Day FOUR, just four players were left in contention for the inaugural Manchester Open silver title …
 Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0  Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 17-15, 11-5, 11-8 (39m)
 Tesni Evans (Wal) 3-2  Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (72m)
British Open Wildcard Semi-Finals (final Mon 18.00)
Lucy Beecroft 2-0 Poppie Jaram 11-6, 11-7
Jasmine Hutton 2-1 Faisa Zafar 11-4, 12-14, 11-8
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Tesni topples Tayeb to set up final against King
After providing the match of the tournament yesterday, Tesni Evans did it again as she produced a remarkable comeback to beat top seed and world #3 Nour El Tayeb.
All five games were close but it was the Egyptian who took the first two. Undeterred, Evans fought back, taking the next three all 11-9 and seemingly playing better as the match went on.
“I felt like even in the first two games that I was actually playing quite well, I just couldn’t string a few points together.
“I’m really happy with myself today because I never let that get to me and I just kept digging and digging, just to see how far it would get me and I can’t believe it in the end.
“I think the more matches I play, the better I get. I just don’t normally get the opportunity to play more than a couple of matches. My squash was probably the best I’ve played at the end of the match and I’m really proud of myself.
“It’s probably my biggest win because she is No.3 in the world, reached the final of the World Champs and so it’s probably one of my biggest wins.
“Joelle is probably my best friend on tour and she is playing her best squash. I’m really looking forward to the final tomorrow and I know it’s going to be a clean and fair match.”
Tesni will face second seed and close friend (and room-mate!) Joelle King after the Kiwi beat Amanda Sobhy in straight games.
The long first was crucial as King recovered from 4-8 down, eventually taking it 17-15 and taking that momentum into the next two games.
“It’s no secret that Amanda has been coming back strong this year. It’s credit to her that she’s in the semi-finals of a Silver tournament not so long after coming back from injury.
“I don’t like to keep going on about having the same injury, but I know what it’s like to be chasing those top girls and she has proven that she is worthy of her top eight ranking again. I’m just really pleased to be off in three.
“Overall this week, I’ve been feeling mentally quite good. Even in my other matches if I had lapses, I was able to close out in the business end and I guess that is one of my strengths when I’m playing well.
“I was down in the first and I was able to claw my way back and take a crucial first game and I’m pretty happy with my mental performance.”
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Preview & Stats
After the British Open wildcard matches, the first semi-final sees Kiwi Joelle King take on America’s Amanda Sobhy. Both have reached the semis for the loss of just one game in 73 and 59 minutes of play so look in good form, and although they haven’t met for over a year – largely due to Sobhy’s extended injury layoff – its King who goes into the match with a 6-1 lead in the H2H – and all seven previous meetings were in the USA!
Then top seed Nour El Tayeb meets British Champion Tesni Evans. They’ve both had tougher routes to the semis, taking 87 and 98 minutes to complete the previous two rounds – for Tayeb that’s mainly down to one long game against Laura Massaro, for Evans it’s one tough five-setter against SJ Perry. The Egyptian has a healthy 5-1 lead in the H2H, winning the last four, but it’s never been easy with an average match time of 56 minutes.