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Nour El Sherbini

CIB Egyptian Open Semi-Finals: Player Reaction

The semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Open take place tonight in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza.

The top four seeds are through to the semis in both draws, with World No.1s Nour El Sherbini and Ali Farag both aiming to move through to the final and continue the defence of the crowns they won in 2020.

El Sherbini starts the night’s action against Frenchwoman Camille Serme, while Ali Farag will play Kiwi Paul Coll in a repeat of the British Open final. Mohamed ElShorbagy and Tarek Momen face off in the other men’s match, while USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy takes on World No.2 Nouran Gohar.

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We will bring you the results and all of the latest player reaction right here. Play starts at 18:15 local time (GMT+2).

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

Order of Play
Times are local GMT+2

El Sherbini Through After Serme Retires With Injury

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini continued the defence of her CIB Egyptian Open title, moving through to the final of the 2021 edition of the tournament after Frenchwoman Camille Serme had to retire through injury.

El Sherbini came flying out of the traps in the opening game, knowing Serme was coming into the contest with an Achilles problem anyway. She took it 11-2, but ‘La Panthere’ showed her fighting qualities to take the second to tie the match.

The World No.1 then took the third game to the loss of just a single point, before Serme started fighting back in the fourth game as well. She led 9-8, before a sudden movement saw her fall to the floor in pain, clutching her left leg. She was unable to carry on, with El Sherbini taking the match and booking her place in the final.

Camille Serme receives treatment on court

“It is the worst ending of any match and you never want to win the match like this. I am really sorry for Camille, she has been injured in the last tournament and she didn’t have the chance to compete in the British Open and injuries is the worst enemy for any player,” the World No.1 said.

“I am very sorry for her and hopefully it is not too bad and she will recover and come back soon.

“It depends on the court conditions and your opponent. I was playing well, the whole match, even at the end, and I was still happy with my performance.”

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [3] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1: 11-2, 8-11, 11-1, 8-9 retired (43m)

ElShorbagy Downs Momen In Three

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy is through to the final of the CIB Egyptian Open after he overcame former World Champion Tarek Momen in straight games in the first men’s semi-final of the evening.

Mohamed ElShorbagy

It was Momen who took the first four points of the contest, but the ‘Beast from Alexandria’ fought back, winning 11 of the next 13 to claim the first game, and he carried that momentum into the second, not allowing ‘the Viper’ to come into the game.

The third saw Momen start well again, but the World No.2 was able to come back, winning it 11-8 to book his place in the final in front of the Pyramids, as he aims to win one of the very few titles he does not yet have to his name.

“The conditions were very tough for both of us. Every player has a condition that they don’t like, and I know that Tarek doesn’t really like the outdoor courts and it is fine. I don’t like certain other conditions, but I know these are his least favourite conditions,” ElShorbagy said.

“I knew I had to start sharp, be aggressive and get a good lead in each game, which I definitely didn’t in the first. In both the first and the third, I had to fight my way back and to get off in three against a quality player like Tarek, in the semi-final of a major, is obviously an ideal scenario. I am really pleased.

“It is my first time back here since 2016. [I have] probably won every other major in my career, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on this trophy. The top players always raise their game at the end of the tournament, so I will give it everything I can for the final tomorrow!”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (42m)

Gohar Sets Up Rematch Of 2020 Final

Nouran Gohar

World No.2 Nouran Gohar is through to the final of the CIB Egyptian Open, where she will face World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, in a repeat of last year’s final in front of the Pyramids.

The different styles in play were apparent from the off as Sobhy used the forehand boast to her advantage. However, Gohar was able to implement her power hitting game to take control of the contest.

After taking the first 11-9, winning the last two points to seal it, Gohar then had the momentum which she took through the next two games, sealing the victory in under half an hour.

“Amanda has been on Tour for so long. I remember she won a World Junior Championship when I was maybe 15, or something. She is very experienced on Tour and it is really tricky to play against her. She is very skilful, she doesn’t give up easily so it was tough out there, for sure,” Gohar said.

“Not only last year, but we [herself and Nour El Sherbini] have been playing since the final of El Gouna. [Then] World Championships, British Open, all the big stages, and I am just happy that we are playing another one here, in Egypt.

“It is very special in front of the Pyramids. It is a very special match, and I think it is a treat for the crowd to watch it, so I am delighted to be playing against her again tomorrow.”

[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (28m)

Farag Survives Coll Test To Make Final

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Just three weeks after their battle in the final of the British Open, Ali Farag took on Paul Coll once again, this time in the semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Open and the Egyptian got revenge.

The pair battled it out for just under 70 minutes, with lengthy rallies, and plenty of changes of pace due to the conditions on the Giza Plateau. Farag took the first, but he allowed Coll to come back into the contest, with the Kiwi taking the second game on a tie-break after winning four straight points and saving two game balls.

From there, though, Farag was able to maintain some control, winning the third 11-4, before then holding an advantage for the majority of the fourth game. He took it 11-9 to book his place in tomorrow’s final, one step closer to retaining the trophy he claimed twelve months ago.

“I did have a plan and I think I executed most of it, but with the conditions, I had to adapt, and so did he. The wind keeps getting harder every night. tonight, especially on the forehand side, you would think that you would be able to hit it properly, but then it fell off rapidly.

“We both had to adapt to it and to mix the pace, and I was very annoyed with myself for losing that second game. I gave him a very cheap return of serve in the tin at 9-10, to get him back to 10-all. That changed the dynamic of the match completely. 2-0 to 1-1 would have been totally different.

“But then, I am happy that I contained myself and came back in the third strong, and then the fourth, thankfully I scraped through.

“[On the warm-up shirt] This amazing young boy, Yassin Kouritam. He is an amazing champion on court, but mostly off court, and his entire family are loved by every single person here in Egypt, in the squash community. His dad, his mum, his siblings, we have so much affection for them. He is going through a tough time, but we have no doubt that he is going to be out of it very soon, and we are cheering him on from here.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [4] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9 (69m)

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