Qatar Classic 2022


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$187,500 Men's QTerminals Qatar Classic 2022, Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar
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Qatar Classic 2022
Mens Draw
04 -10 Sep
Doha, Qatar, $187.5k

ROUND Three
07 SEP
QUARTERS
08 SEP
SEMIS
09
SEP
FINAL
10 SEP

[1] Ali Farag (EGY)
13-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (72m)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)

Miguel Rodriguez
11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (32m)
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Mohamed Elshorbagy
3-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (60m)
Mostafa Asal


Mohamed Elshorbagy
11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8 (48m)
 
 Victor Crouin
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG)
11-5, 11-8, 11-5 (37m)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY)
[8] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-14, 11-7 (80m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA)
Marwan Elshorbagy
11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-2 (54m)
Mostafa Asal
[3] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (55m)
[9/16] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
[4] Diego Elias (PER)
11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (35m)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
Diego Elias
11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 (69m)
Tarek Momen
Tarek Momen
11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10 (68m)
 
Victor Crouin
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (23m)
Yahya Elnawasany (EGY)
[9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA)
11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6 (47m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG)
Victor Crouin
13-11, 11-6, 11-7 (40m)
Abdulla Al-Tamimi
Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT)
11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (39m)
George Parker (ENG)
ROUND TWO 06 SEP
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) w/o
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI) 13-11, 12-10, 11-8 (48m)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (73m)
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (ENG) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8 (51m)
[8] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 13-11, 11-6 (61m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 (57m)
[9/16] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)
[3] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-9, 11-3, 11-4 (35m)
[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-9, 15-17, 11-9, 12-10 (70m)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 6-11, 11-3, 12-10, 2-11, 11-8 (75m)
Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 (66m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [9/16] Grégoire Marche (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (30m)
[9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [7] Joel Makin (WAL) 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 (64m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-2, 11-5, 11-6 (30m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (35m)
Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 9-11, 11-9, 16-14, 9-11, 11-7 (94m)
ROUND ONE
[Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [WC] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (34m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10 (78m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (44m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (50m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 13-11, 11-4 (45m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt [WC] Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT) 3-0: 11-0, 11-4, 11-4 (26m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-1: 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 13-11 (50m)
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-0: 15-13, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 11-6 (50m)
Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-2: 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8 (69m)
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)
Nathan Lake (ENG) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 (38m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Henry Leung (HKG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (31m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 (27m)
REPORTS
ElShorbagy Captures Fourth QTerminals Qatar Classic Title



England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy won the first Platinum title of the season and his first since May 2021 as he downed tournament breakout star Victor Crouin to capture his fourth QTerminals Qatar Classic title.

Crouin, who had already made history as the first player outside of the top eight seeds to reach the final since Lee Beachill in 2003, went into the match with a 2-0 losing record against ElShorbagy, who won the title here in 2017, 2015, and 2013.

Speaking after he came from behind to beat No.3 seed Mostafa Asal in yesterday’s semi-final, ElShorbagy referenced the first of those victories over Crouin, which came on this court in the 2019 World Championships, as a moment he knew the Frenchman – then aged 20 – would be a future star of the game.

ElShorbagy’s prediction was further proven to be true in recent days, with Crouin reaching the final of the Bronze-level CIB Zed Open and impressively downing No.7 seed Joel Makin and No.6 seed Tarek Momen alongside Patrick Rooney and Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi en route to today’s final.

ElShorbagy, though, went into the match knowing he had a golden opportunity to not only begin his season with a major title but also to kickstart a charge up the rankings, with the game’s top two ranked players, Ali Farag and Paul Coll, crashing out in the third and second round, respectively.

Crouin looked positive at the beginning of the first game, taking the first point of the final before trading short rallies with ElShorbagy to go to 2-2.

From here, though, it was a masterclass from ElShorbagy. The Englishman went on the offensive and overwhelmed Crouin with a brutal run of points to storm into a one game lead with an 11-4 victory in a mere eight minutes.

Crouin, who until then was yet to trail in Doha, saw his rhythm consistently disrupted by ElShorbagy as the court cooled in game two, with the 31-year-old consistently finding his marks at the back wall while Crouin struggled to apply enough pressure.

After ElShorbagy took the second game 11-6, the Englishman was pegged back by an impressive fightback from Crouin, who rediscovered the measured and well-organised squash that took him into his first Platinum final to take the third game 11-7.

