Laura Massaro flies the flag for England as she meets Nour El Tayeb in women’s final
By NATHAN CLARKE in Philadelphia
Egyptian World No.6 Omar Mosaad celebrated the biggest win of his career in Philadelphia as he knocked three-time world champion Nick Matthew out of the 2015 Delaware Investments US Open to reach the final of a PSA World Series tournament for the first time. Hopes of an all-Egyptian final were dashed when Gregory Gaultier beat top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy in other semi-final.
Mosaad played with composure and control as he recorded his first win against Matthew in 12 attempts, prevailing 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-7, in a victory that was made all the more poignant for the powerful 27-year-old from Cairo as it came just two months after the tragic death of his mother and sister in a car accident in Egypt.
“Reaching the final of a World Series event for the first time in my life means an awful lot to me,” said Mosaad.
“Beating Nick for the first time, in my first ever World Series semi-final, is an amazing feeling. I feel like I’ve been playing really well this event and I’ve been trying very hard to improve recently.
“Before the season my family had an accident and I lost two of them, and when I was playing in Macau earlier in the season I was confused and not focused.
“After that I worked hard with my coaches, who did a great job with me in helping me stay focused when inside the court, and it’s really been working well this tournament and we will see what happens tomorrow.”
The man known as the ‘Hammer of Thor’ will now face World No.3 Gaultier in the showpiece finale after the 32-year-old Frenchman ended a five-match losing streak against World No.1 Elshorbagy in breathtaking fashion – winning a dramatic 77-minute semi-final.
The match-up, their 15th on the PSA World Tour, was a repeat of the 2014 semi-final – when Elshorbagy triumphed in straight-games to knock the Frenchman off the top of the world rankings to occupy the No.1 slot for the first time in his career.
“It seems like I play well here at the US Open,” said Gaultier. “I’ve won this title a few times and made the final as well, but last year I lost to Mohamed at this stage when he was chasing me at the top of the rankings so I’m happy that it was my turn today.
“He has beaten me the last few times we have played but I’ve been very close the last couple of times especially. I analysed those matches with my team and I knew what I had to do and I feel like I played quite well today.”
In the women’s event, England’s Laura Massaro maintained her bid to win the prestigious Delaware Investments US Open title for the second time in her career with an accomplished 3-0 win over Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy in the semi-finals.
Massaro, who beat Nicol David in the quarter-finals, won 12-10, 11-7, 11-9, imposing her solid game on an opponent known for flair and trickery.
She triumphed in 2011 and finished as runner-up in 2013 – the year the US Open made history by becoming the first PSA World Series event to offer equal prize money to men and women – and will compete agains Nour El Tayeb in the final as she guns for her first major PSA World Tour title since winning the 2013 World Championship.
“I’m really pleased with how I played this evening and I’m thrilled to be in a major final once again,” said Massaro.
“I’m enjoying my squash at the moment and I think having such a tough match and beating Nicol yesterday took some pressure off me. I’ve felt relaxed all day and that certainly helped tonight.
“I’ve watched Nour play this week and she’s in great form,” added Massaro. “It’s a major final and I’m really excited for it. There won’t be any pressure on me so I’m just looking forward to it.”
No.8 seed El Tayeb produced a phenomenal performance to overcome Camille Serme, beating the accomplished British Open champion in four hard games.
Having removed top seed Raneem El Welily in the quarter-finals, she will have her heart set on winning the biggest title of her career.
The final should be a special occasion, pitching the two great super-powers of squash in opposition, with Massaro keen to fly the flag for England as a wave of Egyptians rise up the rankings.
Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphis, USA.
Women’s Semi-finals (October 16, 2015):
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1: 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (54m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (34m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4 (77m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt  Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-7 (65m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA and US Open