French No.2 Mathieu Castagnet overcame former World No.5 Borja Golan in a lengthy battle in the quarter-final of the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York’s Grand Central Terminal – reaching the last four of a PSA World Series event for the first time in his career.
Castagnet put in a fine performance throughout the 72-minute encounter and showcased his jaw-dropping retrieval skills and electrifying speed on court as he rose to an 11-9, 13-11, 11-4 victory to set up a meeting with World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the last four.
“I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight. I might need another day off to make sure that I am in good shape for the semis! I’m trying to forget it.”
“I’m going to try to sleep and think of something else so I can prepare for my match. It’s not finished yet – I need to prepare for the next round and try to reach the final by beating the World No.1.”
Defending champion Elshorbagy continued his attempts to retain the crown he won a year ago with a superb triumph against compatriot Omar Mosaad.
The man from Alexandria, playing the day before his 25th birthday, conceded the first game to the older Egyptian after a high quality start to the match saw ‘The Hammer of Thor’ Mosaad edge ahead to take the lead.
The 17-time PSA World Tour title winner responded by injecting an influx of pace into proceedings and a barrage of attacking artistry at the front of the court, in addition to fatigue creeping into Mosaad’s legs, saw him overturn the one-game deficit to claim a 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 victory in 76 minutes.
“Omar is a great guy and a great player,” said Elshorbagy.
“We’re great friends on and off court as well. I think that it showed he has matured and he has had such great results lately. The way that he has been backing up tournament after tournament shows that he is a world class player right now.
“It was such a great match and Im just happy that we were able to play such a great match in front of a great crowd. I can’t wait already to be back here and playing in front of everyone again.”
The Women’s event saw Camille Serme join compatriot Castagnet in the latter stages of the tournament after she came through a hard-fought encounter with England’s Emily Whitlock in her second round fixture.
The World No.4 took the opener in confident fashion and overturned deficits in games two and four, sandwiched either side of a defeat in the third, to claim an 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11 triumph.
“I think that Emily wasn’t really in the match in the first two games,” said Serme.
“Suddenly she played better and used the height more and I got surprised. The rallies were longer and tougher and I just had to stay in the game. In the last one I’m happy I came back.”
Serme is paired up with Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini in a mouthwatering quarter-final tie and it was the latter who triumphed in the duo’s most recent meeting at November’s Qatar Classic.
J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Men’s Quarter-Finals (Top Half)
1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt  Omar Mosaad (EGY) 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 (76m)
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 11-9, 13-11, 11-4 (72m)
J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Women’s Second Round (Bottom Half)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11 (52m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (27m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (25m)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 (27m)