In an exciting fourth game, ElShorbagy went 10-6 up to go to the brink of a 45th title. Although Crouin played positive squash and was able to save two championship balls, he could do nothing about a perfect drop from ElShorbagy, who took the title with an 11-8 victory.

Mohamed ElShorbagy
Mohamed ElShorbagy

After the match, ElShorbagy said: “I can’t express how I feel right now.

“It was the first ever Platinum event I won, here in 2013. Now, almost ten years later, I’m winning my fourth title here. It’s the place I’ve had the most success in my career and will always have a special place in my heart.

“As I said yesterday, France needed a superstar after [Thierry] Lincou and Greg [Gaultier, ElShorbagy’s coach and former World No.1]. Victor is here for the long run and an amazing talent. I’m 100 percent sure this isn’t going to be the last time [he reaches the final]. He’s going to win this title many times, I’m sure!

“I’d like to thank Greg Gaultier. Without him, none of this would have been possible. I was in a very bad place last year. No matter how much I try to speak about him, it will never be enough. Without him, none of this would be possible. We played the final here on this court and now he’s not my rival anymore. He’s on the same side as me and I’m the luckiest person on this planet.”

Mohamed ElShorbagy
Mohamed ElShorbagy

Crouin added: “It’s been a fantastic week. I’d never gone past the third round of a Platinum event, then reached my first quarter-final, the next day a first semi-final and today a final! Of course I wanted to go for the title today, but Mohamed showed me the way for the next time I reach the final!

“I’ll learn a tonne from this match and the whole event. I’m especially proud of the way I played this week.”

For Crouin, attention now turns to the Bronze-level Open de France de Squash 2022, which begins on September 12th, before he and ElShorbagy take part in the Platinum-level CIB Egyptian Open at the Pyramids of Giza, which begins on September 19th.
 
Crouin Reaches Maiden Platinum Final as ElShorbagy Downs Asal



Unseeded Frenchman Victor Crouin and England’s No.5 seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will contest the final of the QTerminals Qatar Classic after exciting wins over higher-ranked opponents.

In the first semi-final, which began with a minute’s silence in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, World No.18 Crouin produced another incredible performance as he shocked No.6 seed Tarek Momen to reach his first ever Platinum-level final.

Crouin, who last night reached his first Platinum-level semi-final by knocking out Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi in straight games, looked confident from the beginning as he made an aggressive start.

This was countered well by Momen, with the 34-year-old exposing Crouin’s movement and capitalising on a spell of poor shot selection from the Frenchman to open up an 8-5 lead.

Crouin, however, then rediscovered the tidy, organised squash that took him to this stage and pulled back to 8-8 before taking the first game 11-9 with a terrific winner.

The 23-year-old maintained this momentum in the second game and stormed into an 8-4 lead. Momen began to fight back and narrowed the gap to just one point at 8-7, before the outstanding Crouin pulled away to take a 2-0 lead with an 11-7 win.

Leading 3-0 in the third, Crouin appeared to be cruising into a maiden Platinum final.

Momen, however, is no stranger to overcoming adversity. The Egyptian, who twice came from behind on his way to the final here in 2019, fought back well after returning from an injury break at 4-2 down and rattled off eight quick points to move 10-4 up.

Crouin saved one game ball, but could not prevent the energised Momen wedging a foot in the door as the No.6 seed took an 11-5 win that only minutes ago seemed extremely unlikely.

After Crouin requested a new ball for game four, the Frenchman looked back to his best and went 8-4 up, with the 23-year-old reaping rewards from his precise volleys at the front.

Crouin then had a golden opportunity to reach his first Platinum final when he had four match balls at 10-6 up. Incredibly, Momen saved all four, with the Egyptian forcing a tie break after showing brilliant movement and mental fortitude.

The World No.18, though, then marshalled his nerves excellently and went 11-10 up after an enthralling rally before sealing the match with a bitterly contested ‘no let’ decision by the video referee.

“There have been too many speeches this week! I’m not used to speaking so much!” Crouin said afterwards.

“It feels like everything’s fitting into place. Today I felt like I wasn’t as good as in previous days and I hit the tin a little more, but that’s probably because Tarek was putting a lot of pressure on me. I kept telling myself to be proactive and aggressive, because that’s how you win rallies. I’m just enjoying it on court. Not overthinking, just hitting my targets and it’s working. One more push tomorrow.”


Asal (right) congratulates ElShorbagy

In the second semi-final, an excellent Mohamed ElShorbagy came from behind to beat No.3 seed Mostafa Asal.

