Mohamed ElShorbagy won the Qatar Classic - PSA World Series
tournament - for the third time in his career courtesy of a 3-1 win
over compatriot and surprise 2017 finalist Tarek Momen inside Doha's
Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex earlier today.
Competing in his sixth straight Qatar final the 26-year-old from
Alexandria showed his championship calibre throughout the event as
he swept past World No.8 Fares Dessouky, World No.4 Ali Farag and
World No.1 Gregory Gaultier to reach the title-decider - where his
big game experience was too much for debutant finalist Momen, the
It was ElShorbagy who took the opening game as Momen, competing on
the biggest stage of his career, showed signs of nerves and while
the 29-year-old showed his mettle to take the second game he was
ultimately a step behind ElShorbagy in the end as the former World
No.1 prevailed 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 to add the 2017 title to his
wins in 2013 and 2015.
extremely proud of how I performed this week at this event," said
"When I saw the draw pre-event I knew it would be tough. I had to
play the World No.9, the No.5, the No.1 and the No.7 to win, but
playing tough opponents is the challenge that I live for. To be the
best you have to beat these players.
"At the end of the day you want to challenge yourself against the
best. Backing it up mentally each day was not easy - but I'm really
happy. Last season I didn't play like a winner - this week I feel
like I played at my best level and that was my focus coming here."
dropping the second game ElShorbagy looked to be up against it in
the third as Momen, utilising his speed and agility, attacked in the
mid-stages to string together a series of punishing rallies and sap
energy from ElShorbagy's legs.
But the Bristol-based player showed just why he has won 28 PSA World
Tour titles - 14 of which have come at World Series level - as he
dug in with dogged determination to come through a crucial stage of
the match and complete the win.
week I got it right and I felt I played the big points well," said
"What made the difference today was my experience. I have been in so
many finals. But it was his first. I knew the emotions he was going
"I was trying to contain him but at times he was like a train - I
just couldn’t stop him. When he took the second game it was a big
blow for me. He really pushed me and I feel this is jus the
beginning for him. If he can keep that momentum, he’ll be hard to
today it didn’t matter how tired I was - it was about how much I
wanted to win. I just killed myself on every shot and I'm so happy
to have won."
After the match Momen said: "It's been an incredible week for me. I
didn't know what to expect coming here and making my first ever
World Series tournament final was very special. Obviously I'm
disappointed to lose but think it was a good match."
No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy will appear in the final of the Qatar
Classic for a fourth consecutive year - where he will be aiming to
win the title for a third time - after he defeated World No.1
Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of the 2017 iteration of the
event to set up an all-Egyptian clash with Tarek Momen, who will
appear in the first World Series final of his career.
ElShorbagy, who lost to Karim Abdel Gawad twelve months ago, and
Gaultier were meeting for the 21st time in what is one of the
fiercest rivalries of the modern era but, after coming through a
spell-binding opening game, it was the 26-year-old from Alexandria
who prevailed at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex
to end the Frenchman’s 30-match unbeaten run over a best-of-five
on by a partizan crowd ElShorbagy - who showed little tiredness
after a brutal five-game clash with Ali Farag the day before –
attacked with intensity from the off to avenge his defeat to
Gaultier at the Tournament of Champions in New York in January.
“I’m really happy to be back in the final here, it’s where I won my
first ever World Series and to be back in my fourth consecutive
final is an honour,” said ElShorbagy.
"He made a fool of me in that match in New York and I thought about
it all summer - it motivated me to get back to my best in the off
season and I really wanted to go out there today and beat him 3-0.
“Without the way that he beat me at the ToC that day, I wouldn't be
as hungry as I am now. I had a bad season by my standard last year
but I feel like I'm better every tournament and every match this
season so far and I'm really pleased to be competing for the title
here once again."
Momen, three years ElShorbagy's elder at 29, secured a long awaited
debut in a major PSA World Series tournament final courtesy of a
dominant and controlling straight-games victory over Germany's Simon
Rösner - who was himself competing in just his first ever World
It what was the sixth meeting between the pair it was Momen who kept
his nerve on the big stage, coming out firing in the early stages to
pile the pressure on the big German, profiting from a series of
unforced errors to take the opening game and set up the foundations
for an 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 victory.
“I’m really happy, I can’t believe I’m in my first World Series
final – it’s amazing," he said afterwards.
