Huge wins for Farag and Mosaad
By ELLIE MAWSON
New Zealand’s Joelle King will compete in the semi-finals of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time in over three years after she downed England’s Alison Waters 3-1 to secure a last four berth at the 2017 U.S. Open presented by Presented by Macquarie Investment Management.
The 29-year-old, who missed over a year of competitive action after suffering from an achilles injury in 2015, last made it to a semi-final at the 2014 Windy City Open but continued to display a rediscovered confidence on court as she followed up her second round win over 2016 champion Camille Serme with a polished performance against Waters.
The win, which came after 43 minutes of action, sees her through to meet Egyptian Raneem El Welily, the player who beat her in that semi-final in Chicago, for a place in the tournament decider.
“Camille is a good player and she won this tournament last year so I know that if you beat her then you are playing well,” said King.
“But you kind of have to leave that behind and focus on the next match and Alison was always going to be tough. We were both ranked four and five in the world for a while so had a lot of battles in the past.
“I felt a bit tight in the second and kind of lost my way and just fell away from the game I like to play. I just tried to come back and played my style and it worked and I’m looking forward to the semis.”
El Welily, meanwhile, came through in four games over compatriot Nouran Gohar, bouncing back from dropping the first game to prevail 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 and keep alive her hopes of winning a first World Series title since the 2017 Windy City Open in March.
“We’re team-mates and we also play for the same club, so we know each other’s game quite well,” said El Welily after the match. “But everyone goes on court with a different attitude and a different personality.
“You come on with a plan but that could change any second and it keeps changing throughout the entire match so you have to adapt and you have to find a way to win.”
In the Men’s draw Omar Mosaad, who impressed in his straight-games second round win over the in-form Paul Coll, continued a recent resurgence to defeat Peruvian Diego Elias and set up an all-Egyptian last four clash with Ali Farag, the current World No.5.
Former World No.3 Mosaad finished runner-up at the 2015 U.S. Open during what was his breakthrough event before embarking on a run of poor form that saw him fall to a current 10-year ranking low at No.31, but he produced a performance worthy of his former ranking to halt the charge of the rising 20-year-old talent.
“I really enjoy playing here,” said Mosaad. “I love to be in Philly and I love the atmosphere here. I’m enjoying the crowd and I’m really pleased to be through to the semi-final here for the third time.
“At this level you just have to think about each match. I started in qualification and then I made it through to the main draw because Ramy [Ashour] and Greg [Gaultier] pulled out of the event. I’m really happy to get through and I just want to thank my coaches and everyone around me and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Farag meanwhile will compete in the semi-finals of a World Series event for just the second time in his career after coming through a brutal five-game encounter with Fares Dessouky lasting 87 minutes.
“It was pure guts that got me the win today,” said Farag. “Squash wise he was the better player but I’m just so happy to be through.
“The first three games the ball was flying and I thought he adapted to it better than I did because I just couldn’t find any rhythm.
“I hope I can keep it going tomorrow. It’s another battle with a good friend. Omar and I play at least twice a week and it’s so good to see him back. He’s been working hard and deserves to be where he is.”
PSA World Series 2017 U.S. Open, Presented by Macquarie Investment Management, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.
Men’s Quarter-finals (Bottom Half):
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 (87m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10 (70m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Ali Farag (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Women’s Quarter-finals (Bottom Half):
 Joelle King (NZL) bt  Alison Waters (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3 (43m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (46m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA