Skip to content

Nick 'The Wolf' Matthew

BRITISH OPEN - SEMI-FINALS: AS IT HAPPENS

Follow us here for reports and reaction as we reach the semi-finals of the prestigious Allam British Open – and what a day we have in store!

Defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy and World No.3 Gregory Gaultier are both one win away from the final – where they could face each other for a blockbuster battle for the World No.1 spot.

ElShorbagy needs to retain his title to hold on to top spot, while a title win for Gaultier would see him overtake the Egyptian to become the oldest World No.1 of all time.

Three-time winner Nick Matthew will be cheered on by partizan home support though against ElShorbagy, while 2013 winner Ramy Ashour will look to take out Gaultier and reach a second successive British Open final.

English duo Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry will also have their sites set on the final – if they win, it'll be the first time since 1991 that the final has been contested by two Englishwomen.

Massaro clashes with title holder, World No.1 and World Champion Nour El Sherbini in a mouthwatering last four meeting, while the resurgent Nicol David, a five-time winner, stands between Perry and a place in a maiden World Series final for the 26-year-old from Birmingham.

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

Not able to watch? Check out our live scoring page

Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT)
13:00 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [5] Laura Massaro (ENG)
follow on [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [6] Nicol David (MAS)
15:30 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)
follow on [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY)

Home Hero Massaro Fights Back to End El Sherbini’s Title Defence

England’s No.1 Laura Massaro will appear in the final of the iconic Allam British Open for the fourth time after she mounted a stunning comeback against defending champion Nour El Sherbini to send the home fans into raptures.

Massaro, the 2013 British Open champion, looked to be heading out after an imperious start from El Sherbini saw the World No.1 go two games ahead inside 20 minutes.

But Massaro, drawing on the energy of a passionate home crowd, dug in resiliently and swung the momentum of the match on it’s head to come through in five and move to within one win of the iconic title.

“I felt I just needed to be positive myself, but do it in a way that was from the right position,” Massaro said about her comeback.

“In those first two games, I was trying to play from behind her a little bit and in the last three games I tried to play in front of her.

“When I’m moving well, I’m playing well. Against the Egyptians, you can’t be at full stretch trying to touch drops in or mix around at the front. They’re too nifty around the front, I can normally tell if I’m playing well if my lobs are going well.

“I felt a bit nervous when I came on in the fifth, my legs felt a bit wobbly. I had a split second thought of whether it was tiredness or nerves. At that point, I thought I’m back in with a chance now as the tables turned, you’ve got nothing to lose at 2-1 or 2-0 down.

“I really wanted to do well this week, especially being at home. There was a lot of pressure on me going into that fifth. They say that the home crowd helps and when you’re down at the end there, it definitely does.”

Current World Champion El Sherbini, who last year became the first female Egyptian to lift the sport’s oldest and most distinguished title, had been virtually untroubled up to this stage after claiming comfortable wins over Line Hansen, Annie Au and Emily Whitlock.

England’s No.1 Massaro, meanwhile, claimed an impressive win over World No.3 Raneem El Welily to reach the last four and the 33-year-old had a 5-3 lead over El Sherbini on their head-to-head record – despite her defeat to the Egyptian in the final of last year’s PSA Women’s World Championship.

El Sherbini started strongly, driving powerfully and dominating the middle of the court as she took a two-game lead inside 20 minutes.

But Massaro began to feather in some delicate drops into the front, bringing El Sherbini further up the court and taking advantage of the available space as she began to dominate the match, with a packed crowd getting behind the Lancastrian as she closed out the victory by an 5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 scoreline.

Massaro is the first female English player to reach four British Open finals since Lisa Opie in 1986 and she will line up against either five-time winner Nicol David or compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry for the historic crown.

Result
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (63m)

Perry sets up All-English final with Massaro After Upsetting David

England No.2 Sarah-Jane Perry came up with the biggest win of her career to date after she beat former World No.1 Nicol David in the iconic Allam British Open semi-finals to reach a maiden World Series final – where she will clash with England’s Laura Massaro in the first all-English Women’s final for 26 years.

Lisa Opie defeated Sue Wright at the Wembley Conference Centre back in 1991 to lift the highly prestigious title and Perry will look to do the same against England No.1 Massaro.

World No.8 Perry started the match on fire, hitting nine winners as she took the opener 11-8 against the Malaysian and she continued to control the second until David stepped up a gear to gain three game balls, the first of which she dispatched to level the scores.

