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Mohamed ElShorbagy

2017 Qatar Classic - Semi-Finals: As it Happens

It's semi-finals day here in Doha for the 2017 Qatar Classic.

World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy clashes with World No.1 Gregory Gaultier as he aims to make it into a fourth successive Qatar Classic final, while World Series semi-final debutant Simon Rösner takes on Egypt's Tarek Momen in the other last four clash.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player, while it will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

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] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy
follow on GC [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Simon Rösner (GER)

ElShorbagy Fells Gaultier to Reach Qatar Classic Final

Mohamed ElShorbagy

World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy will appear in the final of the Qatar Classic for a fourth tournament in a row after he overcame World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of the World Series event – ending the Frenchman’s 30-match unbeaten run over a best-of-five games format in the process.

The pair have contested one of the most fierce rivalries of the modern era, with Gaultier winning 11 of their 20 previous matches coming into the fixture, including a tempestuous semi-final clash in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions which saw Gaultier come through to win in five games in a clash that was later voted as the 2016/17 PSA Men’s Match of the Season.

The first game of their battle in Doha truly was an exhibition of world-class squash, with fans at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex treated to an absorbing contest that saw ElShorbagy – who showed little tiredness after a brutal five-game clash with Ali Farag the day before – attack with intensity, while Gaultier glided around the court to pick up the majority of what his opponent threw at him.

Gaultier overturned two game balls and held a game ball of his own during the tie-break, but ElShorbagy came back at him to seal a one-game advantage at the third attempt. ElShorbagy came out firing in game two, moving ahead to a 3-0 lead, only to see Gaultier rise up through the gears to push the Bristol-based Egyptian hard, before a simple tin at game ball down from the 34-year-old handed ElShorbagy the second game.

From there, it was a procession as ElShorbagy romped home in a one-sided third game, dropping just one point against an ailing Gaultier – making his first appearance of the season after recovering from an ankle injury – to earn his place in the final once again, where he will look to go one better after last year’s defeat to World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad.

“I’m really happy to be back in the final here, it’s where I won my first ever World Series and to be back in my fourth consecutive final is an honour,” said ElShorbagy.

“Last season was tough, but if I want to come back to my World No.1 position again, I have to accept a lot of challenges. You have to accept playing through tough draws, you have to accept playing tough matches and backing them up.

“You have to play though sickness, through injuries and if I had came here and felt tired then that means that I wouldn’t have done enough training in the summer. But I trained really hard in the off-season and I expected myself to be fresh today. I came back today, really focused and I’m glad I managed to put it away the way I did today.

“I want to thank Greg because of the way he played last season, the way he took the World No.1 ranking back from me, the way he beat me at the ToC [Tournament of Champions] and the way everything happened there. As much as it hurt me, he’s equally responsible for getting me hungry again and I want to thank him for that.

“Without the way that he beat me at the ToC that day, I wouldn’t have been as hungry as I am now, for sure.”

[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-9, 11-1 (55m)

Momen Reaches First World Series Final

Egypt’s World No.7 Tarek Momen booked his place in his first ever World Series final as he beat Germany’s Simon Rösner 3-0.

It was the sixth meeting between the pair on the PSA World Tour with Rösner leading in the head-to-head standings 3-2, however, Momen made sure to change that as he produced a stellar performance at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.

Momen came out firing on court as he took first blood again Rösner – who was appearing in his first ever World Series semi-final – taking the first game by an 11-9 scoreline.

The Egyptian continued to pile pressure on the German No.1 as Rösner made a number of unforced errors with Momen quick to take advantage with his accurate shot selection and quick movement on court to double his lead.

Momen – who had beaten Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar, Australia’s Cameron Pilley and England’s Nick Matthew so far in the tournament – survived a late flurry from Rösner as the German looked to find a way back into the tournament but it was too late as Momen was relentless to seal a 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 in 40 minutes.

The 29-year-old will now face compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final.

“I was on court and I didn’t think I would get this emotional,” said Momen following the match.

“I have been waiting for this moment for so long but I’m not done here so I don’t know why I’m crying – it’s not over!

“I’m really happy, I can’t believe I’m in my first World Series final – it’s amazing. I’ve been doubting myself a lot the past few years but I always thought that I shouldn’t be written off and I thought I always had the qualities to be here.

“Here and there you lose faith but I was lucky enough to have the right people around me. I just can’t believe it’s happening, I feel I have a good chance now to carry this form out throughout the rest of the season.

“We haven’t played in a long time now, I think it’s been about two years so I’m really looking forward to it.”

[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (40m)

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