Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini extended her unbeaten run over eight-time World Champion Nicol David, with a sublime display in the quarter-final of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia eliminating David in front of her home crowd.
El Sherbini had defeated David in the last three tournaments coming into this encounter, but was up against it from the off as David, the namesake of the arena that she was playing in, stormed 10-7 ahead to amass three game balls. But El Sherbini soon fired back and a dramatic tie-break saw the World No.2 take it to open up a lead.
Roared on by a vociferous crowd, David dominated proceedings in the second after a lacklustre showing from her opponent, who never really got going, and the Malaysian icon levelled things up. It wasn’t long before El Sherbini found herself back in the ascendancy though and she changed her game up to cut off David’s boasts high up the court and power in some devastating drives which allowed the 20-year-old to regain her lead.
El Sherbini displayed her full range of attacking artistry in a high-octane fourth match that saw the number five seed hit some sensational cross court nicks to surge into an 8-3 lead. David battled back to within touching distance but there was to be no stopping the in-form El Sherbini from breaking Malaysian hearts with a 14-12, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 victory to send her through to the semi-final.
“This is the fifth time I’ve played Nicol this season and I think that this was the best match we have played against each other,” said El Sherbini.
“She was really playing well today and I’m really happy for her to be playing that well again. I’ve always looked up to Nicol so I’m really glad and I’m sure she is going to come back stronger.
“I always think match by match and I try not to look forward, I just want to focus on the next match. Of course, I definitely want to win the tournament and everyone wants this, but I’m just going step by step.
“We Egyptians are in good form this season and we’re all getting good results, Raneem [El Welily], Nouran [Gohar], Omneya [Abdel Kawy], all of us. This is the only title we have never won in Egypt so hopefully it’s going to be an Egyptian winner. Hopefully me and Nouran can make sure that an Egyptian is going to be in the final.”
A disappointed David insisted that, while she may have bowed out this time, she will be back to fight for a ninth World Championship crown next time around.
“It’s disappointing to lose that one,” admitted David.
“I think if I had got that first game it would probably be a different story. I let El Sherbini in in that third game and that gave her confidence. I was probably trying to do too much, too soon and open up the court too easily.
“She’s too dangerous so I think I just needed to make sure I put that pressure on a bit more, but I wasn’t as disciplined as I should have been.
“I’m definitely going to be fighting for that next one. The main thing is that my body is good, I’m feeling really good and now I’ve just got to fine-tune a few things that I’m adjusting and adding to my game. For me, it’s very exciting times.”
El Sherbini will take on either Camille Serme or Nouran Gohar for a place in the final.
Result – Quarter-Final: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-1: 14-12, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7 (47m)
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