Squash international Ahmed Barada, who has been compared to the tennis star Monica Seles after being stabbed twice outside of Cairo, suggested his recovery may be quicker than many expected.
The world number three, playing in his first tournament for 10 weeks, reached the last four of the Super Series finals at the Broad Gate Arena on Tuesday with an emphatic win over the Australian Anthony Hill.
Barada's 15-10, 15-7, 15-7 triumph saw him relax conspicuously after taking the first game, when his ability to move his opponent around the court improved as well.
Hill eventually became involved in several feisty dialogues with the referee, once shouting to a reporter: "I'd like to see what you write about this."
Barada's performance was a marked contrast to that of the previous day when he had looked lost in a tense first game to Martin Heath and then saw the Scot collapse and retire with a damaged foot.
"I played better today and I am pleased about that," said Barada. "I shall play better again tomorrow, but we must see what happens there before I can say any more."
That match is against the world champion and titleholder Peter Nicol, whose successful bid to defend a major title for the first time earned him a victory over a surprise opponent.
This was the former World Open semi-finalist Alex Gough, who had been holidaying when a call came for him to substitute for Heath. The Welshman hot-footed it back from Biarritz to produce a relaxed and challenging performance -- (AFP)
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