Egypt’s women’s world champion Nour El Sherbini suffered a surprise defeat to fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar in her quarter-final match on home ground tonight at the El Gouna International.
A second shock followed as, in the last of the four quarter-finals at the Egyptian resort’s Abu Tig Marina, former world champion and second seed Mohamed Elshorbagy was beaten by wild card entrant Fares Dessouky.
El Sherbini and Gohar had met 10 times before their latest clash and the latter player, ranked seventh in the world, had earned her only victory in their first meeting at the 2014 Women’s World Championships.
Gohar provided the Professional Squash Association World Tour event with one of its highlight performances as she came through 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 to earn a semi-final appearance tomorrow.
The 23-year-old world number two had taken an injury break in the fourth game after rolling her ankle, but she battled back to win the game once she resumed.
El Sherbini’s 21-year-old challenger built a big lead in the fifth game and although the world champion rallied to draw level and take the match to a tie-break, Gohar prevailed 12-10.
“It feels amazing,” said Gohar.
“The only other time I beat her was our first meeting and that was in Egypt as well – it is my lucky place.”
Gohar’s opponent will be France’s world number four, Camille Serme, who fought back to beat Britain’s Sarah-Jane Perry 12-14, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10.
Meanwhile, Dessouky’s reward for his audacious 15-13, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 win is a semi-final meeting tomorrow with Karim Abdel Gawad, the former world number one who had earlier beaten the defending men’s champion – Elshorbagy’s younger brother Marwan.
A year ago to the day, Elshorbagy had got the better of Gawad in the quarter finals of this competition but this time it was the world number six who took the victory 11-9, 12-10, 11-6.