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CIB WORLD CHAMPS QUARTER FINALS: PLAYER REACTION

The quarter finals of the PSA World Championships in Cairo conclude today as the players in the bottom half of the men's and women's draw make bids for a spot in the semis.

The evening's play begins with defending champion and former World No.1 Nour El Sherbini taking on England's Sarah-Jane Perry, while the second women's match is a Cairo derby between Hania El Hammamy and Nour El Tayeb.

In the men's draw, defending champion Ali Farag goes up against Egyptian compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy, while the last match of the day pits Cairo's Mostafa Asal against Peru's Diego Elias.

Play will begin at 18:45 (GMT+2) and we’ll be bringing you all the reports and reactions right here!

SQUASHTV is the place to watch it all. If you are unable to watch the action, then you can keep up with the live scores here.

We’ll also have news and video clips throughout the event available on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube channels.

Nour El Sherbini

Defending champion El Sherbini sees off persistent Perry

World No.2 and defending champion Nour El Sherbini saw off a resilient Sarah-Jane Perry to make her way through to the semi finals.

El Sherbini made a strong start to the match, which was played with a slow ball that appeared to have been affected by a sandstorm in Cairo.

The Alexandrian played consistent lines and lengths in the opening game, which she took relatively comfortably with a six-minute 11-5 win.

Perry grew into the match in the second as she hunted El Sherbini and caused the World No.2 a number of problems, particularly in the front right. As Perry settled, El Sherbini’s accuracy suffered and Perry took full advantage to level with an 11-8 win.

While Perry continued to attack, El Sherbini rediscovered her length to limit opportunities for the Englishwoman while also coaxing her into riskier shots. With the threat from Perry blunted, the five-time World Champion was able to regain the lead with an 11-7 win in the third.

El Sherbini appeared to be closing out the match in the fourth, only for a brilliant spell of desperate defence from Perry to force the game into a tie break. Both players had opportunities to win the game but were unable to convert, before ‘The Warrior Princess’ was finally able to see off a dogged Perry with a 14-12 victory.

Afterwards, El Sherbini said: “I’m really happy I’m through. SJ is one of the smartest, if not the smartest, players on tour. She’s very skilful and she was moving really well today. She broke my rhythm a little and I just tried to fight and stick in every point. I’m really happy to sneak the last game.

“I think [the blustery conditions] were a little distracting in the first game, but I think both of us adapted to the situation. After the first game we played a really good match and it was very entertaining.

“I think, in front of this crowd and in this venue [the distractions are] nothing. Just try to play your squash. They’re going to cheer everyone and make the players want to get the best out of them.

“The people who have come to support, I really don’t know how to thank you enough. From the first day, you’ve come to support us and that’s all that we need. You’re always special and having you beside us makes us want to play squash. Thank you so much for coming and I hope you enjoy the rest of the tournament!”

Result
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 14-12 (44m)

Farag pleased to be through in three against ElShorbagy

Ali Farag

In the first men’s match, defending champion Ali Farag overcame recent tormentor Marwan ElShorbagy to progress to the semi finals.

Despite World No.2 Farag being ranked seven places better than ElShorbagy, he has struggled in recent matches to get the better of the Alexandrian. ElShorbagy has been a constant thorn in Farag’s side, enjoying an 8-4 record over the Cairo native and winning the last four encounters, including in the quarter finals of this year’s Windy City Open.

It initially appeared that 'The Jackal' was going to continue this record, as he opened up a 6-2 lead in the first game. Farag, however, was able to put an end to the run and turn the momentum with an 11-7 win.

ElShorbagy toiled in the second and was unable to deliver any consistent threat to Farag’s position, as the No.2 seed took a commanding two-game lead with an 11-5 win.

While the younger ElShorbagy showed faint signs of a comeback in the the third, this was quickly snuffed out by the experienced Farag, who closed out the match in 39 minutes with an 11-7 victory in the third.

Reacting after the match, Farag said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better setup to produce my best squash. CIB are taking the sport to another level that makes us feel very proud to be on court.

“I’ve got every single member of my support team, from the age of zero to 30 here with me. Everyone who’s here, I can’t be more inspired, I guess. And I hope I can keep up this brand of squash!

“[Diego Elias and Mostafa Asal] are extremely good. They’re very different players which is going to produce a great match. Asal is very explosive, very attacking, very aggressive at a very young age, but still very mature with his squash. Diego is a great mover of the ball, a very clean striker of the ball and a very smooth mover. They produced a great match in Canary Wharf and I’m sure it won’t be different today. I’m going to be watching that with a lot of studying along with my team, and hopefully I’ll be ready to fire tomorrow.

“I’d like to think [it would benefit Farag, if the match between Elias and Asal goes long]. But as Mohamed [ElShorbagy] said yesterday and Paul [Coll] will show tomorrow, we train for those kind of battles and backing them up and we’re working on my body day in and day out. Whether I go in five or three, what matters is I go through, and I’ll get ready to watch Nour [El Tayeb, Farag's wife].

