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Malaysia's Nicol David

PSA World Champs - Day Four: As It Happens

Round three of the 2018-2019 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family concludes today, with all of the action now taking place at Chicago's Union Station.

Action begins at 12:00 local time (UTC-6) when New Zealand's World No.3 Joelle King faces Hong Kong's Joey Chan for a place in the quarter-finals. They are followed on court by Germany's Simon Rosner and Spain's Borja Golan in the first men's match of the day.

Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David will also be in action, she’s up against France’s World No.5 Camille Serme for a place in the last four at her final PSA World Championships.

Matches from the glass court inside Union Station will be live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and Facebook (excluding Europe and Japan).

Can't watch the action? You can also follow the live scores from Union Station.


King Reigns Supreme Against Chan

New Zealand’s World No.3 Joelle King is through to the PSA World Championships quarter-finals after defeating Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in straight-games in Chicago.

It was the Kiwi’s first appearance at Union Station, after winning her first two rounds at the side courts at the University Club of Chicago and King did not disappoint as she displayed a controlled performance to take out Chan.

King took the opening two games, before a change of momentum saw Chan begin to mount a comeback in the third to push it all the way to a tie-break. However, the experience of King paid off to close out an 11-7, 11-9, 15-13 victory in 31 minutes.

“It was nice to be out on the glass today,” said the 30-year-old.

“Obviously, coming from the University courts it was the first time I have played out here today and it’s nice to feel the vibe of everyone here. We play in a similar venue at the Tournament of Champions, which is one of my favourites, so I’m hoping this is going to become one my favourites too.

“We all know it’s cold outside and I thought that could change the conditions, so I thought it would be like that in here, but it felt pretty warm and the ball gets taken in well and it’s nice to get another one under the belt.

“That last game, can always be the horror game when you are 2-0 up because if you lose that game then it can give your opponent a bit of momentum, so I was pleased that I was able to close it out in the end.”

[4] Joelle King (NZL) bt [18] Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 15-13 (31m)

Rösner Survives Golan Test

Germany’s World No.4 Simon Rösner was forced to call upon his big-game experience to prevail in a tough five-game battle with Spain’s former World No.5 Borja Golan inside Chicago’s Union Station.

The German had won the last five encounters against the 36-year-old Spaniard, with Golan’s last victory over Rösner coming all the way back in 2011. However, the World No.4 did not get all of his own way today as Golan executed his game plan to near perfection to disrupt the higher seeded player.

The experienced Golan took the first game to put Rösner under pressure, before the German fought back to level the scores.

Rösner once again found himself go behind in the third as he struggled to contain Golan, who had his tactics spot on to cause problems.

However, in the end the experience of Rösner on the big occasion seemed to be the crucial difference as he closed out a 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-5 in a gruelling 93-minutes.

“He was really effective with his game plan today,” said 31-year-old Rösner.

“I don’t know what really happened in the first three, but I was unable to hit the ball into the front corners and he was so accurate in the back corners. He really controlled the pace and controlled me, so all credit to him. I was happy that once the ball got a bit colder that I was able to attack into the front and I think that made a difference from the fourth onwards.

“I was really tense throughout the whole five games and even though he is around 25 in the world, he was incredible today and I have the upmost respect for him.

“I’ve had my best results in the US, so of course that’s something that’s in the back of your mind. Each point, each game and each match is different so you’ve just got to be at your best throughout.”

[3] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-5 (93m)

Serme Ends David’s Final World Champs

France’s World No.5 Camille Serme put an end to eight-time World Champion Nicol David’s final PSA World Championships campaign after she defeated her, 3-1, to reach the quarter-final stage.

David announced that this season would be her last on the PSA Tour last week, following a glittering career that saw her sit atop the women’s World Rankings for nine years and claimed the prestigious World Championship trophy eight times.

Up until the 2017 Hong Kong Open, Serme had never beaten the Malaysian with David claiming 16 victories on their head-to-head record going into the encounter and Serme winning just two.

It looked as though the Malaysian had got off to the perfect start after coming out of the blocks firing to take the first game. However, Serme soon settled into her game plan to seize control of the match and claim a 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 victory.

“It feels a bit strange to be honest,” said the Frenchwoman.

“She beat me so many times and of course she is a legend and it’s an honour to be her last match at the World Championships. She’s such a fighter, even in the last game, I was 6-0 up, I had really good length and she came out firing and I thought she could come back, so I had to push really hard.

“She used to be called “Duracell” because she was physically so strong and I think that’s why the top girls push themselves so hard because she was so physical. She’s so fair as well, she never cheats and she will always say ‘good shot’, it’s just so enjoyable to play against her.”

“It’s been so great to be part of this major event,” said David following the match.

“It’s our first $1 million event and I got a chance to play in it, which is great.

“Squash has come a long way, so to get this far is a thrill for me. With my last Worlds I gave it my all and I’ll take whatever I got and I really enjoyed my match today.”

[5] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [13] Nicol David (MAS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (41m)

Coll Through to Quarters

New Zealand’s World No.6 Paul Coll secured a quarter-final berth at the PSA World Championships after defeating Egypt’s Fares Dessouky in four games.

Dessouky has only just returned to action on the PSA Tour following an ACL injury and the Egyptian ensured Coll was made to work hard to get through to the last eight stage in Chicago.

Coll started strongly to take the first two games, before Dessouky hit his stride to take the third and make the match more interesting.

The fourth game saw a tight affair with both players constantly exchanging points before Coll managed to close it out to win 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8 and reach his second successive quarter-finals.

“It was a tough match today,” said Coll following his match.

“When he came back at me I just had to keep my cool and I knew that if I could stick to that then I could get the win. It was a bit edgy at stages, but I’m just really happy to get over the line and looking forward to my match on Thursday.

