WED 14th OCT – Quarterfinals Part One – Tayeb takes out top seed

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Tayeb takes out top seed in Women in Sports Day thriller

SH5070In tonight’s quarterfinals – top half of the draws – top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy and third seed Gregory Gaultier won in straight games to set up a semifinal between the champions of the last two years

In the women’s draw Camille Serme reversed her loss against Nour El Sherbini in last year’s semis and Nour El Tayeb beat top seed and World No.1 Raneem El Welily 11-9 in the fifth in a fantastic match.

Delaware Investments U.S. Open – Quarterfinals (top half) :[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-2 [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (69m)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) d [7] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (38m)[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) d Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 15-13, 11-8, 11-8 (54m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) d [7] Simon Rösner (GER)  11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (47m)TODAY at the U.S. Open 2015 – Daily Reports

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France’s world No. 4 Camille Serme made it two U.S. Open semifinals in two years, avenging her 2014 U.S. Open semifinal loss against Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini in an emphatic three games and thirty-eight minutes.

SH5050Serme maintained a clear advantage throughout the entire match, which was also strewn with uncharacteristic errors from the nineteen-year-old world No. 7.

“During the last rally [probably the longest of the match] I was thinking ‘I really hope I win this one.’” Serme said. “I really didn’t expect it would be a three game win against Nour, she’s so talented. Every time she has an opportunity, she goes for a good shot. Today, she made a few more errors. Good for me.”

SH5056Serme was pleased with executing her game plan of containing the nineteen-year-old.

“I tried to contain her. It was really hot today and the ball was bouncing a lot, which is good for me because I can go catch more of her shots in the front of court. That was the plan.”

SH5053Serme made it two French representatives in the U.S. Open semifinals  after Gregory Gaultier’s victory in the previous match.

“Obviously, two of us in the top ten. Greg has been near the top for so long now. I’m happy to represent the women in France. Coline is coming along very well now as well so hopefully more of us keep moving up.”

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Tayeb takes out top seed

“That was the match of the tournament,” declared MC Gilly Lane as he came onto court to interview the winner of the second, all-Egyptian women’s quarterfinal of the day.

SH5063He wasn’t wrong, and the winner he interviewed was Nour El Tayeb, who had just knocked out top seed and World No.1 Raneem El Welily 11-9 in the fifth.

“I don’t think I’ve ever cried after a match, but that’s how I feel,” said Tayeb.

She had given everything during the match – fantastic retrieving, crafted shotmaking, splits that only she can get up from and continue the rally, dives that hurt both shoulders and required treatment … everything.

SH5067Raneem didn’t play badly, not at all. She perhaps went for a few less winners than she often does, but made few errors too.

There was rarely much in it, for the first four games the player who took an early lead held on to it. 11-7 Raneem, 11-7 Nour. 11-8 Raneem, 11-8 Nour.

In the fifth it was Raneem making the pace, from 2-all to 4-2, to 8-3. The pace was relentless, the movement around court phenomenal. Cries of “NO,” and “STOP THAT,” coming from the crowd at their latest on-court exploits.

SH5068Nour was hurting, but she wasn’t done. She pulled back to 8-5, dived in vain as Raneem went to 9-5. Still Nour fought, she levelled at 9-all ending another long rally with a winning crosscourt, got to match ball as a length died in the back court nick, then punched away a volley drop for the win of her life.

SH5070“Raneem and I are great friends off court and it took me a little while to forget that tonight but I had to keep telling myself she’s just another opponent and pretend I don’t like her very much,” said El Tayeb.

“For the shoulder, honestly. I’ve seen Ramy Ashour play with an injured leg and still win, so I was thinking about it, and if he can push through all these injuries, I can push with one overstretched arm.

SH5062“The physio told me it wasn’t a big deal. I still feel pain, but it is the quarterfinal of the U.S. Open. This opportunity may not come again so I just had to push through. Thankfully I was able to forget about it, and that’s it.”

“I wanted to win just as much as she did and I gave everything to beat her and to make the semi-finals means so much to me. But I didn’t come here to beat the World No.1 and then lose in the next round so I’ve got to recover and prepare now for the semi-finals as best I can and give it my all.

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Gaultier and Elshorbagy set up semi

SH5046With an impressive 10-1 PSA head to head record against tonight’s opponent, two-time U.S. Open champion Gregory Gaultier was the heavy favorite for the first quarterfinal.

