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NetSuite Open Semi-Finals - As it Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction from the semi-finals of the NetSuite Open, where United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy takes on Malaysia's eight-time World Champion Nicol David for a place in the final – where World No.2 Laura Massaro awaits

World Champion Gregory Gaultier is also in action against World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy in the Men's event, while former World No.1 James Willstrop goes head-to-head with Peruvian qualifier Diego Elias who appears in his maiden PSA M100 semi-final.

You can watch the action LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

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Here’s Today’s Order of Play
(All times are local PDT)
19:00 [WC] James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Diego Elias (PER)
19:45 [3] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)
20:45 [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)

Willstrop Reaches Final After Masterclass Against Elias

England’s James Willstrop advanced to his biggest PSA World Tour final in three years after outclassing Peruvian two-time World Junior Champion Diego Elias in the semi-final of the NetSuite Open, PSA M100 tournament held in San Francisco.

On the spectacular glass show court housed on Justin Herman Plaza, Willstrop played some of his very best squash in a ruthless display as he dismantled 19-year-old Elias, with the pinpoint accuracy and intelligent shot selection that were the bedrock of his rise to World No.1 in 2012 in full flow.

United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy overturned a one-game deficit against Malaysian superstar Nicol David in front of her home crowd to reach a second successive NetSuite Open final.

Defending champion Sobhy, who overcame England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in the final of the 2015 instalment, went a game down early on after a fast start from David saw the eight-time World Champion mix up her game to edge it on the tie-break.

However, David’s superiority was short-lived as an resurgent Sobhy, buoyed by a vociferous San Fransisco crowd, began to dominate proceedings, with the World No.7’s ferocious driving ability forcing David into all four corners of the court.

After wiping out David’s lead in the second game, Sobhy then benefited from a rare litany of errors from David in the third as she surged 2-1 ahead for the loss of two points.

The charismatic American then powered into a 9-2 lead in game four and held off an attempted comeback from David to close out her first ever win over the former World No.1 – resulting in an almighty roar from the Boston-based Harvard graduate.

“Everything just clicked today, she’s a phenomenal player and I have the utmost respect for her,” said Sobhy.

“I knew it would be a battle, I just wanted it to be a fair match and for both of us to play our best. I lost the first game, but I knew I was right there in it and I just told myself to stay positive and I’m really happy that I was able to do that because I won.

“I had a seven-week training block this summer, which I’ve never done before in my entire life, so it’s really nice to see it all pay off and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Result – Semi-Final: Women’s NetSuite Open 2016
[3] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [2] Nicol David (MAS) 3-1: 10-12, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 (41m)

French General Gaultier Marches Through to NetSuite Open Final

World Champion Gregory Gaultier was in an imperious mood as the Frenchman axed World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy in straight games to avenge his defeat to the Egyptian in the final of April’s Grasshopper Cup.

That win for ElShorbagy, his first in four attempts, laid the foundations for his rise into the world’s top 10, but he found it hard going in the opening stages, with a clinical Gaultier dropping just three points in a comfortable first game.

The French World No.2 extended his fine form into the second game and he built on a strong start against an out of sorts ElShorbagy to double his advantage.

Game three was a much more even affair, with ElShorbagy finally finding his length as he began to move Gaultier away from the ’T’. Despite the former holding a lead for much of the game, Gaultier chipped away at him and amassed a game ball, only to see a tenacious ElShorbagy force a tie-break.

With the tension palpable, Gaultier continued to exert pressure on his 23-year-old opponent, who hit the tin at 13-12 down to hand the win to Gaulter, who will take on James Willstrop in the final.

“I’m glad I got my speed back, I’ve been struggling this month and I wasn’t feeling great,” said Gaultier.

“I haven’t been enjoying my squash and I haven’t been having any feeling when I’ve been playing. I managed to find motivation again because I had a bit of a break at home. I stopped playing for a week and did other stuff to stay away from a squash court because I was getting sick of it.

“I tried to stay positive mentally, I’ve had a lot of friends helping me out to lift me back out when I was down. I’m happy with the way I was moving again.”

Speaking about his upcoming match with Willstrop, Gaultier added: “James is playing much better these days, he’s moving better and he’s really accurate. I’m going to be aware of all these things, it’s a new match, a new day, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m just going to do the best recovery right now and I’ll hopefully be very sharp for tomorrow for the last push.”

Result – Semi-Final: Men’s NetSuite Open 2016
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 14-12 (45m)

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