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Egypt's Mostafa Asal made his first Platinum final after a thrilling match against Diego Elias.

U.S. OPEN Semi Finals: Player Reaction

The semi finals of the U.S. Open presented by Truist take place today at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center and we'll be bringing all the results and reactions right here.

World No.1 Nour El Sherbini kicks things off on semi-finals night, she faces Hania El Hammamy in the only all-Egyptian contest of the evening. The tournament’s surprise package, unseeded American Olivia Fiechter, will have the home crowd behind her as she takes on World No.2 Nouran Gohar in the other draw.

With the world's top three all crashing out of the men’s draw on Monday, World No.4 Tarek Momen is now the highest-ranked player remaining. He takes on Welshman Joel Makin, who shocked World No.1 Ali Farag, while Mostafa Asal and Diego Elias will do battle in the other match.

You can catch all the action live from the Specter Center on SquashTV, and you can also buy tickets from the tournament’s website.

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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)

El Hammamy shocks World No.1 El Sherbini

World No.6 Hania El Hammamy shocked World No.1 and fellow Egyptian Nour El Sherbini to reach her first U.S. Open final.

El Sherbini had had a serene route to today’s match, spending just 68 minutes on court as she saw off Tsz-Wing Tong, Nadine Shahin and Melissa Alves without dropping a game. El Hammamy, too, had looked sharp, looking assured and on form in her 3-0 quarter-final win over No.6 seed Joelle King.

Going into the game, El Sherbini could boast a 4-1 record against El Hammamy, with their last meeting a 3-2 win for the top seed in the 2021 El Gouna Open semi final.

El Hammamy, though, looked confident in the first game, which was an even one. The 21-year-old pushed El Sherbini hard and looked well-placed to make a charge for the game, only for a couple of unforced errors to hand El Sherbini the initiative, and the 25-year-old took the opener 11-8.

In a gladiatorial second game, El Hammamy battled her way to parity with an 11-7 win, though El Sherbini may look back with regret at the five errors she made.

Perhaps jolted by the errors and the dropped game, El Sherbini came back hard early in the third. El Hammamy, however, stunned the World No.1 to come from 9-4 down to take the game 12-10.

With El Sherbini looking fatigued, El Hammamy was able to to see out the final game 11-7 to seal a memorable win.

Speaking after the match, El Hammamy said: “I’m over the moon with this win. Nour is such an amazing player. She’s such a legend, a five-time world champion, she’s won almost every single tournament this season, so I tried as much as I can to push and dig deep to stop her from winning this one. I definitely had to push hard and I needed to be consistent with my game plan and I think that made the difference.

“I wasn’t 100 percent consistent with my game plan in the first game, I used to change a little bit. After the first I told myself I have to stick to this game plan, not change, even if I’m going to lose. The third was crucial, being 9-5 down, I just thought I would try to play and make it very physical even if she’s going to win the game I’m going to try and get every point.

It would mean a lot [to win the U.S. Open title]. I’ve never reached anything in this tournament, I used to lose in the first or second round. I’m loving the new venue, it’s amazing, I’m loving the court, the atmosphere, the crowd is amazing. You guys give me a huge push.”

Result
[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 (59m)

Asal survives Elias fightback to reach first Platinum final

Asal celebrates a huge win

Egyptian No.8 seed Mostafa Asal overcame Peruvian No.7 seed Diego Elias in a thrilling battle to reach his first ever Platinum final.

While there is no doubting Asal’s talent, there were concerns for his stamina ahead of the game. Elias, who knocked out jWorld No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach this stage, had spent over 100 fewer minutes on court, with the 20-year-old Asal slogging it out for 103 minutes in his quarter-final win over World No.3 Paul Coll and spending a total of 229 on court ahead of tonight’s match.

Asal, though, showed no signs of fatigue in the first game, which he took 11-7, as Elias struggled for accuracy at the front of the court.

Asal continued to impress with an explosive start in the second, only for Elias to improve his accuracy and fight his way back into the intensely physical game. Asal, though, upped the pace once again, bulldozing his way around the court to pick up the crucial second game 11-8.

Although his attacking performance in the first two games was spotless, Asal made an error-ridden start to the third, gifting a number of points to Elias as the Peruvian took a 6-1 lead. Asal’s pace continued to drop and the Peruvian Puma took a comfortable 11-3 win in 11 minutes to open the tie back up.

Elias continued to push the tiring Asal hard in the fourth, dominating the court on his way to an 11-2 win to take the match into a fifth game.

In a tense final game, both players played at peak pace. Elias, who appeared to be struggling with an injury to his right arm, took an early 7-2 lead, only for five-unanswered points for Asal to level at 7-7. From here, both players pushed hard, with Asal saving two match balls from 10-8 down to level.

Asal then had a match ball of his own at 11-10. Unlike his opponent, Asal was able to covert, bringing a thrilling match to a close with a 12-10 win.

“I think I want to tell US Squash I want some rest please!” Asal said after the match.”

