Daryl Selby meets Egyptian ace in semi-final
By SEAN REUTHE
England’s Chris Simpson lost a brutal five-game thriller to world No.9 Karim Abdel Gawad in the quarter-finals of the 2016 UCS Swedish Open in Linköping, but tour veteran Daryl Selby produced a superb performance to beat Max Lee to reach the last four.
Simpson and Gawad delivered a feast of attacking squash in front of an enraptured crowd but it was the Egyptian who eventually shaded the contest, prevailing 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 after 66 minutes of high-quality squash.
“I’m very happy to reach the semis,” said Gawad (right). “This is the second PSA M70 semi-final I have reached in my career so I’m really happy to get through.
“Simpson is a very tough player so I’m glad I could take it in the fifth today. It was tough because in the fourth he was 9-4 up and I managed to get it back to 9-9 but he still won it.
“It made it tough mentally in the fifth because of how tough the fourth game was. I had to refocus, concentrate and get the first points in the fifth. I’m the number two seed in this tournament so I have to focus and not put too much pressure on myself.”
Title favourite Simon Rösner is still on track to pick up a first PSA World Tour title in over a year after downing Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley in a highly entertaining 79-minute clash.
High quality rallies were par for the course with only a number of lets towards the end of the third game punctuating what was otherwise a nail-biting contest full to the brim with attacking brilliance from the duo.
Rösner dropped the first game but soon wrestled back momentum of the match, prevailing by a 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 margin of victory to reach his second ever Swedish Open semi-final.
The tall, powerful German said: “We played each other recently and Cameron came out with the win but today it was my turn. I’m proud of my performance and I think we played some really good squash and I hope that we ended up exciting the crowd as well.
“I think that I played better than last time I played him [in the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open). I’m really proud to be in another semi-final in the Swedish Open.”
Daryl Selby has reached his first PSA M70 semi-final since 2013 after coming through his clash with Max Lee in straight games.
Lee was fatigued after winning a gruelling five-game contest in the previous round against Alan Clyne and Selby took full advantage of his opponent’s weary legs to take an 11-9, 11-5, 16-14 victory and set up a semi-final meeting with second seed Gawad.
“I felt like I played well,” said Selby. “He picked up so many balls in the third that I really didn’t think he was going to get back. It shows the professionalism, grit and determination that you face every time you step on court so all credit to Max. I thought my length was good so we’ll see what happens in the next round.”
Tarek Momen defeated French qualifier Lucas Serme and the World No.11 will go head-to-head with Rösner in the semi-finals. It was a very well played match between two technical and quick players who both showed their best sides.
Momen produced some spectacular finishing shots during the first two games. Overall, his discipline and control helped him to win in straight games over the young and talented frenchman.
Serme fought very well and Momen had warm words for the quickly improving Frenchman during his interview, saying: “I knew i was playing an upcoming dangerous player and he is really one of the great talents that are coming up and he gave me a really hard time on the court.”
2016 UCS Swedish Open – Quarter-Finals:
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (66m)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt  Max Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 16-14 (51m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (35m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt  Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (79m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Daryl Selby (ENG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com)