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Nick Matthew during a previous clash with Mohamed ElShorbagy

Qatar Classic - Semis: As it Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction as the semi-finals of the 2016 Qatar Classic, World Series tournament light up Doha with two spectacular matches in store.

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy and three-time World Champion Nick Matthew line up in the first semi-final as the two re-ignite their fierce rivalry.

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad will take on World No.19 Daryl Selby in the day's other semi-final clash.

You can watch the action LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

Not able to watch? Check out our live scoring page

Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+3)
17:30 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)
follow on [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG)

ElShorbagy Completes Almighty Comeback Against Matthew to Reach Final

Defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy was forced to come back from two games behind to beat three-time World Champion Nick Matthew to stay in with a chance of becoming the first man to win the Qatar Classic three times.

The World No.1 found himself on the receiving end of a Matthew masterclass in the opening two games as an inspired performance from ‘The Wolf’ saw him limit ElShorbagy’s ferocious hitting to great effect.

But ElShorbagy overturned a 9-7 deficit to win the third game, which sparked a storming comeback from the Egyptian, who outplayed Matthew in the fourth and ground out a tense win in the decider to claim an 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 victory to reach a second World Series Final in a row.

“I think we were both up and down in our level in this tournament, but this is the 20th time we've played each other in our career,” said ElShorbagy.

“For me tonight, I think that was my best performance of the whole season. The way I fought back and the way we played, I think we had a go at each other, but we played the game in the right spirit.


“I think we played a great match, it was a great battle.

“Thanks to him for having a great match and I'm sure we're going to have other great battles again in the future.”

ElShorbagy had won six of his past seven fixtures against the Englishman – with that one defeat coming in a dead rubber during the 2015/16 Dubai PSA World Series Finals – but it was an immaculate display from Matthew in the early stages that saw him move his opponent into all four corners of the court and elongate the rallies to combat ElShorbagy’s relentless pace of hitting, duly being rewarded with a two-game lead.

ElShorbagy rallied though and succeeded in raising the pace in the next two games to level, before a climactic fifth game saw the two combatants trade blows until a stroke against Matthew at match ball handed the win to ElShorbagy after a brilliant 83 minute tussle, making it the second time in as many months that ElShorbagy has overturned a two-game deficit against Matthew after their U.S. Open final clash last month.

“You can see the respect there between us,” Matthew said after the match.

“It's such a big battle and it's quality squash all around.

“I think that's probably the best we played this week. Neither of us have been in our best form this week, but I think we both played really well today.”

Result:
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (83m)

World Champion Gawad Silences Selby to Set up Final Clash with ElShorbagy

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad advanced to his second World Series final of the season after coming back from a game down to end World No.19 Daryl Selby' charge – setting up a mouthwatering final meeting with World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Gawad, who claimed a maiden World Series final berth at August's Hong Kong Open before losing out to Ramy Ashour, was up against a strong display from Selby in the early stages as the 34-year-old from England used his pinpoint accuracy and court craft to rise to a tight 16-14 win on the tie-break.

Selby, who was appearing in his first World Series semi-final since 2012, made another strong start to the second game as he surged 4-1 ahead, but was slowly reeled in by a resurgent Gawad, who showcased the shot-making skills that have elevated him into the world's top three ranked players to draw level.

Selby looked to have picked up an injury though as the game progressed, losing out in a one-sided third game as the Egyptian took it for the loss of two points, before he halted any notion of a Selby fightback in the fourth to wrap up an 14-16, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 triumph that sees the 25-year-old move to within one win of a first World Series title.

“Everyone is under pressure, that's just part of the sport,” said Gawad.

“Everyone hides it their own way, but inside I feel so much pressure. It's part of our game so I have to deal with it.

“It's always tough to play ElShorbagy, and to play him twice in two weeks is even tougher. Tomorrow, I'm expecting a very tough match. I'm looking forward to my first final in Qatar.”

Selby added: “I tried my best, I played really good squash for a game and a half, but I just couldn’t sustain it the whole way.

“Hats off to him, and make no mistake, Karim is not the player he was, the one that could crack a bit under pressure. He is the World No.3 and the World Champion now.”

Result:
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 14-16, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (51m)

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