Both top seeds crashed out in the men’s semi-finals as France’s Victor Crouin and Egypt’s Marwan Tarek won through to the final in Tauranga.
Crouin, the European Champion, played some of his best squash to oust Jordan’s second seed Mohammed Al Sarraj, taking the opening game and then controlling the final two after Al Sarraj had levelled.
Crouin said “I’m happy with my performance, I managed to play the way I have all tournament, with good accuracy and managed to control a lot of the rallies. It’s the third time we’ve played and the first time I’ve beaten him, so I’m delighted with that and I still feel fresh for the final. It’s good to play in a venue like this in front of such a crowd. I’m going to do my best to win this tournament, it would be a first faor France after Greg and Camille finished runners-up and it would be a dream to win this title …”
Tarek took on compatriot and close friend Youssef Ibrahim, and after taking a close first game, raced through to a two-nil lead. Ibrahim fought back, taking the third and a decid earning three games balls.
Tarek said "I’m extremely happy. He is like a brother to me, we hang out together, we train together, we belong to the same club, we’ve been in the national team since 2012 together so it was a hard game for both of us. Our games are usually close, but inside the court there are no friends so I’m happy to get through. I Haven’t played Victor since 2011, and I haven’t watched him at all in this tournament.”
As has been the case all tournament though, unforced errors proved to be Ibrahim’s undoing as Tarek took five points in a row to reach the final.
The women’s final will be an all-Egyptian affair – the seventh in a row – as top seeds Hania El Hammamy and Rowan El Araby – both just 16 years of age – won in straight games to set up a repeat of their semi-final in last year’s event in Poland.
Hammamy beat Satomi Watanabe, the Japanese threatening to extend the match with comebacks in the first and from 7-10 in the third, while El Araby capitalised on an 8-1 start to maintain control over Amina Yousry throughout the three games.
Hammamy said "It was three-nil, but it was a tough three-nil! I was glad to take the first, the second went quickly, and I was feeling comfortable in the third, going 10-7 up. But she came back well, played some good shots so I was happy to win in three. It’s going to be an all-Egyptian final, which will be tough. It’s harder playing an Egyptian, there’s no coasching when we play so you have to do it all yourself, and I’ll be playing a friend who usually supports me but will be against me! But I’m so pleased to make the final for the first time, I hope I can play well tommorow …"
El Araby said "“I’m so excited to make the final again. I just wanted to go out to enjoy my squash today, stay calm, and that helped me to play the squash I can play. I’m amazed how I played; I wasn’t expecting this, our games are always so tough against and it’s hard to play against another Egyptian. We are teammates and friends and now we have to be competitors. It’s difficult, but I’ve said all week I want to go one better than last year, so I just want to enjoy it and play my best.”
Final Matches on Glasscourt
New Zealand Monday Matches
Semi-Final Results on Glasscourt
New Zealand Sunday Results
Women's Plate Draw
Women's Consolation Plate