Top seeds Chris Simpson and Marwan El Shorbagy will contest the final of the Northern Ontario Championship in Canada after surviving testing semi-finals in the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 event marking its fourth year at the Sudbury YMCA in Sudbury, Ontario.
English favourite Simpson faced fast-rising fellow countryman Charles Sharpes. It was the pair’s first Tour encounter – and underdog Sharpes, the 21-year-old world No66, twice levelled the match after leads established by world No29 Simpson.
But Guernsey-born Simpson held his nerve to close out the match 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 after 78 minutes.
“Scrapped out an 11/8 in the 5th win today,” tweeted the top seed later. “Can’t say I felt great on court but that’s a lot down to the pressure Charles put me under.”
El Shorbagy, the reigning world junior champion from Egypt, dropped the first game to unseeded Mexican opponent Cesar Salazar.
But the 19-year-old from Alexandria, who had beaten Cesar’s twin brother Arturo Salazar in the opening round, reasserted his authority on the match to go on to win 9-11, 11-3, 15-13, 11-4 in 58 minutes.
“Marwan took out both Salazars in one tournament,” said a spokesman for the event. “Not an easy task.”
El Shorbagy is celebrating his fifth final on the PSA Tour – but his first appearance in the climax of an event since the World Junior Championship final in Qatar last July.
Simpson is marking his seventh Tour final – and will be keen to extend his impressive unbeaten record in all the previous six!