Haley Mendez (USA) 2-1 Mayar Hany (EGY)  11-7, 5-11, 11-7 (27m)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 2-0 Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) : 12-10, 11-9 (30m)

What a weird game Haley Mayar match was…

First game saw a confident and accurate American come back from 5/2 scoring 5 points in a row then taking the game 11/7, only to go completely flat in the second, letting the Egyptian send her in the four corners and making the court very big.

The third looked like a replica of the 2nd, 4/0, 6/2, 7/3 for Mayar, but a complete change of scenery out of the blue, with the American taking control of the T and finding her best balance between accuracy and aggression of the match, closing it down quickly 11/7…

Haley
The first game, I came out with nothing to lose, and tried to be as aggressive as possible, psyche myself up really.

In the second, I wasn’t tired, I feel very fit at the moment, and on top of that, it’s BO3, so it couldn’t be that long. But I think I was so desperate to get a win in the first round of those big events, I just got ahead of myself, thinking I won one game, that I could win the next one…

That gave her confidence coming to the third game, I was down 7/3. I’m naturally very calm on court, and that was very out of character, but I thought I needed to go more fistpump and shouting – a bit more Egyptian if you want – and I went for a big fistpump and went for it.

That court is a bit tricky, it’s very dead, a bit like a sponge, and you need a little more effort than normal to get to the back. And I guess that extra aggression gave me the energy to get the ball deep in the back.

I haven’t thought about my match against Amanda, the only thing I can think of right now, is that she is a lefty, and that I’m training with the best of them, so maybe that will be to my advantage…

Youssef
I am absolutely relieved that I won in two games. It is my first ever best-of-three tournament and it is really difficult, you know, because there is no time to relax. You are always under the cosh.

I had to be very focused to beat Iker because he is a very tough opponent, he doesn’t give you freebies, so I am really relieved that I got this one in two games.

To prepare, I tried to play best-of-five and win the first two games, or at least win the first game to get the momentum going because in the last tournament I was 2-0 down and here, that would be the match.