Egypt claim a clean sweep on Day Five
Down to the quarter-finals in Chicago, today saw the top half of the draws battle it out for semi-final spots in an evening session.
With at least one Egyptian in each of tonight’s matches, a clean sweep was always on the cards, and so it proved as defending champions Raneem El Welily and Mohamed ElShorbagy won in four games, with Nour El Tayeb and Tarek Momen joining then with straight-game victories.
 Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-0  Annie Au (Hkg) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (25m)
 Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-0  Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (33m)
 Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-1  Nouran Gohar (Egy) 11-4, 6-11, 11-4, 11-2 (37m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-1  Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (61m)
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Mohamed keeps Miguel on a leash
Mohamed ElShorbagy has beaten Miguel Rodriguez twice since their epic British Open final, and went into the match with a 13-2 advantage on the H2H. But it was the Colombian who took first blood, edging ahead in the first and profiting from a couple of unforded errors to take the lead 11-5.
They were probably the last unforced errors the Egyptian world #1 made, until he was 10-4 up in the fourth. ElShorbagy buckled down and kept Rogriguez on a tight leash for three controlled games, taking the second and third 11-7, 11-6.
Two tins at match ball only delayed the result as he moved through to a 7th Worlds semi-final.
“That was one of the best Miguel’s played against me, I could tell it was going to be tough from the first point.
“He wasn’t going to give me anything, I had to win the points, I’m glad I managed to get ahead after the first but it was always tough.”
Seven up for Raneem
Defending Champion Raneem El Welily won through to a seventh successive Worlds semi-final as she overcame compatriot Nouran Gohar in four games.
The top seed was on fire in the first as she raced to a 10-1 lead, converting it 11-4. Gohar struck back with a big lead in the second, taking it 11-6, but Welily was well on top in the next two games as she eased through 11-4, 11-2.
“I was a bit nervous coming into this actually, since Nouran beat me a week ago in Egypt.
“I’m happy that I was able to keep my focus, especially after she took the second, and delighted to be through to the semis.”
Tarek tears into the last four
The second match of the evening was an all-Egyptian affair, and on paper should have been very close.
Marwan ElShorbagy, last year’s runner-up who is recently back after a lengthy layoff, took a 4-2 lead in the first, but it was Tarek Momen who controlled the rest of that game as he took the lead 11-5.
And Tarek kept hold of the momentum in the next two games, staying far enough ahead to cut off any danger of a Marwan comeback ah he finished the match 11-4, 11-6.
“After some tough early matches I knew I needed a shorter match to keep my tournament hopes alive, but I also knew that Marwan would be a really tough task.
“I’m pleased that for once I managed to keep my focus throughout, and especially delighted to win in three!”
Tayeb storms into semis
Nour El Tayeb was the first player to reach the semi-finals as she blitzed past Annie Au in straight games.
The Egyptian 3rd seed was on top from the word go, picking off winners and neutralising Annie’s game to great effect.
The Hong Kong player – the first to reach the quarter-finals – threatened to close the gap in the last two games but Nour was having none of that as she closed out both to reach a second successive world semi-final.
“Anyone who beats Laura, I’m worried, I lost to her 3-0 last time so I knew I had to be on my game.
“It’s a different game playing Annie, so much height and lots of play at the front, I’m really happy to get through that in three games.
““I’m very happy to be in the semis and I don’t mind who I play.