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Tournament of Champions RD3: El Sherbini Comes Through Blatchford Clyne Battle

A relieved Nour El Sherbini secured her place in the quarter finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after she was pushed in a thrilling four-game battle with USA No.2 Olivia Blatchford Clyne.

Four time World Champion El Sherbini’s record against Blatchford Clyne was 6-0 going into this match, but the tenacious American put on a brave performance to save five match balls before a slightly out of sorts El Sherbini was able to convert.

The World No.17 got off to a strong start as she troubled El Sherbini with her intelligent play before the World No.2 took the lead on the tie-break, before going two games up after the second.

Blatchford Clyne came out fighting in the third to take a fully deserved game as she punished any errors and loose shots from the racket of the Egyptian to get a foothold back into the match. The American once again started strongly in the fourth as she went 9-6 up before some errors proved costly as El Sherbini was able to draw back level.

A titanic tussle to the end ensued with El Sherbini not able to convert any of her five match balls attempts as Blatchford Clyne just kept finding a way back, until finally the composure in the big moments shone through for defending champion El Sherbini to close out 14-12, 11-8, 6-11, 16-14 in 53 minutes.

El Sherbini will face England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarter finals tomorrow.

“Olivia didn’t put a foot wrong – she was doing everything well,” said El Sherbini afterwards.

“All of her shots were going in. You have to be ready for these kind of matches and try to win even if you don’t know what’s going on inside the court. I just tried to be mentally switched on and keep pushing until the end.”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) 3-1: 14-12, 11-8, 6-11, 16-14 (53m)

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