Match report by Sachika Irshwin Balvani | Photos by Nitesh Square
Court 3 | 16:00 Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) beat Peter Creed (WAL) | 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6 | 47 mins
No stranger to the CCI courts, Welshman Peter Creed took the lead in the first game
against Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim, going up 5-3. He used a lot of variation in terms of
both shots and pace to outplay Ibrahim. However, the Egyptian did well to stay with
Creed, bringing the score level to 8 all. Sending Creed on the wrong foot a couple
times helped, and Ibrahim managed to take the next few points, along with the first
With fellow player and friend Joshua Masters coaching him between games, it was
an early start for Creed as he went up 0-3. He went on to take a 7-2 lead, keeping the
ball slightly tighter than hi opponent. But some very good drop shots from Ibrahim
saw him inch closer to Creed as he brought his score up to 7-8. But it was Ibrahim
who Combined with Ibrahim’s inconsistency gave the former the game, making the
set score level at 1-1.
Ibrahim brought back the focus to be more consistent in the third game, and went
10-7 up. A stroke at 8-10 gave Ibrahim the game, unsettling Creed as he came off
court for the two minute break.
In the fourth and final game, it was Ibrahim who had the slight edge over Creed,
which enabled him to take the match, 3-1.
Court 5 | 16:00 Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) beat Edmon Lopez (ESP) | 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 | 43 mins
In the battle of the Spaniards, it was the higher seeded Iker Pajares who took the
lead at 2-0 against Edmon Lopez. They began each game with both players going
hand-in-hand, but as the each respective game went on, it was Pajares who play the
more attacking game and force points off Lopez. Pajares won in straight games,
which earns him a place in the second round tomorrow, where he is up against the
world #18 and the higher seeded of the tournament’s Swiss contingent, Nicolas
Court 5 | 16:45 Ramit Tandon (IND) beat Joshua Masters (ENG) | 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 | 36 mins
The first match featuring one of six Indians in the Main Draw promised to be a
crackling encounter. Tandon began very well, putting Masters under pressure right
from the start. His movement around the court coupled with an accurate attacking
game saw crowd-favourite Tandon take the first game, 11-9.
Masters came into the second game overall more in control, taking a 5-1 lead over
Tandon. Tandon did force some mistakes out of Masters, bringing his score up to 5-
6, and a beautifully played straight forehand volley saw him draw level with
Masters’ score. Frustration on Masters’ end seemed to give Tandon even more
confidence as he went on to win a slew of shots and take the second game, the
business end of which Tandon had full reign over.
Masters played some good shots to the front in the third game, seeing him get a two
point cushion quickly, at 6-4. Tandon leveled the score, but a fearless forehand nick
off the serve from Masters followed by a stroke in his favour saw Masters regain his
But nothing seemed to get in the way of Tandon’s demeanor; he remained calm yet
attacking, seeing him once again overtake Masters and get to match ball. Masters
just couldn’t lengthen the rallies as woul have helped him to regain his momentum,
and Tandon snatched the match, in straight sets.
Glass Court | 18:00 Karim El Hammamy (EGY) beat [WC] Aditya Jagtap (IND) | 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7 | 84 mins
Initiating play on the glass court today was Mumbai native Aditya Jagtap. Up against
the higher ranked Karim Elhammamy, Jagtap began as cool as a cucumber and fed
off Elhammamy’s initial mistakes to take a lead. As the game went on, Jagtap only
got more comfortable on court as he began varying his shots and getting the better
of El Hammamy, taking the first game.
But the artistic Elhammamy took control of the second game, taking a 7-2 lead by
calmly rallying with Jagtap before attacking accurately. Jagtap showed no signs of
defeat and defended well, even playing some beautiful cross-drops that died gently
in the nick, but Elhammay matched him in terms of shot quality and went up to 9-6.
It was a well-fought comeback from Jagtap, which saw the game locked in at 10.
Elhammamy fought well for a game that was crucial to him, but Jagtap’s fight that
got him through to take the game, 12-10.
A crucial game through and through, with Jagtap looking to cause a major upset and
Elhammay fighting to stay in the match, the third game began with both players
locked in at 2-2. The rallies were now longer, with both players keeping the score in
sync. A dying length and a stroke in his favour saw Elhammamy with the two-point
cushion, but Jagtap leveled again. But Elhammamy defied Jagtap of the game, taking
the set score to 1-2.
With compatriot Mohamed Reda in his corner coaching him between games, Karim
Elhammamy seemed the calmer of the two as he walked on for the fourth game.
However, the tides changed slightly after a Jagtap had to go off court to have a
bleeding injury taken care of. Jagtap just stuck with his opponent till he finally went
to 8-7 up. At 9-9, waves of excitement went through the crowd as they got behind
their homeboy. At 10-10, it was pure tension. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even type
properly. But a bummer to the crowd it was as elation swept over a very tired
Elhammamy as he took the final game in a nail-biting and very long encounter.
Glass Court | 19:00 Vikram Malhotra (IND) beat Mazen Gamal (EGY) | 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 | 45 mins
Gamal took the first game against, Vikram Malhotra, the second Indian to take to the
court today. Gamal look in form, throughout the game and even into the second
game, in which Malhotra did well to rally and keep the score level at 6 all. Just in
time, he took his game to the next level and leveled the match at one set all.
The third game began with Malhotra the surge of adrenaline he found towards the
end of the second game, and he took a 9-2 lead. He played high intensity squash and
kept the pace up, pinning Gamal to the back before going in for the attack. An error
from Gamal saw Vikram find himself at game ball. Gamal fought to stay in the match,
taking a couple points before a dying boast from Malhotra won him the game,
sending him 2-1 up.
Malhotra kept up, never letting his energy levels die. He went in at another lead,
going up to 8-1. Gamal fought back, however, almost leveling the score, but Malhotra
took away the match, giving the crowd something to go berserk about. Malhotra is
set to face former World Number One and reigning Commonwealth Games
Champion, James Willstrop from England.
Glass Court | 20:00 Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) beat Baptiste Masotti (FRA) | 9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 | 55 mins
The first two games stretched into the night, with Massoti denying Mangaonkar any
way forward. It was only in the third game that Mangaonkar managed to really get
into the match, taking it to make the set score 1-2. He fed off his win, and it was all
Mangaonkar from there as he took a fast lead to 7-3 and took the fourth, giving his
home crowd no reason to leave at all and keeping them transfixed.
The third game saw fiery squash from both players, with Massoti fighting to make
up for losing the previous two games and Mangaonkar looking to complete his
comeback. Moving into the second half of the game, they stood at 6 all. Still, no one
was going anywhere… but in the end Mahesh pulled through, going from 0-2 down
in games to winning in a tough 3-2 encounter. That sends three out of five Indians
that played today through to the second round.