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Mohamed ElShorbagy takes to the court for this quarter final match this evening

El Gouna International - Day Eight: As It Happens

The quarter finals of the El Gouna International continue this evening, with the bottom half of the men’s and women’s draw taking to the glass court at Abu Tig Marina.

The day’s play begins at 18:30 local time (GMT+2) as World No.4 Camille Serme takes on World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry in a clash between Europe’s top two players.

Following that, men’s World No.6 Karim Abdel Gawad will take on the reigning El Gouna champion, Marwan ElShorbagy, for a place in the last four.

The two World No.2s also play this evening, as Nour El Sherbini takes on compatriot Nouran Gohar, and Mohamed ElShorbagy faces wildcard Fares Dessouky.

Join us here for reports and reaction, or watch the glass court action LIVE on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) or the PSA World Tour Facebook page (excluding Europe & Japan).

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Schedule
(All times are local GMT+2)

Serme Fights Back to Defeat Perry

Camille Serme (right) in action against Sarah-Jane Perry

Camille Serme was the first winner on day eight of the El Gouna International, after she came from behind to beat England’s Sarah-Jane Perry.

The pair had met nine times on the PSA World Tour previously, with the Frenchwoman having won seven of those, including a victory at the 2015 PSA Women’s World Championships.

The first game was nip-and-tuck, until Serme found her stride to go 10-6 up. However, Perry saved five game balls as it went through to a lengthy tie-break, with the World No.6 taking it 14-12.


The second game had the same feel to start, but it was Perry that took the lead late on. However, Serme returned the favour, and took it to another tie-break which saw the Englishwoman save two more game balls, but Serme levelled the match with a 13-11 scoreline in the second.

The third and fourth were much more simple for the World No.4, as she took big leads in both, including a string of nine points in ten in the third, winning out to book her places in the El Gouna semi finals.

“I knew I had the right tactic because I was leading in the first game, but I tried not to panic. Of course, she came back strongly but I knew what I had to do and I tried to stick to it,” Serme said.

“It was a big battle physically. I think physically, I could feel that she was getting tired with long rallies, so I was trying to force myself to have long rallies even though I was losing them. I had to try and make her tired, and maybe that helped in the end.

“I am very excited, obviously, to be in the semis. I lost in the quarters last year to [Nour El] Sherbini, so I am very happy to be back in the last four and I am looking forward to it.

“I think I do have the right tactic [to beat Sherbini], it is just a few details that I have been working on. I have been watching each loss on video and hopefully tomorrow can be the good one.”

Result
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 12-14, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10 (61m)

Gawad Downs The Defending Champ

Karim Abdel Gawad (left) and Marwan ElShorbagy in action

Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad is into the semi finals of the El Gouna International after knocking out defending champion Marwan ElShorbagy.

A year ago to the day, ElShorbagy got the better of him in the quarter finals, but this time, it was the World No.6 who took the victory in straight games.

It was a high-quality affair, which Gawad started strongly. He had a 9-3 lead in the first, but allowed the ‘Jackal’ back into it, as he reeled off five straight points. However, Gawad was able to sneak over the line.

The second was much closer all the way, and eventually went to a tie-break. The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ used a lot of variation to deceive ElShorbagy to double his lead in the match.


The third was slightly more comfortable for Gawad, who took it 11-6 to seal victory, and book his place in the last four. He will face another Egyptian, in either Mohamed ElShorbagy or Fares Dessouky tomorrow evening.

“It was very tough. 3-0 against someone like Marwan means a lot to me as he is a very tough opponent. I am really happy to see him back and really happy with my performance today.

“I am really happy with a 3-0 win tonight. He is very smart on court and he can come back easily so winning in three means a lot to me.

“We played last year in the same conditions here and he won 3-0. As I said, he is very smart on court and he can adapt easily in any weather and any conditions.

“I really wanted to win today and I really wanted to be in the semis here. I had to push as much as I can and be aware what was going on as he is very smart, so I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s match.