For two and a half games it was all the Frenchman, with Simon Rösner simply not able to get into the match.  Only from 7-3 down in the third was the big German able to make an impression on Gaultier’s game, levelling at 7-all.

SH5048Gaultier took three points in a row to earn match balls, and although Rosner, now looking very determined, managed to save two of them it was too late to stop Gaultier from reaching his fourth semifinal in a row.

“Beating Simon 3-0 is a good win,” said Gaultier. “He’s six in the world now and been close to beating me a few times.

“I felt I played really fluid in the first two games, and  up to 7-3 in the third, then I lost my focus a little, maybe thinking I was already in the semis.”

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The U.S. Open semifinals will have one of its top seeds still in contention after defending champion and world No. 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy outgunned French world No. 9 Mathieu Castagnet in just under an hour.

SH5076Castagnet, who defeated Elshorbagy in their last encounter in December, acquitted himself well and matched Elshorbagy’s pace and shot making at his best, but fell just short at crucial moments in each game. A marathon opening game extended to 15-13, packed with blistering rallies for the capacity crowd.

Castagnet never trailed by more than two points at any point in the match until the final point sealed the third 11-8, and enjoyed three point leads early in the second and third games.

SH5075Elshorbagy manipulated Castagnet’s movement with his shot selection well to maintain the upper hand when it mattered most. Unlike the women’s side, this Egyptian world No. 1 has maintained his perfect record without dropping a game in the tournament, and appears in fine form as his title defense progresses to the semifinals.

“Castagnet has been showing a lot of improvement throughout his career,” Elshorbagy said of his opponent. “He just made it to the top ten. I think he’ll be top eight soon as well. He has been playing so well and I had to be at my best to be able to beat him. I’m just glad I was able to finish in three. I was playing better as the match went on, and he kept pushing me to play better and better. I’m just glad I was able to get out in three today.”

SH5081The defending champion admitted the first game was crucial, and that each game was even down until the end.

“The first game was very crucial for both of us. The outcome of the match I think was dependent on that first game. I was lucky I played those last few points a bit better than him at the end. I think it was point by point actually even in the second and third games.”

GSH5082aultier awaits Elshorbagy in a repeat of their 2014 semifinal.

“Greg looked really scary today on court. He always does in the first fewrounds, I don’t know how he does it. He played so well today and it was good to see him playing at his best.

“It’s always amazing when we play each other and play at our best. We always have great matches and a lot of respect for each other. He’s someone I always looked up to and learned from. Tomorrow we’ll have a great battle for sure.”

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Quarterfinal Quick Previews

SH5032First up tonight is an all-European matchup between Gregory Gaultier and Simon Rösner. The Frenchman leads 21-1 in all matches, 10-1 in PSA as they’ve played many times in European Individual and Team championships. Rösner’s only win came in a best-of-three World Series pool match last year (13-11, 12-10), and their last meeting was in the Grasshopper Cup final in April. The match is a repeat of their U.S. Open quarterfinal of last year, which Gaultier won 3-1 in 82 minutes.

SH5033More French interest as Camille Serme meets Nour El Sherbini in a repeat of last year’s U.S. Open semifinal that Sherbini won 3-1. This will be their 8th meeting, all PSA matches with Serme ahead 4-3, their last match being this year’s British Open semifinal in which Serme came from 1-2 down to win 11-9, 11-9 and going on to take the title.

SH5034Then it’s an all-Egyptian affair between World No. 1 Raneem El Welily and Nour El Tayeb, both former world junior champions. Welily leads 7-1 in their PSA matchups to date, but Tayeb’s win came in one of their three recent matches, the latest being the World Championship quarterfinal last December in Cairo.

SH5035To round out the night, top seed and defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy meets France’s Mathieu Castagnet, who will be fresh after playing just seven points before Ramy Ashour withdrew injured in their second round match. The head-to-head reads 5-2 to the Egyptian World No. 1, with Castagnet, ranked No. 9, winning their first encounter back in 2007, and their last, the British Grand Prix quarterfinal of 2014.

We’ll be bringing you results, reports and photos here on TODAY, plus you can follow the action on Twitter, on the Live Score Tracker, and you can watch live on SquashTV.

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