-4. She is on a roll now. 4-4, and Menna gets her racquet up in record speed to rapidly convert Ka Yi’s hard cross court into a drop. 7-4 for Menna, and she is looking focused.
Ka Yi loses her momentum, hitting one into the tin. Two more points for Menna. 9-4, but Ka Yi takes it back with a drive. Then, Ka Yi hits a lob out. 6-10 as Ka Yi serves, and Ka Yi hits a shot right back at Menna, with which she can’t quite make contact. Ka YI hits one off the back wall, getting right back to the T, ready for another shot, but Menna hits a drop right into the nick to win it.

Game 4:
Again, Menna comes back onto the court first – looking ready to go. Ka Yi takes the first one again this time. Then, Ka Yi hits another backhand drop into the tin, very unlike her shots in game two. 3-1 for Menna now, and Ka Yi hits a lob that lands just inches away from the back wall – impossible for Menna to keep in play. 3-3, and Ka Yi manages to pull off one of the great backhand drops we were seeing in game two. And then one more. 5-3 for Ka Yi, and she hits a drive into the top of the tin. This is shaping up to be a close one. 5-6 as Menna serves it up, but Ka Yi gets another with a pattern of backhand drop to crosscourt, which seems to be working well for her.
7-7, and Ka Yi gets a drop on the forehand side this time. A bit of a collision on the court forces Menna to the ground, but she is okay thankfully. Perfect cross-court by Menna. 9-8, and Ka Yi volleys a drop into the nick. 9-9, and Menna hits a low and hard cross court. 10-9, match ball, and Ka Yi hits one out – just barely – and Menna takes the match in four. Great game.

Round 2

[5] Menna Hamed 3-0 Grace Gear (Eng)                    11-6, 11-8, ret. (20 min)