But that was as good as it got for World No.7 David as Perry asserted her strong and powerful game which saw her take the third in a tie-breaker, with David struggling to get a foothold.

With the English crowd right behind her, Perry took the fourth 11-7 to complete the victory in just 56 minute to confirm a shock all-English final.


“British Open finalist, it’s just amazing,” enthused Perry.

“If you’d have told before the tournament that I was going to get to the final, I would have said you were lying.

“Yesterday I worked hard, didn’t play my best squash, but I got through. Today I just wanted to go out there and show how I could play.

“Nicol is such a fantastic player and ambassador for our sport. I know I beat her last time but it was really, really close. She actually played better today and I definitely played better, I had to play some amazing squash against an amazing player.

“Knowing Laura was waiting in the final for me, it gave me a bit of extra fight actually. She’s beaten me a few times recently, including in the final of the British National Championships and in my last World Series semi-final in Tournament of Champions. I’m just relishing the chance to get some revenge.”

Result
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [6] Nicol David (MAS) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7 (56m)

Matthew Becomes Third English Player to Reach Finals

World No.4 Nick Matthew ensured a historic day for English squash after he joined compatriots Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry in tomorrow’s finals courtesy of a superb 3-1 win over World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy – marking the first time since 1953 that England have provided three finalists across both the Men’s and Women’s games.

Matthew hadn’t beaten ElShorbagy in a best-of-five match since the 36-year-old became the oldest World Series title winner of all time at the 2015 Windy City Open, but he put in a sublime display to limit the Bristol-based Egyptian’s hard-hitting style.

The Yorkshireman fought back from 8-6 and 7-3 down in the opening two games to go 2-0 up, before ElShorbagy – sporting a swollen eye after his quarter-final battle with World No.8 Ali Farag – finally managed to gain some semblance of control in the third as he edged it for the loss of eight points.

But the English veteran – roared on by his home crowd – found his way back on top in the fourth and a delicate backhand drop at match ball saw ‘The Wolf’ complete the victory to earn his place in the final for the first time since 2014.


“I was trying not to let the adrenaline get to me, I could feel my heart beating through my head knowing the crowd were cheering,” said fourth seed Matthew.

‘You can get so pumped, you can become over aroused. I knew I needed to have aggression in my game against him. There was a patch in that second game where he just got on top, it was like a boxer being on the ropes.

“I was conscious about getting into the middle of the ring, if you were, and trading blows. I didn’t want to just go for the big ‘Hayemakers’ and I really wanted to plot my way around him.

“I felt him wavering at the end which gave me belief. Never mind the World Rankings, I’m the World No.1 for my age. The peak is about five years ago, but me and Greg are trying to rip up that rulebook, we are always exchanging text messages saying stuff like ‘there is still life in the old dog’.

“I’ve not been in many World Series finals recently. I know what I need to be doing, but it’s not always as easy as that. Once you get to a certain age you know what it looks like, but in many ways that makes it harder to implement.”

ElShorbagy’s defeat means the 26-year-old will lose his World No.1 spot in next month’s rankings – with either World No.3 Gregory Gaultier or World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad set to overtake him.

Gaultier must lift the title to become the oldest World No.1 of all-time, while Gawad will take top spot if Matthew beats Gaultier in tomorrow’s final.

Result
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (75m)

Gaultier Through to British Open Final After Injury to Ashour

French World No.3 Gregory Gaultier moved through to the final of the iconic Allam British Open for the fifth time after his semi-final opponent – 2013 winner Ramy Ashour – retired due to a hamstring injury.

Gautltier prevailed 11-9 in the opening game, but Ashour, who has suffered multiple hamstring issues over the past three years, was forced to shake hands with his opponent before the match could resume after sustaining yet another hamstring problem.

Two-time winner Gaultier will take on home favourite Nick Matthew in the final – where victory would see the Frenchman become the oldest World No.1 of all time.

“The last match we played was here last year and we had an unbelievable five games,” said Gaultier.

“I expected that we were going to have that kind of match today, but when I saw him warming up he was doing a lot of stretches and I could see that he was maybe getting ready.

“But I could see in the first game, in the first few points, he was struggling a little bit and he was going for quick points. I just hope it’s not too bad because he’s been struggling for a while now and hopefully he can play next week in El Gouna.”

Result
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-0: 11-9 ret. (20m)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour