Thu 15th Oct – Massaro comeback dethrones David in Quarters

SH5135

SH5134It was the second day of Quarterfinal play on the ASB GlassCourt at Drexel tonight, the turn of the bottom half of the draws.

Three of the matches went the full distance as Omneya Abdel Kawy, Omar Mosaad, and Nick Matthew progressed, but the  main drama came as Laura Massaro come from two games down to beat three-time defending champion Nicol David 12-10 in the fifth.

Delaware Investments U.S. Open – Quarterfinals (bottom half) :[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) d [16] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3 (54m)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) d [2] Nicol David (MAS) 8-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (70m)[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) d Fares Dessouki (EGY) 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (49m)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG) 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5 (74m)

TODAY at the U.S. Open 2015 – Daily Reports

SH5138

Massaro comeback downs David – again

Flashback to May this year, British Open semifinal, Nicol David two-nil up against Laura Massaro.

SH5124It was the same scenario in tonight’s second womens match, and it was the same result as the Englishwoman, from looking down and out staged a remarkable comeback to beat the eight-time world champion and the three-time defending U.S. Open Champion.

SH5130David pulled clear from 8-all in the first to take the lead 11-8, and dominated the second, moving from 7-1 to take it 11-4. But, as has happened so often this week, the match turned as Massaro came out determined in the third and made a quick 4-1 lead stick as she pulled a game back 11-6. The fourth was even up to 8-all but this time it was Massaro who finished the better, levelling the match 11-8.

SH5144The decider was as tense as they come, Massaro just about holding on to a slight lead in the early stages, only for David to level matters at 7-all. The rallies became longer and more patient, both now wary of making crucial errors. 8-all, 9-all. Massaro gets match ball as David collides with her midcourt but doesn’t ask for a let. David saves it with a lovely drive to a perfect length for 10-all.

SH5132Massaro hits a boast from the back for a second match ball, then thinks she should have a stroke in midcourt but a let is given, confirmed on appeal. Nicol’s reprieve doesn’t last long as she boasts her service return into the tin, and her reign as U.S. Open champion is over.

SH5134“Being two games down against Nicol is always going to be an uphill battle,” said Massaro, “but I knew I could do it because that’s what happened last time we played so I thought maybe it in was in her mind as well.”

“She was playing well and I was being hard on myself after the first and the second went so quickly. I came out to fight my hardest in the third – I wanted to at least make the score respectable, just taking it one rally at a time and I guess it came good for me in the end.”

“I’m in a little bit of shock to be honest. We’ve played a lot of matches over the years and that one was probably exciting for the crowd but if felt very up and down, a bit scrappy at times – I’m just massively relieved to get through it.”

SH5118

Omneya in five again

The first of tonight’s matches was a see-saw affair between Omneya Abdel Kawy and Dipika Pallikal which, as in their previous two meetings, finished 3-2 to the Egyptian.

SH5113Two shotmakers here, and the rallies were typically short with neither inclined to forego any opportunity for a winner, many of which worked but both brought the tin into play frequently too.

Kawy took a 9-5 lead in th first only to see Pallikal win six points in a row to lead 11-9. They took turns to dominate in spells as Kawy took the next two games before Pallikal totally dominated the fourth.

TSH5116he Egyptian was back on top in the decider, securing her third 3-2 win over Pallikal and her second U.S. Open semifinal spot.

Dipika has such great shots, and in the fourth she just played the perfect game,” said Kawy. “In the fifth I had to try to make it faster and wait for opportunities to go for winners.

“It’s great to make the semifinals, the glass court and the lower tin suit me although I’m still adjusting to it.”

SH5119

Matthew marches on

Two days ago following his round of sixteen win over Zahed Mohamed, England’s world No. 2 Nick Matthew said, “It’s about time these young Egyptians beat us old timers.”

SH5123Once again, that was not the case Thursday night against twenty-one-year-old Egyptian Fares Dessouki as Matthew put in another clinical performance 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 in forty-nine minutes.

Friday will mark the thirty-five-year-old’s sixth-consecutive U.S. Open semifinal. Although the Sheffield-native won the tournament in 2007, Matthew has never won the title since the tournament has been hosted at Drexel University.

