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Amanda Sobhy celebrates her win

TOC Semi-finals: Player Reaction

We're down to the semi-final stage at the 2022 J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions, with action taking place within New York's Grand Central Terminal.

The top three seeds of both the men’s and women’s events have progressed through to the semi-finals. World No.1 Nouran Gohar will be looking to book her place in the final as she takes to the court first tonight against USA’s surprise semi-finalist Olivia Fiechter.

An all Egyptian affair will open the men’s matches as former champion Ali Farag takes his place in his fourth consecutive Tournament of Champions semi-final against the always dangerous Mazen Hesham.

Play begins at 17:00 (GMT-4) and all of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV and our broadcast partners around the world.

We’ll also have news and video clips throughout the event available on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube channels.

Today's Order Of Play (all times local, GMT-4)

Order of play

Gohar fights off Fiechter to reach TOC final

Nouran Gohar

Opening semi-finals night at the J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions 2022 was World No.1 Nouran Gohar taking on surprise semi-finalist Olivia Fiechter.

The American came back from the brink of defeat in her quarter final match against Rowan Elaraby, winning from 2-0 down, to set up a third PSA World Tour clash with Gohar. Both previous meetings had gone the way of Gohar, but Fiechter entered this match in the form of her life and was determined to not make it easy for the No.1 seed.

Gohar was mainly on top in a high-quality first game, using her trademark hard-hitting style to rush Fiechter and make life difficult for the American. Fiechter had some joy using hold on her shots but it wasn't enough to deny Gohar the opener, 11-6.

The quality continued in the following game as Fiechter started to step up the court and take the game to Gohar. The USA No.2 settled with the pace of the game and was comfortable taking the ball short. But as the score reached 7-6 in Gohar’s favour, ‘ The Terminator’ showed her class to run straight through and take a crucial 2-0 lead.

Despite losing the first two games, Feichter was still playing the squash of her life. She continued this in the third game and got herself back in front of the World No.1 to impressively take the game to reduce the deficit to just one game.

Gohar got back to winning ways, however, and continued her relentless hitting which proved to be too much in the end for Fiechter. Gohar took the fourth game 11-5 to continue her record

“I'm very happy to be in the final, for sure,” said Gohar.

“I haven’t been in the final of TOC before, I’m very happy but I’m far from done.

“The crowd helped her a little bit, playing in front of an energetic crowd who is on your side takes your game up at least ten times, not taking anything away from her, she played well, she gaining more confidence and I think she’s realising she can beat players in the top ten now and having that belief helps a lot.”

Result
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [5] Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5 (51m)

Sobhy squeezes past Hany to reach second TOC final

Amanda Sobhy celebrates her win

Looking to join Gohar in the final were No.2 seed Amanda Sobhy and World No.7 Salma Hany. Sobhy held a convincing 6-0 lead over Hany in previous PSA World Tour meetings and looked to extend that in tonight’s semi-final clash.

In a competitive first game, the momentum shifted several times with both players hitting quality lines to the back of the court and hitting clinical winners to the front. Hany saved two game balls at 10-9 and 11-10 on her way to securing the opening game 13-11 and shock the home crowd.

Despite taking the second game in convincing fashion, Sobhy found herself trailing at 2-1 after an extremely tight third game went the way of the Egyptian. Similar to the first game, the scoreline remained neck and neck throughout as the game reached a tiebreak yet again. In a topsy turvy end of the game, Hany’s drops from the back of the court were both her downfall and saviour. Two in the tin and then two winners led her to a 2-1 lead to silence the USA crowd.

Sobhy regrouped however and with the help of the New York crowd completely dominated Hany in the fourth game, so much so that the Egyptian couldn’t even register a point. Sobhy delivered the ‘bagel’ to win 11-0 and set up a decider.

Sobhy got ahead early in the fifth and final game by moving onto Hany’s attacks quickly and running a straight drop in tight to the wall. As well as this was working, Hany found an alternative approach and started to fire the ball deep and straight with plenty of pace to drag Sobhy into the back corners. Sobhy earned the first match ball of the contest and took the match at the first time of asking on a stroke decision.

Much to the home crowd’s delight, Sobhy took the win in 66 minutes to set up a final with Nouran Gohar.

“I don't know what happened in this match, I'm kind of just blanked right now,” said Sobhy.

It was nip and tuck the whole way through, apart from the fourth, I wish every game was like the fourth. But I'm just so happy that the last call was a stroke, we finally know the referee rules, and that stayed a stroke because that was anybody's game and I'm just so relieved to be through and in the finals tomorrow.

