England’s Massaro Downs Defending US Open Champion David
England’s Laura Massaro ended Malaysian Nicol David’s bid to win a record fourth-consecutive Delaware Investments US Open title after emerging victorious in a gripping five-game battle at Philadelphia’s Drexel University today.
World No.3 Massaro mounted a dramatic comeback the last time the duo met at the Allam British Open in May when she recovered from 2-1 and match-ball down to come through an enthralling 77-minute encounter and she proved that lightening can indeed strike twice as she once again dug deep to recover from two games down to eliminate the World No.2 after 71 minutes of intense action that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
“Being two games down against Nicol is always going to be an uphill battle but I knew I could do it because that’s what happened last time we played so I kept that in my mind and it was maybe in her mind as well,” said Massaro.
“She was playing well and I was being hard on myself after the first game and then the second went so quickly. In the third I came out to fight my hardest because I don’t ever want to lose 3-0 to anyone so I wanted to make the score respectable.
“I was just taking it one rally at a time and I guess it came good for me in the end. We’ve played a lot of matches over the years and that was probably one of the most back-and-forth so I’m just massively relieved.”
Massaro will take on Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy in the semi-finals after the World No.6 eliminated India’s Dipika Pallikal while Nick Matthew ensured there will be English representation in both the men’s and women’s draws after a commanding win over Fares Dessouki.
Since winning the title in 2007 the 35-year-old from Sheffield has made the semi-final or better on every appearance at the prestigious North American event and will now compete in the last four for a seventh time after dispatched his 21-year-old opponent with consummate ease – making just five errors in the entire match to put Dessouki to the sword in 46-minutes.
“I think that was maybe my best tactical performance of the week,” said Matthew.
“I’ve made the final here a few times in the last few years but never got past that final hurdle so hopefully this is the year that I can change that – but I’ll take it one step at a time. I struggled for form in the first round so I’m just enjoying my squash at the minute and hopefully that will continue.”
Matthew will face Omar Mosaad for a place in the final after the powerful Egyptian beat Daryl Selby 3-2 to secure an appearance in the semi-finals of a PSA World Series event for the first time in his career.
El Tayeb Downs World No.1 El Welily In Philadelphia Thriller
World No.8 Nour El Tayeb won arguably the match of the week at the 2015 Delaware Investments US Open, PSA World Series tournament, as she knocked World No.1 Raneem El Welily out of the competition in a thrilling high-quality quarter-final encounter in Philadelphia.
The pairing, two of the best and most audacious shot-makers on the women’s tour, put their friendship on hold at Drexel University as they came out firing, hitting winners for fun as they traded points, rallies and games in a high octane encounter that went all the way to a fifth and decisive game in front of an enraptured crowd.
After almost 70 minutes of action and some of the most physically punishing rallies seen on the stunning all-glass show court all week and with the scoreline reading 2-2 and 9-9, a fortuitous nick handed El Tayeb match ball and she duly converted to record one of her best ever wins and move into the semi-finals.
“Raneem and I are great friends off court and it took me a little while to forget that tonight but I had to keep telling myself she’s just another opponent and pretend I don’t like her very much,” said El Tayeb.
“I wanted to win just as much as she did and I gave everything to beat her and to make the semi-finals means so much to me. But I didn’t come here to beat the World No.1 and then lose in the next round so I’ve got to recover and prepare now for the semi-finals as best I can and give it my all.”
The win handed El Tayeb just her second every victory over El Welily and it was made all the more remarkable due to a dramatic turn of events in the third game as the match looked to be heading towards a premature end when El Tayeb screamed out in pain after a heavy fall. But the 22-year-old returned to court following an injury time out and, despite her visible discomfort, played through the pain to book a place in the US Open semi-finals for the first ever time.
“I still felt pain in my shoulder (after the fall) but it’s the quarter-final of the US Open and opportunities like this might not come again so I just had to push through and forget about it and I owe a lot of thanks to my fiancé Ali (Farag) for keeping me motivated to push on.”
Elsewhere there was double delight for French squash enthusiasts as Gregory Gaultier and Camille Serme out-classed their quarter-final opponents, Simon Rösner and Nour El Sherbini, respectively, to reach the last four of the men’s and women’s events.
32-year-old Gaultier, a two-time US Open winner, demolished German out-classed Rösner in an emphatic straight-games triumph while Serme was similarly ruthless as she dispatched 2014 runner-up El Sherbini, the Egyptian World No.7 – also in straight games.
“Beating Simon 3-0 is a good performance and one I’m happy with,” said Gaultier.
“He’s No.6 in the world and close to the four guys so he’s a very dangerous opponent but I was very fluid in the first two games – I feel confident and I’m really enjoying my squash.
“I’ve felt good all week and as long as I play well that’s all that matters. I’ll keep doing my routines during the day off tomorrow and stay as healthy as possible and do all the things that I need to do to stay in the best shape for the semi-final.”
“I’m really pleased to be in the semi-finals especially be beating such as dangerous player 3-0,” said Serme.
“I’m looking forward to playing again on Friday and hopefully I can play well again.”
Quarter-finals: Women’s Delaware Investments US Open
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Raneem El Welily (EGY) 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (69m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (37m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3 (55m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 8-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (71m)
Quarter-finals: Men’s Delaware Investments US Open
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 15-13, 11-8, 11-8 (54m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (46m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 (74m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (46m)