"I really wanted to win. It's been long over due for me. I've been
waiting to get to the finals of a major event for a long time. I saw
the opportunity today and wanted to make the most of it.
think I had a physiological edge - with the crowd supporting me and
having been in a semi-final before - and I took advantage of it.
Earlier this season I wasn't in the zone mentally but I knew I
wasn't far off and finally it materialised this week and I'm so
"I've had some huge matches against Mohamed before and I have won
against him as well so I know nothing is off the table. I'm in the
final and I'll give it my all and continue to believe in myself."
Simon Rösner will compete in the semi-finals of a major PSA World
Series tournament for the first time in his 14-year-career after
defeating World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy courtesy of a highly
impressive display in the quarter-finals of the 2017 Qatar Classic -
the second PSA World Series tournament of the 2017/18 season.
Inside the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha
the World No.12, competing in his 21st World Series quarter-final,
followed up his superb last sixteen win over World Champion Karim
Abdel Gawad with a highly polished display that saw him dominate
ElShorbagy in the third and fourth games and take an 11-7, 9-11,
11-5, 11-3 victory to seal a maiden last four appearance.
“This is the biggest win of my career - it has to be the biggest
achievement of my life,” said a delighted Rösner afterwards.
“Even though I beat Karim last night, getting to the semis is the
most special thing for me because I haven’t been able to reach this
stage at this kind of tournament.
"To reach this stage after so many years is a great feeling, and I’m
turning 30 on Sunday, so it’s just before my birthday. I think this
is already a good birthday gift but the tournament is not over yet,
if I play like I have done the past two days then I can get even
“I’m feeling comfortable here, I’m playing well and feeling good,
I’m confident that I can beat these guys and I think that made a
Rösner will go up against World No.7 Tarek Momen for a place in the
finale after the Egyptian 'Viper' knocked out 37-year-old Nick
Matthew of England in four games to secure his first World Series
semi-final berth in three years - taking advantage of an
uncharacteristically error-strewn performance from Matthew.
very happy that I managed to get the win," said Momen.
"I’m expecting a huge battle [against Rösner], I can’t believe we’re
both playing in the semi-finals tomorrow. Simon has been trying to
get to this stage for a long time and I’m happy for him because he
has been working so hard and he has been very unfortunate a few
"For me, it’s back to the semi-finals after a three-year drought.
The last one I was in was in Hong Kong and I beat Simon to get
there, so I’m hoping for a good win tomorrow and maybe I’ll get
through to my first ever World Series final."
the top half of the draw saw the latest instalment of the rapidly
developing rivalry between Egyptian stars Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ali
Farag go the way of World No.3 ElShorbagy - as he withstood a late
fight back from Farag in what was yet another superb clash between
The two Egyptians were meeting for the third tournament in
succession and had shared the spoils in their last two meetings,
with Farag overcoming ElShorbagy in last month’s U.S. Open final,
while ElShorbagy avenged that defeat with victory in the Channel VAS
Championships a week later.
But this time around it was ElShorbagy, a two-time winner and last
year’s tournament runner-up, who prevailed 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 16-18,
11-8 in a mammoth 93 minute encounter.
“He’s making me push that extra mile every time we play," said
ElShorbagy. "We’re going to push each other for the rest of our
careers because we always play such great matches together.
“I’m really happy I got through, it was 50-50 and I’m happy I got
the win in the end. I’m not going to be able to beat him every time,
that’s just how it is and that’s the beauty of the sport.
has been a really tough draw for both of us. Neither of us deserve
to go out in the quarters, we both deserve to go through to the
semis but I’m happy to be back here in the semi-finals.”
ElShorbagy will face World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the last four
after the Frenchman defeated young Peruvian Diego Elias in straight
World Champion and 2016 title winner Karim Abdel Gawad crashed out
of the 2017 Qatar Classic after suffering a surprise second round
defeat at the hands of German Simon Rösner, the 29-year-old from
Paderborn who out-hustled and outplayed the former World No.1 inside
Doha's Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
Gawad, who beat compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy in the title decoder
here twelve months ago, was off the pace in the early exchanges as
Rösner attacked at will to take the first two games and establish a
commanding scoreboard lead.
And the World No.12 then showed impressive mental composure to
withstand a huge onslaught from Gawad, recovering from dropping the
third game, to come through 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9 and seal a
significant win that sees him record his first victory over a top
four player at a major PSA World Series event.
