Finalists decided at squash's SA Open
Cape Town - A capacity Cape Town crowd witnessed breath-taking squash on Women’s Day as local favourite Milnay Louw booked her spot in the final of the SA Open - and the first and second seeds set up a mouth-watering clash in the men’s draw.
In the game of the day, second seed Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) battled back from two games down again to take the victory over third-seeded compatriot Ahmed Hosny.
For the second day in a row, Ibrahim started slower than his opponent, losing the opening games 11-8 and 11-4, but once again showed strength of character to battle back and win the next two (11-8, 11-8) to set up a nail-biting finale.
As was expected it went down to the wire, with Ibrahim facing match point at 10-9, but saving it, to win the next 3 points and take the victory 12-10.
After the tense 5-gamer in the first men’s semi-final, the second match was a bit more straight-forward.
Lucas Serme (FRA) justified his No 1 seeding to take a comfortable victory over local favourite Tristan Eysele 11-2, 11-1, 11-5. The result set up a dream final as the top-seeded Serme will play the second seed, Ibrahim, on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Cape Town local Louw continued her good form in the first game of the day to ensure that at least one South African would be represented on finals day with a 3-1 victory over France's Marie Stephan.
Louw won the first game 11-7, but Stephan levelled the match in the second game with the same score. However, that would be the last game Stephan won as Louw frustrated the French international to win the next two 11-6 and 11-7 and book her place in the final.
In the other women’s semi-final, third seed Menna Hamed upset top seeded fellow Egyptian Salma Youssef 3-1.
Hamed started the stronger of the two players as Youssef struggled to get into a rhythm on the all-glass court in the V&A Waterfront.
Hamed won the first two games 11-6 and 11-6 to put herself in the best possible position of winning the match. Youssef fought back, however, in the third game to show she wasn’t going down without a fight, winning it 11-8. The fourth game was again a tight affair, but in the end, Hamed came out tops to win 11-8.
Saturday’s action will see both finals take the court, with action starting at 15:30 at the V&A Waterfront.
2019 SA Open results - Day 5
(2) Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) beat (3) Ahmed Hosny (EGY) 8-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10
(1) Lucas Serme (FRA) beat (4) Tristan Eysele (RSA) 11-2, 11-1, 11-5
(5) Milnay Louw (RSA) beat (6) Marie Stephan (FRA) 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7
(3) Menna Hamed (EGY) beat (1) Salma Youssef (EGY) 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8
2019 SA Open final fixtures for Saturday, August 10:
(3) Menna Hamed (EGY) v (5) Milnay Louw (RSA) - 15:30
(1) Lucas Serme v (2) Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) - 16:30