While Asal had spoken ahead of the match about his respect for No.5 seed ElShorbagy, who he describes as being ‘his idol’, the World No.3 didn’t let any reverence for the three-time winner dilute his attacking instincts in the opening exchange.

Game one showcased the best of Asal, with the 21-year-old playing fast-paced but controlled squash that was too much for the Englishman – who departed from his quarter-final tactic of slowing the game down by trying to match Asal blow-for-blow – to handle.

After taking the opening game 11-3 in just eight minutes, Asal started well again in the second game.

ElShorbagy, however, looked more measured as he dropped the tempo, and the pair traded the lead through longer rallies on the way to 6-6. At 7-6 down, former World No.1 ElShorbagy’s experience came to the fore, as the 31-year-old remained patient while Asal began to rush, with the 31-year-old levelling the match with five unanswered points to take game two 11-7 in 23 minutes.

ElShorbagy was on top form in the third game, while Asal struggled for accuracy at the front of the court.

Time and again ElShorbagy punished heavy touches from Asal, with ‘the Beast’ putting together another brutal scoring run to move from 3-1 down to a comfortable 11-4 victory.

ElShorbagy continued to look strong in the fourth game, while Asal’s struggles with the racket resumed. Despite Asal’s desperate best efforts, ElShorbagy was able to keep out of reach throughout, eventually wrapping up a relatively comfortable victory with another 11-7 win.

Speaking after the match, ElShorbagy said: “I don’t think Asal gets the credit he deserves. He’s only 21 years old.

“For me, he’s the current best player in the world. Once I was down in the first game, I had to give a ‘Nick Matthew performance’ – make the second game as tough as possible as that’s exactly what he would have done!”

The final of the QTerminals Qatar Classic takes place tomorrow (10 September) at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook,
 InstagramYouTube, TikTok and SQUASHTV.
 
Momen Dumps Reigning Champion Out To Reach Semi-Final


Tarek Momen

Tarek Momen stormed back to knock out defending champion Diego Elias in the QTerminals Qatar Classic at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

Elias, who defeated World No.2 Paul Coll last year to lift the Qatar Classic title, was undone by a fightback from the 34-year-old who battled back from 2-1 down to progress to the last four.

The Peruvian Puma clawed his way back into the first game after a bright start from Momen, but the Egyptian re-established his assertiveness to take a 1-0 lead.

Elias drew level in the next game, and the reigning champion was beginning to find his groove as he raced into an early advantage in game three to eventually go on to nudge ahead 2-1.

But Momen, who easily dispatched his countryman Yahya Elnawasany yesterday, roared back as he sent Elias chasing round the court with some excellent shots before forcing the match into a decider.

In the final game, costly errors from Elias paid dividends for Momen, who capitalised to go on to take the match and earn a last four spot.

“I don’t know what to say, other than I’m really proud of how I fought back – especially after the third game – because I gave it everything and then I really started to feel it,” said Momen afterwards.

“I felt really tired and I knew that wasn’t it. That’s not me, I don’t get tired after three games and don’t fight back. I told myself between games, ‘even if you can’t walk, you need to fight until the last point.’”


Victor Crouin

In tomorrow’s semi-final, Momen meets Victor Crouin, who clinched his first-ever Platinum last four place after overpowering Abdulla Al Tamimi.

Al Tamimi, on home court, had stolen the headlines all week after he first dumped No.2 seed Coll out in round two before earning his first quarter-final appearance at a Platinum event with a win over England’s George Parker.

However, it was Crouin who came out on top, edging a tightly-contested first game 13-11 and, despite a fightback from Al Tamimi in the second, the Frenchman kept his composure to extinguish hopes of Qatar’s No.1 claiming a semi-final berth by comfortably winning the remaining two games.

“I feel like I came in really strong and used that momentum for the rest of the match,” Crouin said.

“If you’re not disciplined against Abdulla and try to play the way he plays, he’s going to beat you. I had to use my strength and aggressiveness that I used in the first four rallies of the match where I just went for shots.

“It’s all about finding the balance and I’m really enjoying myself on court, hitting the right shots at the right times and pushing through every rally and I’m so glad I don’t have to think about everything around the match. I can just enjoy playing and that helps bring my game to the next level.”


Mostafa Asal

In the other half of the draw, Mostafa Asal made it successive semi-final appearances in this competition as he overcame No. 8 seed Marwan ElShorbagy.

