Second-seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish held off a determined quarter-final bid by Tarek Momen in theHurghada International – but needed almost an hour to overcome his young fellow countryman to book a place in the last four of the men’s PSA Tour International 70 event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
Momen, the 23-year-old world No26 from Cairo, made an excellent start – leading 5-2 before going on to reach game-ball at 10-9, then again at 11-10.
But world No3 Darwish reclaimed the advantage to take the game after his own second game-ball.
“It was a very different Momen in the second game,” said event spokesman Hesham El Attar. “Darwish dominated and took the game 11-5 in just nine minutes.”
Momen was equal to the task up to eight-all in the third, then lost concentration as Darwish closed out the match 14-12, 11-5, 11-8 after 58 minutes.
“Tarek is one of those players coming up very strong, so there was no way that I would be taking this match lightly,” said 29-year-old Darwish, a former world No1, afterwards. “I had to stay focused to make sure that I could control the match throughout.”
Darwish’s semi-final opponent was unable to complete his quarter-final match last night.
“The final match of the evening had to be postponed due to humidity causing a slippery floor,” explained El Attar.
Finland’s Olli Tuominen led Egyptian qualifier Mohammed Abbas 2/1 when the match was stopped. When resumed this morning, the unseeded Finn went on to secure an 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5 win after 55 minutes.
Teenager Nour El Tayeb pulled off a notable upset in the women’s WISPA World Tour Silver 20 event to set up a surprise all-Egyptian semi-final in the lower half of the draw.
The 18-year-old fifth seed from Cairo recovered from a game down to beat France’s third seed Camille Serme11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 – repeating her win over the world No9 two years ago on the same court in Hurghada.
“My racket control was not great this evening so my main objective was to get the ball past her and not giving her much chance to volley or attack me from the middle of the court,” explained the rapidly-improving Egyptian who made her top 20 debut in December.
El Tayeb will now face top-ranked Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy. The second seed from Cairo, who is bidding to win the established WISPA title for the fourth year in a row, beat eighth-seeded compatriot Heba El Torky 11-8, 12-10, 11-4.
Men’s quarter-finals (lower half of draw):
Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt [Q] Mohammed Abbas (EGY) 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5 (55m)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 14-12, 11-5, 11-8 (58m)
Women’s quarter-finals (lower half of draw):
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Camille Serme (FRA) 11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (49m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 (32m)
Men’s Semi-final line-up:
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Women’s semi-final line-up:
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v  Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)