2018 QUARTERS : It’s all Egypt
The prestigious Canary Wharf Classic will have its first ever Egyptian winner after a quartet of Egyptian players – led by World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy – advanced to the semi-finals of the PSA M100 tournament held in East Wintergarden.
Today featured the end of the best-of-three games scoring format being trialled at this tournament and ElShorbagy earned his place in the semi-finals – which will revert back to the traditional best of five scoring – courtesy of a 2-0 win over Germany’s Simon Rösner.
The reigning World Champion came through to win by an 11-9, 11-4 margin to ensure that he has now won 19 games on the bounce and he will take on younger brother Marwan for a place in the final.
“I’m really happy to be in the semis, I’ve never reached the final here before so I would love to play a final here,“ said Mohamed.
“I don’t think an Egyptian has won this tournament before, so I would love to be the first one to do it.
“It’s always exciting for me to be back playing here, I love it here and I look forward to playing another match here.”
Mohamed and Marwan will meet for a fourth time this season – with Mohamed claiming major wins in the World Championship and Windy City Open finals – after Marwan defeated England’s Daryl Selby in the first match of the day.
“It was a tough match today against Daryl, he played really well,” Marwan said.
“He had a very clever tactic today against me and all credit to him. He’s been playing really well, he’s been pushing hard and this match could have gone either way.”
The ElShorbagy brothers will be joined in the semi-finals by World No.3 Ali Farag and World No.6 Tarek Momen, who claimed respective wins over Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly and England’s James Willstrop.
Farag will appear in a sixth successive PSA World Tour semi-final after he claimed an 11-9, 10-12, 11-4 victory over World No.19 Cuskelly, who suffered a hamstring injury during the second game and was unable to move to the best of his ability in the third.
“I am happy but I can’t say I’m very happy because I’m sad for Ryan,” said Farag.
“It’s never the way you want to win. The first game was very high quality squash, it was a flip of a coin and I won it. It was a shame to see him limping because of his hamstring and you can see how great of a player he is because he almost beat me on one leg.“
Momen, meanwhile, had to be at his best to overcome a tenacious display from four-time Canary Wharf Classic champion Willstrop, winning a high-quality affair by an 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 margin.
“I have a lot of respect for James, I’ve played him many times and he used to beat me easily,” said Momen.
“I’m just happy that I’m at a level now where I’m competing with him and it’s unbelievable. He’s a great fighter and has such good racket skills and he kept pushing until the end.”
The semi-finals begin at 18:30 GMT tomorrow and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and a number of mainstream broadcast channels around the world including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia, Astro and more.
A challenge match to celebrate the 2018 International Women’s Day will also be staged at East Wintergarden before the final, with England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters going head-to-head in the Rackets Cubed Cup at 17:15, with the action to be shown on SQUASHTV.