Pilley stuns Elshorbagy to enter PSA Dubai World Series final

Laura Massaro of England in action against Nour El Sherbini of Egypt during their Dubai PSA World Series semifinals.
Laura Massaro of England in action against Nour El Sherbini of Egypt during their Dubai PSA World Series semifinals.

Dubai - Laura, Raneem to contest women's final in Dubai World Series

By Moni Mathews

Published: Sat 28 May 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 10 Jun 2016, 1:47 AM

Australian world No.8 Cameron Pilley who somehow managed to scrape into the top eight in the world for the PSA Dubai World Series Finals, stunned world No.1 and the 'Pharaoh of Squash', Mohamed Elshorbagy, 11-9, 11-6 at Dubai Park, Friday night.
The semifinal between the two lasting nearly 30 minutes after a 17-minute first set, saw Pilley piling pressure on the Egyptian master. In the head-to-head standing after the Friday game, Pilley trails Elshorbagy 6-7.
Earlier in the women's first semifinal, Nour El Sherbini, the world champion, went down 10-12, 6-11 to world number one, Laura Massaro of England in 28 minutes.
In the women's second semis, Raneem El Welily of Egypt beat Nicol David of Malaysia 11-5, 8-11, 11-8.
In the Pilley-Elshorbagy tie, there were frozen moments at 10-8 in the first set when Pilley, the more consistent of the two, led and had to wait through a series of long rallies, lets, reviews and re-serves before a tired looking Elshorbagy finally returned a delicate low tin drop, high above the line on the right wall to surrender the set.
Pilley settled down with his smart returns, and just kept the ball in play in the second set. Elshorbagy struggled with his forehands and saw himself in huge arrears at 2-8, against Pilley, who was by now brimming with supreme confidence. "I have played many tough opponents and Pilley is definitely one of the them, always. Tonight (Friday) he was just above the mark and I was not there. He played with great consistency and sharpness in his shot making," said Elshorbagy.
In the women's first semis, Nour raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set after Laura made two unforced errors on the forehand, hitting the tin. But the wily customer that Laura is, saw her wiping out the deficit before leading 7-6 and then 8-7. A crucial let saw the issue glued on 8all following an unusually stretched rally. Nour fought back for 10all with two ferocious forehands on Laura's forehand corner. Laura shot one ahead on match count when she slammed one in, inches short of Nour's stretched backhand try in the opening set lasting 17 minutes.
"Getting settled first with slower backhands was something both of us tried out and eventually I managed to maintain the pressure on Nour for the result," said Laura.

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