7:36 pm
21 Sep 2018

El Tayeb Topples World No1 El Sherbini At Drexel

12 Oct 2017

Upsets continued to prevail in the women's US Open Presented by Macquarie Investment Management after No.10 seed Nour El Tayeb despatched top seed and world No.1 Nour El Sherbini to reach the semi-finals of the PSA World Series event at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The all-Egyptian shock followed the earlier exits of 2016 champion Camille Serme and eight-time World Champion Nicol David.

El Tayeb reached the 2015 final only for injury to strike and rule her out for over six months. But the 24-year-old proved that she is back to her very best form as she put in an astute and polished performance to out-manoeuvre compatriot El Sherbini and come through 13-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7.

"Nour has been the in-form player over the past 18 months so this is definitely one of the best wins of my career so far," said El Tayeb.

"I'm very happy to be through to the semi-finals. I reached the final here two years ago but got injured and I'll never forget that event. It took a year to come back from that injury and another year to recover that physical and mental strength to compete.

"So to win today gives me a lot of confidence and belief that I can play at this level and hopefully I can keep it up for two more matches."

El Tayeb will go up against England's Laura Massaro for a place in the final after the 2016 champion came through in four games against Hong Kong's Annie Au - the surprise conqueror of Asian rival Nicol David.

In the men's event, Massaro's compatriot Nick Matthew, the 2007 US Open champion, prevailed in an all-English battle with Daryl Selby to reach the semi-finals for an impressive eighth time in a row.

37-year-old Matthew, appearing in the event for the last time after recently announcing his impending retirement, showed the kind of mental grit and resilience that has epitomised his career as he grinded his way through a bruising 26-minute 15-13 opening game to sap energy from Selby and break the world No.16's spirit - setting up the platform for a 3/0 win that takes him into the last four without dropping a game.

"Tonight that first game was crucial," said Matthew.

"I knew that it was a hard first game and that the work was in his legs so I tried to push on in the second. Psychologically I'm happy with how I finished it off in three, especially after winning the first.

"And I'm pleased to be back in the semi-finals again. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've reached the semi-finals of an event without dropping a game so there's no excuses for me not to be fresh and ready for the semi-finals.

"I'll be ready to take my opponent on physically and I look forward to the battle to come on Friday."

Matthew will face Mohamed Elshorbagy, the man he lost to in last year's final, after the Egyptian downed Simon Rösner of Germany 3/0.

Speaking after the match, the former world No.1 said: "In the second game I was down 8-6 and I needed to give it a big push to try and be 2/0 up.

"There is a huge difference between one-all and being 2/0 up, so I'm really happy to be able to get the win in three.

"I thought we played a really high-quality match in the first two games and I'm really happy to get through."