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Ali Farag celebrates his victory over Diego Elias

U.S. Open SF: Farag Marches into Final

Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag ensured he would join wife, Nour El Tayeb, in the final of the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships after he defeated Peru’s World No.7 Diego Elias in straight games.

The two Egyptians made history in 2017 when they became the first married couple to lift the same major sports title on the same day at the U.S. Open and the couple set up the possibility of repeating that feat as they both progressed to the final in Philadelphia.

A rapid start from Elias saw him take the lead before Farag began to stretch out the rallies to test the stamina of the Peruvian and looked more settled to find his targets. The first continued to be a physical one between the pair with Elias saving two game balls, however, an error from World No.7 Elias at 10-9 handed the opener to the Egyptian.

Farag continued to press from that moment onwards and will now feature in his second U.S. Open final after taking the 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 victory in 53 minutes.

“I’m extremely happy,” said World No.1 Farag afterwards.

“It felt like the first performance of the tournament, I had a couple of good wins against solid opponents at the start of the tournament but then the unfortunate situation of Miguel pulling out let me rest for three days, so it felt like I wasn’t in the zone anymore and that made me a little nervous.

“I’m in my best comfort zone when Mike [Way] is around. We had a chat before the match and he settled me down. Diego got off to a great start and I think I weathered the storm well. I tried to dominate the ‘T’ area and it’s never easy against him because he hits the ball very cleanly and his positioning is very good.

“If leaving the room today you would have told us that we [Farag and wife El Tayeb] would be leaving with two 3-0 wins tonight I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s a very good day for us.

“He is one of those players that has so much skill in his racket, but then when he loosens up it’s even more. You could see he was firing nicks at the end, I don’t think I did much wrong, maybe I took my foot off the gas, but it’s all credit to him and I’m happy to close it down in three.

“We will both have solid opponents in the final now. Whoever it will be, they are all playing really well but we’re going to give it our best and if we walk away with another repeat of 2017 then we would be very happy.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (53m)

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