Semi-Finals: The Stats & How To Watch Live

Published Sat 23 Mar 2024

It’s semi-finals day at the 2024 City Tattersalls Group Squash Australian Open, with eight players battling it out to reach the finals of the PSA World Tour Bronze event.

All four matches will take place on Court 3 at the University of Sydney, with every second of action available to watch live on 7plus.

Sana Ibrahim (EGY) v Salma Hany (EGY)

An all-Egyptian affair between Sana Ibrahim and Salma Hany starts the day’s play at the University of Sydney, after both players came through their respective quarter-finals in impressive style.

For Ibrahim, her four-game victory over third seed Rachel Arnold saw her reach the semi-final of a PSA World Tour event for the first time in her career. The World No.37 has won two titles on tour before, but both came on the PSA Challenger Tour, so this match presents a huge opportunity for the 21-year-old to tread new ground and earn a large number of ranking points along the way.

Top seed Hany needed just three games to defeat Malaysia’s Aira Azman in her quarter-final match, winning 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 in just 30 minutes of action. This will be a third semi-final of the season for the World No.11, after reaching this stage of the South Western Open and the Carol Weymuller Open, but the opportunity to reach a PSA Tour final for the first time since March 2023 at the Canadian Open.

The pair have never met on tour before, so Hany’s experience may become all the more important if the match heads towards a fourth or fifth game. But with Ibrahim playing some of the best squash of her career right now, this one could go either way.

Victor Crouin (FRA) v Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)

Both top seed Victor Crouin and No.4 seed Dimitri Steinmann have yet to drop a game on their way to the semi-finals at the Australian Open, setting up a well-poised last-four clash in the second match of the evening.

Crouin, currently ranked at World No.11, saw off the threat of the dangerous Tsz Kwan Lau in his quarter-final clash, taking the match by an 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 scoreline. The Frenchman will be hungry to overturn his recent record in semi-finals, which has seen him edged out on all four occasions this season, and continue his quest for a first PSA World Tour title of the season.

Meanwhile, Steinmann has picked up a pair of strong victories over India’s Abhay Singh and Japan’s Ryunosuke Tsukue in his opening two matches of the event. This will be the World No.35’s first semi-final on the PSA Tour since the Hong Kong Football Club Open back in December 2022.

The pair’s last meeting came in the second round of the El Gouna International 2023, when Crouin came through a mammoth 80-minute battle by a 7-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-9 scoreline. If the pair replicate anything near this level again, the fans within the University of Sydney will be in for a treat.

Amina Orfi (MAS) v Tomato Ho (HKG)

Two contrasting style of play meet in the second women’s semi-final of the evening as the power of Amina Orfi comes up against the touch of Tomato Ho.

Orfi, 16, has once again played with a maturity beyond her years in the opening stages of the Australian Open, coming through her two matches against Haya Ali and Marie Stephan without any major alarms. The World No.12 is on the hunt for her second World Tour title of the 2024 calendar year after capturing the Squash On Fire Open title last month.

Many players have found the Egyptian’s power hard to neutralise this season, but one person who has the skills to do so is Hong Kong’s Ho. The No.4 seed is well known for her smart use of height and angles off the front wall – a tactic that Sivasangari Subramaniam found joy with earlier in the season during her Hong Kong Football Club Open final victory against Orfi. Ho needed just over half an hour in both her second-round and quarter-final wins over Ching Hei Fung and Yiwen Chan, so will arrive into the encounter with fresh legs and plenty left in the tank.

This is a match with plenty on the line, with Ho looking to reach her first final on tour since March 2022, and Orfi on the cusp of breaking into the world’s top ten-ranked players.

Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)

The final match of the evening looks a highly entertaining fixture on paper, with France’s Sebastien Bonmalais coming up against Egypt’s Youssef Soliman.

World No.33 Bonmalais reached his maiden World Tour semi-final following a composed 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 victory over No.7 seed Leung Chi Hin Henry. After his match, the No.3 seed admitted that a change in strategy might be needed for him to combat the physicality of his last-four opponent Soliman, with a mix of pace potentially the key to help his fortunes.

Soliman has certainly warranted this praise in recent weeks and months, with the Egyptian in a rich vein of form on the PSA World Tour. This semi-final appearance in Sydney is the 27-year-old’s third from his last four events – a run that included a title victory at the Squash On Fire Open.

The pair haven’t met on tour since the Chamberlain Squash Open in 2018, so expect some long drawn out rallies in the early stages as both players work their way into the match.


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