Day Five : Semi-Finals

The MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open continues at the OCBC Arena with four semi-finals featuring  players from six nations including the Sobhy sisters.

You can Watch Live on SquashTV, check the results on Live Scoring and our Draws page, follow updates on our Social Media, and we’ll have photos going into the gallery all day with match reports and quotes here and a roundup at the end of the day.

MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open 2022 : Day FIVE, SEMI-FINALS

Women’s Semis :

[3] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-1 [1] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)  9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (47m)

[2] Joelle King (Nzl) 3-2 [9/16] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)  12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5 (58m)

Men’s Semis :

[4] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng) 3-1 [6] Joel Makin (Wal)  11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 11-6 (73m)

[3] Diego Elias (Per)  3-0 [2] Mostafa Asal (Egy)  11-9, 5-0 rtd (37m)

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Reports and Reaction

Elias advances as Asal retires

Diego Elias sealed his place in tomorrow’s final as he defeated Mostafa Asal, who retired midway through the second game through injury.

In a tight first game, Elias opened up a 7-3 lead before Asal pulled it back to 7-7, but the game came to a halt as Asal required an injury break after sustaining a spasm in his right arm during game ball. The point was awarded to Elias when play resumed, confirming at 11-9 win.

Elias was 5-0 up in the second before Asal signalled he was unable to continue, the Egyptian retired which resulted in the Peruvian Puma claiming the win.

Elias, who turned 26 today, faces Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final tomorrow.

“It was very intense inside the court It’s always very hard playing Mostafa – he’s a great player and on court he can be difficult sometimes which is understandable.

“We’re both big guys and sometimes we bump into each other. I feel bad for him that he couldn’t finish today, but I think I was playing great squash and I’m very happy with what I did.

“I think I’m playing good squash. I came in with a good strategy and if the match went on, I think I would have had a good chance. I wasn’t going to lose on my birthday that’s for sure!”

King beats Sabrina in five game thriller

Joelle King will meet Nour El Tayeb in the MARIGOLD Singapore Open final tomorrow after she overcame 9/16 seed Sabrina Sobhy in an entertaining five-game thriller.

Both players came into the semi-final having not dropped a single game in the tournament so far, and it was New Zealand’s No.1 King who broke her opponent’s streak as she edged past Sobhy 12-10 despite the American saving three game balls to go 1-0 up.

Sobhy’s speed around the court and excellent shot selection paid dividends as she was able to shrug off a fightback from King, who saved four game balls, to take the second game 11-7.

The scores were locked at 7-7 in the third before King was able to open up a valuable two-point cushion, and an error from Sobhy put King back in control to go 2-1 ahead.

However Sobhy produced another excellent display in the fourth to force a decider after clinching an 11-5 win, but the experience of King proved to be too much for the unseeded American as the 34-year-old won 11-5 to progress to tomorrow’s final.

“I’m relieved, definitely! I was feeling a little bit flat throughout that match, it was coming in waves and Sabrina was playing so well,” said King.

“Her movement, her sharpness, I was just trying to find a way to keep myself in the match. I knew in the fifth it was anyone’s game and whoever was going to play the start of it well was really important, which was what I tried to do.

“When you’ve been on tour for 16 years you’ve got quite a lot of experience and that was probably the difference today. I tried to use that, start well, play each point as it came and I got a good start so it was about protecting that.”

ElShorbagy through to fourth final of the season

Mohamed ElShorbagy secured his fourth final appearance of the season after defeating Joel Makin 3-1 to reach tomorrow’s title decider.

In what was a repeat of the Manchester Open final back in April Makin, who defeated ElShorbagy, opened up a 5-2 advantage in the first game, however ElShorbagy, stormed back to take the first game 11-8.

ElShorbagy looked to be on course to clinch the second game as he raced into a 10-5 lead, but Makin produced a stunning fightback to save five game balls before going on to restore parity by winning 12-10.

The Englishman came out firing in the third game as ElShorbagy produced a dominant display to reclaim his advantage with an 11-2 win in just eight minutes.

Makin requested a new ball heading in the fourth, which had a delayed start after the Welshman was bleeding from his finger, but it was ElShorbagy who profited from the introduction of the new ball as he sealed his place in tomorrow’s final with an 11-6 victory.

ElShorbagy said on court afterwards: “Joel (Makin) is such a physical player. Not just a physical player, he’s one of the most difficult opponents I’ve had to face in my career in terms of the mental side of the game because he always fights. Even if he’s 10-0 down he’s always going to fight.

“It was a big mistake from me in the second game when I was 10-5 up and I had the chance to win it, but I kept fooling around, to be honest, and that’s a big mistake to do that against someone like him. You don’t want to do that against anyone, especially him.

“He fought like crazy and in the third game when I was 10-2 up, I wasn’t going to fall for the same mistake again. Mistakes like this in my career aren’t acceptable, so I’m very disappointed with how I did that, but you’ve got to move on and I’m happy to win in the end.

“Every game with him is going to be tough. I’m happy to win – this is the fourth final I will be playing this season out of the first six events I’ve played. To make four finals out of six events is what I’ve been training for this summer and I want to go back to World No.1 again. To do that, no one is going to care if you’re tired on court, if you’re sick or if you have all the excuses in the world to lose.

“Being World No.1 for five years, I had to play through sickness and injuries and never give an excuse when I lose. I’m happy to win, happy to be in another final and I’m really looking forward to the rest of this season. I want to win every single match I play and I want to be World No.1 again in my career so let’s see where I can go and I’m glad to be playing in finals again.”

Tayeb downs top seed Sobhy

Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb is into the finalafter she got the better of USA’s Amanda Sobhy in a four-game battle to open the day’s action at the OCBC Arena.

Sobhy made the semis after an hour-long battle with Nele Gilis on Friday, but she didn’t show any signs of tiredness in the early exchanges. She finished off loose balls well in the opening game, and despite El Tayeb saving a couple of game balls, the American took the early lead.

She then held an advantage in the second game as well, but some quick points went the way of the Egyptian, who was able to come through from 4-7 down to win it 11-8, to level the tie. El Tayeb continued that into the third game, and applied more pressure. That paid off in the latter stages, as she went on to secure it 11-8, to move ahead in the contest.

The Egyptian, who has been as high as World No.3 in the past, was able to show her class in the fourth game. Sobhy showed signs of fatigue, and a possible hip problem, and El Tayeb was able to move through to secure the victory. She overcomes the top seed and moves through to the final.

“It feels great! It is a very nice win, a very big win for me today, to back up yesterday and to come today. Amanda is playing well and at the beginning I thought she was going to be tired, so I went short a bit too soon, thinking she would be tired from yesterday’s match but she wasn’t,” El Tayeb admitted.

“It took a lot to adjust to be even with her, in terms of squash. I am glad I am stuck, grateful that I was able to hang in there, to get the win.

“You can keep praising the game, it is nice to hear that! Hopefully tomorrow’ opponent heard it as well! It is exciting to be able to play this way again. I am very happy, grateful, to be able to play at this level, to make it to the final of a Gold event in Singapore. It is all very exciting! One more match tomorrow, it is very exciting for me!”