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Nick Matthew (left) and Mohamed ElShorbagy (right) during yesterday's group stage encounter

World Series Finals: Semi-Finals - As it Happens

It's semi-finals day at the ATCO PSA Dubai World Series as the action heats up inside Emirates Golf Club.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player or follow our live scoring page.

Action will also be shown on a number of mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro

Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+4)

Last year's runner-up Nour El Sherbini has been flawless at this year's tournament after powering to three successive 2-0 victories in Group A to top the group – laying down a real marker as she advances to the knockout stages, with the semi-finals using the best-of-three games format used in the group phase.

But she'll be up against a dangerous opponent in France's Camille Serme, whose win over defending champion Laura Massaro yesterday ensured that she qualified for the semi-finals for the second year running.

El Sherbini leads the head-to-head record 9-7 and Serme – the only non-Egyptian left in the women's event – will need to end a three-match losing streak against the World No.1

The prospect of a fairytale ending for 37-year-old veteran Nick Matthew is still on the cards after three wins out of three took the Englishman to top spot in Group A to qualify for the semi-finals of his last ever PSA World Tour event.

The three-time World Champion was a late call-up to the tournament after injury to World No.3 Marwan ElShorbagy temporarily halted Matthew’s retirement and he is now two wins away from what would be one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of the sport.

However, World No.2 Ali Farag stands in ‘The Wolf’s’ way and he will have to improve on a run of form against the Egyptian which has seen him win just one of their four previous meetings on the PSA World Tour.

There will definitely be one Egyptian woman in the final tomorrow with World Champion Raneem El Welily and World No.3 Nour El Tayeb facing off for a place in the title decider.

El Welily has won three of their last four matches and leads the head-to-head record with eight wins to El Tayeb’s five.

But El Tayeb beat El Welily in the final of October’s U.S. Open to lift a maiden World Series title which was the catalyst for her rise to the top of the game.

Germany's Simon Rösner missed out on a final berth at last year's final after squandering match ball against the opponent he will face today – and he will look to exercise those demons as he targets a place in the title decider of this event for the first time.

But he has never beaten World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in 13 previous encounters and he has only taken a solitary game against the Egyptian in their previous three matches.

The Tournament of Champions winner has played some of the best squash of his career this season though and, after storming through the group stages without losing a match, will be hopeful that he can finally get the better of The Beast of Alexandria.

El Sherbini Through to World Series Finals Title Decider For Second Year in a Row

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World No.1 Nour El Sherbini will compete in the final of the 2017/18 ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals for a second year in succession after coming through a controversial semi-final clash with France’s Camille Serme inside Emirates Golf Club.

With the scores locked at one game apiece, El Sherbini held an 8-6 lead in the third but Serme caught the two-time World Champion with her racket when trying to play a shot.

A let was given by the referee but Serme felt the decision should have been a stroke and she opened the door of the court to speak to the referee, at which point she was given a conduct stroke against her.

That decision proved to be pivotal as El Sherbini moved ahead to 9-6 and she duly closed out the win to earn her place in the title decider.

“It’s always a tough match playing Camille,” said El Sherbini.

“The court is really hot today and maybe it suited her game more than me but I was just trying very hard on every point. I’m so sorry for the conduct stroke, but that’s the rule and we have to deal with it.

“Camille is always a fair player and she’s never done anything wrong on court. But I’m really happy to be in the final again.

“It was really hard from the first point and I have no idea what I would have done if it was longer than this [best of three] because I was tired.

“I’m really hungry to win it, I never won it before and this is my third year in a row coming here. It’s the second final so hopefully this time it’s going to be my title.”

El Sherbini, who beat Serme in last year’s semi-finals as well, was in red hot form coming into the match having won all three of her group stage matches without dropping a game as she powered to the summit of Group A.

Serme, meanwhile, qualified on the final day after defeating defending champion Laura Massaro and recovered from a strong start from the Egyptian player – who was clinical and volleyed well to the front of the court – to level the scores after going a game down.

But she was unable to fully recover after the decision in the third and El Sherbini will now take a fellow Egyptian in the final, with either World Champion Raneem El Welily or World No.3 Nour El Tayeb lying in wait.


Result
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [6] Camille Serme (FRA) 2-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (39m)

Matthew Bows Out of Professional Squash After Defeat to Farag

Nick Matthew (right) with PSA Chairman Ziad Al-Turki (left)

Nick Matthew’s glittering 20-year career has come to an end after the 37-year-old three-time World Champion lost out to World No.2 Ali Farag in straight games.

Matthew looked to have played the last match of his career after defeat to Germany’s Raphael Kandra at last month’s Allam British Open but a hamstring injury to World No.3 Marwan ElShorbagy saw the Yorkshireman receive a late call-up to Dubai as he put his retirement on hold for another week.

