Egypt lead the way in Brooklyn

Egypt’s Salma Hana Ibrahim in action. (AFP)
Updated 21 October 2017
0

Egypt lead the way in Brooklyn

LONDON: The opening day of action at the 2017 Carol Weymuller Squash Open in Brooklyn saw an Egyptian clean sweep as qualifier Mariam Metwally and the ever-improving Salma Hana Ibrahim upset the seedings and the odds to down former World No.3 Alison Waters of England and top ranked Indian Joshna Chinappa, respectively.
Having come through two tough qualification encounters just to reach the main draw, including a five-game battle with Danielle Letourneau, Metwally looked to be up against it as she took on 2014 tournament winner Waters, who sits 15 positions above her on the PSA World Rankings at No. 8.
But the 20-year-old Egyptian started strong to sneak an opening game tie-break and repeated the feat in the third to once again open up an advantage over Waters. The Englishwoman responded in style again in the fourth but it was Metwally, coming back from 6-3 down, who managed to take it to set up a quarter-final showdown with Ibrahim, who also defied the odds to record her first ever win over Chinappa.
The duo had met six times previously, with Chinappa enjoying a 100 percent winning record, and she looked to be on her way to win No. 7 as she began the first game with a 9-1 advantage.
Ibrahim, who impressed at the recent US Open to defeat Sarah-Jane Perry and record her first round one win on a World Series glass court, managed to get into a rhythm to narrow the deficit only to lose 11-9. With little to separate them the next two games went to the wire, with Ibrahim winning the fist 13-11 before Chinappa restored her lead courtesy of a 16-14 third game.
But Ibrahim managed to come back again to take the fourth and come through 12-10 in a mammoth fifth game.
“I’m so relieved,” said Ibrahim. “I wasn’t sure how my body would carry me. In the fifth game when I was 9-5 and 10-8 down, I remembered my match with Laura when I was 9-6 down and I kept believing that something might happen. She might hit the tin and I might get lucky in a few points.
“That’s what I did when Joshna was 10-8 up. My mind wasn’t thinking and I just played and kept believing I could still make and I did. I have to play Mariam next and she is my childhood compatriot from 9-years-old but I’m just glad I’m playing one more day.”
The other matches on day one saw top seed and World No. 1 Nour El-Sherbini and recent US Open Champion Nour El-Tayeb come through their first round encounters in straight-games to set up a compelling last eight battle.
“I was very nervous before this match with huge expectations after last week,” said El Tayeb, who beat Dutch player Milou van der Heijden. “I had to tell myself that it was just another match. I was very excited and nervous to play another match and I’m just trying to enjoy playing and put the results aside.”


‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

Al-Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Musa (back right) joins (front left to right) Al-Hilal’s Ali Al-Habsi and Mohammad Jahfali and (back left) Saleh Alweheemed ahead of this weekend’s 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 10 December 2018
0

‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

  • 22 Formula E drivers will battle it out for glory this weekend
  • "I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports"

JEDDAH: They may be fierce rivals in the Saudi Pro League, but some of the biggest stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr football got together to tour the venue of one of the most anticipated motor racing events in Saudi history.
The players soaked up the atmosphere as they visited the home of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix.
This weekend the 2.495km track created within the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah will see 22 Formula E drivers battle it out for glory.
Goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi said: “I’m totally amazed by what they have built here, the track, the grandstands, the hospitality, it’s incredible what they’ve created for the Formula E.  It’s epic.
“As a professional athlete I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports, this will be a fiercely fought contest which is sure to thrill the fans.”

 (Left to right) Al Hilal star players Alberto Botia, Abdullah Almaiouf, Mohammad Jahfali, Ali Al-Habsi and Carlos Eduardo visit the new Formula E track at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah. (Photo/Supplied)

The racing extravaganza will also be accompanied by fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions.
Three nights of music concerts will feature some of the biggest names in world. 
US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will wrap up the event after the race ends on Saturday with Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo and Amr Diab performing from Thursday.
Al Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Mussa said: “We’re all about entertaining fans and bringing people together, that’s what football and sport is all about. These three nights will be a spectacle like nothing we’ve seen before and I urge our fans to come and be part of history.”