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Joelle King celebrates her big win


Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players who are battling it out for a place in the semi-finals today as the action heats up at the women’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open Platinum event.

Here’s the schedule
(All times are local – GMT+2)
17:30 [7] Joelle King (NZL) v [4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
18:15 [3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [6] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
19:15 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
20:00 [8] Salma Hany (EGY) v Olivia Clyne (USA)

You can catch all the action live from the Black Ball Sporting Club on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

King Takes Big Win Over El Hammamy

New Zealand's World No.8 Joelle King produced a formidable performance to take out 2020 CIB Black Ball Open champion Hania El Hammamy by an 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 scoreline in the quarter finals.

The Kiwi was on top of her game and did not put a foot wrong with her accurate hitting and ability to nullify World No.5 El Hammamy's usual attacking game.

She will face either World No.1 Nour El Sherbini or defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry for a place in the final.

“Hania is class, there’s no doubt she’s a class player,” said King to the SquashTV cameras afterwards.

“I’m ecstatic with that performance and to beat a player like her in three but the job’s not done, so I don’t want to relax too much and get too excited when I’ve got another match to play. It’s a good feeling but I just feel like it’s not done yet.

“I’m going to go and get some treatment, go back and relax. Talk to my team because they’re the people that are behind all of this for the last two years and have been picking me up when things haven’t been so good. I’m proud of the courage I had tonight to come out and express myself on court and fight until the last point. It’s a pretty good win.

“There’s been so many people that have been messaging me as I’ve been playing better and better and have kept the faith. Thank you to everyone back home that have stuck with me and hopefully there’s more to come.”

[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [4] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (47m)

Sobhy Comes Out on Top in Epic Serme Battle

USA’s World No.7 Amanda Sobhy pulled out the big performance when it mattered as she took out France’s World No.3 Camille Serme in a five game thriller to reach the semi-finals of the CIB Black Ball Open for the second time in a row.

A match which saw both players produce squash of the highest order saw Sobhy overturn nine game balls in the third to set up the foundations for a mighty performance and advance to the semi-finals by an 12-14, 11-4, 15-13, 9-11, 11-7 scoreline.

She will face either compatriot Olivia Clyne or Egypt’s Salma Hany in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

“With whatever brain cells are left I’ll try and form a sentence,” said a delighted Sobhy afterwards.

“Wow – how long was that? That’s the first time I’ve won a match over the 60 minute mark, so let’s go.

“I’ve been training really hard and mentally and physically I’m in a good place and so, I was actually really excited to go out there and show what I am capable of. I have a pretty bad record versus Camille, she got me on the physical part but I’ve been working really hard on it and I knew I could hang in there this time. If I was going to lose, I knew it was going to be because she beat me playing better, I didn’t want to lose because I was tired.

“I can’t believe I won that third game. It was just such a battle the whole time, I was telling myself to trust the work I’ve put in and go for it. I would have been disappointed in myself if I held back, especially in that third game and I thought ‘go and be fearless’. I enjoyed it, even though I feel like my legs are cramping up now.

“I have seven match balls, I was contemplating wanting to win on something flashy but then she started rallying back and I was like ‘no, we’re not having a revered third game’. So I thought I needed to play solid squash and just get the next point. She played some really good points at the end but I’m so glad I snuck it out at the end. It was an awesome match.”

Serme added:
“The idea is for me to approach events with a more relaxed attitude, which I managed to have today.

“I was enjoying the battle, it was a true physical and tactical battle, and each point, I was trying to analyse what I did wrong to amend it and make it better.

“It's never pleasant to lose a match, but I enjoyed it truly. As I told you yesterday, I'm not as fit as I normally am as I couldn't prepared as well because of the PRP treatments a few weeks ago, so at times, a bit short physically and lacking a bit of clarity in my reasoning and shot selection.

“But she played very well, and when you see Hania beaten by Joelle 3-0, you see the depth of the game.”

[6] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 12-14, 11-4, 15-13, 9-11, 11-7 (66m)

El Sherbini Sends Out Defending Champion Perry

Nour El Sherbini

Egypt's World No.1 Nour El Sherbini axed defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry by an 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6 scoreline to reach the semi-finals of the PSA Platinum event.

Perry has enjoyed good form on the Black Ball Sporting Club court, with her win in December one of the standout moments of the season, however, El Sherbini proved too strong today as she set up a semi-final with New Zealand's Joelle King tomorrow.

“It was a really tough one,” said El Sherbini afterwards.

“SJ loves playing here, she plays really well and she’s on top form now but I was really digging deep in every game and as you can see it was close until the end.

“I’m just taking it step by step, match by match. Every day it’s different and I’m in the semi-finals now, so I’m just going to focus on the next round and hopefully it goes well. I don’t want to be distracted and hopefully I’ll reach the end.”

Perry added:

“Well, I found the top of the tin or the middle of the court, and she found nicks and winners.

“I was close to playing well. I was half a step off the sharpness I needed to be today.

“When I was in good position in front of her, I was sort of devastating, but I was constantly half a step too far, and that was very frustrating because I was so close, but only returning the ball or scrapping it through.

“In the second, I got in front and I was able to put the ball in the front corners, but after that, she managed to get back in front. Like I said, I was not far off, but you do what you can on the day.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6 (46m)

Hany Reaches First Platinum Semi

Egypt’s World No.10 Salma Hany has reached her maiden PSA Platinum semi-final after beating USA No.2 Olivia Clyne 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 in 22 minutes.

Hany was in unstoppable form as she set up a semi-final showdown with Clyne’s countrywoman Amanda Sobhy tomorrow.

“It feels amazing,” said Hany to SquashTV afterwards.

“I’m very happy with my performance today. The score doesn’t tell the story, playing against Olivia – she is one of the closest people to me and to be able to come out there with this aggression and focus the whole match was really hard. She’s an amazing player, I knew how dangerous she is and I’m glad I stuck to my plan and came out with this performance.

“Amanda is an amazing player, playing two Americans in a row. Right now I’m going to focus on my recovery to be ready for tomorrow, I’m glad I went through this in three so I can have some energy tomorrow. I’m glad I get to play another day in front of my home crowd and hopefully it will be a good day.

“A lot of people have been texting me and supporting me and I really appreciate it. I’m very lucky to have a lot of people behind me, all my teammates, family and coaches supporting me. A lot of people are supporting me on the other side in Florida and back home in Alexandria. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

[8] Salma Hany (EGY) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 (22m)

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