Asal Cruises to Win Over Hesham In San Francisco

[Egypt’s Mostafa Asal (l) dominated countryman Mazen Hesham in two games]

September 24, 2021

Day two of the 2021 Oracle NetSuite Open was greeted with sunny skies but decidedly cooler air. However, the lower temperatures didn’t seem to affect play between Egypt’s Mostafa Asal and his compatriot Mazen Hesham as their opening game featured lengthy rallies—and Asal winning most of them. Asal ran away with the first game 11-3.

The second was also dominated by the 20-year-old Asal, punching his ticket into the quarterfinals with another easy game, 11-3.

After a promising start to the first game by American Olivia Fiechter, eight seeded Tesni Evans of Wales steamrolled her way to securing the opener, 11-6. Two years ago, Evans reached the quarterfinals in San Francisco while Fiechter was eliminated in the round of 16.

Today, Evans kept things simple by establishing length and dominant court position to keep Fiechter under pressure throughout. While Fiechter managed to keep things closer in the second game, each time she drew to within a single point, Evans regrouped and went back to basics. The result was a well-controlled win, 11-7, to carry Evans into the quarterfinals.

Welshman Joel Makin, known for playing very patient, and very long, matches, imposed that approach on India’s Saurav Ghosal in this afternoon’s second men’s match. The pattern was repeated throughout the contest—length along the left wall, a straight drop followed by a few redrops, and then back to length. It was textbook squash with Makin coming out with the win, 11-9, 11-6.

Today’s win was Makin’s first against Ghosal and takes him back into the quarterfinals in the Oracle Netsuite Open for the second time.

Joshna Chinappa, the most decorated player India has produced, was staring at an 8-6 deficit in her first game against Emily Whitlock of Wales before she ran off five consecutive points to claim it. Her plan was similar to Joel Makin’s in that she established her length to push Whitlock deep into the back of the court before attacking the front.

It was a strategy that paid dividends in the second game too. After exchanging points early, Chinappa again ran out the game with five straight points from 6-5 up. By knocking off Whitlock, Chinappa evens their career meetings at 2-2.

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