MANCHESTER: Top-ranked Amr Shabana
led three Egyptians into the men's semifinals of the World
Squash Championships, while women's favorite
Nicole David powered on without dropping a set.
Shabana, trying to join Jansher Khan, Jahangir Khan and
Geoff Hunt as four-time champions, beat countryman Mohamed
El Shorbagy, a 17-year-old qualifier, 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 in a
Next up will be Egypt's new star, fourth-seeded Ramy
Ashour, who beat eighth-seeded Nick Matthew of England
2-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7.
British Open champ David Palmer of Australia overcame
fervent support for third-seeded James Willstrop of England
to win 5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 and stay in contention
for a third world title.
“That felt like a final,” Palmer said. “I can't imagine
playing in front of a home crowd like this.”
Palmer will meet seventh-seeded Karim Darwish of Egypt who
ousted England's last hope Adrian Grant 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.
Malaysian star David, unbeaten in nine World Tour events
since her surprising exit in the second round of last
year's worlds, marched through her quarterfinal against
Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-8, 11-1, 11-9.
On Saturday David meets Ireland's Madeline Perry, who
survived five match balls in coming back from two sets down
to beat unseeded Jaclyn Hawkes of New Zealand 6-11, 5-11,
11-9, 12-10, 11-9 in 66 minutes.
Hawkes, playing her first major quarterfinal, led two sets
and 9-7, then had five match balls at 10-5 in the fourth.
'It was pure determination,' Perry said of her comeback.
“But I really felt uncomfortable out there – probably
because I knew I had such a good opportunity.”
England will be represented in the women's final on Sunday
by either fifth-seeded Jenny Duncalf or 11th-seeded Vicky
Duncalf ended Dutch star Natalie Grinham's hope of a third
successive final appearance 11-8, 10-12, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7
in 65 minutes.
It was third-seeded Grinham's first loss to Duncalf in 13
matches since 2004.
Botwright, who announced before the tournament she's
retiring, followed her upset of defending champion Rachael
Grinham by defeating seventh-seeded Alison Waters of
England 13-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9.