After 2016 champion Camille Serme and eight-time World Champion Nicol David crashed out of the 2017 U.S. Open Presented by Macquarie Investment Management at the second round stage, the shocks continued to flow inside Philadelphia’s Drexel University as World No.1 Nour El Sherbini saw her title hopes dashed by compatriot Nour El Tayeb at the quarter-final stage.
24-year-old El Tayeb reached the final of the PSA World Series tournament in 2015 only for injury to strike and rule her out for over six months but she proved that she is back to her very best form as she put in an astute and polished performance that saw her out-manoeuvre El Sherbini and come through 13-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7.
“Nour has been the in-form player over the past 18 months so this is definitely one of the best wins of my career so far,” said El Tayeb.
“I’m very happy to be through to the semi-finals. I reached the final here two years ago but got injured and I’ll never forget that event. It took a year to come back from that injury and another year to recover that physical and mental strength to compete.
“So to win today gives me a lot of confidence and belief that I can play at this level and hopefully I can keep it up for two more matches.”
El Tayeb will go up against England’s Laura Massaro for a place in the final after the 2016 tournament champion came through in four games against Hong Kong’s Annie Au while Massaro’s compatriot Nick Matthew, the 2007 U.S. Open champion, prevailed in an all-English battle with Daryl Selby.
37-year-old Matthew, appearing in his last ever U.S. Open, showed the kind of mental grit and resilience that has epitomised his career as he grinded his way through a bruising 26-minute 15-13 opening game to sap energy from Selby and break the World No.16’s spirit – setting up the platform for a 3-0 win that takes him into the semi-finals without dropping a game.
“Tonight that first game was crucial,” said Matthew.
“I knew that it was a hard first game and that the work was in his legs so I tried to push on in the second. Psychologically I’m happy with how I finished it off in three, especially after winning the first.
“And I’m pleased to be back in the semi-finals again. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve reached the semi-finals of an event without dropping a game so there’s no excuses for me not to be fresh and ready for the semi-finals.
“I’ll be ready to take my opponent on physically and I look forward to the battle to come on Friday.”
Matthew will face Mohamed ElShorbagy, the man he lost to in last year’s final, in the last four after the Egyptian downed Simon Rösner of Germany 3-0.
Speaking after the match ElShorbagy said: “In the second game I was down 8-6 and I needed to give it a big push to try and be 2-0 up.
“There is a huge difference between 1-1 and being 2-0 up, so I’m really happy to be able to get the win in three.
“I thought we played a really high-quality match in the first two games and I’m really happy to get through.”
Results – Quarter-finals (Top Half): Men’s 2017 U.S. Open
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 12-10, 12-10, 11-5 (45m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 15-13, 11-2, 11-8 (50m)
Draw – Quarter-finals (Bottom half)
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
Diego Elias (PER) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Results – Quarter-finals (Top Half): Women’s 2017 U.S. Open
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1: 13-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7 (47m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (38m)
Draw – Quarter-finals (Bottom half)
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
photo Getty Images