Borja Golan (ESP) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5 (62m)
Borja Golan will compete in the semi-finals of the Canary Wharf Classic for the first time in his career, in his fifth appearance at the PSA M70 tournament, after coming through a testing encounter with Egyptian Fares Dessouki in London’s East Wintergarden earlier today.
In a topsy-turvy encounter it was Golan who eventually prevailed after just over an hour of action to secure his last four place. The Spaniard had gotten off to a positive start, controlling the pace and dictating the play in the opening game as he looked every inch the former top five player he is.
Golan took it 11-8 but in the second game it was total role reversal as a huge swing in momentum saw Dessouki adopt the role of aggressor, as he stepped up the court playing more attacking squash to counter Golan and level the match at 1-1. Golan regained control in the third however as he began to lengthen the rallies, putting as much work into the young Egyptian’s legs as possible , and it was a strategy that paid dividends as he accelerated away from the mid-stages to take it 11-5.
Dessouki continued to labour behind the World No.20, just one place above him on the rankings, in the fourth and despite putting together periods of quality play the sporadic nature allowed Golan to surge home 11-5 in the fourth.
Midway through the third game, after hitting a couple of audacious crosscourt nicks, the Egypian’s levels dropped off considerably and from that point on it was Golan who dominated the main exchanges between the duo.
Shot of the match
Dessouki showed just why he’s considered one of the most impressive shot-makers on the tour when he fired a delightful backhand into the nick at 8-2 in the second game.
Borja Golan: “It feels good to get to the semi-finals for the first time. There are always so many good players here that’s it is always hard to read the semi-finals so I’m very happy today, especially to beat a quality up and coming player like Fares.
“I’m enjoying my squash which is the most important thing.
“We all like to enjoy squash and enjoy playing and that’s the same for us as professional players – the most important thing is winning and when you’re inside the court you give 100 per cent. Sometime if you’r not playing at you best there are taffy issues – today wasn’t too bad, but we train for that and the main thing is we try and play fluid squash.
“Overtime we play we are rivals but after the match we all try to be good people – what happens in the court stays in the court.
“I played really good squash against Nick in the first two in Chicago and Nick showed why he’s one of the toughest mental players in the last ten years. In the fifth game – when you are playing and giving 100 per cent then you have to be happy.”
Fares Dessouki: “He played the better squash today. He showed more experience on court today. But I felt I’ve learned from this match.
“I’m happy I’m back on court and I’m happy that I’m enjoying my squash again. I’m not 100% there yet, because I lack backing up hard matches. Today, I felt a bit heavy from the match with Marwan.”