Friday, June 21, 2024

Paris Squash 2023: Gina Kennedy edges into last four

Gina Kennedy is into a semi-final of a Platinum-level event for the first time in her career as she came from 2-1 down to overcome Sabrina Sobhy 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the Paris Squash 2023 at the Palais de Tokyo.

Kennedy, who has been a quarter-finalist at five Platinum events previously, was in for a tough encounter with Sobhy after the American knocked out World No.3 Hania El Hammamy yesterday.

Sobhy picked up where she left off against El Hammamy, taking the opener 11-6, before Kennedy levelled 11-8 in the second only for Sobhy to restore her lead in the third with an 11-8 win.

Kennedy made it all square once more as she capitalised on the soft ball, and the England No.1 ruthlessly claimed the fifth 11-2 to earn her maiden semi-final at a Platinum event.

“She [Sabrina Sobhy] clearly started feeling it in the fifth game. We’ve been training together since the beginning as we played at the same club and we were saying our bodies were hurting from the harder courts,” said Kennedy.

“That was a brutal match and we’ve had brutal matches since we were playing together at uni. I rarely came out on top in those challenge matches as well [against Sobhy]. I’m happy to come out on top this time.”

Kennedy will meet Nour El Sherbini in her first-ever last four appearance at a Platinum, as the seven-time World Champion fought back from one game down to overcome Nour El Tayeb 3-1.

El Tayeb came from 8-6 down in the first game to post five points without reply to go one game up, but World No.2 El Sherbini landed the perfect riposte to going behind, clinching the remaining games 11-8, 11-5 and 11-8.

Nouran Gohar and Amanda Sobhy will face off in the other semi-final, with the former downing Nele Gilis 3-0 while US No.1 Sobhy came from behind to beat Joelle King.

In the men’s draw, Diego Elias came out on top in a mammoth 100-minute battle with Joel Makin, winning 3-2 against the Welshman.

Elias battled back from 6-3 down to win the first game 11-7, before Makin responded and kept the Peruvian at arm’s length to make it all square.

World No.2 Elias was back in the driving seat as he began to find his range and regained the lead, only for Makin to restore parity once more. With 100 minutes on the clock, it was Elias who was able to hold off Makin in the fifth and reach the last four.

“Joel [Makin] is such a fighter – I had to win the points so many times. I’m still not happy with a lot of things I did today but I was happy being on court again after a couple of months. I was enjoying it and hopefully match by match I can get better,” said Elias.

“I wasn’t happy with my fitness today. He was really fast, volleying a lot, I was under pressure from the start and I didn’t expect that. I got a bit nervous and those things can get you a bit more tired. I’m just happy I could stay there and win.”

Mohamed ElShorbagy awaits Elias in the semi-final, as the Englishman cruised past Mazen Hesham 3-0.

The 32-year-old was faultless to get himself into the semi-finals, winning 11-5, 11-5 and 11-4 in just under half an hour.

The other semi-final in the men’s draw pits Ali Farag and Paul Coll against each other as they beat Victor Crouin and Tarek Momen, respectively.

Men’s Quarter-Final Results: Paris Squash 2023
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (43m)

[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (60m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (29m)
[2] Diego Elias (PER) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-2: 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 (100m)

Women’s Quarter-Final Results: Paris Squash 2023

[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [6] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (37m)

[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [4] Joelle King (NZL) 3-2: 3-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-2 (48m)
[8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-2: 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-2 (53m)

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (52m)

Men’s Semi-Final Draw: To be played 1 September  

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [4] Paul Coll (NZL)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) v [2] Diego Elias (PER)

Women’s Semi-Final Draw: To be played 1 September  

[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

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