“I think that was definitely my best tactical performance this week,” Matthew said. “I was making the ball do the work, and had my business sock on tonight. I was really focused because I know what Fares can do.

SH5140“I know when all of the players come down to watch, they think it’s going to be a close match, and I was thinking the same thing. So absolutely delighted to get through in three games and stay physically and mentally fresh for the semifinals.

“Another semi at Drexel, I made the final here once or twice, but never got beyond that so hopefully this is the year, but one step at a time.”

SH5141Matthew remained tactically astute once again, holding off another dangerous young Egyptian on the rise.

“Always have to keep it away from all of the Egyptians, they’re so dangerous when you give them the volleys and the angles,” Matthew said.

Fares’ time will come. I heard a great quote from Danny the other day that if you lose a match maybe you’re not quite ready. His time will come but maybe he’s just not ready yet, and I’m still hanging on. Us older guys, Greg, myself, we’re hanging on a little bit longer yet.”

Mosaad makes first World Series Semi

SH5139Egypt’s world No. 7 Omar Mosaad reached a career milestone in the final match Thursday evening, defeating England’s Daryl Selby in five games to reach his first career World Series semifinal.

By the standards of Mosaad and Selby’s three previous career encounters—all of which clocked in at over eighty minutes—today’s five-gamer was brief, lasting seventy-five minutes.

SH5143The match was a back and forth affair, with Selby taking the opener, Mosaad gaining the lead at 2-1, then Selby forcing a fifth that resulted his in defeat. Mosaad faces Matthew in the semifinals with the Englishman having won all twelve of their previous matches on the tour.

“Actually it’s the first time in my life to reach the semifinals of a world series tournament, which is super serious, so I’m really happy to reach the semifinals today,” Mosaad said.

SH5145“Today was a lot of pressure for me. I’m trying really hard to push myself into the top four this year, so reaching the semifinals here is the start.”

Like most Egyptians this tournament, Amr Shabana counseled Mosaad in between games.

“Amr Shabana told me a lot and gives me tips in between games, of course he’s a legend. He’s very experienced, and I learn a lot from him. I think it really worked today, and I’m really happy he’s beside us.”

Today's Photo Galleries

Today’s Photo Galleries

Quarters Quick Preview

SH5099The first of tonight’s matches pitches two shotmakers against each other. This is 30-year-old Omneya Abdel Kawy’s sixth U.S. Open, her appearance in the 2002 edition being the earliest of any of the quarterfinalists, and 2005 was the only time she made the semis. For Dipika Pallikal, 24, this is her third U.S. Open and easily her best yet whatever the outcome tonight. They have only played twice, both times in 2012 with a win each and both matches going to five games.

SH5098Then it’s a more extreme experience v youth clash as England’s three-time world champion Nick Matthew, 35, meets rising Egyptian star Fares Dessouki, 21. This is Matthew’s tenth U.S. Open, and the 2007 champion has made at least the quarters every time, and at least the semis on his last five visits. Dessouki has just one prior appearance to his name, when he made the quarterfinals last year (where he lost to Matthew). They’ve met three times, Matthew winning all three of them, most recently in this year’s Canary Wharf  quarterfinal when he won 3-1 in 76 minutes.

SH5097Nicol David versus Laura Massaro isn’t a match you’d normally expect to see as a quarterfinal. Both have won the U.S. Open, British Open and World Championship titles—David, 32, has three, five and eight compared to 31-year-old Massaro’s one of each—and the match is a repeat of the 2013 final here! The head to head stands at 25-6 in David’s favor, although in the last two years it’s just 6-4 with Massaro taking the last one, this year’s British Open semifinal, in a five game thriller.

SH5100Last up is another Egypt v England match between Omar Mosaad, 27, and Daryl Selby, 32. Both are U.S. Open regulars with Mosaad making his sixth appearance and Selby his fifth. For the Egyptian this is his second quarterfinal, Selby will be playing in his first. They’ve met three times and all have been won by Mosaad, but all have taken in excess of 80 minutes.

TODAY at the U.S. Open 2015 – Daily Reports

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