After taking an entertaining opening game 11-6, Asal dropped his first game of the tournament when ElShorbagy came out firing confidently to level the scores with an 11-7 win.

While Asal had appeared to have struggled with an injury to his ankle in the second game, he shook this off in a bad-tempered stop-start third game which saw a conduct stroke for dissent awarded against ElShorbagy before Asal reclaimed the lead with an 11-4 win.

In the third game, ElShorbagy struggled to regain the composure that had delivered him the second, with the now dominant Asal easing to an 11-2 win to set up a semi-final against Marwan’s brother, Mohamed.

“It was a tough match, I have all the respect for Marwan. We’re friends off court but sometimes it can get a bit messy when you’re playing, but all the respect to him,” said Asal afterwards on court.

“I’m happy to be through and thanks to the crowd for today. It was a difficult match but a full crowd which I’m really happy to see.”


Mohamed ElShorbagy

Asal will meet England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy, who secured his first Qatar Classic semi-final in five years with a clinical display against Miguel Rodriguez.

World No.17 Rodriguez produced a fantastic performance to beat World No.1 Ali Farag in round three, but was unable to consistently lay a glove on ElShorbagy, who is chasing his fourth title in Qatar.

The first game was initially even at 6-6, with ‘the Beast’ changing his usual tactic and taking the pace out of the contest. The 31-year-old then found great accuracy at the front as he raced clear to take the first game 11-6.

The World No.5 pressed his advantage in the second game and took a commanding 2-0 lead with an 11-4 win, before closing out the match with a controlled 11-7 win in the third.

“Miguel is a class act,” said ElShorbagy.

“What he did against Ali is unbelievable at his age. To fight that way for 90 minutes with the World No.1! You’re not going to beat the World No.1 unless you do something special, no matter what. So, respect to him. I could see from the first point he was trying to get the ball warm and I was trying to keep him down as much as I can.”

The semi-finals of the QTerminals Qatar Classic take place tomorrow (9 September) at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook,
 InstagramYouTube, TikTok and SQUASHTV.
 
Al Tamimi Makes History as Qatar No.1 Reaches QTerminals Qatar Classic Quarter-Final


Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi

Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi delighted in Doha by becoming the first ever Qatari player to reach a Platinum quarter-final as he downed England’s George Parker in straight games at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

World No.44 Al Tamimi had already made headlines two days ago when he shocked World No.2 and 2021 runner-up Paul Coll 3-2 and made more history today with an excellent performance that balanced his best attacking instincts with canny defensive work.

The Qatar No.1 was well matched by World No.34 Parker in the first game, with the players exchanging points before Al Tamimi’s speed and firepower helped him from 7-7 to 11-8.

After taking the second game 11-8 again, Al Tamimi looked in trouble in the third when Parker responded to go 8-3 up, with the powerful Englishman battling well and finding his mark against the seemingly deflating Qatari.

The 27-year-old, though, showed great mental strength to put on a crowd-pleasing blitz of points as he rallied to 9-9 – with the volley boast that he used to great effect against Coll again proving a deadly weapon – before earning a standing ovation from his supporters by completing the fightback with an 11-9 win.

“Normally, I don’t get this late into tournaments, especially Platinum events!” Al Tamimi said.

“Plus, I’m not really used to the off day. I enjoyed my day off yesterday, I spent some time with my kid at home and I was really happy with that.

“During the preparation with [coach] Rodney Martin on the court this morning, I couldn’t move and I was forced to do some fast movements which really sharpened me up and helped me for this match. I’d also like to thank everyone that came today!”


Victor Crouin

Al Tamimi plays fellow first-time Platinum quarter-finalist Victor Crouin of France for a place in the semi-finals after the 23-year-old overcame Parker’s compatriot Patrick Rooney 3-1.

The World No.18, who reached the final of the Bronze-level CIB Zed Squash Open 10 days ago and upset No.7 seed Joel Makin in round two here in Doha, looked comfortable in attack and defence as he took the first game 11-8.

Rooney struck back well in the second, with the Englishman looking more assertive on court as he drew level with an 11-7 win.

The World No.23 was unable to maintain this momentum, however, with Crouin taking advantage of a number of errors from the Englishman and he breezed back into the lead with an 11-4 win.

Crouin continued to look solid in the fourth game and quickly saw off a frustrated Rooney with an 11-6 victory.

Afterwards, Crouin said: “I’m glad I found the balance between being aggressive, not making too many mistakes, and still defending a lot of balls. I’m really happy with my performance. My first [Platinum] quarter-final, it’s huge for me.”