He added: “It was a tough match, thank you guys for being here as well. It’s been a pleasure to play in front of the US crowd. I hope you have enjoyed this action and I think we are all giving 150 percent. I came to this tournament with a bit of an injury in my shoulder and trying to fix it in a couple of days after San Francisco. This is a wonderful place to play and a wonderful court. I’m thankful I came through today and played this amazing match.

“I’m going to recover now and play some FIFA, to relax a little bit. I can’t believe it. I have confidence that I can win the tournament tomorrow, I did before in the World Tour finals. I’m happy to be through and I can’t believe that I was 7-2 down and my body was so loose and flat, to make it and be through to the finals!”

Result

[8] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 2-11, 12-10 (96m)

Gohar ends Fiechter fairytale

Gohar put in a brutally-efficient performance.

A brutally efficient performance from Egyptian World No.2 and defending champion Nouran Gohar brought the incredible run of the USA’s World No.20 Olivia Fiechter to a crashing end.

Fiechter, who prior to today’s match had never progressed beyond the round of 16 in a Platinum event, had captured the hearts and imagination of the home crowd with impressive straight-game wins over Menna Hamed and Donna Lobban and a hugely impressive 3-2 win over World No.3 Amanda Sobhy in the quarter final.

Today, though, Gohar never looked like losing. Gohar’s potent blend of power and accuracy, along with her much-improved movement, proved too much for the 24-year-old, with ‘the Terminator’ taking the first game 11-5 and the second 11-2.

While the match appeared to be over as a contest as the third game progressed, Fiechter continued to play aggressively, chasing every ball and hitting three winners, to the delight of the crowd.

Eventually, though, Gohar saw out the game, securing a second successive U.S. Open final, where she will face compatriot El Hammamy.

“I’m feeling great, I just love coming back here. I have great memories of two years ago, it was amazing. Having the crowd today, even if most of the time they were cheering against me, I love it. I love having a great crowd watching and enjoying the game. It makes me feel really happy and I really appreciate what I’m doing on court because of you guys, so thank you for coming.

I just want to say congrats to Olivia on a great tournament. She proved herself to be one of the most dangerous players on tour, not only in this tournament but back in Chicago, too. We practiced one time in Connecticut a month ago and I knew she was coming. She’s a great player and she has a great spirit, so it’s really nice to have her on tour playing like this.

“When the game is a bit close, it makes it extra special when the crowd is not on your side, so I just wanted to win early points and have a great lead, because I knew even if I’m game ball up, she could come back because of the energy they’re giving. I just wanted to make sure I was closing out quick.

“This week I’m playing late shifts, every night I’m playing at 9:00 PM or something. I can’t really complain, I’m winning so it’s fine, but I just want to go back to sleep now!”

Result
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-3 (32m)

Momen into first U.S. Open final after intense five games with Makin

Momen celebrates victory after an intense match with Makin

Egyptian No.4 seed Tarek Momen is into his first U.S. Open final after beating Welsh World No.9 Joel Makin 3-2.

Momen, who went out in the semi finals in 2019, went into tonight’s match with a 5-2 record against Makin, although the Welshman had captured everyone’s attention with a shock 3-0 win over World No.1 Ali Farag in the quarter final.

Makin had the better of the early stages of the first game, only for Momen to rally and take it 11-9.

The Welshman fought back in a stop-start second game, moving Momen well in an 11-5 win.

The match continued to be an even affair, and Momen took the third game 11-8 before Makin hit back with an 11-7 win.

With so much on the line, both players pushed themselves to their limits in the fifth, with Makin acrobatically rescuing a number of seemingly lost balls as Momen targeted the front left. Eventually, though, the 26-year-old’s resistance was broken and Momen emerged victorious with an 11-8 win to seal the 3-2 result.

Speaking after the match, Momen said: “I don’t know [how I kept my mental edge in the fifth]. He’s unreal. He never gives up, it’s one of the best qualities he has and I don’t think anyone on tour has this quality, the way he fights despite being extremely tired and fatigued is just unreal. The way he was fighting kept me going, I was thinking ‘Look at what he’s doing, look how hard he’s pushing, you need to push hard as well.’ I think he just lifted me up today and eventually we gave you guys a two-hour match, I don’t know how long it was.

“Is it midnight? I’m really proud with how I fought today, the fourth and fifth games were super tough. We were feeling it. It was extremely difficult for both of us and I was hoping, in the fifth, that my shots to the front would give me the edge because we’d done miles and miles on that court.

“I was hoping in the fifth, what would determine the winner, is the accuracy of my shots. I was hoping he doesn’t go for shots and I was hoping that mine wouldn’t go in the tin and I’m glad he didn’t pull off the comeback in the fifth.”

On his final opponent, Mostafa Asal, he said: “I’m not even going to think about that now, I have some recovery work to do. I need to recover well, eat well, sleep well and then tomorrow, as always, tomorrow’s a new day and then I’ll think about the match.”

Result
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-2: 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (83m)

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