Zahed Salem made sure there is Egyptian representation in the semi-finals of the Open de France after he downed former World No.1 James Willstrop in straight games.
The first game saw Salem run out Ito a big lead, as he stayed focussed despite some of Willlstrop’s trademark shots. The Englishman saved four game balls, but Salem eventually got over the line to take it 11-8.
In the second, Willstrop came out fighting, but it would be the World No.14 that would go on to take the victory in two, securing his place in the last four of the event. “First of all, I want to say thank you to the sponsors because I love this tournament and I am so happy to be back. To be playing in front of this crowd, it is great to be playing for you guys,” Salem said.
“It is always a pleasure to play such a great player. It is not easy to play against him. I lost twice to him in the past, with one of those coming here in Nantes last year. It was five tough games, but today, I wanted to go for the win as we were playing best-of-three, so I pushed really hard to start with and the plan worked well.
“One of my plans was that I was going to give everything in the first game because if you win it, you only need one more push to win the match. I am happy that it worked well and I am proud of how I played. I worked really well in the summer and I am glad to be through to the semi finals.”
Result – Men’s Quarter Final: Open de France – Nantes
 Zahed Salem (EGY) bt  James Willstrop (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-7 (29m)