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World No.1 Ali Farag

Tournament of Champions RD3: Farag Through to Quarters

World No.1 Ali Farag overcame fellow Egyptian Youssef Soliman to reach the quarter finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions inside New York’s Grand Central Station.

Defending champion Farag was on his metal from the start against an in-form Soliman, who has enjoyed a string of impressive results and performances against higher ranked players so far this season.

Farag built up an early lead in the first, before Soliman began to rally back, but it was the World No.1 who was able to close out the lead.

A near identical second game also went in the favour of Farag as he once again took an early lead, this time going 8-2 up, before Soliman once again mounted a comeback before Farag was able to double his lead.

22-year-old Soliman requested a three-minute injury break after the second and he looked to be struggling slightly in the third as Farag exposed his movement to close out an 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 victory in 44 minutes.

“He didn’t make it easy for me,” said Farag afterwards.

“I was listening during the pre-match introductions and Youssef has had an amazing year, he’s been beating a lot of top players and he has shown on this court that he has been playing really solidly, so I had to be on my metal from the beginning. He didn’t make it easy but I think a bit of experience at the end of the games made the difference.

“This is our third meeting on the PSA, but we train with each other whenever he is in Egypt at least once or twice a week. We know each other’s game pretty well and I guess it showed in a way today because we could read each other pretty well, I’m really glad to be through today.

“The match against Mazen made me sharper in the head, I think and it made me sharper for this one and hopefully now that I’m through it will make me sharper for the next one.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)

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