Diego Elias

Joining Al Tamimi and Crouin in the quarter-finals are defending champion Diego Elias and No.6 seed Tarek Momen after they recorded comprehensive victories over Dimitri Steinmann of Switzerland and Yahya Elnawasany of Egypt, respectively.

In a tournament that has already seen the top two seeds suffer early exits, World No.4 Elias would have been wary of the threat posed by World No.42 Steinmann.

Steinmann, another player hoping to reach his first ever Platinum quarter-final, started competitively and managed to get his body in front of Elias on a number of occasions at the beginning of the first game, before the Peruvian World No.4 settled and moved from 6-5 up to an 11-5 winner.

From here, the match was largely a procession for the 25-year-old, as Elias booked a meeting with Momen with 11-4 and 11-6 wins to reach the next round in just 35 minutes.

“I’ve played Tarek a lot and beaten him only once, it’s always a tough match. We haven’t played in a long time and I feel it’s going to be a different match,” Elias said later.


Tarek Momen

Egypt’s Momen, who has fond memories of the Doha court after winning the World Championship here in 2019, recorded an even quicker victory in the day’s final match. In a dominant performance, he brutally swatted aside 20-year-old Elnawasany 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 in just 23 minutes, with the 34-year-old utilising the court conditions with his famously devastating shot-making skills.

Momen added: ““I was trying to be economic and very sharp from the very beginning.

“We know each other’s game pretty well because we train a lot, so I needed to stick to a game plan from the very beginning and not let go at any point during the match.”

The quarter-finals of the QTerminals Qatar Classic take place tomorrow (8 September) at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, with the four winners from today joining the victors from the top half of the draw, who played yesterday.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook,
 InstagramYouTube, TikTok and SQUASHTV.
 
Rodriguez Shocks World no.1 Farag as Upsets Continue in Qatar


Rodriguez and Farag embrace after Rodriguez's shock victory

World No.17 Miguel Rodriguez turned in a vintage performance to produce another huge shock in the QTerminals Qatar Classic as he dumped World No.1 and current World Champion Ali Farag out in the third round.

Farag, who enjoyed a 10-1 head-to-head record against the 36-year-old, will have known not to take anything for granted after watching World No.2 Paul Coll crash out at the hands of World No.44 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi yesterday, but found himself a game down after a fantastic start from Rodriguez.

The Colombian was excellent all over the court as he saved a game ball at 11-10 before taking the first game 13-11.

The inevitable Farag response came in game two as the Egyptian, playing his first match on the tour since the World Tour Finals in June after a walkover victory yesterday, quickly levelled with an 11-5 win and then moved into the lead with an 11-6 victory in the third.

Now, though, it was the Colombian’s turn to respond. The former World No.4 flew into a 9-1 lead in game four as he looked to level the score with his brilliant combinations at the front of the court. Farag, who had lacked a little discipline at the beginning of the game, began to pull things back and narrowed the gap to 9-6, before the Colombian eventually took the fourth game 11-8.

Although Farag worked his way into a 5-2 lead in the fifth game, more mistakes came from the World No.1’s racket as Rodriguez harried, with the ever-attacking Colombian covering every inch of the court and finding his targets repeatedly.

As Rodriguez began to pull away another shock result appeared to be on the horizon. With two match balls at 10-8, the Colombian was able to convert at the first time of asking thanks to a brilliant recovery under pressure and then a remarkable shot that died instantly on the side wall.

After collapsing to the floor in disbelief and being congratulated by Farag, Rodriguez said: “What I achieved today is amazing for me.

“I’ve had a difficult week [and] my head is not the best, but apart from that, I played without any pressure.

“The more I stay competitive, my body responds better. I know I don’t have too much time to continue on the tour but it’s amazing to be here again.”


Mohamed ElShorbagy

Rodriguez’s reward is a quarter-final clash with World No.5 Mohamed ElShorbagy, after the Englishman overcame Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in straight games.

Soliman, who came into the match at his highest ever World Ranking of 12, won plaudits for his impressive win at the inaugural CIB Zed Squash Open just days ago.

Former World No.1 ElShorbagy, however, made short work of the Egyptian, better utilising the court conditions in an ultimately comfortable 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 win in just 38 minutes.


Marwan ElShorbagy

Joining Rodriguez and ElShorbagy in the quarter-final will be No.8 seed Marwan ElShorbagy – Mohamed’s brother – and World No.3 Mostafa Asal.

