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Egyptian Finalist Guaranteed in Women’s World Championship

There is guaranteed to be an Egyptian finalist in the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship after the country’s number one player, Nour El Sherbini, led her compatriots through the quarter-final stage by dispatching home hero Nicol David in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia.

SP_16568David, who was the namesake for the arena the pair competed in, stormed into a 10-7 lead in the opening game and, despite letting El Sherbini back in to triumph on the tie-break, she battled to victory in the second game to level proceedings in her country’s National Squash Centre. But El Sherbini displayed her full range of attacking artistry in the next two games as she hit some sensational cross court nicks to break Malaysian hearts, claiming an 14-12, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 victory to send her through to the semi-final and extend her winning streak over the eight-time World Champion to five matches.

“This is the fifth time I’ve played Nicol this season and I think that this was the best match we have played against each other,” said El Sherbini.

“I always think match by match and I try not to look forward, I just want to focus on the next match. Of course, I definitely want to win the tournament and everyone wants this, but I’m just going step by step.

“We Egyptians are in good form this season and we’re all getting good results, Raneem [El Welily], Nouran [Gohar], Omneya [Abdel Kawy], all of us. This is the only title we have never won in Egypt so hopefully it’s going to be an Egyptian winner.”

SP_16559Up next for El Sherbini is an exciting fixture with 18-year-old World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar in a repeat of last month’s Allam British Open final in which El Sherbini triumphed.

Gohar came out on top against World No.4 Camille Serme in a thrilling five-game spectacle and took a two-game lead, only to see it crumble as a resilient Serme fought back.

After going 7-4 down in the fifth, Gohar looked as if she was heading out of the tournament but she gave it one last push to secure an 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8 victory in a brutal 75-minute clash, which has sent her through to her maiden World Championship semi-final.

“I can’t believe I won the match,” said Gohar.

“When I was 2-0 up I was playing very well, but she came back very strongly. She was playing like she wasn’t tired, like we had just started the match. I thought she was in total control in the last game, but my parents and coaches gave me an extra boost to push. I’m really glad I didn’t give up, pushed for the win and I’m really happy to win.”

SP_16556World No.1 Laura Massaro is the only non-Egyptian left in the tournament after she beat Omneya Abdel Kawy to progress.

Massaro cantered to the opening game and, a second game defeat aside, looked in strong form as she swatted aside her opponent courtesy of an 11-3, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 scoreline to set up a semi-final showdown with Raneem El Welily after the World No.3 saw off United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy.

“Omneya is a quality opponent so I knew to expect a good level of her today,” said Massaro.

“I felt like it was a high pace, we were both trying to get in front of the other one and keep it off each other’s volley. I think both of our strengths are on the volley so I was trying to keep her away from the middle, particularly on that backhand volley drop where she likes to be so much. It was tough on there but I’m glad I managed to sneak it in four in the end.”

Quarter-Finals: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-3, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 (46m)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7 (42m)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [4] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8 (75m)
[5] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [2] Nicol David (MAS) 14-12, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 (47m)

 

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