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Farag Flourishes In Galway


Egypt’s Ali Farag picked up his second PSA World Tour title of the year when he defeated Englishman James Earles in the final of the Garavan’s Bar Paddy Whack Walsh West of Ireland Open, the PSA Challenger 10 squash event in its ninth successive year at Galway Lawn Tennis Club in Galway, Ireland.

Cairo-based Farag, the fourth seed, claimed his unexpected berth in the final after despatching Australian Rex Hedrick, the No.2 seed, in the semis.

Despite being seeded only to reach the last eight, Earles took his place in the final without needing to overcome higher-ranked players – brushing aside Belgian qualifier Jan van den Herrewegen in the quarter-finals before ousting unseeded Egyptian Shehab Essam in the semis.

22-year-old Farag got off to a great start in the final and set the pace early on, forcing Earles to work hard to keep up. After going a game down, Hull-born-and-bred Earles dug in deep and matched Farag point for point in the second, breaking away to take the game and draw level.

Earles forced the pace in the third, testing higher-ranked Farag to the maximum with excellent length and an accurate short game. However, a series of unforced errors from the Englishman’s racket allowed Farag to take the initiative – and the Egyptian went on to take the next two games and close out the match 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 in 40 minutes.

The win marks the sixth Tour title of Farag’s career.

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Garavan’s Bar Paddy Whack Walsh West of Ireland Open, Galway, Ireland

1st round:
Mohamed Elgawarhy (EGY) bt [1] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (39m)
Shehab Essam (EGY) bt [6] James Huang (TPE) 11-7, 4-11, 16-14, 11-7 (34m)
[7] James Earles (ENG) bt Sanjay Singh Chal (MAS) 11-13, 15-13, 11-8, 11-6 (46m)
[Q] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) bt [3] Jens Schoor (GER) 12-10, 2-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9 (68m)
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Rui Soares (POR) 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (21m)
Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt [5] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 (69m)
[8] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) bt [Q] Michael Craig (IRL) 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 19-17 (70m)
[2] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [Q] Brian Byrne (IRL) 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 (51m) Quarter-finals:
Shehab Essam (EGY) bt Mohamed Elgawarhy (EGY) 8-11, 11-7, 15-13, 7-11, 13-11 (95m)
[7] James Earles (ENG) bt [Q] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 (42m)
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Douglas Kempsell (SCO) 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 (47m)
[2] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt [8] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (57m) Semi-finals:
[7] James Earles (ENG) bt Shehab Essam (EGY) 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4 (40m)
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 (31m) Final:
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] James Earles (ENG) 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)

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