Allam British Open semi-finals

Allam British Open Semi-Finals at the KC Stadium:

[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 [4] Alison Waters (Eng) 11/5, 11/4, 11/5(27m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) 8/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/9 (48m)

[4] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) 3-1 [2] Nick Matthew (Eng) 9/11, 11/7, 11/3, 11/6 (70m)
[1] Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-0 [3] James Willstrop (Eng) 11/2, 11/9, 13/11 (37m)

Top seeds David and Massaro reach women’s final

SP_2032Top seeds Nicol David and Laura Massaro will contest the women’s final of the Allam British Open after victories in this afternoon’s semi-finals in front of a packed crowd at the KC Stadium in Hull.

Defending champion and world number one David was just too strong as she swept away English fourth seed Alison Waters in under half an hour, but the crowd was able to cheer a home victory as Laura Massaro, the second seed, came from a game down to beat Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily in four close games.

SP_2031“It may have felt like I was in a hurry,” said David, “but that’s the pace Alison imposed at the beginning! It took me a few rallies to get used to the court, but after a few points, I felt OK. I just did what I had to do, and it worked out fine.”

A delighted Massaro said: “Getting to the final of the British Open for an English person, especially in front of such a big crowd is something really special. I didn’t have much nerves before the match, because we are quite level if you see what I mean, it takes the pressure off, because the one that can stick to the game plan on the day, wins.”

Gaultier ends Matthew’s reign, Ashour back in final

SP_2011England’s defending champion Nick Matthew had the title stripped from his grasp as Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, champion in 2007, came from a game down to beat the home favourite in four intense games.

“I really wanted to do well at the British Open this year,” said Gaultier. “It was a massive match today. I wanted to win, I want to up the rankings and the way to do it is not to lose in the semis, but win the final.”

SP_2022In the final he’ll meet top seed and world number one Ramy Ashour, who blitzed through the first game against James Willstrop, before fending off a determined, but ultimately in vain, fightback by the Englishman in the next two games.

“The game was very intense, and probably drew a lot out of me,” admitted Ashour, “but tomorrow, I’ll keep pushing against Greg. The pressure is still on, the tournament is not finished.”

Willstrop – who had a late-night 107-minute semi-final and whose father Malcolm told him immediately after today’s match that he was proud of him – said: “I gave it everything I could. It was tough. But you know, I have played some of my best matches when I was backing up tough games, and I think I played pretty well there.”

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