It was a good day for Egypt on part one of the second round of the Allam British Open at London’s O2 Arena …
Some marathon women’s matches at the O2
On paper it may not have been an upset that seventh seed Annie Au beat wildcard Alison Waters, but the former world number three has shown great form in her comeback from an extended injury layoff, and when she took the first two games 11/9, 11/7, no-one was particularly surprised.
But the Hong Kong girl fought back, finding the drop and cut winners she likes so much, aided by the cood court, and occasional errors from Waters didn’t help her own cause. Au levelled 11/9, 11/9, then took a good start to the fifth which Waters couldn’t close down as a delighted Annie went through to the quarter-finals.
It became two five game wins in a row for 16-year-old Nour El Sherbini as the Egyptian made the quarter-finals with an up and dow performance to beat fourth seed Madeline Perry. Sherbini was well on top in the first game, putting in dropshots and cutting away volleys almost at will as she took it 11/6.
But Perry, over twice her opponent’s age, stepped up the pace noticeable from the outset of the second, pinned her opponent to the back of the court and maintained control over the next two games to take the lead 11/5, 11/4.
But it turned out to be a game of three thirds as Sherbini found her shots again from he beginning of the fourth and kept playing them for the next two games, not allowing Perry the opportunity to dominate as she had done for two games. Leads of 5/1 in the fourth and 7/1 in the fifth were converted 11/3 and 11/5 and Sherbini was in the quarters.
Raneem El Weleily started the evening session with another Egyptian win, coming through an up and down encounter where she and Dipika Pallikal each scored runs of points to finally triumph in five, 11/4, 8/11, 11/4, 7/11, 11/7 (51m).
England’s Jenny Duncalf also had a bit of an up and down evening, although in her case it was more up than down as she beat Australian Donna Urquhart in four games. Dominating the first 11/2, Duncalf went 6/2 up in the second before Urquhart found any sort of rhythm, but once she did, the Aussie battled away as she does and took the game 13/11. Duncalf resumed control in the third, taking it 11/4, failed to re-establish that control in the fourth, but still managed to save two game balls before taking it 12/10 much to her own relief.
 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt  Madeline Perry (Irl) 11/6, 4/11, 5/11, 11/3, 11/5 (45m)
 Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt  Dipika Pallikal (Ind) 11/4, 8/11, 11/4, 7/11, 11/7 (51m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt  Donna Urquhart (Aus) 11/2, 11/13, 11/4, 12/10 (45m)
Egyptian trio through to quarters
It was a good day for Egypt at the O2 as the first three men’s winners of the day were all Egyptian.
The Egyptian fifth seed, looking for a first British Open title to complete his collection, was in impressive form for the next two and a half games, winning 12/10, 11/4, 11/4 in around half an hour.
Ramy Ashour was equally impressive as he went through to an all-Egyptian semi-final – in the end, at least. For two and a half games he was outplayed by Spaniard Borja Golan, who led 2-0 and 8-6. Ashour had seemed a little lethargic up to that point, but the urgency of the situation brought out the best in him as he started playing as only he can to level the match in style. He led early in the fifth, was pegged back to 5-all, but pulled away again to survive a real scare.
Mohamed El Shorbagy, enjoying a busy week as he mixes his matches with exams at Bristol University, kept the Egyptian bandwagon rolling as he beat England’s Adrian Grant in straight games, pulling away from 8-all in the first, consolidating a good lead in the second and again pulling clear at the end of the third for a 12/10, 11/4, 11/8 win before dashing back to Bristol.
Top seed James Willstrop was the only non-Egyptian men’s winner of the day, and he had to work hard for his 3/1 win over his familiar foe Alister Walker, 79 minutes of hard work in fact. The Botswanan took the lead 11/9 after a 31-minute first game, and although Willstrop levelled 11/7 he found himself behind again in the third. A run of points brought him level at 6-all, and another five in a row saw him take the lead, carrying that momentum into the fourth which he took 11/5.
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt Borja Golan (Esp) 7/11, 3/11, 11/9, 11/1, 11/6 (49m)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Adrian Grant (Eng) 12/10, 11/4, 11/8 (37m)
 James Willstrop (Eng) bt Alister Walker (Bot) 9/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/5 (79m)