World Series Squash Finals: Willstrop & Matthew into semis

James Willstrop

James Willstrop and Nick Matthew stayed on course for an all-English men's final at the World Series Squash Finals after both reached the semis on Friday.

World number two Matthew beat compatriot Peter Barker 11-2 12-10 at London's Queen's Club.

Willstrop, the world number three, beat Germany's Simon Rosner 11-4 11-8.

In the women's tournament, Laura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf set up an all-English semi-final after battling through the group stage.

Greg Searle, Nicol David, Victoria Pendleton and Nick Matthew
Greg Searle, Nicol David, Victoria Pendleton and Nick Matthew at Queen's Club on Friday

Massaro is through to the last four despite losing 11-5 7-11 11-6 to Hong Kong's Annie Au, while Duncalf beat Nour El Sherbini of Egypt 18-16 4-11 11-9.

"Here's hoping I'll be fresh for tomorrow," said Duncalf, 30, after her 42-minute battle with 17-year-old El Sherbini.

"These youngsters don't seem to feel it too much! I was just relieved to get that first set in the bag. That's always the key with this best-of-three format."

World number one Nicol David will face France's Camille Serme in Saturday's other women's semi-final.

With squash bidding for a place at the 2020 Olympics, Matthew was cheered on by British Olympians Greg Searle, Victoria Pendleton and Joanna Rowsell and his victory was enough to earn him second place in his group behind Amr Shabana of Egypt.

"I want to say thank you to the Olympians for coming. It means a lot to have them supporting squash," said Matthew, who faces a tough semi-final against French world number four Gregory Gaultier on Saturday.

"It was getting a bit edgy towards the end of the second. I got a bit tentative but that's what happens when it's all on the line."

Willstrop will play world number eight Shabana on Saturday after coming through his must-win final group match.

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