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Paul Coll

Oracle NetSuite Open Semi-Finals: Player Reaction

The semi-finals of the 2021 Oracle NetSuite Open takes place at the spectacular Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco today, and you can stay up to date with all the reaction from those in action on the glass court right here.

Mohamed ElShorbagy and Paul Coll get things underway in the semi-finals, with the pair on court at 18:45 (GMT-7). The other men’s match sees World No.1 Ali Farag take on compatriot Mostafa Asal for a place in the final.

The first women’s match features the two surprise winners from quarter-finals night, as World No.9 Salma Hany takes on World No.8 Joelle King. US No.1 Amanda Sobhy and English No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry take each other on in the final match of the evening.

SQUASHTV – and ON Sport for viewers in Egypt – are the only places to watch all the action from the glass unfold.

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We will bring you the results and all of the latest player reaction right here. Play starts at 18:45 local time (GMT-7).

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

Order of Play
Times are local GMT-7

Coll Downs ElShorbagy To Make Final

New Zealand’s Paul Coll is into another final, after defeating Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy in the semis of the Oracle NetSuite Open in a three-game duel that lasted more than an hour.

In what is now the longest match of the tournament so far, it was ‘the Beast from Alexandria’ that took the early advantage, thanks to some hard hitting in the opening game.

However, Coll fought back after going a game down. The Kiwi, who defeated ElShorbagy in the semi-finals of the British Open, en route to his first major title, came back to take the second 11-7, before holding off the former World No.1 to advance to the final in San Francisco, winning 2-1 in 63 minutes.

“I am extremely proud. I have a lot of respect for Mohamed. He has given me so many beatings. I try to learn lot from him, he is a class player so I am very happy to get that win,” Coll said.

“Extremely tough conditions, you have to pay so much attention too every shot and put a lot of effort into getting down into the corners, getting under the ball. A lot of mental effort and super happy!

“I want to be at that level, like the top guys, where you can adapt to any court. I don’t want my game to juts suit one conditions, I want to adapt my game to every court, and play well at every tournament. It is the consistency I train for, it is the consistency I want, so it is very rewarding to get a good win in some tricky conditions.”

[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 2-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 (63m)

Hany Beats King To Advance

A day after getting the better of World No.2 Nouran Gohar, Egypt’s World No.9 Salma Hany is into the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open, as she got the better of New Zealand’s Joelle King.

The Egyptian was on form from the off, starting by taking the first four points, and although King was able to bring it back to level terms through the mid-point of the game, Hany was then able to move away again and take it 11-8.

The World No.9 continued that momentum in the second game, and she was consistently in front of the Kiwi throughout. She needed just 23 minutes to secure her spot in Monday’s final in San Francisco, where she will face either Amanda Sobhy or Sarah-Jane Perry.

“It feels really amazing. Just getting out here and playing on this court, and in front of this crowd is a real pleasure. I just kept telling myself to just think about this special moment, enjoy my game, enjoying this venue and this city. As I told you yesterday, I don’t wanna go home, so I am glad I made it to the final,” the Egyptian said.

“I was just really enjoying sharing the court with Joelle. She is an amazing player, a fair player and I am sorry that it ended in not a very nice way, but she was coming back really strong in the second game and I am just glad I managed to close it.

“Obviously it was a great opportunity for both of us, of course. Both of us wanted to make it to the finals and I just tried to keep my head. The opportunity that I got to enjoy another day on this court, so I was just trying to make the most of it and not try to think about the result or the score. I think I managed to do that quite well today and yeah, it went good!

“I’m just going to recover, have a good meal and watch some Netflix actually. I am just really glad to play in front of you guys again tomorrow. It has been a real honour, and I have a couple of fans who came to watch me today and I am glad that I made them proud. it really means a lot that you guys cheer me on and I will look forward to it again tomorrow!”

