Last Brit standing, Laura Massaro bids for revenge
By NATHAN CLARKE in Hull
Top seed Laura Massaro booked a quarter-final clash with reigning champion Camille Serme, the French star who beat her in last year’s final, in an absorbing day’s play at the Airco Arena in Hull. In the men’s draw, Mohamed Elshorbagy’s patient wait for a rematch with James Willstrop was rewarded with a victory that gained revenge for a stunning defeat in the World Championship in Seattle.
Defending men’s champion Elshorbagy, the current World No.1, downed the Yorkshireman 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5 – meaning that there will be no Englishmen in the quarter-final stage of the iconic tournament for the first time since 1992 after Nick Matthew also exited the event yesterday. Women’s world No.1 Massaro is thus the last British player left in the competition.
“I’ve been waiting for this match for four months, since the World Championship,” said Elshorbagy.
“After he got back from his injury, the first time I saw him return to his best was against me in the World Championship. I was really happy to see him playing that well, it’s important for the game to have someone like him to be playing very well. I was focused from the first point today, I thought we played such a high-quality match for a second round match.
“I got in my zone and I’m really happy that he played well so we pushed each other very hard.”
Picture Gallery by PATRICK LAUSON (www.patricklausonphotography.co.uk)
An injury to Saurav Ghosal saw Marwan Elshorbagy progress to the next round where he will take on Karim Abdel Gawad, who reached the last eight at the iconic event for the first time in his career by beating compatriot Fares Dessouki, while Miguel Angel Rodriguez downed Mohamed Abouelghar to ensure he will face Mohamed Elshorbagy for a place in the semi-final.
Massaro came through a difficult tie against Denmark’s Line Hansen to continue her attempts to lift a second British Open crown.
The 32-year-old was made to work hard for the win and found herself trailing her opponent in the first game before prevailing and she came through the second in determined style after triumphing on the tie-break.
Some typically accurate hitting from the 2013 British Open champion saw her pull away in game three and she kept her composure to record an 11-9, 12-10, 11-5 triumph.
“It will be a good match for the crowd,” said Massaro of her upcoming fixture against Serme.
“I’m glad to be in the quarter final, it’s nice to be off in three games with not much time to rest. I feel like I am playing well and much better than I was this time last year. Also I don’t have an 85-minute match in my legs like I did going into last years final so I just want to play my best.”
Serme produced a masterful performance against England’s Victoria Lust sent her through to the last eight.
The number five seed produced an array of sublime shots during a high-quality match as her attacking artistry at the front of the court in particular paid dividends throughout the 31-minute encounter.
She put Lust to the sword in a comprehensive 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 victory to seal her spot in the next round – where she will face Women’s World No.1 Massaro, the only English player left in the competition, in a repeat of last year’s final.
“I am just trying to focus on today and not last year,” Serme said. “I just try to focus match after match, and try to think about the tactic and not the prestigious tournament. It would be be a good battle [against Massaro], a good match. I am going to give everything I have.”
The other matches in the Women’s draw saw World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar beat Hong Kong’s Annie Au to set up a quarter-final clash with Raneem El Welily, who saw off Sarah-Jane Perry.
2016 Allam British Open, Hull, England.
Men’s Second Round (Top Half):
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5 (63m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-8 (43m)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 0-0 retired (24m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-1: 12-14, 11-3, 12-10, 11-9 (91m)
Quarter-finals (March 25):
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Ali Farag (EGY) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Women’s Second Round (Top Half):
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-9, 12-10, 11-5 (35m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 (31m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-8 (27m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 11-6 (41m)
Quarter-finals (March 25):
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v  Nicol David (MAS)