We’ve reached the semi-final stage of the Challenger-level RM Club Women’s Open and the Gold-level Necker Mauritius Open 2022, as the last remaining players look to book their places in the finals tomorrow.
Play begins with the RM Club Women’s Open, where top seed Tinne Gilis of Belgium takes on French No.6 seed Enora Villard in the opening match, with Egypt's No.3 seed Farida Mohamed playing Villard's compatriot and No.2 seed Melissa Alves in the other match.
The Necker Mauritius Open semi-finals will feature the top four seeds of the event, as New Zealand's No.1 seed Paul Coll takes on Peru's No.3 seed Diego Elias and England's No.2 seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will play Egypt's No.4 seed Tarek Momen.
RMCLUB Women's Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks Order of Play
Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels Order of Play
Gilis into third final of year after impressive win
Belgian No.1 seed Tinne Gilis reached her third final of 2022 after comfortably beating French No.6 seed Enora Villard in 27 minutes.
While the first game was initially fairly even, it didn’t take Gilis long to click into gear. Once the 24-year-old found her length, she quickly pulled away to take the opening game 11-4.
As uncomfortable as the first game was for Villard, by comparison with the second she will look back on it fondly. From the opening shot of game two, Gilis was in brutal form, recording a morale-shattering 11-1 win over the Frenchwoman – who was playing her first competitive match on this court after her walkover victory yesterday – in just five minutes.
Despite the crushing nature of the second game, Villard was able to trouble the World No.15 in the third, competing well around court with the scores at 7-7. Gilis, however, was able to pull clear once again to progress to the final having won all her matches in three games with an 11-8 win.
Responding to reports that she had been unwell ahead of the match, Gilis said: “I feel amazing, actually. I took some rest this morning but as soon as I arrived at the club I was excited and ready to play and was going to give it my all on court for sure. Even the days where you don’t feel 100 percent, you can still find a way through and that’s what I did today so I’m happy and proud of myself.”
 Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt  Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-1, 11-8 (27m)
Excellent Elias crushes Coll
Peru’s No.3 seed Diego Elias produced a sublime performance to stun New Zealand’s top seed and former World No.1 Paul Coll in straight games to reach the final.
In front of a sell-out crowd, Elias dominated much of the first game, playing confident attacking shots and finding ways to consistently beat an out-of-sorts Coll’s defences.
After taking the first game 11-4, Elias looked at ease in the second and maintained the lead for the majority of proceedings. Eventually, though, Coll managed to pull level at 8-8 to set up an exciting finish to the game. Elias, however, was able to give himself a two-point cushion following a Coll mistake, before another error from the Kiwi – who found the tin a number of times today – handed Elias the second game, to the World No.2’s visible fury.
Elias continued to find himself with a number of options in the third game as he sped into a 6-2 lead. Coll, meanwhile, who was unable to fix the issues he’d been having all game with his accuracy, tried to stay in the match on the back of his flawless and constant movement.
After going 10-6 and four match balls down, Coll summoned all his energy and was able to save the first two. Elias, however, then produced a perfect crosscourt to the back that Coll was unable to return to cap a remarkable performance and send the World No.5 into the final.
Reacting afterwards, Elias said: “I think I played one of the best matches I’ve ever played, so I’m supposed to be happy! Paul’s had a long and very hard season, with lots of big matches, so I thought I had a big opportunity today. He was, I guess, tired mentally from the whole season, so I just didn’t want to let it go today and I’m very happy that I played like this.
“I’m working right now with a few people, I’ve had my dad since forever, Jonathon Power, Wael El Hindi. We just all talk and find a good plan for every match. Greg [Gaultier] has helped me a lot, he’s always here helping me and giving me all the advice he can. So I’m just very happy that I could win this and this is because of all of them.”
 Diego Elias (PER) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 (52m)
Mohamed into first final of the year
Joining Tinne Gilis in the RMCLUB Women’s Open final will be Egypt’s Farida Mohamed, after the 20-year-old World No.18 beat France’s Melissa Alves 3-1.
Mohamed claimed a tight first game 11-9, before making an uncharacteristic number of errors in the second game to allow the World No. 29 back into the match with an 11-7 win.
The No.3 seed was able to shake this off in the third, though, as she attacked the front of the court and prevented Alves settling into a rhythm. This strategy paid off for the 20-year-old and she secured safe passage through to her first final since the 2019 JC Women's Open with an 11-7 win of her own and then an 11-6 victory.
Afterwards, Mohamed said: “Melissa’s a very good player, she has so much experience and when I played her about four or five years ago I got killed on court! I expected her to be very strong today and I’m very happy to be through.
“Again, Tinne is a very good player. I only played her once, in December, but one more push and it’s the last match of the season, too, so I’m going to put everything on court and talk to my coaches!”
 Farida Mohamed (EGY) bt  Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
ElShorbagy clinches last spot in final in tense finish
In the evening’s final match, England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy put on a lesson in court craft as he powered through to a final with Diego Elias as he beat Egypt’s Tarek Momen 3-0.
The former World No.1 started the match looking sharp, with the 31-year-old moving well as he read Tarek Momen’s attacks at the front perfectly while launching plenty of devastating attacks of his own to take the first game 11-7.
Momen continued to look to the front of the court in the second, while ElShorbagy was happy to push up himself to blast the ball past his opponent. As the game went on, ’The Beast’ applied increasing pressure to Momen, drawing the 34-year-old in and punishing any mistakes to take the second game 11-5.
Momen adjusted his tactics in the third game – which saw the court become increasingly slippery due to sweat patches – to push the ball deeper, while still taking on the front when the opportunities presented themselves.
Momen had the chance to establish a foothold in the match when he went 10-8 up, only for an unfortunate slip and some excellent play from ElShorbagy to level.
Momen had another game ball at 11-10, but saw his lead reeled in once again by ElShorbagy, who, after seeing match balls saved, eventually converted to take the match 3-0 with a 14-12 win.
Speaking after the match, ElShorbagy said: “Once you get to the semi-final, you’ve got the best four players in the tournament there in the semis, which is what the tournament wants.
“You had two great matches today, anyone could have made the final, any of us, to be honest. Diego played fantastically today and I think I played well today as well. We’re both really good friends. We both actually travelled together from Egypt on a long flight to come here and we get along really well. I think this is our first final together, so I think we’re hopefully going to give each other a good match and may the best man win.
“Tarek and I go way back. We get on really well, on and off court. We have an amazing rivalry on the tour and this was our 26th meeting. I think he’s the player I’ve played the most in our career. I have so much respect for him and what he does. He’s an inspirational player that inspires me so much and I hope he goes on for so many years because he’s so unique as a player and I have massive respect for him. I look forward to playing more matches with him.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt  Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 14-12 (54m)