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ISC NEWS
EGYPTIAN SIBLINGS DOMINATE DAY 2 | 2nd September 2015 | PICTURES

 

Hania El Hammamy (EGY) handily won her match against PSA newcomer Akanksha Hemant Sulankhe (IND) in today's second qualifying round. Sulankhe relied on her powerful returns, sending out shots with all her strength, but was not enough against the more accurate El Hammamy. Sulankhe found her legs in game two, which saw both players out of the T in some lively rallies. But El Hammamy again took control in the third game, taking the match 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 in 40 minutes.

"I was not feeling good on the court, and she made really good shots. In my first game, my moves were better than the other two. Tomorrow, they are all good players. It will be difficult." - Hania El Hammamy (EGY)

"This was my first-ever PSA tournament and I enjoyed it a lot. I'm not feeling even 1% bad about it. I'm going to work harder." - Akanksha Hemant Salunkhe (IND)
EL HAMMAMY BEATS DIXIT TO JOIN MEN'S MAIN DRAW | 2nd September 2015 | PICTURES
 
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) followed his sister's lead, beating Ravi Dixit (IND) to join tomorrow's Main Draw. Dixit started out strong, deploying drops to trip up El Hammamy in the first game. But midway through, El Hammamy caught on and began to give back the same. Play and points stayed even until midway through the second game, when a long, brilliant rally ended in an unforced area by Dixit, which set the tone for the rest of the match. El Hammamy took control carrying the match 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 in 34 minutes.

"It was tough in the beginning. I had a little problem in settling down, and it was a little stressful. Then my basics became tougher for my opponent, and I managed to win the other two games. I'll have to adapt tomorrow." - Karim El Hammamy (EGY)

"I started pretty well. Then, I don't know, all of a sudden I lost my temper and started making so many errors." - Ravi Dixit (IND)
MEN'S TOP-SEED QUALIFIER THROUGH TO MAIN DRAW | 2nd September 2015 | PICTURES

 

Top-seeded qualifier Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) took today's match against Sandeep Jangra (IND) to enter tomorrow's Main Draw. Jangra played well, taking the second game with a couple of lovely shots. But Ribadas was more decisive with his play and controlled the middle well. He kept the game long and sent several shots just out of Jangra's reach. Ribadas pressed Jangra back on both sides till he got a loose ball, then took the match home, winning it 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 in 32 minutes.

"I was struggling a bit to get the ball to the back. When I found I was relaxing even a bit, he got a few points back. He's a good player. Tomorrow, I hope I play a bit better and make some damage in the Main Draw." - Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP)
PRESSURE ON INDIANS IN MAIN DRAW | 2nd September 2015 | PICTURES

 

Today was a bad day for Indian players in the second round of NSCI Open qualifiers, with none making it into tomorrow's Main Draw. The pressure is on Main Draw players Joshana Chinappa, Mahesh Mangaonkar, Harinderpal Sandhu, and Kush Kumar to assure an Indian win.
 
India's qualifiers made a spirited attempt, though. Vikram Malhotra (IND) returned to his hometown Mumbai to trade points with Mazen Gamal (EGY). Malhotra, a squash coach at Trinity University in the US, came the closest of all Indian qualifiers, but couldn't quite seal the deal. Malhotra's legs gave out in the fourth game, and Gamal kept up the pressure to take the match home 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5 in a grueling 53 minutes. "As the match went on, yesterday's match caught up with me a little bit," Malhotra said. "All credit to him, I think he noticed and he stepped up the pace a bit more. The fourth game was crucial."
 
Sandeep Jangra (IND) managed to take one game off his opponent before losing to top-seeded qualifier Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) in a 3-1 match. Jangra played well, taking the second game with a couple of lovely shots. But Ribadas was more decisive with his play and controlled the middle well. He kept the game long and sent several shots just out of Jangra's reach. Ribadas pressed Jangra back on both sides till he got a loose ball, then took the match home, winning it 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 in 32 minutes.
 
Nikita Joshi (IND), too, took a game off her opponent in her second-ever PSA tournament. But Carmen Lee (HKG) responded by lengthening the game and keeping Joshi out of the middle. From there, she controlled the remaining games with ease, taking the match 8-11, 11-0, 12-10, 11-5 in 28 minutes. But Joshi is looking on the bright side. "I guess I was crossing the ball a little too much. I need to play a more mature game," says Joshi. "I need to play the ball nice and deep. I learned a lot from my opponent. These professionals play so easily and freely. I hope to play like them some day."
 
Akanksha Hemant Sulankhe (IND) also took a loss in stride. The 16-year-old, in her PSA debut, lost to top-ranked qualifier, Hania El Hammamy (EGY). Sulankhe relied on her powerful returns, sending out shots with all her strength, but was not enough against the more accurate El Hammamy. Sulankhe found her legs in game two, which saw both players out of the T in some lively rallies. But El Hammamy again took control in the third game, taking the match 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 in 40 minutes. "This was my first-ever PSA tournament and I enjoyed it a lot," Sulankhe says. "I'm not feeling even 1% bad about losing. I'm going to work harder."
 
On the men's side, Vijay Kumar (IND) was the last hope of an Indian qualifying for the Main Draw, and he started strong, winning the first game decisively against the higher-ranked Shehab Essam (EGY), 11-2. But Essam, who shines in a dogfight, found his legs in the second game with a vengeance. He widened play and kept Kumar moving, taking the next three games to clinch the match 2-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 in 32 minutes.