"I had to be like a man possessed to come through today," said
"The key was keeping my focus at all times. Even when I was up 2-0,
I didn’t panic or get excited.
"I've struggled to get these big wins against top four guys in the
past so I'm really happy that I was able to actually play the way I
know I can and keep my head throughout.
"You just need that one win against these kind of players to boost
that belief in yourself. It was a big thing in my head so I'm
delighted with how I performed today."
will now face another Egyptian, Marwan ElShorbay, for a place in the
semi-finals in the bottom half of a draw that will also see Tarek
Momen and 37-year-old Nick Matthew face-off.
The Englishman, up against one of the best movers in the game in the
form of Mathieu Castagnet, ensured his last eight spot courtesy of a
masterclass performance that saw him display patient, persistent
squash of the highest order to come from behind in the opening two
games and break the spirit of the Frenchman and complete the win.
the second game was massive today," said Matthew.
"He's a fighter, he's strong physically and mentally, so I knew the
points wouldn't come quick. I was behind and I had to use my
experience to come through. I got my game plan right."
Elsewhere, the top half of the draw will see two-time tournament
champion Mohamed ElShorbagy face Ali Farag for the third time in
three events. The duo squared off in the finals of both the U.S.
Open and Channel VAS Championships - with each man claiming one win
apiece so far this season - as their on court rivalry continues to
"I can't get away from Ali at the moment," said ElShorbagy after his
victory over Fares Dessouky.
"We played the last two finals in a row and we've had two great
battle so I'm sure it will be the same again tomorrow."
World No.1 Gregory Gaultier will face rising Peruvian star Diego
Elias in the final quarter-final match.
World Champion Nick Matthew was forced to call upon all his
experience to avoid a shock defeat against un-fancied German Raphael
Kandra in the first round of the 2017 Qatar Classic – the second PSA
World Series event of the 2017/18 season.
The 37-year-old, competing in his 20th and final season on the PSA
World Tour, looked to be in cruise control early on against the
World No.42 as he took the first two games to establish a commanding
But Kandra, ten years Mathew’s junior, was equal to the challenge,
winning the next two games to set up a compelling fifth during which
he matched Matthew all the way to 8-8. With an early exit looming
however Matthew managed to find just enough to escape, sealing the
12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-8 that takes him through to face
Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet – who defeated Scotsman Alan Clyne – in
the second round.
“I was hitting hard and running with him early on which was silly
because he’s much younger than me,” said Matthew.
“But finally at the end I started to use my brain and my experience
– which shows you it’s never too late. He was sharper than me today
but it was experience that saw me through.
“I got out of jail. In the middle of the game I was mentally booking
my flight back home. Then I told myself to push on and just win
ugly. I don’t want to discredit him, he rushed me and hurried me and
pressured me but I have to go away and learn and focus on my own
thing and not worry about anyone else.”
Matthew’s victory was just one of eight on a day of marathon
encounters at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex
which was highlighted by Omar Mosaad’s thrilling and gruelling
108-minute victory over Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
opening game alone lasted 28 minutes and set up what was to follow
as the duo traded blows back and forth all the way until a fifth
game tie-break that saw both squander match ball opportunities
before Mosaad, a former World No.3 who slipped outside the top 30
this year, forced the error that secured his place to take on
compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy for a place in the quarter-finals.
“You always know against him that it will be physical and that you
need to stick to your plan,” said Mosaad.
“I had a good result at the last event I played and it’s important
to try and stay in that zone and keep consistent. I’m trying to get
back up the rankings and I need to win more matches to get back on
“In the fifth I was getting tired and getting some cramps but I just
tried to fight and keep focused. I’m happy with how I managed to do
that and stay mentally strong.”
champion Karim Abdel Gawad also came through a tough 62 minute
encounter with Spaniard Borja Golan to keep his defence alive,
surviving a huge fourth game tie-break to see out the win.
“Today I wasn’t at my best but you aren’t always at your best and in
those days you have to find a way to win and get to the next round,”
“He put a lot of pressure on me today so I’m very happy to come
The other winners on day two of action were Germany’s Simon Rösner,
Australian Cameron Pilley and Egyptians Marwan ElShorbagy and Tarek
Diego Elias continued his fine start to the 2017/18 PSA World Tour
season with an against-the-seedings first round victory over former
World No.1 James Willstrop at the 2017 Qatar Classic - producing a
highly impressive and dominant performance to win in straight-games at
the PSA World Series tournament taking place in Doha.
