Squash in the Land – Cleveland


[2] Nour El Tayeb3-1 [1] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)   9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (47m)

Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb earned her 16th career title after beating No.1 seed Georgina Kennedy 3-1
The match started with the pair on level terms. With calculated, physical rallies, they traded points to 5-4 in favour of the Egyptian. The Englishwoman restored parity with a boast that landed just out of reach of an outstretched El Tayeb.

Through long, attritional rallies, Kennedy found herself 8-9 behind at the business end of the first game, but an irretrievable backhand drop levelled the score at 9-9. The No.1 seed got the first chance at going 1-0 ahead, and converted her game ball with an inch-perfect forehand drop.

In the second game, the match continued to be fought through attritional rallies, and El Tayeb kept within a point of the Englishwoman until restoring parity at 6-6 after Kennedy hit the tin attempting a boast. El Tayeb began to score point after point, partially caused by errors from her opponent, but also due to a spell of sharp, accurate squash. After five consecutive points, the No.2 seed levelled the match at 1-1 with a front-court boast.

The Egyptian maintained her slim lead throughout the third game to 7-8, before going on another run of accurate, high-paced squash to burst into a 10-6 lead. Kennedy seemed fatigued as El Tayeb finished the run of form with an effort that flew past a planted Kennedy.

It was clear that the Egyptian looked less tired as she continued her onslaught into the fourth game. The World No.8 looked unstoppable as she took a 4-0 lead with a backhand straight drive after dragging Kennedy across the court.

The Englishwoman couldn’t keep up as the lead grew to 8-2. Kennedy used the last of her energy reserves as she brought the lead down to 4-8 with a well-placed straight drive, but the damage was already done as the in-form El Tayeb gave herself five championship balls after sending the No.1 seed the wrong way with a front-court boast, only needing one as she forced an error with a tight squeeze on the left wall.

“I practiced with Gina at the start of the week,” said El Tayeb after winning her third title in Cleveland. “We played and she gave me a lot of confidence in my game. She’s very nice, not every squash player is very nice, but she gives me compliments all the time. I remember every compliment she gave me and it makes me believe in myself more.

“At this stage I still need someone to give me validation on court and she helped me a lot at the beginning of the week. Having played well yesterday, I called Ali after the match and told him I had nothing to lose because I felt Olivia was the better player.

At the beginning of this match I felt off. Everything was going in nicely yesterday but today it wasn’t going as well as I wanted. It took me a while to hang in there, believe in myself and trust that the five games she had yesterday would be in her legs.

“I kept pushing and tried to tell myself that I’m competing against one of the best players in the world, so it’s a privilege. It paid off and I’m very happy and lucky that it did. She was playing shots that had no margin for error and I couldn’t do anything. I tried to enjoy the match as it went on and as I started to win it I enjoyed it a little bit more. This is my third title here, I’ve won three times in Cleveland.


Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-1 [2] Youssef Ibrahim 3-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 (60m)

[2] Nour El Tayeb 3-0[3] Olivia Weaver (USA) : 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (38m)

Nour El Tayeb claimed the last place in Sunday’s Squash in the Land finals after a ruthless performance to beat out home favourite Olivia Weaver in straight games.

The Egyptian accumulated five unanswered points to start the match. Weaver’s physicality couldn’t make up for the pin-point accuracy of the No.2 seed, and El Tayeb cruised to a 1-0 lead. Weaver kept up with the No.2 seed in game two, trading points to 3-4 in long, demanding rallies, but despite some excellent squash from the American, she couldn’t take a lead in the game. El Tayeb looked the more clinical as she pushed on to give herself four game balls, but only needed one.

The No.3 seed played her best squash of the match as she pushed to establish a foothold in the match, but the burst of energy couldn’t last for the entire game, and the American slowed down and allowed El Tayeb back into the game. El Tayeb stayed as consistent and ruthless as she had been for the previous two games, taking an 8-6 lead in the match. At 10-8, a backhand straight drive gave El Tayeb a place in the final.