[6] Salma Hany (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 2-0: 11-8, 11-8 (23m)

Farag Through After Asal Retires With Shoulder Injury

World No.1 Ali Farag is into the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco after defeating compatriot Mostafa Asal in a wonderful three-game battle.

The match ended with Farag on match ball, after Asal injured his right shoulder whilst diving across court to retrieve one of Farag’s forehand drives.

Prior to that, the pair had played some exquisite squash, with Farag taking the first game, before Asal took the second. The World No.1 then won the first seven points of the third game. The ‘Raging Bull’ threatened a comeback, before the injury occurred, with the Egyptian having to retire from the match at 10-5 down.

“It is terrible, I hate to see such a thing, especially if I am on court with him. Five or six years ago, Nour [El Tayeb, Farag’s wife] tore her labrum in the shoulder diving on court, so I hope it is nothing even remotely as serious,” Farag said.

I hope it is just a spasm which will go away the next day because Mostafa is such a brilliant player for the Tour. He is a top, top player at the age of 20. When you were introducing him, I was in awe in what he has achieved by the age of 20 already, he is a brilliant player. We leave it all out there on court, the very last rally shows it all really, and I really hope it is nothing serious.

“You play by instinct on this court. It is hard to have a set gameplay because of how dead it is but you have to hit it a bit higher than the norm just to hit the back corners, and when you have the opportunity, you have to take the ball in because this court is very honest. It really takes the ball in so I tried to do that but it is not easy because he also does the same thing, right! It is never easy, I got off to a good start but then he came back strong. I was worried until the very end but again, I am terribly sorry about the way it had to end.

“To be honest, his [Paul Coll’s] match with Mohamed [ElShorbagy] today is one of the matches of the season. The season is still very young but it is one of the matches of the season. Tactically and in terms of accuracy they were spot on, the fighting spirit of both, the spirit and sportsmanship they played with. Everything was spot on and I was watching, like you guys, and I was enjoying it big time. Paul, we have had a lot of battles recently. He beat my at the British Open, I then beat him in Egypt and Paul, you know how it is going to be. It is going to be tough, but you know it is going to be fair and clean. This is how I enjoy to play my matches and hopefully we give you guys a good show tomorrow.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 2-1: 11-8, 8-11, 10-5 rtd (52m)

Sobhy Into Final On Home Soil

US No.1 Amanda Sobhy put on a show for the crowd as she came through her semi-final with Sarah-Jane Perry unscathed, winning in straight games in less than 20 minutes.

The American, who had spent less than half an hour on court across her opening two matches, came out firing in the semis as well. She took the first 11-7 to the delight of the partizan crowd.

Sobhy carried that momentum into the second game, and although the English No.1 threatened a comeback, the World No.6 was able to withstand it, and book her place in the final against Salma Hany on Monday evening.

“I am feeling good, feeling fresh. It is not easy, but I just told myself to come out as fast as I could out of the blocks and to not let up. If I win, and it’s a short game then I would still have the reserves if it went to three. That first game was crucial so I tried to go as fast as I could, and thankfully it paid off,” Sobhy said.

“Movement has always been my biggest issue and having an injury like the Achilles, it gives you the amount of time to start from scratch and build from the ground up which I think I needed. The fact is that I had seven, eight months to do it. I told myself and my team that if I was going to come back, I wanted to do it properly. I wanted to be able to build the foundation from the ground up, build a good base and then go from there. At this top level, if you have any sort of weakness, it can get exposed pretty fast. I had to make sure that I focussed on it.

“I always say that challenges are a blessing in disguise. If you can get through it, it makes you stronger. I learned a lot from it, it made me appreciate what I do and it made me appreciate my body and take care of my health and wellbeing. I don’t take anything for granted, because at any time your Achilles can go!

“I will approach the final the same way. I will go about my business, control the things that I can control. She has been playing so well and I expect a battle. We have played a lot this season and each time it has been tough, so I expect nothing less!”

[2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-7, 11-8 (19m)

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