ElShorbagy, who has reached the quarter-finals three times before, played out an entertaining match against the USA’s World No.30 Shahjahan Khan.

Khan, who played one of the best matches of his career, was excellent throughout and deservedly took a one game lead with an 11-8 win.

ElShorbagy, though, was able to counter, finding his mark at the front with increasing frequency to move into the lead with an 11-7 and 11-9 wins.

Khan came back well to save three match balls and then level the tie with a 14-12 win in the fourth game, before World No.9 ElShorbagy brought an entertaining 80-minute match to an end with an 11-7 win in the fifth game.


Mostafa Asal

Asal, meanwhile, overcame Egyptian compatriot Fares Dessouky 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 in a fiery encounter as he looked to carry the momentum of last season – in which he won his last two major tournaments of the year – into his first event of the new season.

Round three of the QTerminals Qatar Classic at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex concludes tomorrow (7 September) from 15:00 (GMT+3), with the quarter-finals taking place on September 8.

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Al Tamimi stuns World No.2 Coll to reach QTerminals Qatar Classic third round


Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi

In the shock of the tournament, Qatar’s World No.44 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi stunned New Zealand’s World No.2 Paul Coll by coming from behind to win a 94-minute epic 3-2 and reach the third round of the QTerminals Qatar Classic.

Al Tamimi, who was a doubt ahead of the event due to a potential national service call up, put in an incredible performance on home court at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

The Qatar No.1 pushed Coll hard in the opening game, with his shot-making catching the No.2 seed and 2021 finalist out a number of times in a tight 11-9 defeat.

Al Tamimi proved that performance was no fluke as he brought the home crowd to life in the second game with a brilliant showing as he chalked off Coll’s lead with a hard-fought 11-9 win of his own.

The No.2 seed, though, then showed glimpses of the form that took him to World No.1 last season as he opened up an 8-3 lead before an incredible run from Al Tamimi saw the home favourite storm into a 9-8 lead.

Coll fought back and had a game ball at 10-9, only for a high-risk drop from the back to pay off for Al Tamimi who levelled at 10-10.

In a frenetic ending to the third game, both Al Tamimi and Coll had crucial game balls, with the Qatari eventually converting his third to take a morale-boosting 2-1 lead with a 16-14 win.

Al Tamimi took a 6-3 lead in the fourth game as the crowd sensed a historic upset, only for a revival from Coll, who had struggled for length and with his movement, to take the match into a fifth with another 11-9 win.

Despite Coll taking the first two points of the final game, Al Tamimi continued to look confident, with the home crowd backing him vociferously. The 27-year-old, who balanced his usual high-risk attacking flair with some intelligent court craft, began to pull away and held a commanding advantage with four match balls at 10-6.

Although Coll saved one match ball, he could do nothing about a typically stylish winner from the Qatari, who thumped the glass in joy as he completed the incredible performance with an 11-7 win to huge cheers from the home fans.


Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (white headband)

After the match, Al Tamimi said: “That’s by far [the result of my career]. “I’ve been very close before against the top guys. I always have a lead, I managed to choke it then.

“I tried not to think about it at all. I was cramping from game three to the fifth in my fingers, I tried not to show it to Paul.

“I was waiting for the opportunities to go for the shots and when it’s there, that’s the way to beat Paul. I can’t be negative, I had to play my game at the right time and I’m happy with the win.

“I love to play at home. I like to show the young kids here, who come to watch, that nothing is impossible.”

Al Tamimi will have a rest day before playing England’s George Parker, who beat the USA’s Todd Harrity, in the next round.


Victor Crouin

Elsewhere, Victor Crouin continued his terrific start to the season with a 3-1 win over No.7 seed Joel Makin to reach the third round of the Qatar Classic in his first season as a full-time professional.

World No.18 Crouin, who last year balanced his squash career with studying at Harvard University, impressed in reaching the final of last week’s inaugural CIB Zed Squash Open and made a brilliant start to his match today against Makin.

The Frenchman made a rapid start to his match against the World No.7, who enjoyed a 3-0 head-to-head record against Crouin, with an 11-9 win in the first game.

The Welshman, who won a silver medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games, responded well in the second and moved Crouin around the court as he levelled the match with an 11-6 victory.

Makin continued to impress at the beginning of game three as he took a 5-1 lead, before the two players drew level at 8-8. As the game wore on, Makin appeared to be struggling with an injury and Crouin found his mark increasingly frequently to reclaim the lead with an 11-9 win in the third game, before completing the upset with an 11-8 win in the fourth game.

