The semi-finals of the U.S. Open presented by Truist take place today, with action beginning at 18:00 (GMT-4) at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia with places in the finals up for grabs.
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini kicks things off on semi-finals night, and she will face Hania El Hammamy in the only all-Egyptian contest of the evening. The tournament’s surprise package, unseeded Olivia Fiechter, will have the home crowd behind her as she takes on World No.2 Nouran Gohar in the other match.
The top three in the world all dropped out of the men’s draw on Monday, leaving World No.4 Tarek Momen as the highest-ranked player. He takes on Welshman Joel Makin, who downed the World No.1, while Mostafa Asal and Diego Elias will do battle in the other semi-final.
You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.
Here’s the Order of Play
(All times are local – GMT-4)
Nour El Sherbini v Hania El Hammamy
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini continues her quest for a first U.S. Open title with her semi-final against compatriot, and World No.6 Hania El Hammamy, in the first match of this evening’s action.
The pair have met five times previously on the PSA World Tour, dating back to their first battle in January 2018 at the Saudi Women’s Squash Masters. El Sherbini has claimed victory in four of those five contests, including in their most recent meeting, in the semis of the El Gouna International earlier this year.
The ‘Warrior Princess’ has flown through her first three matches of the tournament in Philadelphia after receiving a bye through the opening round. She has gotten the better of Tsz-Wing Tong, Nadine Shahin and Melissa Alves, all in straight games, and has spent less than 70 minutes on court in total.
Meanwhile, Hania El Hammamy has been on court for an hour longer in total, and started her campaign in the second round against Scotland’s Lisa Aitken. She downed Nada Abbas in a four-game battle in the last 16, before beating New Zealand’s Joelle King to make it into the last four.
El Sherbini is the #1 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings thanks to her current imperious form, and their algorithms expect her to beat El Hammamy this evening in Philadelphia.
Can the World No.1 continue her quest for a first U.S. Open crown? Or can El Hammamy cause an upset and beat the ‘Warrior Princess’ for only the second time in her career?
Mostafa Asal v Diego Elias
The first men’s match of the evening sees two players who took out top three seeds in the quarter-finals, as Mostafa Asal takes on Diego Elias for a place in the final of the U.S. Open.
This will be just the second meeting between the ‘Raging Bull’ and the ‘Peruvian Puma’ on the Tour, with Asal having come out victorious in a five-game thriller at the 2019 El Gouna International.
After receiving a bye through to the second round, Elias then got the better of England’s Adrian Waller in straight games. He overcame Germany’s Raphael Kandra in the third round, before causing a quarter-final upset, defeating World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy in four games.
Compared to Elias’ 125 minutes on court, Asal has spent 229 minutes on court, starting with a straight games victory over Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu, before then needing five-games and 77 minutes to get the better of Frenchman Baptiste Masotti. His quarter-final with Paul Coll lasted 103 minutes, with the Egyptian winning in four mammoth games.
The pair struggle to be separated on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, currently occupying the #3 and #4 spots. According to their algorithms, the match is split 50/50 as to who comes out with the win this evening.
Can Asal make his way into another final in 2021? Or can Elias tame the ‘Raging Bull’ for the first time?
Olivia Fiechter v Nouran Gohar
The surprise package of the tournament has been USA’s Olivia Fiechter, and her first Platinum semi-final will see her take on World No.2 Nouran Gohar on Tuesday evening, in what will be the first meeting between the pair on Tour.
Fiechter is the only player who featured in the first round to make it this far, and she started her campaign against Egypt’s Menna Hamed, winning in straight games. She then beat Donna Lobban in just 20 minutes, before taking out compatriot, and World No.3, Amanda Sobhy to make the last eight. Fiechter downed Belgium’s Nele Gilis to reach the semis.
Gohar received a bye through to the second round, and is yet to drop a game in the tournament so far. She got the better of USA’s Sabrina Sobhy in the second round, before then taking out the English duo of Alison Waters and Sarah-Jane Perry to make it through to the last four.
Thanks to her incredible run in the tournament, Fiechter is now the #8 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, while Gohar is the #2. The algorithms gives the Egyptian a 91% win likelihood this evening.
Will Gohar make it into yet another major final in 2021? Or can Fiechter cause yet another shock in Philadelphia?
Joel Makin v Tarek Momen
The last match of the evening sees Welshman Joel Makin take on Egypt’s Tarek Momen for a place in the final on Wednesday evening in Philadelphia.
The duo have faced off seven times on the Tour before, with the former World Champion having won five of those contests, including the last three. He won their most recent meeting at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals in June, but this will be their first clash at the semi-final stage of a tournament.
Momen started his campaign at the U.S. Open with a win over Ramit Tandon in the second round, before then coming up against English opposition in both the last 16 and last eight. He downed Patrick Rooney in the third round, before getting the better of James Willstrop in the quarters yesterday evening.
Makin has been on court for an hour longer than the Egyptian, averaging 60 minutes on court per match. The Welshman bet Karim Abdel Gawad in the second round, before then beating Frenchman Sebastien Bonmalais in the last 16. He then took the surprise win of the night yesterday, knocking out World No.1 Ali Farag in straight games to advance to the last four.
According to the SquashLevels algorithms, it will be a tight contest, but Makin will take the victory, with the #6 having a 59% win likelihood over the #7 on their Power Ratings.
Can Momen down Makin again and reach another major final on American soil? Or will it be the Welshman that reaches the first major final of his career?