“I knew I had to keep my intensity high and not get passive, and I felt like I really did that at the start and then dropped off a bit at the end of the fourth.

“It’s the biggest stage, so I’m pumped to go one more. It would be a dream come true to reach the last four of the World Championships. I’ve just got to mentally prepare and relax and I’m looking forward to Thursday.”

[7] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [13] Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8 (71m)

Evans Wins Battle of Brits

Wales World No.11 Tesni Evans secured a place in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships for the second season running after winning the battle of the Brits against England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

The last two times the players have met on the PSA Tour saw both matches go to five games, with one win apiece. However, today’s match saw a much more straightforward affair in favour of the Welshwoman.

Perry was featuring in her first PSA tournament since returning from elbow surgery and it was Evans who got off to the brighter start as she started quickly to find her accuracy and claim a 2-0 advantage against an out of sorts Perry.

However, as the game wore on the Englishwoman hit her stride and got a foothold back into the match by taking the third game. It was Evans who eventually triumphed though, seeing out the fourth to take an 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 victory.

“That’s probably the weirdest game of squash I’ve ever played in my life!” said Evans.

“She had a really slow start and I came out fast, which was good, everything was good and then at 2-0 up I was thinking that I’d almost won the game. If I know anything SJ is probably the one person that I have lost to about a million times from 2-0 up, so that crossed my mind.

“I’m over the moon that I came through in the end.

“It’s such a mental battle on there, I know that SJ has been out for a while so that was on my mind but she can always find a way back.

“It’s a pretty cool venue, I’ve been playing over at MetroSquash, but I was really looking forward to playing here and I’m glad I get that opportunity again.”

[10] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (45m)

Ghosal Makes His Way Through to the Quarters

India’s World No.11 Saurav Ghosal came out on top in a tough battle with Welshman Joel Makin to reach the quarter-finals of the prestigious PSA World Championships for just the second time in his career.

The Indian was forced to work hard for his victory, with Makin challenging Ghosal every step of the way, however, it was Ghosal who triumphed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championships for the first time since 2013.

A tight first game went in the favour of the Welshman, before Ghosal battled back to take the next two games.

Makin caused problems for the Indian at the start of the fourth, however, it was not enough to prevent Ghosal from coming back and eventually closing out the match 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 14-12.

“I want to congratulate Joel on coming back first,” said the 32-year-old.

“He had the most unfortunate injury at the Tournament of Champions, he went over on his ankle and he wasn’t even sure that he was going to play this event. What he’s done to come back and be able to play like this is unbelievable.

“Before this match started, I felt nervous through the day. I’m 32, I’ve been on the Tour for about 14 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt this nervous and I’ve played a lot of big matches. Today, I was trying to stay calm but it was hard.

“At 2-1 up and down in the fourth, I just told myself that I’ve done a lot of work in the past month, I’ve recovered from my calf injury and I could see that he changed his game plan a little bit at the beginning of the fourth and I almost felt disappointed in myself that I couldn’t stay with him at the start of that fourth.

“I just told myself to knuckle down and work as hard as possible and stay positive. Luck plays a big part, it happens that I got a good run of points and it was still nip and tuck in the end.

“It was really tough, but this is the World Championships last 16 and to make the last eight, it’s not going to be easy and I pushed really hard with my mind.”

[11] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 14-12 (80m)

El Sherbini Triumphs in Five-Game Thriller

Egypt’s two-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini prevailed in an epic five-game battle with the only US home hope Amanda Sobhy to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships.

El Sherbini was on the brink of exiting the tournament in the early stages after Sobhy took a 2-1 lead, however, the ‘Warrior Princess’ ensured that she lived on to fight another day in Chicago as she claimed a 10-12, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 victory.

A tight first game went in favour of Sobhy, before former World No.1 El Sherbini battled back in the second in a quickfire game to take it 11-3 and level the scores.

The momentum completely swung once again in the third game, as Sobhy got off to a rapid start to take an 8-0 lead, before taking it 11-4. However, from then on El Sherbini utilised her experience of the big stage to conquer the only remaining American in the tournament and take a thrilling 3-2 victory.

She will now face Welshwoman Tesni Evans for a place in the semi-finals in Chicago.

“I’m really happy to win this match,” said the 23-year-old Egyptian.

“Every time I play Amanda since she came back from injury, this is the third time and every match is getting better and better. This time was the toughest one and I didn’t want to leave the tournament that early, so I had to fight until the end and I’m really glad I won this one.

“I just tried to put the ball back deep into the corners and attack more, but I think she was also doing the same.”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [11] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 10-12, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 (52m)

Farag Downs Compatriot Hesham

Egypt’s soon-to-be World No.1 Ali Farag continued his strong performances in Chicago after he downed compatriot Mazen Hesham in straight-games to reach the last eight.

Farag is yet to drop a single game in the tournament, with him slowly no signs of slowing down as he comfortably opened up a 2-0 lead over Hesham.

The young Egyptian shot-maker tried to throw everything at Farag in the third, however, it proved to be too late as the World No.2 claimed an 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 win in 36 minutes.

He will now face New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the next round on Thursday.

“I’m lucky that he didn’t start firing in the first two,” said 26-year-old Farag.

“He threw some shots at me in the third, we just played each other in Cairo last week and he beat me 3-0 very convincingly, so I knew I had to be up for it today. Mazen now, with Ramy being injured, is definitely the most talented players that are here, so you always have to be wary of him.

“I did my homework and studied him well and I think it paid off.

“Two of my three biggest titles have come on US soil – first with the US Open with Nour and then last month the ToC which got me to that number one spot. I have great memories here and hopefully it’s going to be a third one.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (36m)

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