Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 (36m)
Nour El Sherbini produced a spell-binding display to see off former World No.1 Nicol David is straight games for the second consecutive occasion at a PSA World Series tournament, downing the Malaysian superstar 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 in a highly competitive match up that sees the 20-year-old reach the semi-finals of the 2016 Windy City Open.
El Sherbini downed David 3-0 to reach the final of January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, where she went on to take the title, but indication that David was carrying an injury overshadowed her performance. In the majestic Cathedral Hall inside the University Club of Chicago the Egyptian made sure there would be no question marks this time around, playing with pinpoint aggression and confidence from the very first serve to set up a mouth-watering last four encounter with current World No.1 Laura Massaro.
All three games followed a similar pattern with El Sherbini getting out to an early lead before David forced her way into proceedings to comeback and level the scores at the mid-point stage. From 5-5 and 6-6 in all three games the Malaysian had opportunities to open up leads but couldn’t see off the Egyptian who cut a composed and assured character on court. Some sublimely struck outright winners, with her backhand in particular impressing, helped El Sherbini regain momentum and she held firm to come through narrowly in each game and record what is a huge victory for her hopes of becoming a dominant force on the PSA World Tour.
After wasting game ball at 10-9 in the second and seeing David force a tie-break El Sherbini could easily have gone into panic mode. But the ToC champion showed impressive cool and composure to smash home a crosscourt backhand kill from an unstable position to take the advantage again, playing an unretrievable boast seconds later to go 2-0 up.
Shot Of The Match
The opening rally of the match set the tone for El Sherbini as she came out in confident form as she absorbed everything David threw at her in a lengthy opening rally. After David hit a soft drop into the front left El Sherbini showed her vast arsenal of shots to play a reverse drop with open racket face, sending David in completely the wrong direction.
Nour El Sherbini: “Playing Nicol is very hard – I have to prepare very hard to play her.
“Today I wasn’t think to much – I was just going for it. All three games could have gone either way but thankfully in the end they all went for me.
“Once I had an opportunity to attack I just went for it – my attacking shots were going well and I’m happy that they worked.
“When you are winning you always get more confident each time you go on court – I’m just playing and enjoying being on court. I’m not thinking about anything else right now.”