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New World No.1 Ali Farag

PSA World Champs - Semi-Finals: As It Happens

The semi-finals of the 2018-2019 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family takes place today as the tournament nears its conclusion.

Action begins at 17:00 local time (UTC-6) when an all-Egyptian battle between World No.1 and reigning World Champion Raneem El Welily and World No.3 Nour El Tayeb takes place.

They are followed by current World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy and World No.3 Tarek Momen.

The evening session will see two-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini go up against France’s World No.4 Camille Serme for a place in the final at 20:30.

Before newly crowned World No.1 Ali Farag takes on Germany’s World No.5 Simon Rosner.

Matches from the glass court inside Union Station will be live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Can't watch the action? You can also follow the live scores from Union Station.


El Tayeb Takes Out Defending Champion El Welily

Egypt’s World No.3 Nour El Tayeb conquered compatriot and reigning World Champion Raneem El Welily in a thrilling five-game battle to reach her first ever PSA World Championships final.

The two leading female athletes played out a match worthy of the final as they pushed themselves to the limit in a gladiatorial battle on court.

El Welily had defeated El Tayeb in their last three meetings, which had all come in the semi-finals, however, it was not to be for the reigning World Champion today as El Tayeb attacked to perfection to secure a huge victory.

The first game went in the favour of World No.1 El Welily, before El Tayeb showcased her mental toughness to draw level in the second.

El Tayeb – who moved back to No.3 in this month’s World Rankings – then got her nose in front to take a 2-1 lead with a number of spectacular dives on show, but El Welily did not go down without a fight as she clawed her way back in the fourth to push the game to a tense decider.

The World No.1 dug in deep once again in the fifth, however, the determination and resilience of El Tayeb proved vital in the end as she claimed a huge 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10.

“All through the match I was just trying to hang in there with Raneem,” said 25-year-old El Tayeb.

“She’s the best in the world for a reason and she makes very rally hard and I can’t believe it. I’m in the final of the World Championships – wow!

“It’s hard work all over the years and hard work today. I think this is the hardest I have ever had to work in a match. I’m very happy and I still can’t believe it, I will have to watch the last couple of minutes again. I’m very happy with my performance.

“I know I hadn’t had a big win over the top two in over a year, since Chicago last year and that gives me massive confidence going into the final tomorrow, whether it is going to be Nour or Camille. I have proved to myself that I can fight through a really hard match.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10 (64m)

Momen Dethrones ElShorbagy

Egypt’s World No.3 Tarek Momen displayed one of his greatest performances to knock out defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy and reach his first ever PSA World Championship final.

Going into the match, Momen had not beaten ElShorbagy in seven years, with his last win coming all the way back in 2013 at the PSA World Series Finals.

However, ‘The Viper’ showcased why he is currently playing the best squash of his career as he overcame former World No.1 ElShorbagy in a five-game thriller inside Chicago’s Union Station.

It was Bristol-based ElShorbagy who got off to the stronger start to take the opening game, however, Momen roared back towards the end of the first and carried that momentum into the second to level the scores.

In classic ElShorbagy fashion though, the ‘Beast from Alexandria’ was not going to make it easy to put an end to his title defence as he tested the nerve of his compatriot to once again take the lead.

Momen, who had moments earlier watched his wife, Raneem El Welily, fall to defeat in her semi-final, showed great determination though to race ahead in the fourth and take the game to push the fight for the final to a tense fifth and deciding game.

From that moment on, 31-year-old Momen continued to show his title winning credentials, attacking with composure and discipline to send out defending champion ElShorbagy by an 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8 scoreline in 97 minutes.

“I can’t put that performance into words,” said the 31-year-old Egyptian following his momentous win.

“Two days ago, I played really well against Marwan [ElShorbagy] and I was really happy with the performance, but then you have to take a big step back. You get a good performance one day, but it can be hard to maintain it. I was trying as hard as I could to maintain that performance today.