“I don’t think [court conditions were challenging]. I slipped once and Marwan slipped once and I asked him if it was slippery but I think it was a one-off incident. I was happy with the way I was covering the court, so I can’t complain. I’m not sure about Marwan, but I think it plays alright. This court is amazing with how true it is. We’ve tried a glass floor but it was too soon to play on it, but I cannot wait to play on a glass floor sometime very soon and thanks to CIB for breaking that again.”

Results
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (39m)

Unbelievable El Tayeb topples No3 seed El Hammamy

Nour El Tayeb

Nour El Tayeb produced arguably her finest performance since returning to the tour to down World No.3 Hania El Hammamy in a Cairo derby and set up a semi-final against defending World Champion Nour El Sherbini.

El Tayeb trailed for much of the first game, relying on savvy counterattacking play to keep within reach of the 21-year-old, before capitalising on a number of errors from El Hammamy to take an 11-8 win from the first game.

The 2019 runner up dominated the second game against a nervy El Hammamy and took a commanding two-game lead with an impressive 11-4 win.

Inevitably, El Hammamy struck back hard in the third game. Despite continuing to struggle to time some of her shots, the World No.3 battled furiously to rescue the match, attacking at will and refusing to give up on any ball as she took the third game 12-10.

Unfortunately for El Hammamy, this merely seemed to bring out the best in El Tayeb, who after giving birth last summer to her daughter Farida, looks to be the same deadly player of old.

The 29-year-old had an answer for everything El Hammamy could throw at her in the fourth game, combining excellent defence with crowd-pleasing attack to seal a huge victor with an 11-8 win.

“First of all, playing at this venue, with this crowd is so exciting,” El Tayeb said afterwards. “It’s the World Championships, wow it’s exciting! I pictured myself winning this event so many times, but to actually be in the semis after such matches, is for me an incredible achievement!

“Where can I start with this match? It’s been very tough with Hania. I was up 2-0 against Hania before and lost, so I know how it feels to be 2-0 up and lose. I took a lot from Paul [Coll]’s match yesterday, who was 2-0 up and then managed to win in the end.

“I’m very happy, I can’t believe it, I think in the fourth game I let loose a little bit and stopped thinking about how much I wanted to win this and maybe just play. It just worked in the end and I’m very happy.

“I know there are all types of disruptions, like untying your shoelace and then tying it again, I’ve grown up with these tricks. Thankfully, I don’t like to use them, but it gives me confidence that I’m putting her under pressure and she has to find a way to win and get me out of my focus. Thankfully it didn’t work, I’m 29 and one of the older ones on tour. Maybe it’s the experience in the end.

“I’m just in the semis and obviously it’s great, the top three girls are very strong and I just beat one of them and hopefully there are two of them left. I’m counting on my family and friends to come and cheer me on tomorrow. The crowd was great, I could hear them cheering during the point, I could hear ‘Come on, come on!’ which was great, obviously, but I would love it if it was just in between rallies!

“It’s exciting, tomorrow, it’s me and Nour and the crowd is going to cheer ‘Come on Nour!’ which doesn’t matter so I’m excited for the semis for sure!”

Result
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8 (76m)

Asal beats Elias in fiery encounter

Mostafa Asal

In the last match of the day, Egypt’s Mostafa Asal got the better of Peru’s Diego Elias in a stop-start encounter to reach his first World Championship semi final, where the 21-year-old World No.4 will face defending champion Ali Farag.

Ahead of the match, much had been made about the growing rivalry between the two, with the pair’s last meeting a notoriously ill-tempered 127-minute slugfest at this year’s Canary Wharf Classic.

Today’s match began well and at a good pace, before play began to break down midway through the first game as the two players collided with increasing frequency.

After Elias took the opener 11-9 in 27 minutes, the pair continued to clash regularly in the second as tempers frayed and referee Sheldon Anderson was called on to make a number of decisions.

The stop-start nature of the second game appeared to break concentration of Elias, who displayed his frustration as Asal levelled the match with an 11-4 win.

Between the second and third games, Anderson walked on court for discussions with both players, and from then on the match flowed better.

Asal was able to better adjust to the new rhythm of the match and showed the best of his incredible athleticism to take the lead with an 11-7 win.

A frustrated Elias changed his approach and went short more often in the fourth game, but to little avail, and Asal – backed vociferously by a partisan crowd – made short work of the World No.5 with another 11-7 win.

Afterwards, Asal thanked the crowd in Arabic for their support, telling them that they helped him perform to his best.

He added: “I’m playing for the crowd, it’s 100 percent a boost for me. I’m so happy to make it into the semi finals, match by match, opponent by opponent.


“Every time I’m looking [at my performances], I have won the World Tour Finals, I have won the US Open, I’m winning major titles, so why not this? It’s going to be my first [World Championship] trophy. First of all, I’m looking forward to my next match, an unbelievable opponent and we are studying each other really well.

“I’m not feeling like it’s a physically tough tournament for me, my matches have been 30 minutes or something like this, so I’m ready to perform and be on here. I’m playing 10 minutes from my home club and all the fans are coming in. It’s going to be tough tomorrow but I’ll try to make it!”

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [5] Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (76m)

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