The tournament’s No.1 seed, Ali Farag, is through to the quarter-finals after defeating compatriot Omar Mosaad in a tightly-fought three-game battle at the University Club of Chicago.
Perhaps surprisingly, the pair had only met twice before on the PSA World Tour prior to this clash, with Farag having succeeded in both games. The pair have played already this season, with the World No.2 winning 3-0 in the second round of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open in October.
It was the ‘Hammer of Thor’ that started the stronger of the two, as he came out firing shots in. He took an early lead, only for Farag to fight his way back into the game from 6-2. It would be Mosaad that had the opportunities at the end though, but the World No.2 saved three game balls en route to taking it 13-11, and that was crucial in the long run.
The second game had three clear parts to it. It started with Farag taking the first six points, before he made a few errors to allow his fellow Egyptian back into the game. However, he then won the last five points of the game to take it 11-5 to double his lead in the match.
The third game was also quite error-strewn for the majority, with both players just missing their spots and finding the tin. Mosaad had a 5-3 lead in the third, but several errors, along with a couple of high quality rallies from the World No.2, saw Farag come through in straight games.
He eventually took the victory in 42 minutes, securing his place in the last eight of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family, where he will face the Peruvian World No.7 Diego Elias.
“The first game was crucial. I played Omar last week at the Egyptian Nationals and I never feel comfortable against him. He hits very good straight lines, so it is always a struggle to find a good gameplan against him,” Farag admitted.
“If I was to lose the first then I had to put some work into his body, but luckily I was able to win the game, saving three game balls, so that was crucial. Then I ran away with the second but then I started to see the finish line way to soon, and Omar will punish you if you do that.”
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-5, 11-6 (42m)