World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy and three-time World Champion Nick Matthew will go head-to-head for a place in the final of the 2016 Qatar Classic at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, in the latest instalment of one of the sport’s fiercest rivalries.
The pair have met 19 times on the PSA World Tour, with defending champion ElShorbagy winning 11 of them – including the 2013 Qatar Classic final where the 25-year-old Egyptian claimed his first ever World Series title.
“I think it would be fair to say that neither of us have played our very, very best this week, but here we are in the semis.”
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.19 Daryl Selby will contest the other semi-final fixture after they claimed respective wins over World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy and Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley.
Gawad, who beat Ramy Ashour in the PSA Men’s World Championship final a fortnight ago, had to be resilient against a strong challenge from the younger ElShorbagy brother, but pulled through 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 to reach the next round.
“It’s very, very tough to start a new tournament and only have 10 days to forget about the Worlds and focus about something else, especially when you have achieved something you have dreamt about since you were seven or eight years old,” Gawad said,
“I started the season really, really well, so I want to finish it as well as I started it. That’s the biggest push.”
A tactically astute display from England’s Selby saw the 34-year-old claim a spot in his first World Series semi-final since January 2012 after beating Pilley in four games.
“It’s my first [World Series] semis since the Tournament of Champions four years ago,” said Selby.
“It’s a big tournament for me and I just want to keep going, and I feel like I’m playing well.”
Results – Quarter-Finals: 2016 Qatar Classic
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-2: 5-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 (80m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-2: 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-3 (85m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 (49m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt  Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-1, 8-11, 12-10 (70m)
Draw – Semi-Finals: To be played Thursday November 17
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
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