Saturday, 18 August 2012
NSW's Cameron Pilley lost his semi-final to defending champion Ramy Ashour at the Australian Open squash tournament in Canberra on Saturday to set up an all-Egyptian decider.
Pilley jumped out of the blocks and fought hard but went down 8-11 11-7 11-7 11-7 to the top seed, who will play compatriot Omar Mosaad in Sunday's final.
Mosaad downed Tom Richards 9-11 11-3 11-3 11-3 in the other semi-final, the Englishman struggling with a buttock muscle strain suffered early in the contest.
Pilley, the Australian No.1, was happy with his week despite the loss.
"That's the best I've played all tournament, it's the best I've moved all tournament," he said.
"I think I was definitely there, just towards the end of the games he's pretty experienced in those situations.
In the women's draw, Malaysia's Nicol David is on track to defend her title after advancing to the decider with a dominant semi-final victory.
The world No.1 overpowered 2010 champion Madeline Perry 11-7 11-4 11-5 to set up a clash with England's Laura Massaro in Sunday's final.
David was in red-hot touch against the Northern Irishwoman, who later admitted she was outclassed despite going into the semi-final in great form.
"I have to win the rally 10 times to win a point," Perry said.
"I end up trying to hit the ball lower and lower and that's why I made so many mistakes.
"It's difficult to know how to win a point when she gets everything back and doesn't make a lot of errors."
Massaro won through in contrasting style, taking five games to finally wear down India's Dipika Pallikal 11-7 7-11 13-11 3-11 11-9.
The third seed came from 9-5 down in the deciding game to beat Pallikal and deny India a first-ever finalist in a major tournament.
She will be ruing losing a match that even her opponent conceded she should have won.
David boasts a commanding record against her final opponent, with the Malaysian having beaten Massaro 15 times out of the 17 occasions they've met.
However, the Englishwoman's two victories came in major tournaments in 2011 - at the Malaysian Open and Singapore Masters.
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