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Philadelphia's Drexel University

U.S. Open - Day 6: As It Happens

There were more surprises in store at this year's U.S. Open as yesterday saw Nour El Tayeb knock out top seed and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.

Today's play sees the quarter-finals continue with likes of Ali Farag, Raneem El Welily, Joelle King and Diego Elias all vying for a place in the semi-finals.

Here's the day's order of play:

17:00 [11] Joelle King (NZL) v [8] Alison Waters (ENG)
18:00 Diego Elias (PER) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
19:00 [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
20:00 [4] Ali Farag (EGY) v [8] Fares Dessouky (EGY)

The quarter-finals of the 2017 U.S. Open will be shown LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

King Reaches Semi-Finals

New Zealand’s Joelle King secured her first semi-final appearance at the U.S. Open since 2013, as she came through in four games against England’s Alison Waters.

World No.10 King has been in impressive form so far at this year’s tournament, knocking out defending champion, Camille Serme, in a nail-biting five-game encounter in the last round. Waters, meanwhile, also faced tough opposition in round two, in the form of home hope Olivia Blatchford as she narrowly scrapped through against the American.

King took the opener against Waters as she started well, however, as the game wore on errors began to make their way into the 29-year-old’s game as she was pushed all the way by Waters but the Kiwi managed to finish strongly to take a 1-0 lead by an 11-9 margin.

Waters – who was aiming to reach her first ever U.S. Open semi-final – responded strongly as she took complete control of the second game, punishing King’s errors to level the scores in an even contest between the pair.

The next two games saw King settle back into her rhythm and dominate as she saw out an 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 to secure a place in the semi-finals.

“Camille is a good player and she won this tournament last year so I know that if you beat her then you are playing well,” said King.

“But you kind of have to leave that behind and focus on the next match and Alison was always going to be tough, we were four and five in the world for a while so had a lot of battles.

“I tried to fight a bit more in the third, I felt a bit tight in the second and kind of lost my way and just fell away from the game I like to play. I just tried to come back and played my style and it worked.”

[11] Joelle King (NZL) bt [8] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 (43m)

Mosaad Overcomes Elias

Egypt’s Omar Mosaad booked a U.S. Open semi-final berth with a win over Peru’s Diego Elias at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.

‘The Hammer of Thor’ had overcome New Zealand’s Paul Coll in straight games in the previous round and continued to utilise his experience against Elias as he secured a third semi-final place at the tournament.

The 29-year-old took the first game, 11-6, before Elias – who was targeting a first semi-final appearance at the tournament – battled back to take the second by the same margin and level the scores.

However, frustration soon began to set in for the young Peruvian as he started to lose his temper on court with the referee giving him a warning. Meanwhile, Mosaad kept his composure and used all of his experience to take the third and then survive a late Elias onslaught in the fourth to take the match on a tie-break 12-10.

“I really enjoy playing here,” said Mosaad.

“I love to be in Philly and I love the atmosphere here. I’m enjoying the crowd and I’m really pleased to be through to the semi-final for the third time here.

“Diego is such a tough player, he is still young and growing and so to play against him is really hard. At this level you just have to think about each match, I started in qualification and then I made it through to the main draw because Ramy [Ashour] and Greg [Gaultier] pulled out.

“I’m really happy to get through and I just want to thank my coaches and everyone around me and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10 (70m)

El Welily Secures Semi-Final Berth

Raneem El Welily made it past Nouran Gohar in the battle of the Egyptians to complete the women’s semi-final line-up at this year’s U.S. Open.

The two players have faced each other eight times prior to today's meeting on the PSA World Tour, with Gohar clinching the last match at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals back in June.

Gohar claimed the opener on a tie-break by a 13-11 scoreline, as the pair constantly shared game leads in the evenly-fought contest.

El Welily – who came through in straight games against Wales’ Tesni Evans in the previous round – countered Gohar’s hard-hitting style as she replied in style to take the next three games, with Gohar having double the error count of her compatriot.

El Welily will now face New Zealand’s Joelle King for a place in the final.

“Nouran is not an easy player,” said El Welily following her win.

“It was a really tough match for me. Before the match Mosaad and Diego were playing and they looked like they were about to finish so I stopped warming up and then they took a while to finish the match and I just felt a bit flat on court. But I’m glad I pushed through that and found a way to win and I’m happy to be in the semis again.

“We’re teammates and we also play for the same club, so we know each other’s game quite well but everyone goes on court with a different attitude and a different personality.

“You come on with a plan but that could change any second and it keeps changing throughout the entire match so you have to adapt and you have to find a way to win.”

[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (46m)

Farag Prevails in Epic Clash with Dessouky

World No.5 Ali Farag prevailed in a nail-biting mammoth encounter that went all the way to a deciding fifth game with compatriot Fares Dessouky.

In a high-octane battle that lasted 88-minutes, the two Egyptians exchanged blistering rallies with the momentum constantly shifting between the pair, as Farag took the match on a tie-break in the fifth to secure a semi-final berth in a World Series event for only the second time in his career.

Dessouky made a confident start to proceedings as he seized the advantage, taking the first game 12-10 before Farag battled back to take the second to even up the scores.

With little to call between the pair, Dessouky once again regained his advantage as he kept Farag at bay to take the third, 11-8. However, that was far from the end of the story as Farag kept his cool approach on court to restore parity.

Whilst the World No.5 kept his composure it was clear that his opponent was becoming increasingly frustrated on court – something which Farag was able to use to his advantage to seal his first semi-final berth at the U.S. Open.

The 25-year-old will now face compatriot Omar Mosaad in the semi-finals after he beat Peru’s Diego Elias earlier in the day.

“It was pretty tough conditions,” said Farag.

“The first three games the ball was flying and I thought he adapted to it better than I did because I just couldn’t find my rhythm and even after we changed the ball it was then the complete opposite, it was so cold and dead.

“I tried to contain him as much as possible and it was just pure guts that got me the win. Squash wise – I thought he was the better player on the day and I’m just so happy to be through.

“I hope I can keep going tomorrow and I have another battle with a close friend. Me and Omar train together at least twice a week, we have the upmost respect for each other and I’m so happy for him to be back and I had no doubt that he was going to come back.

“He had a pretty rough year last season and I can tell you his work ethic never changed one bit. He was working so hard and staying very positive and he deserves where he is now, but hopefully tomorrow he is going to stop!”

[4] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [8] Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 (87m)

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