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The Oracle NetSuite Challenge Court on Justin Herman Plaza

Oracle NetSuite Open Finals - As it Happens

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

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad and fellow Egyptian Mohamed ElShorbagy meet in a titanic men's final, while legendary Malaysian Nicol David takes on England's Sarah-Jane Perry in the women's final.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local PDT)
19:30 [3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)
20:30 [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Perry Saves Championship Ball Against David to Lift Women’s Title

Sarah-Jane Perry (right) after her win over Nicol David (left)

England’s World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry came back from two games down and saved a championship ball against the legendary Malaysian Nicol David in the final of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open, PSA W50 tournament held in San Francisco to lift the biggest title of her career.

2015 runner-up Perry – who dispatched top seed and defending champion Laura Massaro in the semi-finals – had won the last three meetings between the pair but was up against it as a ruthless David, an eight-time World Champion, surged into a two-game lead courtesy of some precise attacking at the front of the court.

27-year-old Perry fought back in the third to halve the deficit and squandered two game balls in the fourth to hand David a championship ball. But a fortuitous nick off a Perry cross court handed the initiative back to the player from England, and she converted her next game ball before holding her nerve in the decider to seal an 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-7 victory that sees her pick up the ninth Tour title of her career and her first since 2015.

“I was just thinking of my nan [at championship ball down], it’s one I’ve got to dedicate to her because she passed away a couple of weeks ago and on that championship ball I told myself that I had to be brave and do it for nan and it worked,” said an emotional Perry.

“If a dead nick isn’t a sign that she’s looking down on me then I don’t know what is. I had nothing in the tank but I just kept getting another a ball back against someone who was playing amazing.

“Nicol is one of the best human beings and one of the best ambassadors for squash there has ever been, so thank you Nicol for such an amazing match. Nicol is an absolute legend, she’s the nicest person you will ever meet and she’s so fair on court.

“I don’t know how I won that. Everyone is so strong now, I played Hollie Naughton in the first round and Donna [Urquhart] in the next round and the likes of Laura and Nicol are really tough opponents.

“Women’s squash is so interesting at the moment because there are eight girls who are all in there to win it and any of them can win it. I’m just trying to put myself there as one of those contenders. This is my biggest title and I reached my first World Series final last season, so I’m looking to set my marker down early. Winning this one has kickstarted my season and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come for the rest of the year.”

David, who saw off India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik in just 22 minutes in her semi-final clash, overturned a 5-1 deficit in the opening game but, from that point onwards, was sublime as she attacked well at the front of the court and gave Perry no time on the ball.

David prevailed 11-8 in the first two games but Perry responded as she stepped up the court and forced David into the back corners and her improvement was rewarded with a win in game three.

And after overturning David’s championship ball in the fourth, there only looked likely to be one winner as Perry held out in the decider to win this tournament for the first time.

[3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [2] Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-7 (74m)

ElShorbagy Ousts Gawad to Claim Men’s Crown

Mohamed ElShorbagy

Egypt’s World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy put in a devastating performance to overcome World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the final of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open, PSA M100 tournament – making it back-to-back titles after he won the PSA Dubai World Series Finals in May.

‘The Beast of Alexandria’ had a difficult 2016/17 season by his own high standards – losing his World No.1 ranking and struggling for form throughout – but has begun the new campaign in style, backing up a thrilling five-game victory over last year’s runner-up James Willstrop with a sublime display against Gawad, who struggled to back up after a brutal 90-minute semi-final with Peru’s Diego Elias.

ElShorbagy hadn’t beaten Gawad in over a year, losing to his compatriot twice in the meantime, but he outclassed the World No.2 this time around, reading his shots well and playing with stunning attacking force to record an 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 triumph – lifting his 26th Tour title in the process.

“I’m really happy, it’s only my first tournament of the season and I think it’s the first time in my life that I have won the first tournament,” said ElShorbagy.

“When I was World No.1 for 28 months, all of the players studied me every single day but, coming into this season, I’m studying everyone. I’m coming in really hungry and I really want to do well this season.

“I’ve put in a lot of work this summer and there is nothing in my mind apart from getting back to World No.1 this season. I’m going to do everything I can to get back to where I feel I should be.”

The Bristol-based 26-year-old began training with two-time World Champion David Palmer over the summer and he was quick to praise the Australia’s influence over his strong start.

“I told him just after the match that he had a tough career, a tough life but from now on he will be having an even tougher life because he’s not getting rid of me anytime soon,” he said.

“I’m really glad to have him in the team and I’m looking forward to working with him over the next few years.”

Gawad said: “It was my first time here in San Francisco, I really enjoyed the crowd and the venue. It’s my first time but it definitely won’t be the last time.

“It’s my first tournament of the season and it was tough, it is the toughest $100k tournament I have ever played. Thanks to [Tournament Promoter] John Nimick for some great organisation and I’m already looking forward to it next year.”

Result – Final: 2017 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (45m)

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