“I think she does really well when the momentum is broken up, every time she went to the towel she won the next point, I'm not sued to opponents taking injury breaks so I just tie to keep my composure and stay pumped up and keep the momentum going but she came back really strong, I told myself to chase every ball and if you're going to go out then go out on your terms and just relax and play.

“I'm just going to go and rest and recover and talk to my coach about a game plan for tomorrow and I played her in the British and got smoked pretty badly so I don't think I could do much worse but I'm just looking forward to redeeming myself and playing in front of a packed house.”

Result
[2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3] Salma Hany (EGY) 3-2: 11-13, 11-6, 13-15, 11-0, 11-9 (66m)

Farag in top form to see off dangerous Hesham

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In the first men’s semi-final, reigning World Champion Ali Farag took on Mazen Hesham for a place in tomorrow night's final. The pair met recently in the semi-finals of the Allam British Open, with Farag winning in four games.

A fast start from Hesham was quickly halted by Farag as the World No.2 got to work on moving his compatriot into all four corners of the court, setting up numerous opportunities to attack. Farag took the opening game 11-5.

Farag held a 10-1 head-to-head lead over Hesham coming into tonight’s match and extended that win tally to 11 as he motored through the second and third games to take his place in the final yet again in New York. Something didn’t seem quite right with ‘The Black Falcon’ as he allowed Farag to control the middle of the court and found the tin more often than he usually does.

Farag displayed excellent concentration and discipline to stick to his task and continually work Hesham. He won the second and third games 11-4, 11-3 to take his place in his second Tournament of Champions final.

Farag had this to say after his match:

“I've been playing really well so far this week, I can't complain. Every opponent has been different, they’ve been world-class with their own brand of squash. Mazen, if you give him half a chance, I spoke to Mike Way about how to play him and the key was not to give him chances because he’ll take them. I try to make every single shot, a few inches on the back wall at the back because if I don't he’ll find a way to kill it and even then he sometimes still finds a way. I had to be on my toes from the beginning, I've played Mazen so many times over the years and I always have a drop off at some point because I can't keep my accuracy up for the entire time so to be able to do it for three straight games is something I'm really happy with.

“I like to play at pace but not with hitting the ball hard kind of pace, it's with taking the ball early to generate the pace but with is ability its not easy to do so I'm happy t could do it for three straight games and hopefully I can replicate it tomorrow.

“It's Mazen, he can hit winners from anywhere on the court, you have to accept that sometimes but do your best to learn from it for the next point.

“Every time you introduce the tournament, it gives me goosebumps with how prestigious the tournament is, the history it has, the players that have lifted this trophy. John Nimmick and his team have been doing such a great job and look at this crowd, what's not to love, we dint get these vibes everywhere we go so you need to appreciate it every time you're on this court.”

Result
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [3] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (28m)

Elias Fights Back To Beat Ghosal In Five

Diego Elias

Peru’s World No.5 Diego Elias had to battle hard, but he eventually came through a lengthy, 70-minute, five-game battle, defeating Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal in a pulsating contest to end the evening’s action.

This was the pair’s fifth meeting on Tour, but their first since 2018, and it was the ‘Peruvian Puma’, who claimed his first major title back in October at the Qatar QTerminals Classic, who started strongly, blowing the Indian away in the first game, taking it 11-3.

However, Ghosal then fought back, with some incredible play, moving Elias around the court in both the second and third games, as he turned the match on its head to lead 2-1. That momentum did not continue, though, with the World No.5 winning the first five points of the fourth game, and he went on to take it to send the match into a decider.

Unfortunately for the 35-year-old Indian, he was unable to live with the pace that Elias brought in the fifth and final game, with the Peruvian eventually taking the victory in the contest after 70 minutes of high-octane action. He will now face Ali Farag in tomorrow’s final.

“Saurav is playing amazing this week, I think he was struggling with an injury a couple of months ago, but now he is back at his best, he is always tough to play and I am just very happy to be through,” the Peruvian said.

“It was very tough physically. Every time you play Saurav, he is very fit and it is always long rallies. I am just happy I could keep running and keep pushing, and I am just happy to be in the final.

“I watched a little bit [of Ali Farag’s win over Mazen Hesham]. He is looking great, we always play great matches, so I need to recover and get ready for tomorrow!”

Result
[2] Diego Elias (PER) bt [7] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2: 11-3, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-3 (70m)

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