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Hong Kong Open – semi-finals


Top seeds and Hong Kong ‘veterans’ Gregory Gaultier and Nicol David will face first-time finalists Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nour El Tayeb in the finals of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open …

[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 Tarek Momen (Egy)              11/7, 11/2, 11/3 (37m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) 3-1 [4] Borja Golan (Esp)         11/7, 11/5, 7/11, 11/7 (50m)

[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 [8] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)            11/8, 11/4, 11/2 (27m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-1 [2] Laura Massaro (Eng)              11/9, 10/12, 11/2, 12/10 (47m)

Gaultier Gallops Into Hong Kong Final

SH_3699Gregory Gaultier, the French World No.1, took a major step towards claiming his first ever Hong Kong tournament title following a 3-0 win over Tarek Momen in the semi-finals of the 2014 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open.

The 31-year-old has won almost every title in squash during his career but the Hong Kong Open has remained elusive, despite the charismatic star reaching the final on four consecutive occasions from 2007-2010, and he’ll be hoping to make it fifth-time lucky when he steps onto the glass show court for Sunday’s decider.

SH_3628Gaultier has been in dominant form throughout the tournament so far, progressing to the final without dropping a single game en route, and he continued his impressive run with a commanding 11-7, 11-2, 11-3  win over Egyptian World No.12 Momen, to set up a final encounter with World No.3 Mohamed Elshorbagy.

“I don’t think the score really reflected the match because it was very intense and the first game especially was really fast as Tarek was moving quickly which I wasn’t expecting as he had a tough match yesterday,” said Gaultier

“He doesn’t give you cheap shots and he has beautiful soft hands and he always makes you play in all four corners of the court. I like playing him and I know when I beat him it normally means I am playing quite well.”

SH_3636The 31-year-old star will now look to win his second consecutive PSA World Series title after winning the prestigious Allam British Open in May prior to the summer-break, and despite a shorter rest period than usual, in which he also got married, he says he’s feeling confident.

“I was happy with how I played the match. I had the same intensity in all three games and I’m very happy with my form especially as I had a shorter summer break than most years.

“You can’t guarantee you can win any matches at this level as we are playing against very tough opponents every day so all I want to do is play my best tomorrow and if I can do that, even if I lose, there will be no regrets.”

SH_3637Elshorbagy too will be hoping to see his name appear on the trophy for the first time in his career, after he secured his first appearance in the Hong Kong Open final with a 3-1 victory over 2013 runner-up Borja Golan.

The 23-year-old from Alexandria, Egypt, is looking to follow up victory in last week’s Malaysian Open and will be aiming to repeat the performance that saw him beat Gaultier in the El Gouna International World Series event in April.

SH_3638“I’m into my first final here and I’m very happy as this is a prestigious tournament and as a player these are the matches you want to be playing in,” said Elshorbagy.

“Greg in the No.1 and in great form at the moment. He’s the man to beat right now so it’s definitely going to be an interesting game for sure but hopefully I can push myself for one more big performance.”

Major Hong Kong Milestone Beckons For Nicol David

SH_3644Nicol David stands one match away from a remarkable tenth successive title and a phenomenal 50th straight victory in the former British colony after brushing aside US number one Amanda Sobhy in the semi-finals of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open.

The world number one from Malaysia beat eighth seed Sobhy 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 in just 27 minutes on the first day of action in the WSA World Series Gold event on an all-glass court erected in the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre.

The win sees the 31-year-old into the 94th WSA World Tour final of her career.

SH_3646“No doubt, she played a strong first game,” David  told www.squashsite.co.uk later. “We were both finding our feet and our range on the court.

“Then it was just a matter of putting the work in in the second and third games, and her shots didn’t come in as well and she missed a few shots she doesn’t usually, so I just had to put the pressure on.

“I’m just going to be focusing on what I have to do. I just love playing here. It raises my game and I always play my best squash. I’m just going to go all out and leave it all out there.”

SH_3663David will now face event giant-killer Nour El Tayeb, the 16th seed from Egypt who reached her second successive surprise WSA World Series final after a dramatic 11-9, 10-12, 11-2, 12-10 triumph in 47 minutes over No2 seed Laura Massaro, the reigning world champion from England.

El Tayeb marched into the semis after consecutive upsets over fifth seed Low Wee Wern and No4 seed Alison Waters – then shocked world No2 Massaro for the second time in ten days!

SH_3665“I have no words to describe how I feel at the moment,” said the jubilant 21-year-old Egyptian. “To beat Laura twice, and to reach two huge finals, it’s just unbelievable.

“I’m in the best form of my life. It’s definitely the best two weeks of my life, for sure.

“I understand if I won one match, but to back it up for two weeks, I really don’t know how to explain it. The furthest I was looking was the first round!”

Full Hong Kong Open coverage


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