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Nour El Tayeb (left) in action against Nour El Sherbini (right)

World Tour Finals: El Tayeb Shocks El Sherbini to Reach Final

Egypt’s World No.4 Nour El Tayeb got the CIB PSA World Tour Finals semi-finals under way with a shock result as she came from a game down to take out World Champion Nour El Sherbini.

El Tayeb has been in strong form since the tour restarted after the six-month suspension due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, winning the Manchester Open title last month. However it’s not been plain sailing for her on home turf as she scrapped through to the last four thanks to USA’s Amanda Sobhy beating France’s Camille Serme in Group B last night.

However, it wasn’t luck that saw her claim just her sixth win over her compatriot tonight as she showcased her mental strength to break the hold of El Sherbini and book her place in her second successive final.

El Sherbini was in complete control in the first game, with El Tayeb struggling to read her and being forced into a retrieval game by the four-time World Champion. El Tayeb soon settled, however, to draw level in the second before completely dominating in the third with her skilful shot making coming to the fore, coupled by a number of uncharacteristic mistakes from El Sherbini.

El Tayeb will face either Hania El Hammamy or Joelle King in the final tomorrow.

“We hear the commentary before the match,” said El Tayeb afterwards.

“And throughout the 10 minutes before the match, I could hear how Nour El Sherbini is the favourite, how she’s unbeatable this tournament, which actually made me relax a bit and I was thinking it might put her under a little bit of pressure. It didn’t show in the first game though as she was killing me! One thing I’ve learned from Ali and my coach, Hossam, is that you are ok to be outplayed by some players.

“I didn’t do much wrong, I just couldn’t read her, she was playing around with me and I just told myself that I wanted to hang in there and try to play as well as I can and make it a bit physical. I’m glad she changed the ball from the warm-up because it was very dead and I was thanking my lucky stars that she did. I’m very happy with my performance, my family is here and my sister is coming and watching me every day.

“I’ve never made it to any final in Egypt before, I never really play well here. And especially after yesterday, I went back to the hotel and ordered junk food because I thought I was out and then I watched Amanda [Sobhy] and she did it. I’m very lucky and I’m grateful.”

[2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-1: 5-11, 11-6, 11-3 (30m)

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