Egypt’s Ali Farag came through a spectacular final showdown with
compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad to secure the 2016 Montreal Open, PSA
M35 tournament and continue his superb recent form on the PSA World
The 23-year-old hit the headlines towards the end of the January
where he stunned World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World No.3 Nick
Matthew to win his biggest ever title at the Motor City Open and,
despite a first round exit at the recent Windy City Open presented
by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company,
retained his excellent performances in Canada.
Gawad’s victory at the UCS Swedish Open a month ago, which was his
first PSA M70 title, was also fresh in the memory and he was seeking
to maintain his superb progress thus far in the 2015/16 campaign.
All four corners of the court were hit with regularity as both
players exhibited a swashbuckling style of squash in a free-flowing
and engaging spectacle. Gawad surged to the opener but Farag
navigated a mammoth second game to take it 18-16 on the tie-break.
Farag, one of the most in-form players on the PSA World Tour at
present, then went 2-1 behind but refused to give up and produced a
magnificent comeback that belied his tender years as he took two
games without reply, wrapping up a gruelling 3-11, 18-16, 9-11,
11-6, 11-7 victory to lift his second PSA World Tour title of 2016.
"Karim started extremely well, the court was quite dead and he was
keeping every ball in," said Farag.
"I literally couldn’t do anything with but then I shouted at myself
a little bit just to wake myself up and I think it worked. I found
my corners in the back and from that point on I think I was very
disciplined which is something I am proud of because every time I
play with him he kills every shot around the ’T’ area. I tried to
make it as straight as possible and I think it worked.
"It was paying dividends and he started hitting a lot of tins. In
the second it was neck-and-neck and I was lucky to get that one as
2-0 down is a lot different to 1-1, not only in terms of the score
but the momentum as well. I lost a little bit of discipline in the
third and a silly cross court at 10-9 meant that he hit a perfect
"I think he got a little bit tired towards the end of the match and
I could see that he was getting a little bit slower to the front of
the court so I won that one but Karim is very experienced in the
fifth game. We have played about 30 times in our life, 20 of those
have gone to five games and I would say he has won 17 of them. I’m
lucky to get this one today.
"I think that he has a better attacking game than me but I tried to
contain that and play straight shots from the front which is
something that I usually don’t do and I tried to mix it up as well.
I’m happy with the way it ended."
United States No.1 Todd Harrity continued his superb start to the
2016 Montreal Open, PSA M35 tournament after he followed up his
unbeaten qualifying stage run with a stunning 3-0 triumph over
Mexico’s Alfredo Avila.
The World No.49 is ranked ten places below Avila in the world
rankings but blew that deficit out of the water after a stunning
show of force saw him move his opponent into all four corners of the
court with regularity to claim a 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 win.
“I felt great during that, I thought I played really well,” said
“I had never beaten him before so that was a great result for me. I
think that I was used to the court having come through qualifying
and was used to the venue and the audience. I felt really
comfortable, settled in straight away and I had that to my
“The courts are great here, they’re very true and they reward a good
Harrity will go up against England’s Tom Richards in the next round
after the World No.23 dispatched David Baillargeon in three.
England’s Adrian Waller was the only other seeded player to miss out
on a place in the last eight as he succumbed to a surprise defeat
against Tsz Fung Yip. In a match between two players of contrasting
styles, Fung Yip’s retrieval ability eventually came to the fore and
he battled to the victory in five brutal games to set up a next
round meeting with top seed Karim Abdel Gawad who downed Christopher
Ali Farag, the 23-year-old Egyptian who shocked World No.1 Mohamed
Elshorbagy and World No.3 Nick Matthew en-route to winning the Motor
City Open title in January, secured his quarter-final berth after an
impressive display against former World No.9 Laurens Jan Anjema.
Farag will now face Nafiizwan Adnan who vanquished home hopes after
beating Canadian No.1 Shawn Delierre.
Gregoire Marche will line up against Leo Au in the other last eight
clash after the duo defeated Lucas Serme and Christopher Binnie,
World No.49 Todd Harrity played with impressive poise and composure
to defeat Michael McCue in the final qualifying round of the 2016
Montreal Open, PSA M35 tournament and secure his place in the main
Harrity, who had defeated Thomas King in the previous round, picked
up where he left off by controlling proceedings from the outset with
his varied shot selection and indomitable anticipation yielding
immediate dividends. After surging to the opening game for the loss
of just two points, Harrity kept up the pressure to capitalise on
any loose shots from McCue and wrap up a commanding 11-2, 11-3, 11-5
The 25-year-old from Bryn Mawr, who reached the final of the Ganem
Vein Institute Classic in his last PSA World Tour outing, is
rewarded for his fine form with a main draw matchup against Mexico’s
Alfredo Avila, the World No.39 who won August’s Abierto Colombiano
de Squash Club El Nogal, in the opening round.
Elsewhere, Canadian No.1 Shawn Delierre has claimed a main draw
berth on home soil after he defeated Welshman Joel Makin 3-1.
Delierre, who has appeared in three of the five longest matches ever
to be recorded, started the match with some typically long and
bruising rallies and he took a mammoth 24-minute opening game. Makin
fought back in the second to level proceedings but Delierre soon
found himself back on top and he closed out the victory in four to
set up a main draw meeting with Nafiizwan Adnan.
Meanwhile, Christopher Gordon swept to victory against Joe Chapman
in straight games and he has a tough match against in-form Egyptian
Karim Abdel Gawad next with Gawad looking to follow up the UCS
Swedish Open title he won last month.
Jamaica’s Christopher Binnie and Jaymie Haycocks went up against
each other in the day’s other final qualifying round fixture with
the former progressing to face Leo Au in round one of the main draw.
United States No.1 Todd Harrity got his Montreal Open tournament off
to the perfect start after a 3-0 win over Canada’s Thomas King in
the first round of qualifying in the PSA M35 event.
World No.49 Harrity quickly hit his rhythm and seized a commanding
early lead to take the opening game for the loss of just three
points. Harrity played with composure and craft to double his lead
in the second and fended off a late rally from King in the latter
stages of the match to complete an 11-3, 11-2, 11-9 victory.
Michael McCue lies in wait for Harrity in the final qualifying round
after he bested Sebastien Boucley on home soil.
Canadian No.1 Shawn Delierre looks destined to reach the main draw
after defeating David Phillips in straight games. Phillips looked
like he was on course to take a shock one-game lead after catching
Delierre out with some smart drops in the early exchanges but the
experienced Delierre soon recovered to go ahead on the tie-break. It
was a lead that the 33-year-old would not relinquish and he will
meet Joel Makin for a place in the main draw after the Welshman
dispatched Lewis Walters in three.
Delierre’s younger brother, Jason, was also in action but he
succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to World No.57 Gordon who goes on to play
Joe Chapman in the next round thanks to Chapman’s victory over Tommy
Meanwhile, Jaymie Haycocks and Christopher Binnie will go
head-to-head in the final qualifying round’s other tie after they
claimed wins over Joeri Hapers and Sam Gould, respectively.