Egyptians to contest both Pyramids squash finals
Ali Farag recorded the biggest win of his career as he halted World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy to move closer to becoming the first home-based player to win the iconic Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza since 1998.
Competing in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza, Farag produced a sublime performance to come through in four games and earn a richly deserved win after 70-minutes of high quality squash.
After losing the opening game, the 24-year-old fought back to level against ElShorbagy and then take a 2-1 lead. Then, with both men giving their all, they traded points in a series of ferocious exchanges as the score reached 10-10 in the crucial fourth. A first match ball went to waste as ElShorbagy mounted a last-ditch charge before Farag responded in style and take the game, and with it the match, 14-12.
“I have the utmost respect for Mohamed – he’s been the best in the game for the past two seasons hands down,” said Farag.
“I knew that to have a chance I needed to be at my absolute best, but I’ve been preparing well since Hong Kong and got in a big chunk of training before this event that I think made the difference.
“Mohamed can be very intimidating at times with how big he makes himself on court – like any top player does – but I knew the biggest battle today would be mental. I had to match him mentally and that’s what I did.
“Before the event I looked at the draw and knew it would be tough – but names are just names – you go out and play to win. At Motor City Open I had the toughest draw possible and won so I know I just have to believe in myself.”
Farag will face compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad – the Hong Kong Open runner up – in the decider after he saw off second seeded Omar Mosaad 3-0 with a performance that underlined his status as one of the most in-form players on the Men’s Tour while Farag’s wife Nour El Tayeb bowed out of the women’s event at the semi-final stage, losing in straight game to top seed Nour El Sherbini.
World No.1 El Sherbini has scythed her way through the tournament so far without dropping a single game and she impressed once again to underline her status as the player to beat as she came through 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 in less than 30 minutes.
El Sherbini will face Raneem El Welily, the 27-year-old who held the World No.1 spot at the end of 2015, in what promises to be a gripping encounter after she stormed past England’s Sarah-Jane Perry to end all international interest in the $100k event.
Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza – Men’s Semi-final Results:
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 14-12 (78m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (61m)
Draw – Men’s Final
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza – Women’s Semi-final Results:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [WC] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (29m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 (34m)
Draw – Women’s Final
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)