Squash: Three Egyptians reach US Open semis

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 13 Oct 2016

Mohamed Elshorbagy
Squash: world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy (R) faces his youngest brother Marwan in the US quarterfinals (Photo from the tournament's official website)

Squash world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy, top seed Nour El Sherbini and world number five Raneem El Welily all booked their place in the US Open squash semifinals on Thursday.

Top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy defeated his younger brother and world number six Marwan Elshorbagy 3-0 in the quarterfinal to set up a meeting with world number 19 James Willstrop of England, who defeated Steve Coppinger of South Africa.

"To be able to finish in three today is lucky, because mentally it’s tough for us on there," Elshorbagy said.

"I have such great memories of playing here at the US Open, it’s where I got to the number one ranking for the first time and today was the first time this season that I felt like I was moving and playing well.

"It should be a good match against James in the next round."

Two other Egyptians still have a chance to reach the semifinals of the men's main draw; Ali Farag will face world number four Nick Matthew of England while Karim Abdel Gawad, the world number five, will face a tough competition against world number two Gregory Gaultier of France late on Thursday.

In the women's draw, world number one and Egyptian star Nour El Sherbini eased past world number eight Alison Waters 3-0 in straight games to reach the semi-finals for the second time in three years.

"Alison was playing well the whole tournament, so I wanted to be focused from the start and I wanted to finish it as fast as I can,” El Sherbini said.

"There were a lot of unbelievable rallies and I’m glad most of them ended on my side. I’m really happy to win it in three."

"The US Open is one of the biggest tournaments on tour and one of the best events in the world. It would mean the world to me to win it. I’m going to fight until the end," she added.

Another Egyptian, Raneem El Welily, overcame world number five and three-time champion Nicol David in a classic hour-long encounter 3-1 to reach the semifinals.

"I’m so, so happy to win, that was such a tough match," El Welily said.

"She was playing so well and controlling things, I felt I was always behind and having to dig in. I’m so glad I won that fourth, I don’t think I could have played a fifth!

"I don’t know how I turned it around – the support from all my friends and the Harrow team in the crowd definitely helped – I’m just so happy to be in the semis."

World number four, Egyptian Nouran Gohar, will face number seven, Amanda Sobhy of the USA, while world number six Camille Serme of France will face world number two Laura Massaro of England to complete the semifinals.

The semifinals will be played on Friday and the final on Saturday.

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