R2:  Fares Dessouky (Egy) 3-0 Ramit Tandon (Ind) 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 (30m)
After a close first game defending champion Fares Dessouky eases through against Ramit Tandon …
First game pretty close, with Fares a bit nervous, first time back since he won the event here three months ago, and since having signed with CIB, main sponsor of the event….
Funny to see those two battle on court today. I was back in Qatar in the World Juniors, where I think Fares reached the semis. Ramit was for me one of the most gifted at the time. But he chose the “sensible” choice to keep on with his studies, with great success may I add.
But I always wondered what would have happened if that terribly gifted played had gone full time…. I guess Fares was pretty happy to take the first game, at 9/9, it was anybody’s game. But it’s the Alexandria boy that takes the opener in 14m.
The second game, just not enough energy in the tank for the Indian, but second wind in the second, from 7/2 down, a nice big push, some lovely winners/trickle boasts, back to 6/7 but it’s all Fares after that… 11/6….
Fares: “I feel I played must better than the first round in the last tournament,”
“I was always down and then I won in three, but today I was always the one who was leading most of the match so that was the good thing. Today, the backhand side wasn’t working very well but I’m pleased that at the end it started to be a bit sharp, I’m going to work on that 100%.
“The last time I came here I was hungry to be honest, but I wasn’t looking to reach a final. This time I’m more hungry, I’ve trained really well and pushed really hard over the last three months, now I feel more ready than last time and more fresh.
“I have to remember that I’m the World No.8 and not the World No.1 yet, so the pressure is on the other guys, not on me yet, so I’m going to enjoy that. I hope to play well in the next round and get through.”
Ramit: I never had the feeling I was sacrificing squash over my studies. I think we all have our own journey, our own path. And mine was to, after the world juniors, having the will to pursue my studies, and I chose to go to Columbia.
I think it helped me to become a better player, I was training with Ramy, so it was very good for me. And then one day, I was in my office, watching squashtv, and I got the sparkle again. I realise how much I missed the game, how much I loved the game, and I decided to go back on tour.
And I was very lucky as a lot of players don’t make it back to the Tour, they struggle with low rankings. But I was lucky to climb up the rankings pretty quickly, and live moments like this one, on the glasscourt.
Now the next step would be to perform better when I get that moment in the big stage…
🗣 "The last time I came here I was hungry but I wasn't looking to reach the final – this time, I'm more hungry."
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 20, 2021