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After consistently failing to live up to expectations on her 'home' court at the National Squash Centre in Manchester for the past ten years, Vicky Botwright provided the dream outcome for the organisers of the Hi-Tec World Open Squash Championships by earning a place in tomorrow's (Sunday) women's final in the English city.

Botwright, the 11th seed, is bidding farewell to the WISPA World Tour after taking up the position of Head Coach at the Centre. But, in the second round, the Manchester-based 31-year-old stunned the squash world by ousting Australian title-holder Rachael Grinham.

The former England number one then clinched her first appearance in the world final when higher-ranked England team-mate Jenny Duncalf retired injured after two games.

"I don't know what to say - it's unbelievable," said the jubilant Mancunian afterwards. "I thought I could beat her - but I didn't want to do it like that.

"But even if I win the title tomorrow, I will still be back at work at the centre on Monday morning!"

Duncalf, the fifth seed from Harrogate in Yorkshire, was devastated to have pulled out prematurely: "It was in the second rally of the match that something went in my right thigh - and I didn't know what to do. I took a three-minute injury break in the game, but the injury affected my movement and after two games I couldn't go on.

"I've never come off injured in my life before - it's not a great time to do it in a World Open!"

Botwright will face strong favourite Nicol David in the final. The world number one from Malaysia beat surprise opponent Madeline Perry, the 14th seed from Ireland, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 to reach her tenth successive Tour final since her shock second round defeat in the 2007 World Open a year ago in Madrid.

David acknowledged that she has raised her game over the past year: "Every tournament I play, I learn more about myself - and with this new scoring, you have to be sharp. You can't afford to lose concentration."

Later the capacity crowd in Manchester - which included two IOC delegates attending the event in the observation process for Squash's bid to become an Olympic sport in 2016 - witnessed a titanic all-Egyptian encounter in which 21-year-old Ramy Ashour beat defending champion Amr Shabana, the world No1, 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7.

Ashour will now face fellow countryman Karim Darwish, after the 27-year-old from Cairo beat Australia's former champion David Palmer 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 in 46 minutes.

Men's semi-finals:
Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Amr Shabana (EGY)
11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 (63m)

Karim Darwish (EGY) bt David Palmer (AUS)
11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (46m)

Women's semi-finals:
Nicol David (MAS) bt Madeline Perry (IRL)
11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (35m)

Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
11-3, 11-6 ret. (22m)