7:32 am
21 Apr 2024

Subramaniam Leads Further London Classic Shocks

1 Apr 2024

Malaysia's world No.16 Sivasangari Subramaniam continued her thrilling run at the GillenMarkets London Classic after coming from behind to upset Belgian world No.4 Nele Gilis and reach the women's final of the PSA World Tour Gold event at the Alexandra Palace.

The No.7 seed, who 24 hours earlier stunned the squash world with a breakthrough win over world No.1 Nour El Sherbini, lost the first game to the No.4 seed but responded brilliantly, with her ultra-attacking gameplan giving her two match balls when leading 10-8 with the score in games at 2/1.

In an exciting fightback, Gilis saved both before going on to win the game 12-10 to force a fifth game decider.

This time, the Malaysian made no mistake, with the 25-year-old - who returned to the Tour last year after recovering from a life-threatening car crash in 2022 - clinching a pulsating final game 11-9 to bring the 94-minute epic to a close.

That win for Subramaniam makes her the first Malaysian to reach the final of a PSA World Tour Gold or higher event since Nicol David in 2015.

Subramaniam will take on Hania El Hammamy in the final after the world No.2 beat long-term rival Nouran Gohar in a fiery all-Egyptian clash.

Afterwards, Subramaniam said: "It's been tough in the year-and-a-half since the accident, but I've had my family's and coaches' support, and my sponsors too, they kept believing in me, which made me believe in myself. There were times I doubted myself but I tried to push hard and take it a day at a time and the hard work is paying off."

El Hammamy said: "The crowd is definitely hyping me up, they're amazing. I've been watching them since Nele and Siva's match and they were amazing. I was hoping to have that quality cheering during my match and they didn't disappoint."

The men's final will be contested by top seeds Paul Coll of New Zealand and Mostafa Asal of Egypt.

Despite admitting to not playing at his best, former world No.1 Coll was able to recover from twice falling behind to world No.11 Joel Makin, with the world No.2 fighting back to record a 5-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 win.

"I was about to punch myself, but I had to calm myself down and knew what we had to do and I'm proud of that," Coll said afterwards.

Former world No.1 Asal, meanwhile, ended home hopes with a 3/0 win over English wildcard and the tournament's surprise package Declan James.

"Paul is an in form player and let's hope for a great final tomorrow between me and him and we bring our great battles back!" Asal said of his opponent tomorrow.