With the battle for the 2016 Arab Federation Open title intensifying, the semi finals of the M10 event saw two entertaining all-Egyptian battles, with the crowd treated to yet more sublime squash as Shehab Essam and Karim El Hammamy progressed on home soil.
20-year-old Essam felled number one seed Mohamed Reda in an epic five-game thriller to stay in with a chance of capturing his second PSA World Tour title. The match ebbed and flowed, with Essam going 2-0 up, before a spirited comeback from World No.44 Reda saw the match taken to a deciding fifth game.
Essam kept his composure though to clinch it with a 13-11, 11-7, 1-11, 2-11, 11-6 margin of victory – a stunning win considering he is ranked 70 places below Reda in the World Rankings.
The second semi final also saw a surprise result, with 2013 World Junior Champion Karim El Hammamy getting the better of compatriot Mazen Gamal. Despite dropping a game in the third, El Hammamy was in control as he went on to take the match in four to ensure that he will take on Essam for the crown.
Results – Semi-Final: Arab Federation Open 2016
 Shehab Essam (EGY) bt  Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 11-7, 1-11, 2-11, 11-6
 Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 12-10
Draw – Final
 Shehab Essam (EGY) v  Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
By James Hall