12:32 am
21 Jun 2018

Ashour Leads Egyptian Takeover At China Open

2 Sep 2017

Former world No.1 Ramy Ashour put in a dominant display to upset second seed Marwan Elshorbagy and lead a quartet of Egyptian players into the finals of the 2017 JP Morgan China Open - the PSA M100 & W100 events taking place on top of The Peninsula Hotel in Shanghai.

Ashour, currently ranked outside the world top 12 for the first time since 2006, was at times mesmeric as he overpowered and outmanoeuvred world No.6 ElShorbagy from start-to-finish to record a straight games victory that sees him reach his 58th PSA World Tour final - but his first since the 2016 World Championship, when injury derailed his title bid.

"For me it's not just about the match and the result," said Ashour afterwards, having wrapped up the victory in 41 minutes.

"It's beyond that - it's about the long term. I'm proud of my past achievements but it's about now. There are other players coming up and I'm trying to stay there and today I showed that I can still be up there.

"In the past few seasons I'd do well in one event but not be able to back it up or have that consistency. I'm trying to get things right, find that balance, and at the moment, it's good."

Ashour will face tournament top seed Ali Farag, ranked five in the world, after he defeated New Zealand's Paul Coll over four games.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Women's world No.1 Nour El Sherbini will hope to get her season off to a winning start against her younger compatriot Nouran Gohar, the 19-year-old who will be competing in her fourth consecutive China Open final.

Gohar, who has lost out in the showpiece event for the past three years running, booked her place in the decider after a hard fought four-game upset over world No.3 Camille Serme, using her pace and power to keep the Frenchwoman on the back foot and enforce her style on proceedings.

"All my past matches with Camille have been very tough and she won the last few meetings, so I knew what to expect from her today," said Gohar.

"She's been on top of her game recently but I tried to focus on enjoying the match. I didn't put any pressure on myself, I just concentrated on enjoy being here and giving it my best.

"I like this event and I've a good record here - it's an amazing location. I've made the final here three times and the first time I reached the top ten, my first win over Nicol David and my first big final all came here.

"I've got great memories here so hopefully I can add another one by winning the final tomorrow."