“I felt confident, but then Olivia takes it away from you when she’s hard to beat for every point,” said El Tayeb after the match.


[2] Youssef Ibrahim 3-0 Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (31m)

[3] Olivia Weaver (USA) 3-1 [5] Farida Mohamed  14-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3 (38m)
[2] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 [6] Emily Whitlock (WAL)  11-5, 11-6, 11-1 (27m)

Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim earned a place in Saturday’s semi-finals with a dominant display over Pakistan’s Mohammad Asim Khan.

The rallies were short and explosive. Ibrahim seemed to be looking for winners from the off, and was getting the majority of them as shown in a particularly high-quality backhand drop to make it 3-3 as well as a backhand straight drive that clung impossibly close to the right wall. Despite this, and perhaps due to the fact that the Egyptian seemingly hadn’t gotten out of first gear, Khan remained near on the scoreboard to 8-9. The No.2 seed did enough to convert his lead into a 1-0 win from there after two tin hits from the Pakistani.

Ibrahim came into the second game with more intent, winning three successive points with the third coming by way of an unstoppable cross-court nick. The World No.53 did recover from the early onslaught, but a combination of errors and Ibrahim’s brutal attacking playing style saw the Egyptian take a 2-0 advantage in the match.

Similarly to the first game, Ibrahim looked comfortable despite allowing Khan to take points, and cruised to a 3-0 victory, capped off with an outrageous counter-drop battle on match ball.

“Most of the time I play instinctively,” said Ibrahim after the match. “The first outing on the glass is always tricky and I’m playing someone who has the shots and can make you run.

“I didn’t see the ball very well in the first, I didn’t start very well, but then I managed to win it and it helped me a lot in the second and third. I managed to get a lead in the beginning and I started to feel my shots, which is good for the next round.

Nour El Tayeb progresses to the semi-finals after a commanding performance over Wales’ Emily Whitlock.

The Egyptian looked dominant from the outset, scoring winners across the court with her athleticism. El Tayeb pushed on from 3-2 to a resounding 11-5 win. The trend continued into the second game as the World No.8 carried on her momentum in brutal fashion and took the second game with a backhand drop to the front right corner.

Whitlock looked exhausted in the third game, and was unable to keep up with the pace of El Tayeb as the Egyptian scored eight unanswered points, encapsulated by an outrageous fan shot with top spin at 6-0. El Tayeb converted her crushing lead 11-1 to take the third semi-final place in the women’s draw.

Round Two

[4] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-0 Kenzy Ayman  11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (20m)
[2] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Ineta Hopton (LAT)  11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (16m)
Alicia Mead (ENG) 3-1 [7] Hana Ramadan 14-12, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (39m)
[8] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 3-1 Nadine Shahin   8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (34m)
[6] Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-1 Haya Ali  13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7 (44m)
[5] Farida Mohamed 3-0 Menna Hamed   11-6, 13-11, 11-6 (31m)

[4] Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-1 Aly Hussein  12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (65m)
[2] Youssef Ibrahim 3-0  Perry Malik (ENG)  11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)
Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-2  [5] Omar Mosaad  11-5, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 (67m)
[3] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0 Yassin Elshafei  11-9, 15-13, 11-8 (39m)

Squash in the Land Open 2024

Round One

Kenzy Ayman 3-1 [WC] Dixon B Hill (USA) 3-1: 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10 (35m)
Nadine Shahin  3-2 Akanksha Salunkhe (IND)  5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (27m)
Haya Ali 3-0 Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (26m)
Menna Hamed 3-1 Torrie Malik (ENG)  8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (37m)

Aly Hussein 3-0 Jeremias Azaña (ARG)  11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (47m)
[WC] Matias Knudsen (COL) 3-0 Seif El-Shenawy  12-10, 11-5, 11-2 (33m)
Yassin Elshafei 3-2 Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA)  11-5, 11-9, 2-11, 10-12, 11-4 (53m)

Kenzy Ayman took down home favourite Dixon Hill despite a strong fightback from the American while Nadine Shahin clinched a 3/2 game 11/9 in 27m!