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England's Laura Massaro (right) during her quarter-final clash against Salma Hany Ibrahim (left)

Oracle NetSuite Open - Day Three: As it Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction from day three of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open in in San Francisco.

Two-time runner-up Nick Matthew has a tough banana skin quarter-final clash with Peruvian two-time World Junior Champion Diego Elias, while World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad takes on Tarek Momen in the other men's quarter-final.

Meanwhile, the women's semi-finals get under way today as defending champion Laura Massaro takes on 2015 runner-up Sarah-Jane Perry in a repeat of their all-English British Open final clash in March.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

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Here's the Order of Play at the Glass Court
(All times are local PDT)
19:00 [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Diego Elias (PER)
19:45 [1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
20:30 [5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Elias Claims Huge Win Over Matthew

Diego Elias (right) v Nick Matthew (left)

Peru’s World No.17 Diego Elias came up with one of the biggest wins of his career after the 20-year-old defeated England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew to reach the semi-finals of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open for a second year in a row.

A brutal first game – which lasted an incredible 32 minutes – saw the two-time World Junior Champion come from 9-6 behind to set up a tie-break, where both players had multiple game balls after facing off in a number of stunning rallies that had spectators in Justin Herman Plaza out of their seats.


It was a fascinating contrast of styles – Elias’s flamboyance going up against Matthew’s grit and resilience – and it was the 37-year-old from England, the oldest player at the tournament, who ground out the win to take it 19-17.


Despite going a game behind, the brutal nature and length of time on court played into Elias’s hands as the youngest man in the main draw took advantage of Matthew’s depleted energy levels.

He barely put a foot wrong as he forced Matthew out of position time and time again and he got the better of his opponent in the next three games to wrap up a huge 17-19, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 to bring an end to Matthew’s last ever Oracle NetSuite Open after last week’s announcement that he will retire from the sport at the end of the season.

“I just wanted to do my best today, although I knew it was his last year and I didn’t want to beat him,” said Elias.

“I was playing my best but he’s an idol for me and I’ve always looked up to him ever since I was a little kid, so playing him here and having the opportunity to play this amazing game with him was very special for me and I’m really happy to win.

“I want to wish Nick good luck in the rest of his last season and I hope he can win some more tournaments.

“This is my lucky tournament, I was in the semis last year and I love playing here. The crowd are amazing, I’ve had an amazing tournament and I want to keep playing like this, I hope I can keep winning here.”

One of the things that stood out about Elias’s win was the fact that his movement and fitness have come on leaps and bounds since last season – and the Peruvian credits his training with World No.1 Gregory Gaultier as having a huge impact on him.

“Greg is really tough, he’s the best physically, so playing with him was really important for me,” he said.

“The pace he plays at is amazing, so I think it has helped me a lot for this tournament. I want to thank Greg for helping me.”

Elias will face either World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad or World No.8 Tarek Momen for a place in the final.

Results
Diego Elias (PER) bt [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 17-19, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (68m)

Perry Claims First Ever Tour Win Over Massaro to Reach Final

Sarah-Jane Perry

England’s World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry claimed her first ever win over compatriot and England teammate Laura Massaro on the PSA World Tour to reach the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open for the second time in three years.

Perry had failed to take more than a game off defending champion Massaro in all three of their previous meetings but World No.4 Massaro was off the pace from the start as Perry stormed into a 9-8 lead before seeing off an attempted comeback from a resurgent Massaro to go a game up.

Another lacklustre beginning to the second game from 33-year-old Massaro saw Perry power into a 5-1 lead but the experience of Massaro saw her keep her head as she strung some well-constructed rallies together to overtake Perry and draw level at one game apiece.


A tight third game saw both players struggle to hit their mark with errors from both but a no let decision given against Perry at 7-7 seemed to light a fire underneath the 27-year-old and she took four of the next five points to restore her lead.

There was little between the two in the fourth game as Massaro did just enough to restore parity once more and force a decider. Both players made errors in the fifth as they struggled to get a stranglehold on the match but Perry stepped it up to edge out the win by an 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 margin.

“I have beaten her once before but it wasn’t on the Tour, so it’s the first time I’ve beaten her on the Tour,” said Perry, who also reached the final in 2015.

“I probably had a bit of a mental block against Laura over the last few matches and she’s had a really good game plan against me, executed it perfectly and left me very, very frustrated.

“I played some really good squash, Laura played some really fantastic squash, so I’m really happy to come out with a win against a really tough opponent.

“I really like it here, I’m playing really well and I’m looking forward to my first final in a little while.”

Result
[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [1] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 (68m)

Gawad Beats Momen to Seal Semis Berth

Karim Abdel Gawad (right) v Tarek Momen (EGY)

Egypt’s World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad overturned a one-game deficit to defeat compatriot Tarek Momen and claim a semi-final berth – where he will take on giantkiller Diego Elias for a place in the final.

Gawad looked out of sorts in the opening stages and struggled to deal with the cold conditions on a dead court, making lots of errors as Momen took the opener for the loss of four points.

He completely changed things around in the second game though as he dropped five points en route to victory in the second game, while he capitalised on a loss of focus from Momen in the third to come back from 7-3 down.

Momen almost got him back after fighting back from 8-3 down in the fourth to come within touching distance of the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ but Gawad held out to seal an 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8.

“It’s harder to play one of your best mates and he’s [Tarek] like a brother to me,” said Gawad.

“I grew up watching him and I remember him playing one of the other Egyptian guys and I was so impressed and now we’re here playing and competing together. We had been playing at the same club for 10 years, I’ve moved to another club now but we still train together and are very close.

“It’s always to tough to play such a physical and gifted opponent.”

Result
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [5] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1: 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 (56m)

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