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Marwan ElShorbagy

Canary Wharf Classic: Quarter-Finals - As it Happens

It's quarter-finals day at the Canary Wharf Classic, with best-of-three scoring in play for the final time in this tournament.

World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy and English stalwart Daryl Selby get proceedings under way inside London's East Wintergarden at 18:00 GMT, while the older ElShorbagy brother, World No.1 Mohamed, clashes with Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner.

World No.3 Ali Farag and Australia's Ryan Cuskelly are set to do battle at 20:00, with four-time winner James Willstrop and World No.6 Tarek Momen following on 45 minutes later.

You can watch LIVE coverage on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT)

ElShorbagy Edges Selby in Tight Canary Wharf Clash

Marwan ElShorbagy (left) v Daryl Selby (right)

Egypt’s World No.4 Marwan ElShorbagy pulled through amidst strong resistance from England’s Daryl Selby to earn his place in the semi-finals of the Canary Wharf Classic for the first time.

The 24-year-old is one of the PSA World Tour’s most in-form players, reaching four finals in his last five tournaments, but he was up against it at times as a resurgent Selby recovered from a slow start to really push the Egyptian.

A number of tins from Selby saw ElShorbagy pull away from 3-3 in the opening game to open up an unassailable lead, but 35-year-old Selby, who had lost three of his previous four matches against the World Championship runner-up, profited off some errors from ElShorbagy in the second and he came back to level the scores.

It was nip and tuck in a tense third game which was punctuated by discussions with the referee, but the momentum looked to be with Selby as he played the more accurate squash to go 7-6 up.

A tinned drop from the Englishman with ElShorbagy deep in the back of the court halted his rhythm though and, despite recovering to go 9-8 up, he was unable to force the win over the line as ElShorbagy came back to record an 11-3, 8-11, 11-9 victory in 51 minutes.

“It was a tough match today against Daryl, he played really well,” said ElShorbagy.

“He had a very clever tactic today against me and all credit to him. He’s been playing really well, he’s been pushing hard and this match could have gone either way.

“Daryl’s 35 and I’ve got so much respect for him. I grew up watching him and have learned so much from him. Every time I go on court with him I try to enjoy it as much as I can, he’s a great player and I would really like to play him once again.”

[3] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [8] Daryl Selby (ENG) 2-1: 11-3, 8-11, 11-9 (51m)

Mohamed Downs Rösner to Set up Semis Clash with Younger Brother

Mohamed ElShorbagy

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy will take on younger brother Marwan for the fourth time this season after the Egyptian defeated Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner in straight games – meaning the Egyptian has now won 19 games on the bounce.

Mohamed, who last dropped a game during a defeat to Australian Ryan Cuskelly in January’s Tournament of Champions, beat Rösner over a best-of-three games format in the semi-finals of last season’s PSA World Series Finals, with a dramatic match going the way of the Egyptian on the tie-break.

Rösner caused Mohamed all sorts of problems on that occasion but he struggled to knock the Bristol-based 27-year-old off his stride in East Wintergarden as ElShorbagy pulled away from 6-6 in the opener to open up a one game lead.

And it was a comfortable 11-4 victory for ElShorbagy in game two which sealed the result for the in-form Egyptian, who will aim to claim a fourth successive victory over Marwan tomorrow in what will be a repeat of both the World Championship and Windy City Open finals.

“I think it’s the 12th time we’ve played on Tour,” said Mohamed, who has never lost to Rösner.

“Our hardest one was when we played best of three in Dubai last June, so I was kind of happy to get the chance to play him in another best of three because I know how dangerous he is in a best of three.

“I feel I prepared a bit better than the last time we played in Dubai, I had a game plan, I felt like I was sharp to play it and I’m really happy to finish in two games.

“I’m really happy to be in the semis, I’ve never reached the final here before so I would love to play a final here. I don’t think an Egyptian has won this tournament before, so I would love to be the first one to do it.

“It’s always exciting for me to be back playing here, I love it here and I look forward to playing another match here.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-9, 11-4 (28m)

Farag Beats Cuskelly to Reach Sixth Successive Semi-Final

Ali Farag (left) v Ryan Cuskelly (right)

Egypt’s World No.3 Ali Farag moved through to a sixth successive PSA World Tour semi-final after he defeated Ryan Cuskelly 2-1 – with a hamstring injury sustained by Cuskelly in the second game slowing the Australian down.

Farag had won his last three matches against Cuskelly and went ahead in a high-quality opener. World No.19 Cuskelly challenged the U.S. Open champion well but Farag rose to the task as he moved around court well and picked his moments to take an 11-9 victory.

Cuskelly finally got the better of Farag in the second as he built up three game balls. Farag came back to force a tie-break, only to see Cuskelly convert at the fourth attempt.

The 30-year-old then required treatment on a hamstring issue in the game break and fought through the pain barrier in the third but he was unable to lunge fully and Farag closed out the victory to earn a semi-final spot against either four-time winner James Willstrop or compatriot Tarek Momen.

“I am happy but I can’t say I’m very happy because I’m sad for Ryan,” said Farag.

“It’s never the way you want to win. The first game was very high quality squash, it was a flip of a coin and I won it. It was a shame to see him limping because of his hamstring and you can see how great of a player he is because he almost beat me on one leg.

“I think it’s too early to form an opinion [on the best of three], there are pros and cons to everything in life and I think we need to keep trialling it. Maybe not in many tournaments but maybe in a couple of tournaments and see how it goes.

“If it goes well then let it be, if not then we can fall back on the best of five but we can always look at things to evolve the game.

“It’s my wife’s [World No.3 Nour El Tayeb] birthday in a few minutes and I’m sorry for the heart attack I gave her for a gift. Hopefully when I go back we can celebrate together.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 2-1: 11-9, 10-12, 11-4 (47m)

Momen Overcomes Dogged Willstrop to Complete All-Egyptian Semi-Final Line-Up

Tarek Momen (right) v James Willstrop (left)

World No.6 Tarek Momen overcame a tenacious showing from four-time winner James Willstrop to ensure that there will be an all-Egyptian line-up for the first time in the tournament’s history.

Momen was sublime in the opening game as he sent Willstrop into all four corners of the court and the Englishman found it difficult to control the pace as he fell to an 11-5 defeat.

But Willstrop found his range in the second to go 9-6 up and, while Momen fought back to 9-8, the Egyptian clipped the tin to hand a game ball to Willstrop and the former World No.1 made no mistake to level the scores.

He was victim to a Momen onslaught in the third as ‘The Viper’ powered ahead to a 7-3 lead, but a tenacious display from Willstrop saw the Yorkshireman play some exceptional squash to level at 7-7.

However, Momen continued to put Willstrop under a lot of duress and he took the next four points on offer to record an 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 which sees him reach a fourth successive PSA World Tour semi-final.

“I have a lot of respect for James, I’ve played him many times and he used to beat me easily,” said Momen.

“I’m just happy that I’m at a level now where I’m competing with him and it’s unbelievable. He’s a great fighter and has such good racket skills and he kept pushing until the end.

“I think I started really well today and I played well the whole match, I just tinned a bit too much at some times. Maybe it was due to the pressure he was applying on me.

“Overall, I’m happy with the match, it was a good battle and I’m happy I overcame the mental battle in the third.”

[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 2-1: 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (46m)

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