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Raneem El Welily (left) v Sarah-Jane Perry (right) in round two

El Gouna International: Day Six - As it Happens

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The last day of quarter-final action at the 2018 El Gouna International will feature four top-class matches as players aim to book their places in tomorrow's semi-finals.

Egypt's World No.3 Nour El Tayeb takes on England's Alison Waters in this evening's first match at 18:30 local time (GMT+2) and she will be followed onto court by her husband, World No.2 Ali Farag, 45 minutes later as he takes on compatriot Tarek Momen.

Hong Kong's Annie Au will look to follow up a second round upset of Commonwealth Games gold medalist Joelle King with victory over the reigning World Champion, Raneem El Welily, at 20:00.

Last year's men's winner Gregory Gaultier and Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez will bring the action to a close at 20:45.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player or follow our live scoring page.

Here's the SQUASHTV & Eurosport Player Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+2)

El Tayeb Reaches Fourth Successive World Series Semi-Final

Nour El Tayeb

Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb booked her place in her fourth World Series semi-final in a row after she overcame England’s Alison Waters in straight games to set up a last four clash with either World Champion Raneem El Welily or Hong Kong’s Annie Au.

Waters played above her seeding to send out World No.5 Nouran Gohar in the previous round but struggled to contain the in-form El Tayeb, who is aiming to win a third World Series title after triumphs at the U.S. Open and Windy City Open this season, on a night that saw the glass court buffeted by strong winds.

El Tayeb started well and was in control in the early stages as she hit solid length and moved Waters around the court but the Englishwoman dug in and fought ahead to hold a game ball. But she wasn’t able to convert as El Tayeb found her best squash to prevail in the next three points, taking it 12-10 on the tie-break.

That period of the match proved to be pivotal as El Tayeb took control from that point onwards, keeping the error count low and playing some fine attacking squash to counter-attack former World No.3 Waters and she took the final two games by an 11-6 and 11-7 margin to advance to the last four.

“The conditions were very hard tonight for both of us,” said El Tayeb.

“It took us a while to adapt to the conditions. Last time we played she beat me, so I was expecting a tough match, and I know how hard she is to beat. 

“Now I’m going to be able to change and focus on cheering for my husband. I really prefer playing first, Ali [Farag] had to warm up watching me. I have done it a few times and it’s not easy. I just hope he can win and that we can both play tomorrow night.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [10] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (30m)

Fantastic Farag Ousts Momen

Ali Farag (left) v Tarek Momen (right)

Men’s World No.2 Ali Farag continued his impressive performances so far at this year’s El Gouna International as he put in an imperious display to dispatch World No.5 Tarek Momen – ending a two-match losing streak to his fellow Egyptian that saw Momen beat Farag in the semi-finals of the Tournament of Champions and Canary Wharf Classic.

Farag was magnificent in his second round clash with Spain’s Borja Golan and was even more dominant against Momen, who came into this tournament having reached the semi-finals in four of his last five PSA World Tour events.

But the 30-year-old was powerless to stop a rampant Farag, who adapted to the windy conditions superbly and he motored away from 4-3 down to take eight of the next nine points.

Momen just couldn’t read Farag on the night, with the 26-year-old – who celebrated his birthday just three days ago – so precise at the front of the court, while he hit superb width and length, giving Momen nothing to work with as he collected 11-3 and 11-7 wins in the final two games to set up a semi-final meeting with either defending champion Gregory Gaultier or Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

“Today it wasn't about who was the better player, it was about who was going to adapt to the conditions better,” Farag said afterwards.

“I was lucky to start off well and that gave me a bit of an edge. Thanks to my coaches here, I've had them from the very first day and Karim Darwish and my brother.

“We've been working together really hard since Canary Wharf. Maybe I can thank Nour [El Tayeb] as well.

“Nour is my main inspiration, she plays very well herself and maybe I was lucky that she had a match before me and she told my how the wind was.

“I had that to my advantage and I adapted.”

[3] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [6] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (33m)

El Welily Masterclass Sees Off Au

Raneem El Welily (left) v Annie Au (right)

World Champion Raneem El Welily took a step closer to the final as she put Hong Kong’s Annie Au to the sword in a dominant display from the Egyptian World No.2

El Welily lost out on this court in the final of the PSA Women’s World Championship 12 months ago to World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, but she looks in splendid form after following up a impressive second round display against England’s Sarah-Jane Perry with a comfortable 23-minute win over Au amidst windy conditions on El Gouna’s marina.

Aside from a slight lapse in the third game – where she squandered a 5-1 lead to allow Au back to within a point – the Egyptian was in complete control as she rose to an 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 victory which will see her take on World No.3 Nour El Tayeb for a place in what would be a fourth World Series final of the season.

“Annie's got a very strong game and like the previous players said, the conditions on the court today are not the best,” said El Welily.

“I'm just happy to be through in three today against a tough opponent.”

[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [11] Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (23m)

Gaultier Defeats Rodriguez in Four-Game Thriller

Gregory Gaultier

French World No.1 Gregory Gaultier moved one step closer to a third successive El Gouna International final after prevailing in an entertaining four-game clash with Colombian World No.16 Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

Gaultier had only lost once to Rodriguez in their previous nine matches on the PSA World Tour, with the Colombian winning an epic five-game encounter at the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions which heralded the start of his breakthrough into the world’s elite.

Since that defeat, Gaultier had claimed four wins on the bounce against Rodriguez without dropping a game but it didn’t all go the 35-year-old’s way this time around.

He started on the front foot and went 9-2 up in the opening game but then fell victim to an impressive fightback from Rodriguez, although he held on to take it 11-9.

However, Rodriguez grew in confidence as the quality of the match continued to increase and he put together some sublime winners which, mixed with his trademark speed and retrieval skills, enabled him to draw level in the second as he elicited memories of the time he spent as high as World No.4 three years ago.

The pair traded points in the third until Gaultier built up a head of steam to restore his lead and the match was forced into an injury break – with the Frenchman 4-3 up in game four – after a coming together between the two saw Rodriguez’s ankle twist painfully.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez injures his ankle

The 32-year-old returned to court and fought on bravely but Gaultier had too much in the tank and the Frenchman held on to complete an 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 victory in 70 minutes – a win which will see him play World No.2 Ali Farag for a place in the final.

“I’m happy I managed to get back on court but after the accident it was not easy,” Gaultier said.

“It was tough to get the rhythm back but Im happy that after losing the second game I managed to find my length and my focus again.

“He is everywhere, he’s very skilful and moves around the court well so it is very difficult to put the ball away.”

[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 (70m)

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