In the evening session on day one of the QTerminals Qatar Classic, Nour Aboulmakarim overcame opponent and injury in an epic five-game encounter.
The 20-year-old, up against fellow Egyptian Menna Hamed on the traditional court, was severely tested as she edged into a 2-0 lead after a pair of 13-11 wins.
In a tight contest with her club mate, disaster seemed to have struck for Aboulmakarim when the World No.45, who has been plagued by recent ankle injuries, collapsed to the ground in pain midway through the match and required an injury break.
This, along with the form of Hamed, seemed to have swung the momentum as the World No.76 quickly levelled with dominant 11-4, 11-3 wins.
Aboulmakarim, however, dug in well in the fifth game, forcing herself over the line with a gritty 11-9 win to cap a tense 69-minute affair.
“I’m a bit speechless, this was the first time playing against Menna on tour [but] we used to play a lot in team training,” Aboulmakarim said afterwards.
“I lost focus in the third and the fourth. I was thinking about the second round.
“I had a lot injuries in my ankle so I panicked a little bit; actually I sprained it [but] I tried to forget all about it.”
Aboulmakarim was not the only player to be pushed to the brink, with England’s Katie Malliff surviving a scare against Finland’s Emilia Soini on the glass court.
World No.40 Malliff looked in danger as she went a game down to the World No.53, but was eventually able to progress, wrapping up a 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 win in 52 minutes.
Elsewhere on the glass court, Nada Abbas overcame a strong challenge from wildcard Low Wee Wern, while Alexandra Fuller and Jasmine Hutton also booked their spots in round two with a 3-1 win over Zeina Zein and a 3-0 victory against Kenzy Ayman.
Completing the day’s results on the traditional courts, Salma Eltayeb survived a fightback from Egyptian compatriot Zeina Mickawy, Lucy Beecroft beat Grace Gear in an all-England encounter and Mariam Metwally breezed past Millie Tomlinson.
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Results: QTerminals Qatar Classic Women’s RD1, evening session.
Katie Malliff (ENG) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-2: 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 (52m)
Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt Kenzy Ayman (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-1 (26m)
Salma Eltayeb (EGY) bt Zeina Mickawy (EGY) 3-2: 11-6, 12-10, 5-11, 6-11, 11-5 (42m)
Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY) bt Menna Hamed (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 13-11, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9 (69m)
Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt Zeina Zein (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4 (34m)
Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt Grace Gear (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-3, 11-4 (31m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (26m)
Nada Abbas (EGY) bt [WC] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 (39m)
By Nadeem Faisal Baiga