Afterwards, Crouin said: “I came in and just wanted to win one game.

“I just wanted to win the game and I believed that I could win the match. After winning the first game I knew I could go and get the win. I’m really happy about that.”

Crouin will play England’s Patrick Rooney for a place in the quarter-finals after the World No.23 downed Nathan Lake 3-0 in an all-English affair.


Diego Elias

Also through to the next round is World No.1 Ali Farag, who received a walkover after an injury to Cesar Salazar, and defending champion Diego Elias, who overcame a spirited performance from India’s Saurav Ghosal to progress. The Peruvian Puma recovered from a shaky start to record an 11-9, 15-17, 11-9, 12-10 win and go into a third round clash with Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann, who came from behind to beat Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas 3-2 in a hotly-contested match.

“I won my biggest title here last year and played one of my best matches of my career [in last year’s final against Coll]. I think I’ve always played great here. I guess I just have to get used to the court again and I’ll be ok,” Elias said.

The third round of the QTerminals Qatar Classic is split, with half of the matches taking place tomorrow, September 6th, before the third-round draw concludes on September 7th.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok and SQUASHTV.
 
Upsets Abound on Day One of QTerminals Qatar Classic


Mathieu Castagnet

France’s Mathieu Castagnet turned back the clock on a day of upsets to shock World No.27 Moustafa El Sirty and set up a second round clash with last week’s CIB Zed Squash Open champion Youssef Soliman as the QTerminals Qatar Classic 2022 got underway in Doha.

World No.52 Castagnet, 36, in his first match in almost four months, played a brilliantly controlled game against the talented 20-year-old, who is regarded as one of the game's rising stars.

After dropping the first game 11-8, the former World No.6 played a brilliant tactical game, increasing his hitting tempo while maintaining strict discipline.

This proved immediately effective as a number of errors began to creep into the game of the attack-minded El Sirty, and Castagnet levelled with an 11-6 in game two before edging the third 13-11.

In a tight fourth game, Castagnet looked to have one foot in the next round when he took a 9-6 lead, only for a brilliant run of points from El Sirty to take the Egyptian to game ball at 10-9. Castagnet, however, fended this off well, saving the game ball before eventually securing the match with a 12-10 win in the fourth, after a nervous wait for a video referee decision on match ball.

“It was really difficult to be honest, that was my first match for three or four months now,” Castagnet explained.

"I am really happy to be back in good shape! He is a very talented young player. He is a fighter, really strong, so it was not easy for me. I love this kind of match, and that was a really good fight.

“I am ranked World No.52. I don’t want to be arrogant, but I feel I can be higher than that, so for me it is a pleasure that I can play the young generation with my ranking, and hopefully they won’t be happy to see my name against theirs!”


Borja Golan

Castagnet was not the only experienced player to upset a younger opponent as Spain’s 39-year-old World No.41 Borja Golan blew World No.28 Mohamed ElSherbini away 3-0.

Former World No.5 Golan, who is the oldest player competing in Qatar, made a stunning start to the match, occupying the front of the court with ease as he took the first game 11-2 in just nine minutes.

ElSherbini improved in a stop-start second game and had a 9-6 lead and later a game ball at 10-9, only for the in-form Golan to claw his way into a 2-0 lead with a 13-11 victory.

This win both motivated Golan and deflated ElSherbini, with the 39-year-old sealing his place in the next round with an 11-4 win in the third game.

Afterwards, Golan said: “Every match I play nowadays is so special, so coming out here to Qatar again on this beautiful court and in this great event is amazing. I think today felt so good.

"Every time I step out on court I try to be very professional and concentrate. I know the margins are very little and at my age I have to play my best every time if I want to win. Today was a perfect day for me.”


Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi

To the delight of the home fans, Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi was able to provide another upset as he comfortably overcame the higher-ranked Ramit Tandon of India in the day’s final match to set up an enticing encounter with World No.2 Paul Coll in tomorrow's second round.

In an even first game, World No.44 Al Tamimi was initially forced onto the defensive by some good, tight, shots from World No.30 Tandon, before the Qatar No.1 settled and took the first game 11-8 thanks to his improved accuracy.

Al Tamimi, who is blessed with excellent speed and racket skills but has at times struggled for consistency, was much the better player in game two, with the 27-year-old taking advantage of a flurry of errors from Tandon - who missed August's Commonwealth Games due to injury - to take the second game 11-4 in just seven minutes.

