8:25 am
21 Apr 2024

Subramaniam Sinks El Sherbini In London Classic Shock

31 Mar 2024

Suffering her first defeat by a player outside the world top ten in almost nine years, world No.1 Nour El Sherbini was beaten by Malaysia's world No.16 Sivasangari Subramaniam in a major quarter-final upset in the GillenMarkets London Classic.

There was also a major shock in the men's draw of the PSA World Tour Gold event at Alexandra Palace where English wildcard Declan James, ranked 76 in the world, continued his giant-killing London run to beat Egypt's former world No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad to reach the last four.

Subramaniam, who previously had never taken a game off the seven-time World Champion, set alarm bells ringing in El Sherbini's camp when she outfought the top seed on the way to an 11-9 win in game one.

In an incredible repeat, the Malaysian continued to cover every inch of the court in game two, cutting off El Sherbini's attacks as she sent shockwaves through the squash world by finishing the match with another 11-9 win.

That win for Subramaniam represents the first time a player outside the top 10 in the PSA World Rankings has beaten Nour El Sherbini since Annie Au in 2015.

Afterwards, Subramaniam said: "I'm still speechless. That went really quick and I don't know what was happening on court, beating the world No.1!

"I respect Sherbini a lot, she's the best on tour and is really talented. To beat a player like that, I came in with my A Game today."

Subramaniam will face No.4 seed Nele Gilis in the next round after the Belgian world No.4 came from behind to beat English No.5 seed Georgina Kennedy 2/1.

The second women's semi-final will be an all-Egyptian clash between No.2 seed Hania El Hammamy and her fierce rival and No.3 seed Nouran Gohar after El Hammamy came from behind to beat Fayrouz Aboelkheir 2/1 and Gohar overcame England's Sarah-Jane Perry 2/0.

In the men's event, James continued to astound with a stunning win over world No.5 Gawad.

The Englishman, who this week is playing his first World Tour event in over a year due to a serious Achilles injury, has been in incredible form in London, recording wins over world No.19 Mohamed ElSherbini in round one and world No.14 Baptiste Masotti in round two.

The Nottingham player found another level in the last eight match, attacking well and stretching the court as he recorded a thrilling 11-8, 14-12 win.

Afterwards, James said: "What an incredible venue and incredible crowd, it's weeks like this where our sport looks unbelievable, what a showcase.

"It's been a long road back, a long 18 months, jeez, a lot of hard work and suffering. Nights like tonight make the suffering worth it.

"I'm not at the point of my career where I want to make up the numbers, I'm here to do some damage."

James will face the No.2 seed, former world No.1 Mostafa Asal, in the semi-final after the 22-year-old won an all-Egyptian match against Aly Abou Eleinen.

Elsewhere in the men's draw, Wales' Joel Makin fought back to beat England's Marwan ElShorbagy in a thrilling clash.

Makin, who lost out to ElShorbagy the last time they played, recovered from being match ball down to beat the No.5 seed 8-11, 12-10, 12-10 in 64 minutes.

Makin will face top seed Paul Coll of New Zealand after the world No.2 came back from one game down to beat England's George Parker 2/1.