The 20-year-old - who began his season with victory over three-time
World Champion Nick Matthew at the NetSuite Open in September - showed
impressive maturity and composure as he came from behind in the opening
game to counter Willstrop's trademark accuracy and set up the
foundations for the 3-0 win that cements his graduation from prodigal
talent to genuine top calibre contender on the PSA World Tour.
"Last time we played it was about a year ago and he played so well that
day that I couldn’t do anything," said Elias.
"It’s always hard to play against a player like him so today I just
tried to apply as much pressure as I could throughout the match and keep
my concentration levels high.
"The first game was crucial. I think I was down 8-3 and I just tried to
change things up and move him around the court. I feel confident on
court and feel like my game is coming together well so I hope this can
be a good tournament for me."
Elias will now go up against Saurav Ghosal for a place in the
quarter-finals after the Indian number one secured his own upset against
England's number three Daryl Selby.
who fell as low as No.30 on the rankings earlier this year following a
poor run of form, oozed confidence as he dominated on court against
Selby from the outset. The 31-year-old used his pace and movement to
expose Selby and looked like a player renewed as he saw out the match
3-0 to record his first ever win over the World No.15 and also secure
his berth in the second round of the event for the first time in his
"I had a good week last week in St George (PSA M100 event) and had a
decent start to the season in Macau too - so I'm just trying to enjoy my
squash as much as I possibly can," said Ghosal.
"I'm enjoying playing and feeling privileged to be competing at great
events such as this in Qatar. I'm trying to do the things I know I'm
capable of - things which in the past I haven't executed as well as I
"If I can enjoy it for the most part then I feel I can give a good
account of myself."
Kong's Leo Au was another surprise winner on the opening day of action
as he recorded a 3-1 win over Australia's Ryan Cuskelly while World No.1
Gregory Gaultier marked his return from injury with a comfortable 3-0
win over Mexico's Cesar Salazar.
"It's been tough recently with the ankle injury so I came here just
happy to be back on court," said Gaultier.
"Cesar has been playing well and had some good wins recently so I'm just
pleased to come through."
tournament winner Mohamed ElShorbagy was amongst the other winners on
the day alongside compatriots Fares Dessouky, Zahed Mohamed and Ali
Adrian Waller and Germany’s Raphael Kandra produced the only upsets of
the day as they overcame the seedings to down Omar Abdel Meguid and
Nicolas Mueller, respectively, to secure their place in the first round
of the 2017 Qatar Classic – the second PSA World Series event of the
Up against the number three seed Meguid, Waller showed impressive
composure to come through a crucial third game tie-break that set him up
for the 3-1 win and he will face Australian Cameron Pilley in the main
draw. Sandra meanwhile was equally impressive as he twice withstood an
onslaught from Mueller to come through a tough five-game affair and earn
a place against England’s Nick Matthew – the three-time World Champion
who’ll be making his last appearance at the Qatar event this week.
Elsewhere there were wins for Hong Kong duo Tsz Fung Yip and Leo Au with
Scotland’s Alan Clyne England’s Chris Simpson and Indian Saurav Ghosal
completing the line up of qualifiers.
for the Qatar Classic 2017, the second PSA World Series event of the
season, got under way at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash
Complex in Doha with sixteen first round qualifying matches.
Eight of the matches featured Qatari players, but none were able to to
capture the win required to have a chance of joining wildcard Abdulla Al
Tamimi in the $165k main draw.
The day started with two “local derbies” as Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng and
Ivan Yuen locked horns for the second time in a week, youngster Ng
coming away with another upset win as he won 11/9 in the fifth in 79
minutes, the longest match of the day by some margin.
Charles Sharpes also upset the seedings as he beat compatriot Tom
Richards in three close games, one of five Englishmen to advance to
tomorrow’s qualifying finals, Richie Fallows joining Sharpes in
upsetting the seedings with a four game win over Mohamed Reda.
A fourth upset result came in the final match of the day in which
Kuwait’s Ammar Altamimi won three close games against Pakistan’s Farhan
Qualifying Finals start at 14.00 on Saturday, again on the all-Glass
Court and the traditional Court One.