“I had to be very patient to beat Mohamed, I think he is the toughest person to beat on Tour. I found myself in a very difficult situation so many times in that match, but I just had to believe in myself because I want it more than anything.

“I’ve been thinking about this tournament, thinking about this match-up and the matches in this tournament for the last two or three months. I’ve had my life turned upside down just to prepare for this one.

“I’m so happy to be in the final, this is my first ever final, but it’s not over. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, whoever I play tomorrow it is going to be the first time for both of us. I’m going to fight for it and give it my all, how can it get any better than if I win the World Championships? It cannot get any better.

“I’ve been inspired by her win since last year. I was heartbroken for myself for not making it past the last 16, but seeing her win the title brought so much joy watching her win that last point and get the trophy and all I could think of is that one day I wanted to be there. I would have loved to have done it together, but she’s had it and if I can have it then the two of us can tell our future kids and grandkids that we won that title.”

[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8 (97m)

El Sherbini Reaches Fifth World Champs Final

Egypt’s two-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini continued her search for a hat-trick of Worlds titles after she took out France’s Camille Serme in another five-game thriller inside Chicago’s Union Station.

The Egyptian is no stranger to the big occasion, reaching the final four times already at the tender age of 23-years-old. And El Sherbini made sure to add one more to that tally as she booked her place in this year’s finale where she will take on compatriot Nour El Tayeb for the sport’s biggest trophy.

El Sherbini got off to a flying start to open her account by taking the first two-games. However, Serme, who was staring down the barrel of a straight-games defeat dug in and showed incredible resilience to push the match to five-games.

However, it was the Egyptian who prevailed to condemn the Frenchwoman to her fifth semi-final exit at the tournament as she completed an 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 5-11, 11-6 win inside the hour mark.

“All the matches are 3-2 tonight,” said the 23-year-old Egyptian.

“When I was 2-0 up, I was thinking the next round and the final and the match is over. It’s a big lesson today and I’m just glad I won in the end. I lost a lot of concentration in the third and fourth and I’m just really glad that I managed to focus again, regroup, and come back in the fifth stronger.

“I have my whole team here and they give me a lot of support and confidence. They tried to calm me down and give me the right advice to come back, so I’m really glad that they’re here with me.

“For me, it’s the fifth final of the World Championships and playing Nour is going to be difficult. We just played at the ToC and it’s hard to play every tournament against each other. We haven’t played in a final since ToC last year, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s match.”

[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [5] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 5-11, 11-6 (59m)

Farag Dominates Against Rösner

Egypt’s new World No.1 Ali Farag showed all the reasons he has made it to the top spot in this month’s rankings as he saw off Germany’s World No.5 Simon Rösner in straight-games to reach his first PSA World Championships final.

The Egyptian has enjoyed a formidable week, only dropping one game en route to the semi-finals, and Farag ensured that run continued as he downed Rösner in 46 minutes.

Farag came out of the blocks firing to take the first game comfortably, before Rösner grew into the match in the second to become more attacking and aggressive with his squash. However, it was not enough to stop a rampant Farag who was dominant to seal the win.

He will now face compatriot Tarek Momen in tomorrow’s final at Chicago’s Union Station.

“I started off well,” said the 26-year-old Egyptian.

“It was such an emotional long day, with Nour [El Tayeb] playing and winning an epic one and then going back to the hotel and watching the other semi-final of the men’s and then warming up a few times while Nour [El Sherbini] and Camille [Serme] were playing, so it was quite an emotional one.

“I had to start off well and I thought I did that well, he came out firing in the second because I think he knew he had been a bit passive in the first and I think that second was crucial and then the third, there was a huge psychological difference.

“I woke up really happy to be the new World No.1 and then I had to get it out of my system because if I had of got dragged away with that then I wouldn’t have played my best today and I can’t play Simon at 99%, I have to be at 100% all the time. I’m really glad that I did that and I hope tomorrow can be a special day for us.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [3] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (46m)

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