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Fathi Flourishes In Mantis Marathon

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 MANTIS www.fantasysquash.com Open,
Nottingham, England

Fathi Flourishes In Mantis Marathon

Egyptian teenager Karim Ali Fathi survived the longest match of his life to win the MANTIS Open, the PSA World Tour Challenger 5 event at Nottingham Squash Club in Nottingham, England.

It was a surprise all-Egyptian climax between second seed Ali Fathi and Zahed Mohamed, the No3 seed who made his breakthrough after despatching unseeded Englishman Tom Pashley in the semis. Left-hander Pashley had earlier ousted the event's top seed Raphael Kandra, from Germany.

Underdog Mohamed built up a 2/1 lead, then suffered cramp in the fourth as Fathi regained the upper hand to draw level.

"It was neck and neck all the way in the decider," reported event spokesman Josh Taylor. "At 10-10 it was still looking like it could go on until one of them well and truly broke.

"In the end Karim nudged it 14-12. This was a great spectacle that words can't really describe - a true treat for a packed out Nottingham crowd!"

The 11-5, 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 14-12 victory after 104 minutes not only marked the fourth PSA World Tour title success of Ali Fathi's career, but also his fourth of the year!

"That was brutal, absolutely brutal," said the 19-year-old from Cairo. "He is a really tough player and I had to stick to my game plan to win. At a one hour 40 minutes, it is the longest match I have ever played. All respects to him.

"I'm really happy with that win - hopefully it will take my ranking up again," continued the UK-based Egyptian. "Hopefully this will be back bigger so I can come back and play again. After one-all, I thought I had lost the match, but I fought and get back to win 3/2. Thanks to Mark (Fuller) and the organisers."

1st round:
[1] Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Steven London (ENG) 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 (24m)
Tom Pashley (ENG) bt [Q] Adam Murrills (ENG) 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (65m)
Ollie Holland (ENG) bt Michael Harris (ENG) 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (72m)
[3] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt [Q] Rory Pennell (ENG) 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (21m)
[4] Ben Coleman (ENG) bt [Q] Douglas Leslie Kempsell (SCO) 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
[Q] Richard Birks (ENG) bt Chris Fuller (ENG) 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 (42m)
Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) bt Declan James (ENG) 11-6, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7 (80m)
[2] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Daniel West (ENG) 10-12, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 (45m)

Tom Pashley (ENG) bt [1] Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9
[3] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Ollie Holland (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-6
[4] Ben Coleman (ENG) bt [Q] Richard Birks (ENG) 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4
[2] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5

[3] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Tom Pashley (ENG) 11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 11-3
[2] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [4] Ben Coleman (ENG) 11-3, 11-3, 11-8

[2] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [3] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 11-5, 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 14-12 (104m)