El Hammamy on Form to Seal Semis Spot
World No.3 Hania El Hammamy has sealed her place in the semi finals of the Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family for the first time in her career following a superb 3-0 win over fellow Egyptian Salma Hany.
El Hammamy was superb throughout and gave Hany very little to work with as she attacked well and hit clean lines against the World No.7 to complete an 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 victory to move to within one win of a third successive PSA World Tour final.
A semi final fixture against either World No.1 Nour El Sherbini or Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby in the last four awaits.
“I’m really happy to beat Salma in three, she’s such a dangerous opponent and is very hard to play, very tricky,” said El Hammamy.
“I managed to stay focus and not drop a game. All games were very tight, and I had to be very focused on the critical points, so I’m very happy I managed to do that.
“I’m very positive with the way I’m approaching each tournament, knowing that I have to beat one or two [of El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar] at least. I’ve been able to beat one of them in each tournament and my next goal is to beat one of them in both tournament. I’m gaining confidence, and I hope to do it very soon.”
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (37m)
Ibrahim makes first platinum semi-final
A huge opportunity presented itself for Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu and Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the second match of the day’s play.
Both players have caused huge upsets in this event. Pajares defeated No.5 seed Diego Elias 3-2 in round two, whereas Ibrahim claimed another victory over World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy to reach the quarter finals.
Ibrahim picked up where he left off, firing the ball short at any opportunity and moved his Spanish opponent into all four corners of the court, making life extremely difficult for Pajares to make any headway in the match.
After securing the first game 11-5, Ibrahim gathered confidence and momentum to take the next game 11-4 and place one foot in his first platinum event semi-final. The talented Egyptian was ruthless in his attacks to the front of the court, chopping the ball in short and leaving the ball so far up the court that even the athleticism of Pajares wasn’t enough to deny an Ibrahim win.
Ibrahim won the third game 11-6 to book his semi-final place, where he will play the winner of Ali Farag and Marwan ElShorbagy.
Ibrahim had this to say after the match:
“I remember in my first platinum quarter final I was way too excited. I prepared so well for this match and just wanted to get a good start. From then on I stuck to my tactics and it wasn’t his best day and Iker has a lot better to offer than this but I think I held it together better, but I didn’t give him a chance to get into the match and I’m happy with that.
“I was really concerned about that, I warmed up or like 40 minutes, I don’t usually warm up that much and that says a lot, I was pretty sharp in the first couple of points and I didn’t give him any freebies and I was just focused today.
“Ali and Marwan are really good friends of mine, Ali and I play in the same club and I’m happy to say I beat him last time. Ali and Marwan is always a really good match for the crowd and I hope the best player wins and I’m looking forward to whomever it is in the semis.”
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (33m)
El Sherbini storms into the semi-finals
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini was in action next on day five of this year’s Windy City Open as she defeated compatriot Rowan Elaraby in three games to reach another platinum event semi-final.
After surviving a huge scare in round three from Belgium’s Tinne Gilis, El Sherbini look focused and composed as she started the match strongly taking the first game 11-7.
The second game followed a similar pattern to the first as El Sherbini dominated the exchanges and after hitting immaculate drives was able to pick her younger opponent off on the volley several times.
The World No.1 continued to twist and turn Elaraby, the younger Egyptian had no answer for the power and accuracy of El Sherbini. The No.1 seed moved through to yet another semi-final winning 3-0 in
“I’m really happy with my performance. I think I really needed this win for my confidence after my last match,” admitted El Sherbini.
“First time paying Rowan, she’s in great form this season, breaking into the top 10 and we’ve never played before so I really wanted to play well today and get my game confidence back and I’m really happy with this win.
“When you have a tough match In the first rounds, you try to think about what’s happening and I’ve been away for almost two weeks so I have to try and keep myself ready. I haven’t played two tournaments back to back like this for a long time so I think it helped to wake me up a little bit and be ready for the rest of the tournament.
“It’s always a tough battle against Hania and I think she proved herself this season. She’s been challenging all the players and I always like this kind of challenge, she beat me in Philadelphia and I won at Black Ball so I’ll do my best to be ready for this one again.”
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (29m)