And Matthew had been enjoying something of a resurgence after three wins out of three in the group stages saw him top Group A of the men’s event ahead of Mohamed ElShorbagy but Farag, 11 years Matthew’s junior, had too much for the tenacious Englishman today as the Egyptian took the first game 11-7 before wiping out a slender Matthew lead in the second to earn his place in the final of this tournament for the first time.

Matthew, the most successful male English squash player of all time, bows out with 35 PSA World Tour titles – including three PSA World Championship crowns – to his name, while he also claimed a trio of Commonwealth Games gold medals.

He will now take on a coaching and ambassadorial role at England Squash, as he aims to develop and mentor the next generation of English players.

“It’s extremely emotional, I knew that if I was close to winning that they were going to be the last few points of Nick’s career,” said Farag.

“I didn’t want to talk about it at all because I think the more I talked about it the more it would have gotten into my head. Only such a legend would get a standing ovation for around 10 minutes.

“I always grew up watching Nick and looking up to him in every aspect of the sport. His professionalism, his will, his fighting spirit, his tactics, I even went to him at the British Open and said that he never stops amazing us and giving us more reasons to respect him.

“He’s had an unbelievable career and it’s his day today.”

Matthew said: “I dared to dream for a second that I could go all the way but Ali was slightly too good tonight. Even a week ago, if you’d have offered me a semi-final place here I wouldn’t have believed it.

“A few people this week have been trying to talk me out of retirement but that’s not happening. I’m 100 per cent going to stay in squash, I’m going to have a rest this summer, I’ve got some camps in the US and I’ll have a lot of family time and regroup.

“I’ve got a great role which I’m looking forward to doing with England Squash and I’ll be growing my academy around the world. I’m still going to play, I’m not going to totally stop, I’m too competitive.”

Result
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 11-5, 11-7 (23m)

El Welily Sets Up El Sherbini Clash After Axing El Tayeb

Raneem El Welily

World Champion Raneem El Welily and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini will go head-to-head in the final of a PSA World Tour event for the sixth time this season after El Welily defeated World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in a quick-fire 19-minute semi-final clash.

El Welily had won three of her previous four matches against El Tayeb but the latter did get the better of her compatriot in the final of October’s U.S. Open as she captured a maiden World Series crown.

But a match full of deft winners and attacking artistry went the way of El Welily today as the World No.2 took the opener by an 11-7 margin and swept into a 7-1 lead in game two.

El Tayeb showed off her incredible retrieval skills as she dived around the court to pick up El Welily’s shots and she was able to come back to within a point.

29-year-old El Welily held her nerve though and triumphed in a brutal rally at match ball up to take the win.

“Nour is a really tough opponent,” said El Welily.

“This season has been great for her and we’ve had great battles. But it’s the end of the season, it’s the last tournament and the last push. We’ve all had tough pool matches and I’m happy with the way I pushed myself, even if at the end I let go and gave her a slight opportunity which she almost took.

“I’m happy to finish that in two. [Best of three] Makes me kind of nervous in a way, even though some players attack more, with me it’s the opposite. I hold back and you can see when I go for my shots I’m either very confident in them or very nervous about them.

“They're either a winner or they hit the tin. I’m really glad the last one got to the front wall and I’m happy to be in the finals.”

Result
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 11-9 (19m)

ElShorbagy Beats Rösner to Reach Final for Second Successive Year

Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) v Simon Rösner (right)

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy is through to his 11th PSA World Tour final of the season after he came through a cracker of a semi-final encounter with Germany’s Simon Rösner in a repeat of their meeting at the same stage of last year’s event.

Rösner squandered match ball on that occasion against eventual winner ElShorbagy and, while he wasn’t able to quite get in a winning position again, he made life difficult for the reigning World Champion.

Some gruelling rallies entertained spectators at Emirates Golf Club with ElShorbagy, who has won eight titles this season, taking the first on the tie-break as he looked to complete a 14th successive victory over Rösner, having never lost to the World No.5

Rösner has enjoyed his best season to date on the PSA World Tour – taking a maiden World Series crown at the Tournament of Champions – and he dug in his heels against his battle-hardened opponent and was able to wipe the Egyptian’s lead out with some incredible rallies going the way of the German player.


The sheer effort of going toe-to-toe with ElShorbagy took its toll on Rösner in the third game though and he was only able to put three points on the board as ElShorbagy moved through to the final, where World No.2 Ali Farag will await.

“Every time it gets tough in any match I always tell myself that I live for these kind of moments, these are the moments I was born for,” said ElShorbagy.

“When I lost that tough second game I knew that I could be in the final already but I told myself to have one more push for this match and it didn’t phase me. It was a challenge to back it up after that second game.

“I like to challenge myself and I’m happy to get through. Simon was playing well and the closest he’s got to taking me out was here last year. I really wanted to play him again and I think we both played better than how we played last year.

“Ali’s fresh, he’s playing well and we haven’t played since last November. It’s great to have the last match of the season between the World No.1 and No.2, definitely.”

Result
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 12-10, 10-12, 11-3 (47m)