Champion Karim Abdel Gawad says that he aiming to come back stronger
after a mixed start to the 2017/18 season when he returns to the
Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex between October 29 -
November 3 to defend his Qatar Classic, World Series title in Doha.
November 2016 was one of the most remarkable months of Gawad’s
career as he became the third Egyptian to lift the PSA Men’s World
Championship title, while he followed that up two weeks later with
his first ever World Series title at the Qatar Classic, defeating
compatriot and the World No.1 at the time, Mohamed ElShorbagy.
It was a landmark moment for the current World No.2, who had only
ever reached a solitary World Series final before his displays in
Doha, and Gawad admits it was one of the most enjoyable wins of his
"It was a very special moment for me as it was my first ever World
Series win and I really enjoyed the way I was playing at that
moment, I was enjoying every second on court," said Gawad.
"November was a very special month for me, winning the World
Championship and my first ever World Series event was just too much
to ask for.
"Maybe most people thought I would feel a lot of pressure playing
Qatar after the World Championships, but for me it was the opposite.
I had zero pressure because I thought my body and mentality wouldn’t
handle another big tournament, with lots of tough matches just a few
days after winning the biggest tournament of the year.
"All I wished for is to enjoy my game and I tried to win as many
matches as possible. Suddenly, I found myself feeling stronger
physically and I was still hungry for another win, so it went from
Gawad has had an up-and-down beginning to the new season, with a
runner-up finish to ElShorbagy at the Oracle NetSuite Open last
month followed by a shock first round defeat at the hands of World
No.10 Paul Coll at the U.S. Open.
The 26-year-old from Giza is determined to put that defeat behind
him though as he targets a third successive World Series title to go
with his triumph in Qatar last year and the J.P. Morgan Tournament
of Champions crown he picked up in January inside New York’s
stunning Grand Central Terminal.
"For me, that loss will just make me stronger and more hungry to
win," said the former World No.1
"I know I didn't perform my best, I know losing in the first round
is not what I am supposed to do.
"That will make me learn from it and come back as strong as I can."
Second seed Gawad has a tricky first round tie against Spain’s
former World No.5 Borja Golan in store, with Golan getting the
better of Gawad in their Windy City Open quarter-final clash in
Gregory Gaultier tops the draw as he makes his first appearance of
the season after sitting out the early weeks with an ankle injury,
while last year’s runner-up Mohamed ElShorbagy is seeded to meet the
Frenchman in the semi-finals.
2009 winner Nick Matthew is on Gawad’s side of the draw and is
making his last ever appearance at the tournament after last month’s
announcement that the Yorkshireman will be retiring at the end of
Qatar is represented by a number of players in the qualification
stages, while Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, the World No.37, represents
local hopes in the main draw.
The Qatar Classic is the second men’s World Series tournament out of
seven this season and will see players battle for points on the PSA
World Series Standings. Egypt’s World No.5 Ali Farag currently tops
the standings after his U.S. Open title in Philadelphia two weeks
ago, with only the top eight players at the end of the season
qualifying for June’s PSA Dubai World Series Finals.
The Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex will host all of
the qualifying fixtures, between October 27-28, and the main draw
matches, which will be held between October 29 - November 3.
Every main draw match will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world)
and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while action from the
semi-finals and final will be shown live on mainstream broadcast
channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox
Sports Australia and Astro.
Entry to the tournament is free of charge up to the semi-finals and
final. Semi-final tickets are priced at QAR 20 for back wall tickets
and QAR 15 for side wall seats. For the final, ticket prices are QAR
30 for back wall seating and QAR 20 for side wall seats. Tickets can
be purchased at the kiosk in front of the spectator gate on both
The 2017 Qatar Classic, PSA World Series tournament begins in Doha
between October 29 – November 3 as the battle for points for the men’s
PSA World Series Standings resumes, with only the top eight players
qualifying for a spot at the season-ending PSA World Series Finals.
The Qatar Classic is the second men’s World Series tournament of the
2017/18 season and is headed up by World No.1 Gregory Gaultier, who is
seeded to meet two-time winner Mohamed ElShorbagy in the semi-finals.
Defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad returns to the scene of his maiden
World Series title victory, while the likes of 2009 winner Nick Matthew
and U.S. Open champion Ali Farag – who tops the men’s World Series
Standings – are also involved.
European-based subscribers can tune into Eurosport Player to watch the
action unfold, while viewers in the rest of the world can log into