Massaro and Matthew on the march for England
By NATHAN CLARKE in Philadelphia
England’s Laura Massaro ended Malaysian Nicol David’s bid to win a record fourth-consecutive Delaware Investments US Open title after emerging victorious in a gripping five-game battle at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
World No.3 Massaro mounted a dramatic comeback the last time the duo met at the Allam British Open in May when she recovered from 2-1 and match-ball down to come through an enthralling 77-minute encounter.
This time she once again dug deep to recover from two games down to eliminate the World No.2 after 71 minutes of intense action that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
“Being two games down against Nicol is always going to be an uphill battle but I knew I could do it because that’s what happened last time we played so I kept that in my mind and it was maybe in her mind as well,” said Massaro.
“She was playing well and I was being hard on myself after the first game and then the second went so quickly. In the third I came out to fight my hardest because I don’t ever want to lose 3-0 to anyone so I wanted to make the score respectable.
“I was just taking it one rally at a time and I guess it came good for me in the end. We’ve played a lot of matches over the years and that was probably one of the most back-and-forth so I’m just massively relieved.”
Massaro will take on Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy in tomorrow’s semi-finals after the World No.6 eliminated India’s Dipika Pallikal 3-2, clinching the fifth game 11-3 with a measure of consistency and control.
Nick Matthew ensured there will be English representation in both the men’s and women’s draws after a commanding win over Fares Dessouki.
Since winning the title in 2007 the 35-year-old from Sheffield has made the semi-final or better on every appearance at the prestigious North American event and will now compete in the last four for a seventh time after he dispatched his 21-year-old opponent with a solid and effective game plan, making just five errors in the entire match to put Dessouki to the sword in 46 minutes.
“I think that was maybe my best tactical performance of the week,” said Matthew.
“I’ve made the final here a few times in the last few years but never got past that final hurdle so hopefully this is the year that I can change that – but I’ll take it one step at a time. I struggled for form in the first round so I’m just enjoying my squash at the minute and hopefully that will continue.”
Matthew will face Omar Mosaad for a place in the final after the powerful Egyptian beat Daryl Selby 3-2 in a momentous battle lasting 74 minutes to secure an appearance in the semi-finals of a PSA World Series event for the first time in his career.
Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (69m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (37m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3 (55m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (71m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 15-13, 11-8, 11-8 (54m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (46m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 (74m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (46m)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA and US Open