Nouran Gohar roars past Raneem El Welily
By NATHAN CLARKE in Hull
England’s World No.1 Laura Massaro was dumped out of the 2016 Allam British Open at the quarter-final stage by defending champion Camille Serme in a 39-minute romp that sees any hopes of home success in the PSA World Series tournament dashed.
Massaro had witnessed compatriots Nick Matthew and James Willstrop exit the men’s competition at the second round stage earlier this week and joined them on the tournament casualty list after a lacklustre display against an in-form Serme.
Serme claimed the title here 12 months ago with an impressive win over Massaro in the final.
And she produced another display of note to get the better of the 32-year-old from Preston, winning 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 to move into the last four.
“I felt good on court today, a bit nervous at the beginning, but I got more and more confident with my game as the match went on,” said Serme.
“Last year I was really focused on what to do. Today, I wanted to play a lot of volleys and try to attack as soon as I could without rushing it. I was trying to find the balance between rushing and not rushing.
“I wanted to make her work but not by playing it into the front too quickly, it’s what I’m trying to work on at the moment.
“When I have the opportunity I want to attack more because most of the time I just volley at the back and I could actually drop so I have to find the balance.
“Sometimes, in my head, when something happens [like Massaro serving out of court] I think that it is a sign and that she doesn’t want it as much as I did.
“I’m really happy to be back in the last four and I can’t wait to play the semi-final tomorrow.”
Serme will now face Egyptian Nouran Gohar after the teenager downed former World No.1 Raneem El Welily in an astonishing performance of big-match temperament in one of the world’s most important tournaments.
It was an entertaining match played by two of the world’s biggest talents and it was 18-year-old Gohar who established herself first, cruising to a 6-2 lead in the opener before fending off a late comeback from El Welily.
The second game followed along the same vein but a blood break due to Gohar picking up a minor knee injury halted proceedings momentarily after the talented youngster had doubled her lead, and El Welily took advantage to claim the third after play had resumed.
However, the win turned out to be in vain as Gohar reproduced the form she showed in the opening two games to overturn a 9-7 deficit in the fourth and close out an 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9 triumph to ensure that she will now be competing for a place in the final.
“I reached the semi-finals of the ToC but making it to the semi-finals of the British Open is such an amazing feeling,” said Gohar.
Nour El Sherbini played some superb squash to overcome America’s Amanda Sobhy in straight games, finishing strongly to win a tough third game 14-12.
And Malaysia’s Nicol David weathered two difficult games against Omneya Abdel Kawy to win in four, taking the decider 11-2 as her opponent tired.
2016 Allam British Open, Hull, England.
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (39m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9 (70m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 14-12 (34m)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 12-14, 12-10, 11-2 (46m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Nicol David (MAS)
Pictures by PATRICK LAUSON (patricklausonphotography.co.uk)