Gaultier, Nour, Pilley make it to semifinals

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Gaultier, Nour, Pilley  make it to semifinals
Laura Massaro overcame Amanda Sobhy after a tense match.

Published: Fri 27 May 2016, 9:57 PM

Second seed Gregory Gaultier moved into the last four with a 3-0 win-loss account when he fought back to defeat Egypt's fourth seeded Omar Mosaad 2-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-1) to top Group B at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals, on Thursday.
The semifinals begin at 7pm on Friday at the Burj Park, and the final, at 7pm on Saturday.
Mosaad grabbed the opening game unexpectedly when Gaultier looked quite out of touch and cramped in his movements. However, the gutsy Frenchman increased the tempo in the second set with quicker retrievals from the front and the sides, forcing Mosaad to make errors. The Egyptian, one of the more consistent peformers on the circuit this season was blown out of the picture for his third consecutive loss, as Gaultier, fully charged up by now, literally won points as he pleased in the rubber. The French hero will clash with either teammate Mathieu Castagnet or Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez who were playing the last group fixture on Thursday night, in the semis on Friday.
"In the second visit to the court I had to push myself because last time in this tournament the same thing happened. I didn't push myself in the last pool game and wasn't sharp in the semifinals," Gaultier said.
 Laura Massaro, the number one seed, here overcame Harvard graduate Amanda Sobhy, the eighth seed here, 2-0 (13-11, 11-9) in a stretched issue that lasted 31 minutes after a tense 19 minutes in the first set. The first set witnessed ferocious stroking making, disputes on the calls, and numerous lets and strokes asked for. Amanda came back strongly to deuce at 10 but the experience of Laura finally began to tell on the talented American.
 World Champion Nour El Sherbini kept her best for the right occasion when she went into Thursday afternoon's match with a 1-1 record in Group B. The second seed inflicted a quick 20-minute 2-0 (11-4, 11-6) defeat on France's seventh rated Camille Serme to make the last four grade.
 Also making the last four grade on Thursday was eighth rated Aussie, Cameron Pilley, who defeated the talented and tenacious German sixth seed Simon Rosner 2-0 (11-2, 11-7) in 38 minutes to became the first Down Under player since David Palmer in 2008 to reach the penultimate stage of the event.
 Raneem El Welily made her qualifying record here 3-0 with another splendid performance on the final day of the group matches with a 2-0 (15-13, 11-9) victory over teammate and the sixth seed here Omneya Abdel Kawy, the match lasting 41 minutes. -

By Moni Mathews

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