Egyptian Ali Farag, the World No.21, pulled off the biggest win of his career and the upset of 2016 so far on the PSA World Tour as he came through a thrilling five-game encounter to down World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Motor City Open, to inflict Elshorbagy’s first defeat in twelve matches.
Two-time Motor City Open champion and winner of the last three PSA World Series tournaments, in Qatar, Hong Kong and New York, Elshorbagy came out on form to take the opening game 11-6 but Farag responded with style, coming from 6-3 down to take the second and then the third games.
The man from Cairo was in the ascendency in the fourth before Elshorbagy managed to up his levels and force a decisive fifth but it was Farag, aged 23, who enjoyed the better of the exchanges at the crucial points, eventually securing a huge 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 that will now see him line up against Mathieu Castagnet for a place in the final.
“It’s one of the bigger wins of my career,” Farag said afterwards. “To beat the world number one is a huge thing. He was dominating the first game and a half. I changed my plan a bit, and thankfully it worked.”
Castagnet came through a roller-coaster five-game battle with Ryan Cuskelly while the bottom half of the draw saw Borja Golan and Nick Matthew come through their respective encounters with Leo Au and Chris Simpson in straight-forward fashion, with both dominating the court against their younger, less-experienced opponents.
Results – Quarter-finals:
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 (66m)
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-2 (78m)
 Borja Golan (ESP) bt [Q] Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-5 (35m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (40m)
Draw – Semi-finals:
 Ali Farag (EGY) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)