Egyptians to contest both Pyramids squash finals

Farag storms into Al Ahram final with victory over ElShorbagy

23/09/2016 at 11:25

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.

Eurosport Player : Watch this event live

Watch on Eurosport

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:
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 14-12 (78m)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (61m)

Draw – Men’s Final
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) v [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza – Women’s Semi-final Results:
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [WC] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (29m)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 (34m)

Draw – Women’s Final
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)