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British Open – semi-finals

Semi-finals of the World Series event in Hull, dominated by a massive comeback from home favourite Laura Massaro …

Allam British Open, Hull: Women’s semi-finals:
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [1] Nicol David (MAS)  5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (77m)
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS)  11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (32m)

Men’s Semi-finals:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)  11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (54m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)  11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (57m)

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Serme & Massaro To Contest Surprise British Open Final

15BO45739England’s third seed Laura Massaro and France’s No.6 seed Camille Serme will provide an unexpected line-up in Sunday’s women’s final of the Allam British Open Squash Championships after dramatic encounters in today’s semi-finals of the WSA World Series event at the Airco Arena in the English city of Hull.

Massaro, the 2013 champion from Preston who took a two-month break before beginning her 2015 campaign, becomes the first Englishwoman to reach a third successive British Open final since 1967 after pulling off a remarkable upset over defending champion Nicol David, the world No.1 from Malaysia bidding for a sixth title.

15BO43422Massaro fought back from two games down and 5-0 behind in the third game – then saved a match-ball in the fourth before securing a sensational 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 triumph in an epic 77 minutes.

“I just thought at two games down and 5-0 down I had nothing to lose,” said a delighted Massaro, who lost out to David in the 2014 final. “I thought at that point that it might even be a little bit embarrassing, I was so disappointed after the Commonwealth Games final and was thinking on the way here that I just didn’t want that to happen again, so I think I just relaxed at that point.

“I was getting a better length and putting her short a little bit more. I wanted to live and die on my own sword, if I’m going down then I’m going down fighting, being positive and attacking and then that ended up making the difference.

15BO44336“I’ve put in a shed load of fitness work, I wasn’t feeling particularly tired, not like I’ve done in the past. It felt like it was whoever held their nerve at the end. I’ve got good mental freshness from the break that I’ve had and I always have belief when I play against Nicol.

“It’s huge to be in the British Open final – that’s three finals in three years, so regardless of what happens tomorrow I’m really proud of that.”

Massaro was cheered on by a capacity crowd at the Airco Arena in Hull and thanked the crowd for their support in her post-match interview.

“It’s so nice for the English players to play in front of a home crowd, especially because it doesn’t happen that often. When I won that fourth game and everyone just roared it shocked me a bit, so you come on fighting for them and every time you get a roar it lifts me and it puts her down. I know how that feels having been on the reverse of it in Malaysia and Egypt,” added Massaro.

15BO42803David, denied an appearance in her 100th WSA World Tour final, praised her opponent afterwards: “She found her composure and didn’t make many mistakes in the last couple of games, kept it really tight and took her opportunities when they were there. There’s no fear for her playing me, she has nothing to lose. I have to be the one to step up my game now.”

Massaro faces Serme in Sunday’s final after the 26-year-old from Creteil made history in Hull by becoming the first French woman to ever reach the final of the prestigious event.

15BO42059Serme stopped Malaysian qualifier Delia Arnold, beating the Kuala Lumpur-born 29-year-old 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 in 32 minutes.

“I used a lot of energy yesterday so today it was good that I won 3/0 and hopefully I’ve saved some energy for tomorrow,” said Serme later.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever reached a British Open final so I really want to do well. I’ve heard it’s the first time a French woman has ever been in a British Open final, so I’m really happy and proud. In France we don’t really speak about squash and even less about women’s squash, so every time I go out on court I want to do well so the media can talk about us.”

Gaultier One Step Away From Retaining British Open Title

15BO45816Defending champion Gregory Gaultier looked in ominous form as he dispatched dangerous Colombian World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the semi-finals of the 2015 Allam British Open in Hull’s Airco Arena today (May 16) to keep alive his hopes of winning the prestigious title for the third time.

The enigmatic Frenchman, who won the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ in 2007 and 2014, has cruised through the tournament without dropping a single game and took just under an hour to see off the acrobatic man from Bogota 3-0 to set up a title-decider with World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy.

15BO45860Gaultier has lost his last two encounters with the Bristol-based Egyptian, including the final of the 2014 Hong Kong Open, but after overcoming a troubling Achilles-tendon issue that has hampered his recent tournaments the 32-year-old is relishing the chance to contest his first PSA World Series final since that defeat in the far east.

“Last year he (Mohamed) took my number one spot,” said Gaultier.

“He’s a fantastic player and he deserves to be up there but tomorrow it’s match time and you take the chance to win when you get it and I’ll be giving it 200 per cent to win.

“I lost the last few times we played so I’m happy to have a rematch and I want to finish the season on a positive note.”

15BO45020Elshorbagy booked his place in the final courtesy of a 3-1 win over 2014 runner-up and three-time champion Nick Matthew as he aims to win his second PSA World Series title of the year to add to January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

“The British Open is special for everyone,” said the 24-year-old.

“You always want to have your name on that prestigious trophy. For me, I want it a bit more because I have Jonah [Barrington] as my coach who is like my father figure as well who has won it six times so I am determined to get my name on there beside his.”

 

Full coverage: www.britishopensquash.net

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