August’s ‘Festival of Squash’ continued with the 2021 Manchester Open the National Squash Centre – following on from last week’s British Nationals.
Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy and Peru’s Diego Elias are the 2021 Manchester Open champions after they beat recently crowned British Champions Sarah-Jane Perry and Joel Makin to win the PSA World Tour Silver titles at the National Squash Centre.
However, she was in scintillating form tonight in Manchester as she took the early lead in all three games, holding off Perry’s attempted comeback each time. She lifted her seventh PSA with her 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 victory.
“I think it was obvious that I was so angry in my play. I was so eager and hungry. That’s not because I wanted revenge against SJ but a lot of stuff in my mind that I want to prove to myself.
“It felt like I just wanted to prove to myself that this is what I’m capable of. I’m really glad I managed to perform like this and push, even when I was leading and SJ found her way back in the second game, I kept fighting and didn’t want to let it go easily.
“Well definitely I want to thank my parents. They go through a lot with me. I give them a hard time when I lose and they give me a hard time when I lose, too. They are the first people that come to mind when I win a tournament or have a positive week in my career. They’re watching now and I want to thank them for everything.”
Peru’s Elias, who reached the final without dropping a game including a win over top seed Marwan ElShorbagy in the semis, also put in a performance to remember as he overcame fourth seed Makin to win the men’s trophy, his eighth PSA title, in only his second PSA event of the season following a seven-month spell on the sidelines due to a hip injury.
But Elias converted and drained Makin’s energy over the course of the next two games with some well-constructed rallies, and he was duly awarded with a 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 victory in 59 minutes with Makin running on fumes at the end.
“I’m really happy with this tournament, I think it’s going to give me a lot of confidence. I was struggling with injuries, I had a problem in my hip at the start of the year, and I’m just really happy to be back playing here.
“I want to thank everyone who helped me get back to playing like this. First of all my dad, who was with me when I couldn’t even walk after the last tournament of last year. He was with me for two months just watching TV and trying to do little thing with my hip. All the people who helped me in Florida, too. My fitness coach and physio. I also want to thank Jonathon [Power, his coach] who’s been helping me a lot with my game.”
El Hammamy and Elias take home over $12,000 each in prize money, and they will both be in action at the Allam British Open, which will take place in Hull’s Allam Sport Centre next week.