PSA Day 4 Round Up – 10 June 2022

 PSA Day 4 Round Up – 10 June 2022



After four days of competition, we know the final line-up of the Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resort & Hotels (Men’s Gold, $110, 000). Diego Elias, who delivered an oustanding performance to beat number 1 seed Paul Coll yesterday, will face Mohamed ElShorbagy. In the $30,000 women’s tournament, Tinne Gilis and Farida Mohamed have ended French hopes and will go head-to-head at the RM Club.


“I may have played one of the best matches of my career today,” said World No.5 Diego Elias to MC Lionel Kupper in his post-match interview, after he qualified for the final of the Necker Mauritius Open. Indeed, he had beaten Paul Coll three times before, but never in such an emphatic fashion. Fully aware that his opponent had spent much more time on court than he had the previous day, the Peruvian Puma went into the match full guns blazing and quickly took the first game (11-4). Things were more even in the second, but after getting bac to 8-8 the world number 2 made some costly mistakes and threw his racket before leaving the court, which is very uncharacterisitic of him. In the third game, Elias continued to dominate the rallies. Less accurate than he usually is, Coll relied on his fighting spirit, and saved two match balls at 10-6. A perfect crosscourt allowed the Peruvian to convert the third one though, and to go through the final without dropping a single game – a first for him in a tournament of this magnitude. “Paul’s had a long and very hard season, with lots of big matches, so I guess he was a bit tired mentally.” Elias added. “So I thought I had a big opportunity and I didn’t want to let it go, I’m very happy that I played like this. I’m working right now with a few people, I’ve had my dad since forever, Jonathon Power, Wael El Hindi, as well as Greg Gaultier who’s always here giving me advice. It’s because of all of them that I can win these kind of matches.”


Diego Elias (in grey) said himself that he may have played one of the best matches of his career against Paul Coll yesteday


Mohamed ElShorbagy has been the topic of many discussions in the world of squash lately. If you haven’t been following the news, you may be surprised to see a flag with a red cross on a white background next to his name on the match schedule at the Necker Mauritius Open. Indeed, the Alexandria-born announced earlier this week that he will represents England from now on, a country which he has lived in for many years. But more importantly, the former world number one is getting a lot of attention for his performances on court: after a very rough spell, which to his own admission had led him to contemplate a premature end of his career, ElShorbagy is back to his best, and we are tempted to say that his squash is more complete and varied than it was when he was at the top of the tree. He recently said that one of the main reasons behind this is his new collaboration with Grégory Gaultier, and he kept looking at the French General yesterday, in the key moments of his quarterfinal against ex-fellow Egyptian and World No.6 Tarek Momen. During two games, ElShorbagy’s performance was close to perfection, and then his opponent was able to get his teeth into the match. The end of the third game was filled with numerous slips and interventions from the court maintenance crew, to the extent that referee John Massarella allowed the players to get off court to change their shirts. ElShorbagy’s humorous comment (“There are two players on this court,”) to explain that he wasn’t the sole responsible for this situation earned him a round of applause from the crowd, which was fantastic on Friday at the RM Club Mauritius. After saving two game balls, ElShorbagy closed the match 14-12 to join Diego Elias in the final. “Having the four best players in the semis is what the tournament wants, we had two great matches,” said the winner. “Diego played fantastically today and I think I played well too. We get along very well, and actually both travelled together from Egypt on a long flight to come here. I think this is our first final together, so hopefully we’re going to give each other a good match and may the best man win.”


Mohamed ElShorbagy (in blue) was in full control for two games against Tarek Momen, before closing the match in the 3rd game tiebreak


The letters RM are certainly a sign of success for Tinne Gilis. A few weeks ago, the world number 15 won the Annecy Rose Open, in the French club of the brand. Today, she will feature in the RMClub Women’s Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks final (Challenger 30, $30,000) against Farida Mohamed. Full of confidence after a string of good results these last few months, the young Belgian started her semi-final at full speed against World No.45 Enora Villard. Her accuracy at the back of the court gave her numerous opportunities to attack, and she wasn’t letting her opponent breathe. A very slight drop of focus from Gilis in the middle of the third game allowed the Frenchwoman to show what she is capable of, but too little too late. We caught up with Tinne Gilis a few minutes after her win.


In great form lately, Tinne Gilis (on the right) will feature in another final on Saturday at the RM Club

“As I said in the interview on court, I was not feeling too good this morning, but I rested all day and when I arrived at the club I felt much better. I am very happy and proud with the way I played and handled the situation, I was very attacking at the beginning of the match and it paid off. Enora beat me before, she is a tricky player – I know we’ll play each other in the French league playoffs next week, this was the warmup (she laughs) – but it was her first time on the glass court because of Lisa Aitken’s withdrawal and that’s always difficult. Now I am gonna go back to the hotel to take care of my body, but I certainly will keep an eye on the other semifinal. Whoever wins, it’ll be an interesting match tomorrow for sure … Yes, this is my last PSA event of the season, but the schedule is still busy, with the World Games as well as the European Individual Championship in the summer. I will need to be smart and allow myself a break at some point, otherwise I might burnout! Yes it’s been a great season for me, as I said before I’ve been enjoying my time on court a lot more lately which makes a big difference. As far as next season goes, I don’t want to look too far ahead but I would love to break into the top 10.”


The second semi-final was a clash between World No.18 Farida Mohamed and World No.29 Mélissa Alves, and both players used the first game to settle into the match. The Frenchwoman saved two game balls, but Mohamed was able to finish with a trademark forehand low kill. Then, Alves managed to get her opponent out of her comfort zone, causing the Egyptian to make a flurry of unforced errors. It may be a cliché, but in such close matches the business end of the third game is often key and this one was no exception. From 7-6 down, Mohamed scored 5 points in a row and took a crucial 2-1 lead. She carried the momentum in the fourth, having a lot of joy with her backhand volley drops. Despite the support of the crowd, Mélissa Alves was not able to stop Mohamed, who will meet Tinne Gilis in the final today. “Melissa has a lot of experience, so I expected a tough match and and I’m very happy to be through.” said the winner. “Tinne is also a very good player. but I have to push one more time as this will be the last match of the season. I am going to prepare with my coaches and put everything on court.”


Farida Mohamed (on the right) used all her power to overcome Mélissa Alves

Results – semifinals, Friday the 10th of June

Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels (Gold, $110,000)

[3] Diego Elías (PER) bt [1] Paul Coll (NZL): 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-8)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) bt [4] Tarek Momen (EGY): 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 14-12)

RMClub Women’s Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks LLC (Challenger 30, $30,000)

[1] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt [6] Enora Villard (FRA): 3-0 (11-4, 11-1, 11-8)
[3] Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt [2] Mélissa Alves (FRA): 3-1 (11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6)

Schedule – finals, Saturday the 11th of June (local time, GMT+4)

Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels (Gold, $110,000)

7:45pm: [2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) – [3] Diego Elías (PER)

RMClub Women’s Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks LLC (Challenger 30, $30,000)

5:30pm: [1] Tinne Gilis (BEL) – [3] Farida Mohamed (EGY)