Al Tamimi continued to dominate in the third game and comfortably swatted aside the tiring Tandon with an 11-3 win that was a minute shorter than the rapid second game.
After the match, Al Tamimi said: “I’d like to thank everyone for the support. I couldn’t play last year, my first time missing the event since 2010.

“I’m really happy to be back here and I’m really happy with the win. Until yesterday, I was 50/50 to play this event because I have national service, but thanks to the Federation, who helped me. I hope I can play the whole season and the upcoming seasons without having to disappear from the tour for a while.

“I look forward to playing tomorrow again, and I hope the support will be even bigger.”
There were more upsets on the opening day in Doha as World No. 49 Declan James beat World No.20 Baptiste Masotti 3-1, World No. 42 Dimitri Steinmann beat World No.24 Adrian Waller 3-1 and World No.45 Yahya Elnawasany came from behind to beat World No.32 Sebastien Bonmalais 3-2.

The QTerminals Qatar Classic 2022 continues tomorrow (September 5) as the seeded players enter the competition.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok and SQUASHTV.
 
Preview

The QTerminals Qatar Classic is the next stop on the PSA World Tour for the male players and the first Platinum event of the 2022/23 season. The event takes place from September 4 -10 from Doha, Qatar for the 27th time.

2021 Event Round up
Ahead of the tournament getting underway, here’s a recap of last year’s event which was full of shocks and surprises as Diego Elias picked up his maiden Platinum event title.

Day one was the round of five-setters as exactly half of the round one matches went all the way to the wire, the longest of which being an 86-minute all-European battle between Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann and Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu, with the Spaniard winning the fifth game 11-7 from leading 2-0.

There were two major shocks in round two at the Khalifa Center in Doha as top seed and World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy was beaten by compatriot and World No.17 Youssef Ibrahim in a 47-minute four-game encounter. Ibrahim possesses incredible shot-making skills which he used to full effect to fire off several winners.

No.5 seed Karim Abdel Gawad also fell in four games to dangerous compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar. ‘The Baby Faced Assassin’ took the opening game 11-4 but the pace and accuracy of Abouelghar was too much for Gawad to handle and the younger Egyptian advanced in 45 minutes.

More entertaining five-set matches came in round three, as German No.1 Raphael Kandra took out No.4 seed Marwan ElShorbagy after finding himself 2-1 down. The German used the colder court to his advantage and utilised height to set up opportunities to take the ball short. In the same quarter of the draw, No.6 seed Diego Elias came back from 2-0 down to defeat France’s Gregoire Marche in 73 minutes.

Giant killer Youssef Ibrahim also lost out in five games as he fell to equally talented Mazen Hesham. In one of the most fast-paced and winner-filled matches you’re likely to see on the PSA World Tour, it was Hesham who was able to hold it together best and progressed through to the last eight.

All the major action on quarter final day was in the bottom half of the draw as No.7 seed Mostafa Asal defeated World No.4 Tarek Momen in a huge 114-minute battle. The momentum changed several times throughout the match with both players having periods of superiority. Asal earned himself a lead in the fifth game and never let go, taking it 11-4 to move into the semi-finals.

His semi-final opponent would be Paul Coll who survived an epic encounter with Mohamed Abouelghar to advance. Coll was forced into some tough movements by the talented Egyptian, but the discipline and accuracy of the New Zealander was superior to the Egyptian’s attacks.

Wales’ Joel Makin had flown under the radar in the event and reached the final four after three 3-0 victories against tricky opponents. He now faced the ‘Peruvian Puma’ Diego Elias, with both players looking to reach a Platinum event final for the first time. With the score tied at 1-1, it was Elias who was able to move the ball round the court best and find clinical winners to close the match out 3-1. His opponent in the final would be No.2 seed Paul Coll who produced a strong performance to beat Mostafa Asal 3-0 in 46 minutes.

Paul Coll and Diego Elias are good friends off the court but when it comes to matches there aren’t many bigger than a Platinum event final. Coll had recently broken his Platinum event seal as he won the 2021 Allam British Open, but Elias was yet to win a major title. The match was full of quality throughout with the Peruvian on the attack for most of the match and Coll happy to absorb the pressure and counterattack.

Elias took a crucial third game 13-11 to take a 2-1 lead in the match and place one hand on his first Platinum event trophy. Elias set himself up with one match ball at 10-9 and converted at the first time of asking.

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