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A Day of Upsets in the Women’s ToC Draw; Top Seeds Matthew and Gaultier Move into Semis

Nicol David against Omneay Abdel Kawy

Nicol David against Omneay Abdel Kawy

New York, NY – January 12, 2016. It was the youth invasion in the women’s quarterfinals at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions today as 22-year-old Amanda Sobhy, 20-year-old Nour El Sherbini, and 18-year-old Nouran Gohar dispatched each of their higher seeded and older opponents to reach the semifinals of the PSA World Series event in Grand Central Terminal. Nicol David, the 32-year-old Malaysian superstar who ruled women’s squash as world no.1 for 109 consecutive months, will make her second semifinal ToC appearance after defeating fifth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in five games.

It was a testament to Camille Serme’s strength of will that she fought back after losing the first two games to the two-time World Junior Champion to tie the match at two all. El Sherbini matched the 26-year-old Frenchwoman’s fighting spirit with her own competitive intensity in the fifth. It was nip and tuck most of the way through the last game, until El Sherbini nosed ahead from 7 all to and won the match on a tin by Serme.

“I don’t know how I won that match,” El Sherbini said. “I was so tired at the end; I was really glad to see that last bill hit the tin.” ElSherbini’s semifinal opponent will be Nicol David after she resolutely eliminated Omneya Abdel Kawy in another five game contest. After winning the first game 11-6 in 9 minutes, it looked like David, who had won her first two matches in 20 minutes or less, might have another short and efficient victory. But Abdel Kawy, who is an extraordinarily skilled shotmaker, had other ideas and consistently pushed David to the back of the court enabling the Egyptian deploy her shooting game to great effect.

“I knew that in order to keep Omneya from being able to shoot so easily I had to hit the ball more cleanly and deeper to keep her behind me,” said David. The strategy worked as David took control of the T and steamrolled through the last two games 11-3, 11-5.

On the men’s side, Gregory Gaultier of France surprised the full house of fans by breaking out some split dance moves after he got past Germany’s Simon Rosner with a hard fought four game victory. Rosner had his chances – with the score tied at one game each, Rosner failed to convert two game balls in the third. In the fourth, the reigning World Champion eked out a 12-10 win to secure his ToC semifinal berth.

Nick Matthew had three game balls at 10-7 in the first game of his match against Marwan ElShorbagy, but it was the 22-year-old Egyptian who won the game 12-10 and then took the second 11-7. The Englishman, known for his extraordinary fighting spirit, settled himself in the third. “I knew that I needed to re-set and focus on one point at a time,” said the three time World Champion. “I was getting a little upset early on, so I had to calm myself and just focus on playing.” Matthew proceeded to take control of the last two games, winning each at 11-6. “It has been a while since I have had a win from 0-2 down, so it is a good confidence boost for me.”

Results – J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY
January 12, 2016
Women’s Quarterfinals
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) def. [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 10-12,11-9,5-11,11-8,11-9 (77 mins)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) def. [6] Alison Waters (ENG) 12-10, 11-3, 11-9 (29 mins)
[7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) def. [4] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-4, 11-9, 8-11,8-11,11-8 (74 mins)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) def. [5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-6, 10-12, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5 (56 mins)

Results – J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY
January 12, 2016
Men’s Quarter-finals
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) def [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 11-8,9-11,14-12,12-10 (78 mins)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) def. [8] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 10-12,7-11,11-7,11-6,11-6 (81 mins)

Schedule – J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY
January 13, 2016

Women’s Semifinals
5:00 PM [8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v. Amanda Sobhy (USA)
6:00 PM [2] Nicol David (MAS) v. [7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

Men’s Semifinals
8:00 PM [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v. [7] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
9:00 PM [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) v. [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

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