Another first for England’s world No.14 SJP
By NATHAN CLARKE at New Giza
Sarah-Jane Perry, the World No.14 from Birmingham, England, pulled off the biggest win of her career and one of the biggest shocks of the season as she downed eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the quarter-finals of the Al Ahram Squash Open newGiza – the $100k tournament taking place at the foot of Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza.
In front of one of the most iconic structures in the world, Perry, 26, produced a performance of epic proportions.
She came from 2-1 down to win a gritty five-game battle and record her first ever victory over the woman who topped the world rankings unopposed from 2006 to 2015–- just 48 hours after ending a nine-match losing streak to French World No.6 Camille Serme in the first round.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Perry afterwards. “She’s such a fierce competitor. I was up in last game and I had to play some ridiculous squash to beat her.
“Nicol never stops. I’ve had lots of game balls against her before and lost them all, so I knew I had to keep focusing until the end because it’s never over against her.
“Then at the end I got a bit emotional because it was a big win for me. It’s the result of a lot of hard work paying off and also my first win against her. I didn’t feel my best today but I made myself put everything into it.
“If you told me pre-event I’d make the semis I wouldn’t have known what to say – it’s all a bit of a blur to be honest.”
Perry will now face Raneem El Welily for a place in the title decider after the Egyptian ended the charge of American Amanda Sobhy in a rapid fire four-game encounter that saw the pair exchange points at a blistering pace from the off.
“I’m happy to come out as the winner today,” said Raneem. “In the second game things weren’t going my way and I went a little flat – which is what happened in the last two tournaments – so I’m happy I came through in the end.
“Last time I played Sarah-Jane it was very close but she’s much more solid now. But so am I. So we will see.”
In the Men’s draw Omar Mosaad ended the run of tournament lucky loser Zahed Mohamed in a hard fought straight-games win while Karim Abdel Gawad produced a scintillating performance to defeat Tarek Momen 3-0.
Gawad reached the final of the Hong Kong Open last month, narrowly losing to Ramy Ashour in the finale, and sent a strong message out to title-rival Mohamed ElShorbagy as he dictated the play and commanded the court to leave Momen with no answer to the 25-year-old’s skill and accuracy.
Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza, Cairo, Egypt.
PSA W100 Women’s Quarter-final Results:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 3-0: 11-1, 11-4, 11-8 (23m)
[WC] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Alison Waters (ENG) 3-2: 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 12-14, 11-8 (83m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3 (35m)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 11-9, 3-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 (61m)
Women’s Semi-final Draw:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [WC] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
PSA M100 Men’s Quarter-final Results:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-2: 5-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5 (66m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-0: 6-5 retired (15m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (41m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [LL] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 13-11, 11-9 (57m)
Men’s Semi-final Draw:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA