Semi-Finals: Egypt and England taken the distance

Semi-Finals Day in Dalian, with Egypt, England, Hong Kong and France already assured of medals, but which colours would they be …

[table] SEMI-FINALS CC1, 5/8 semis, 9/12 semis, 13/16 semis
[1] Egypt 2-1 [5] Hong Kong, USA 3-0 NZL, AUS 2-0 IND, SUI 2-1 FIN
[2] England 2-1 [6] France, MAS 3-0 CAN, RSA 2-1 JPN, GER 2-1 CHN

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[2] England 2-1 [6] France

Sarah-Jane Perry 3-1 Coline Aumard           11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)
Laura Massaro 2-3 Camille Serme       11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11 (52m)
Alison Waters 3-0 Melissa Alves                         11-6, 11-3, 12-10 (25m)

Waters makes it lucky 13 for England

The England v France semi-final, like the preceding match, also went to a decider after Sarah-Jane Perry put second seeds England ahead and Camille Serme levelled for France.

Perry was tested in the opening two games by Coline Aumard, but managed to utilise her physical advantages in the next two games.

Laura Massaro made a great start against Serme, getting the better of tight finishes in the first and third games to take a 2-1 lead.

Serme struck back and established 9-2 leads in the fourth and fifth games, and although Massaro closed the gap, Serme finished them off 11-8, 11-7 to record her fifth win in a row over Massaro and take the match into a decider.

Alison Waters looked in control in the first two games against Melissa Alves, and although the Frenchwoman came close in the third, Waters finished it off 12-10 to put England through to their 13th WWT final in a row.

“Delighted to make another final against Egypt,” said National Coach David Campion.

“It’s never easy out there when expectations are high, but the players are in great form so we will work hard and look to put out our best level.

“It’s a formidable lineup for the final, a truly world class encounter!”

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[1] Egypt 2-1 [5] Hong Kong

Raneem El Welily 3-0 Joey Chan                     11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (23m)
Nour El Sherbini 2-3 Annie Au     7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 3-11 (51m)
Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Lee Ka Yi                              11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (20m)

Tayeb wins decider for Egypt after Au stuns Sherbini

Defending champions Egypt, playing Hong Kong for just the fourth time in WWT history (and leading 3-0), took the lead as world champion Raneem El Welily stayed ahead throughout three games against Joey Chan, notching up her sixth successive win over Chan since their first meeting back in 2005’s British Junior Open.

Having beaten Amanda Sobhy yesterday, Hong Kong’s Annie Au continued her run of form as she overcame world #1 Nour El Sherbini in five games to take the match into a decider.

Sherbini led the H2H 7-2 and had won their last four meetings, but Au’s lobs, boasts, flicks and particularly her pinpoint accurate dropshots caused her all sorts of trouble.

The first two games were shared, Sherbini needing an injury break after slipping during the second, and although the Egyptian led 9-6 in the third a run of five points put Annie back in front. Sherbini saved a match ball in the fourth, but it was all Annie in the fifth.

Egypt moved through to their fifth WWT final in the last seven editions as world #3 Nour El Tayeb despatched Lee Ka Yi in three quick games.

“Our number one player is always going to have a tricky match,” said Egypt coach Amr Shabana, “but you have to give it to the Hong Kong federation – their system is amazing.  I remember maybe 15 years ago, it was a surprise when a Hong Kong player did well – now it’s not a surprise!

“But we’re in the final now, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s job done for me.  It was up to me not to lose before the final, and if we do win this tournament none of the credit is to me.

“We’re playing with the best players in the world and all I am trying to do is manage them and get the best out of them.  Once they step out on court tomorrow it’s up to them. So far so good!”

Playoff Matches

In the afternoon playoff matches, USA beat New Zealand 3-0 with Reeham Sedky putting them on their way with a 57-minute five game win, Australia overcame India 2-0 and Switzerland edged past Finland 2-1.

The evening session saw a comeback from two-nil down by Low Wee Wern propel Malaysia to a 3-0 win over Canada, while South Africa beat Japan and Germany beat China, both matches going the distance.

As usual you’ll be able to watch live and/or follow updates on our Twitter Feed and live scoring pages, and we’ll have roundups here on Today with a full report to follow.