Megahed and Zakariah in Sutton Coldfield Egyptian Double
Today saw two incredible finals to cap off what has been a memorable week at the club. A big thankyou to our title sponsor Aston and Fincher and also Fig and Olive, both of whom this event would not have been possible without.
Nour Megahed 3-1 Alison Thomson
Thomson was looking a bit nervy at the start of the match and wasn’t able to find a real foothold in the match, Megahed taking full advantage with a series of quickfire winners and cutting off any loose crosscourts. The second was slightly closer but followed a similar pattern with Thomson not quite finding her lines and Megahed still looking sharp across the middle and front of the court.
There was a definite change of tactics from the Englishwoman in the third game, straightening up and creating lots more opportunities at the front which she put away well. There was a definite switch in the speed of her movement too. However Megahed managed to wrestle back control in the fourth and with it took the 2023 title.
Mohamad Zakaria 3-1 Stuart Macgregor
This was absolutely brutal with both showcasing incredible athleticism, strength and fitness. Macgregor had a clear gameplan to stay high on the T and build pressure by taking the ball early and mixing up his play. He played this to perfection to take a long first game. The start of the second was similar with Macgregor looking for a while like he would be able to maintain this and further build his lead over the young Egyptian. However, as has been the case all week, Zakaria was relentless with great accuracy and countering at the front to put a lot of work into Macgregor’s legs, sneaking the game.
The third and fourth games were still full of very even rallies but Zakaria had just started to take the edge, moving Macgregor further into the corners before finding the winner. A deserved title for Zakaria.
Nour Megahed 3-1 Menna Walid
Walid started strongly and was always ahead in the first, putting the ball away well from anything loose. From the second game we started to see quite a bit of contact between the players, the referee having to warn the players to start looking for a route to the ball. This game and the third were incredibly even, Megahed just finding a way through in both. The third was vital as Walid faded slightly in the fourth which was just a touch less contested.
Mohamad Zakaria 3-0 Jonah Bryant
A match of real quality between two of the best junior players in the world, both destined for great things. A good first game with perhaps the difference being a few errors from Bryant. The Englishman getting a better start in the second before a contact in the front required a contributed injury timeout for Zakaria. When he returned this was definitely the most even game of the match, Jonah with his chances and both players showing incredible racket control and retrieval, the Egyptian just sneaking it. Zakaria was always slightly in control in the third game to take a straight games win. It was noticeable how few errors he made during the match.
Alison Thomson 3-1 Asia Harris
Thomson overcame Harris 3-1 in a competitive encounter with a number of very close games. In a match that swung both ways Thomson found enough touch and variation at the front to break Harris’ rhythm. Harris managing to save a number of match balls in the fourth before Thomson closed it out. A great match thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd.
Stuart Macgregor 3-1 Joel Arscott
Another match with spectacular retrieval from both players and some great counter attacking from impossible positions. The first game was very even, Macgregor holding two game balls before Arscott managed to level and move ahead to take a one game lead. The second was another level game with Macgregor just starting to assert some dominance towards the tail end. It was clear this gave him confidence and Arscott perhaps began to tire slightly, as Macgregor looked in slight control for the rest of the match.
There were some intriguing looking match ups in prospect this evening, with many quality players on display. We didn’t quite get some of the nail-biting matches we were expecting, despite some highly competitive squash, as each match featured one player who managed to stay slightly in control throughout.
Top English prospect Jonah Bryant put in a sublime performance to oust top seed James Peach in straight games, Peach not quite finding his way into the match today. Mohamad Zakaria was on top form against Rhys Evans, the Welshman making his opponent work hard however for 40 minutes. Stuart Macgregor wasted not time taking out Jakub Pytlowany, who was perhaps feeling the effects of his efforts in the earlier rounds. Hamza Khan came out firing against Joel Arscott who managed to steady the ship before Khan took an injury break with what appeared to be a hamstring issue. Arscott taking the first game once it resumed, before Khan had to retire part way through the second game.
Nour Megahed put in a commanding display against top seed Wai Yhann, her weight of shot and quality at the front proving the difference and overcoming Yhann’s efforts to mix up the pace. Menna Walid looked on course for a quick fire victory after taking the first game 11-2 against Hana Ismail. Ismail batted back to take the second and we had a much closer match from that point, Walid winning through in four games. Alison Thomson and Asia Harris didn’t have it all their own way against Lowri Roberts and Kiera Marshall but took the honours in three games.
Round Two :
Our number one seed Wai Yhann was is early trouble against Katie Wells, the English player showing an exceptional short game to take the lead and pushed Yhann all the way before going down in four close games.
Egyptian Duo Nour Megahed and Menna Walid took straight game routes through against Erin Classen and Polly Clark respectively, Clark pushing close in a couple of games including holding some game balls.
In what always looked like it was also going to be a well contested match, Hana Ismail got the better of Savnnah Ingledew in four games, despite the South African taking the first 11-1. The seeds in the bottom half of the draw all progressed relatively comfortably with 3-0 triumphs for Alison Thomson, Lowri Roberts, Kiera Marshall and Asia Harris.
A number of upsets in the seeding’s this evening, with New Zealand’s Joel Arscott downing second seed Alisdair Prott in four, whilst Pakistan youngster Hamza Khan dispatched 7th seed Lewis Doughty in three. The other upset on paper was last night’s marathon man Jakub Ptylowany edging 8th seed William Donnelley in three tight games.
Top seed James Peach was made to work hard by the impressive Paul Gonzalez, before scraping through 12-10 in the fourth. Jonah Bryant showcased some incredible movement to beat Michael Andrews and Welshman Rhys Evans came through against Heston Malik in three very good games.
We had an enthralling match as juniors AbdAllah Eissa and Mohamad Zakaria drew a large crowd, some great quality from both, Zakaria just about in charge to take it 3-1. Another high quality match to finish the evening saw Stuart Macgregor progress against Jared Carter, also in four.