There were no surprises today at the first qualifying round of the NSCI Open, the first tournament of the JSW Indian Squash Circuit. All top seeds took their matches to make it intotomorrow's second round. Hania El Hammamy (EGY) took her match against Urwashi Joshi (IND) if the JSW Squash Acadamy in straight games. While Joshi put up a good fight, she was no match for the World No. 78 and top-seeded qualifier. In the men's game, Abhinav Sinha (IND) fell to qualifying top-seed Carlos Cornes Ribadas of Spain, and second-seeded Shehab Essam (EGY), one of the circuit's 2014 finalists at NSCI, sailed through to tomorrow's second round after a 3-0 win against Ashish Keskar (IND). (Above: Hania El Hammamy (EGY) goes after a shot during the first round of qualifiers of the NSCI Open the first tournament of the JSW Indian Squash Circuit
Sinha falls to Spain's Ribadas
The first game between Abhinav Sinha (IND) and top qualifier Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) saw both players sticking to basics. Play was strong and steady until midway through the second game when a long, fast rally saw both players stepping up. Sinha kept it even until 7-6, when Ribadas landed a nice drop against him. Sinha battled back, sending out a straight kill to bring the game to 8-10 before giving it away with a stroke to his opponent. The last game saw more of the same, with Sinha keeping it even but struggling to close past 7-7. Ribadas took the game with a cross kill to win the match 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 in 36 minutes.
India's Nikita Joshi through to qualifying round 2
Nikita Joshi (IND) faced off against fellow junior Abhilasha Bhasin (IND) today in the first qualifying round of the NSCI Open, the first tournament in the JSW Indian Squash Circuit. Both players started well, staying even in the first game. At 6-6 in the first game, Joshi found her legs and took the lead. After that, there was no catching up for Bhasin. The higher-ranked player moved Bhasin all over the court and continued to dominate, winning the match in three quick games 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 in 30 minutes.
Gamal dominates Makram in all-Egyptian qualifier
Mazen Gamal (EGY) owned the court in today's all-Egyptian match against countryman Basem Makram (EGY). Gamal, the larger player, blocked Makram right and left from the beginning, keeping him out of the T. Both players made some lovely shots, but by the third game, Makram was still finding his legs, picking up points mostly from Gamal's unforced errors. At 4-6 in the last game, Makram sent some lightening returns to Gamal in a long, fast rally that ended in a let. Makram picked up one more point in a stroke, but a great corner kill by Gamal sealed the deal and took the match 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 in 24 minutes.