Defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy moved through to the final of the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after a commanding victory over Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet underneath the chandeliers in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York.
The Egyptian controlled the early portions of the match by forcing Castagnet into the front corners of the court before stepping up to punish the number seven seed on the volley. After falling 2-0 behind, Castagnet cut the deficit to a single game by drawing out some errors from 25-year-old Elshorbagy but a series of punishing rallies saw the hard-hitting Elshorbagy take control of the match once more in game four and he held off a late attempt at a comeback from the Frenchman to see out an 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 triumph.
“The match had barely got going. We were feeling each other out on the first few points. I feel bad for everyone who came down to see a great match but that’s nothing to what I’m feeling for Greg because it’s his livelihood.
“I’ve got to take advantage of the fact that my legs will be fresh tomorrow and it will be my sixth Tournament of Champions final. I’m really proud of that record but I have only won one out of those five so far. I need to improve that ratio tomorrow.”
Elsewhere, history maker Amanda Sobhy has moved into her first ever PSA World Series final with a scintillating victory over Egypt’s Nouran Gohar.
Sobhy, who yesterday became the first American-born woman to reach the last four of the prestigious tournament, started on the back foot after a fast start from Gohar saw the 18-year-old rattle off a number of early points. Roared on by a raucous crowd, World No.8 Sobhy battled back and came out on top after a multitude of frenetic rallies saw the United States No.1 seize the win with a 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 margin of victory.
“I’m a little shocked, I don’t really have any words,” a breathless Sobhy said.
“It was a battle. Even though it was 3-0 it was so tough from the beginning to the end. I just tried to stay in my bubble and not let the pressure of getting to the finals in front of my home crowd get to me.”
Nour El Sherbini will go head-to-head with Sobhy in a mouthwatering final fixture after she produced a spellbinding display to down 2014 winner Nicol David.
The 20-year-old came through a brutal five-game encounter with World No.4 Camille Serme in the previous round but no signs of fatigue as she pounced on any loose drops from David to claim an 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 victory.
“It was very special to beat Nicol 3-0 and it was one of the best things that is ever going to happen to me,” said El Sherbini.
“I’m really happy. With Nicol you have to attack any shots you can so I was trying to finish the points off. Nicol seemed like she was struggling with her movement today so I think that it gave me an advantage.”
Results: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Men’s Semi-Finals
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 (49m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 1-0: 3-3 ret. (14m)
Draw: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Men’s Final
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
Results: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Women’s Semi-Finals
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 (38m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (26m)
Draw: J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – Women’s Final
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
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