“I have very happy memories [of Gouna]. Reaching the finals and reaching World No.1 here in Egypt is a huge memory for me that I can never forget. Playing in Egypt is always different for me, wherever it is, in Gouna or Cairo. It is a great thing for me and I am always happy to playing a tournament here in Egypt.”

Result
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (43m)

Gohar Shocks Sherbini To Reach Semis

Nouran Gohar (left) overcame Nour El Sherbini

Nouran Gohar is into the semi finals of the El Gouna International after she took a surprise victory over World Champion Nour El Sherbini.

The pair had met ten times before this clash, but Gohar’s only victory had come in their very first meeting, back at the 2014 Women’s World Championships.

The World No.7 started the stronger of the two players, as she used her power to dictate the pace of play, and took control of the middle of the court.

She won the first game 11-9, but Sherbini came back to win the second by the same scoreline to level the match up. However, Gohar battled back once more to take another lead in the match, winning the third 11-7.

The World No.2 then took a self-inflicted injury break in the fourth game, as she rolled her ankle. It did not seem to hinder her though as she came from behind to win the fourth and stay in the match.

21-year-old Gohar then took advantage in the fifth, building a big lead, but Sherbini rallied to level the game and take it into a tie-break. It was not to be, though, as Gohar won it 12-10 to secure her place in the semi finals, and a match-up with Camille Serme.

“It feels amazing. The only other time I beat her was our first meeting and that was in Egypt as well, it is my lucky place.

“I am really pleased with it. It was a really tough match which could have gone either way. I gave my best and she gave her best so I am really pleased with it.

“I expected her to come back. She was not going to leave it like that, even when I was 9-5 up in the last game. I was sure she was going to get everything and she was playing as if it was 0-0 or something. She is a true fighter and I really respect her for that.

“I am going to rest right now. I will put the plan together with my coach tomorrow morning and I am really enjoying it out here at the glass court actually. I am really going to enjoy playing in front of the Egyptian crowd again as well.”

Result
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 (74m)

Dessouky Stuns ElShorbagy to Reach First Platinum Semi Since ACL Injury

Fares Dessouky (left) v Mohamed ElShorbagy (right)

Egypt’s World No.42 Fares Dessouky claimed a huge scalp over World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach his first PSA World Tour Platinum semi-final since tearing his ACL back in November 2017.

Dessouky has reached the semi-finals of the El Gouna International on two previous occasions, and he will aim to reach his maiden Platinum final after getting the best of ElShorbagy by a 15-13, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 scoreline.

The 24-year-old – who was given a wildcard spot for this tournament – had succumbed to ElShorbagy in all three of their previous matches on the PSA Tour but battled to victory in a back-and-forth opening game, in which both players held multiple game balls.

He played some intelligent squash in the second to take a surprise 2-0 lead. However, ElShorbagy is often at his best when his back is against the wall, and the 2016 El Gouna International champion came back in the third to reduce the arrears after an error-strewn performance from Dessouky.

Dessouky was able to get himself back in front in the fourth as he took the ball well on the volley to keep a rattled ElShorbagy at arm’s length. ElShorbagy came back to level at 9-9, but Dessouky kept his composure to complete a massive win.

Dessouky’s win guarantees a new men’s champion, and he will take on 2017 runner-up Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the title decider. World No.2 Ali Farag and World No.3 Tarek Momen will go head-to-head in the other all-Egyptian final.

“I'm happy to say to everyone that I'm back playing at a high level,” said Dessouky.

“Mentally as well, I was good today, I feel I'm playing better than before. I'm really happy to beat Mohamed today, it was a really tough match, especially after 14 months out injured.

“When you play somebody of Mohamed’s calibre, you have to go for a lot of shots. And it’s not easy to find the balance between a safe game and an attacking game. I lost twice against him doing the same thing but just making too many errors.

“I love playing in Egypt, I feel like the people here love me, and I give my best here. I'm playing in front of my family and friends, this is something incredible, and I'm happy to be here in El Gouna one more time to play on this beautiful court.

“The last time [against Gawad] was 3-2, it was a tough match. It was my second tournament back, so hopefully I will play better tomorrow and win the game.”

Results
[WC] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 15-13, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 (61m)

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