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Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2017 Men’s Qatar Classic

The 2018 men’s Qatar Classic will once again see Doha play host to the top male players in the world as the PSA Platinum tournament takes place at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex between October 27 – November 2.

Coverage will be LIVE on SQUASHTV (Rest of World), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and multiple broadcasters around the world.

To get you in the mood, we take a look back at the story of last year’s tournament.

Round One
Diego Elias (PER) bt [7] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-8 (46m)
[Q] Leo Au (HKG) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (63m)
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 (40m)
[5] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-1 (26m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (36m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [WC] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-9 (37m)
Zahed Salem (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-2: 11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2 (59m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-3, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6 (57m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7 (43m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 9-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-3 (66m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-2: 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-8 (64m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-2: 13-15, 11-5, 12-10, 10-12, 14-12 (108m)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (58m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 4-11, 11-5, 11-7, 16-14 (62m)
Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-6 (46m)

Peru’s Diego Elias was in strong form in round one in Doha as he dispatched England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop, producing a highly impressive and dominant performance to win in straight-games.

The Peruvian showed impressive maturity and composure as he came from behind in the opening game to counter Willstrop’s trademark accuracy and set up the foundations for a 3-0 win.

Elsewhere, India’s Saurav Ghosal and Hong Kong’s Leo Au both secured upsets of their own as they defeated England’s Daryl Selby and Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly, respectively.

Meanwhile, three-time World Champion Nick Matthew was forced to call upon all of his experience to avoid a shock defeat to qualifier Raphael Kandra as the German fought back from 2-0 down to draw level before Matthew completed the victory in five games.

Round Two
[5] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 11-8 (51m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt [Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (38m)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (47m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-2: 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7 (82m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-3 (47m)
Simon Rösner (GER) bt [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9 (57m)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4 (45m)

Defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad suffered a surprising round two defeat as he crashed out of the tournament at the hands of Germany’s Simon Rösner.

Gawad was off the pace in the early exchanges as Rösner attacked at will to take the first two games and establish a commanding lead and was able to show impressive mental strength to win 3-1.

Quarter-finals
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 16-18, 11-8 (93m)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (44m)
Simon Rösner (GER) bt [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 (53m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [4] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)

Rösner continued to have an impressive tournament as he booked his first semi-finals spot in a major PSA World Series tournament after he defeated Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy.

The German backed up his win over then-World Champion Gawad to put in a highly polished display which saw him defeat the younger ElShorbagy brother by an 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 scoreline.

Meanwhile, top seed Gaultier defeated Peru’s Elias is straight-games, while two-time champion at the event Mohamed ElShorbagy came through a five-game thriller with compatriot Ali Farag to secure a semi-final berth.

Semi-finals
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-9, 11-1 (55m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (40m)

ElShorbagy ensured he would feature in his fourth consecutive final in Qatar after he defeated then-World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals in straight-games.

The Egyptian ended the Frenchman’s 30-match unbeaten run as attacked with intensity to dispatch the French General.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Momen secured his debut in a major PSA World Series tournament final after a dominant performance over Germany’s Rösner.

Momen held his nerve on the big stage to come out firing and profit from a series of errors to take the opening game and set up the foundations for an 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 victory.

Final
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 (64m)

ElShorbagy secured his third Qatar Classic title after he defeated compatriot Momen in Doha.

Competing in his sixth Qatar final the then 26-year-old from Alexandria showed his Championship calibre as his big match experience proved too much for debutant finalist Momen to handle.

ElShorbagy took the opening game as Momen looked nervous before settling down to take the second game but he was ultimately found short of ElShorbagy in the end as the World No.1 prevailed 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 to add the 2017 title to his wins in 2013 and 2015.

“I’m extremely proud of how I performed this week at the event,” said ElShorbagy.

“To be the best you have to beat these players. Backing it up mentally each day was not easy – but I’m really happy. Last season I didn’t play like a winner – this week I feel like I played at my best level and that was my focus coming here.”

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