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Mohamed ElShorbagy (right) and Tarek Momen in action in their semi-final clash

Canary Wharf Round-Up: ElShorbagy And Farag Set Up Final Clash In London

Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy and World No.2 Ali Farag will meet in the final of the St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic after defeating compatriots Tarek Momen and Marwan ElShorbagy, respectively, in the semi-finals of the PSA Gold tournament.

364 days previous, it was Momen that took the victory over the World No.1, as he made his way through to the final of last year’s event, in what was their 24th meeting on the PSA World Tour.

‘The Beast’ held the 18-5 advantage over Momen coming into tonight’s clash, but it was the World No.3 that started the better, as his movement and skill into the front corners was too much for his fellow Egyptian.

ElShorbagy, who won this event in 2018 when he beat ‘the Viper’ in the final, improved his game in the second, and pushed the tempo, attacking into the front corners, facing Momen into the type of errors that have plagued his game in recent years.

He then continued that momentum throughout both the third and fourth games, picking off Momen when required. More errors from the reigning World Champion helped give ElShorbagy the comfort of a lead in both games, as he went on to win out 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 in less than 50 minutes, booking his place in the final in Canary Wharf for the second time in three seasons.

“I hope everyone enjoyed that match, because we both played such high quality squash. We always play great matches, and I remember two years ago when we played in the final. We both gave it our all on court and today we did the same,” ElShorbagy said.

“I absolutely love coming back here. Since the first day, the crowd is always full and you guys always support this event. It is because of you, and we really appreciate it, so thanks a lot!

“The last couple of days, it was so high-paced. We went for more winners, whereas today we were mo economical. We had to manage our fitness. There are more tactics in a best-of-five, and I am really glad to be here for another day.

“Tarek has been in great form this season. After the final in TOC [J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions], he said that he was on the right track. Having to play someone who feels like that is always hard.”

He will face World No.2 Ali Farag in the final of the St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic, after the 2018-19 World Champion made the final for the first time in his career, following a comprehensive victory over World No.8 Marwan ElShorbagy at East Wintergarden.

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The pair had met seven times on the PSA World Tour before, with ElShorbagy having won four of those. Five of those clashes had come in semi-finals, with ‘the Jackal’ also holding a 3-2 advantage in the last four. However, this clash would bring both statistics level.

The former World No.1 needed just 39 minutes to take the victory, as he was able to restrict ElShorbagy to just eleven points across the entire match. He was able to do so by just containing ‘the Jackal’, constantly forcing him into the back corners. Farag will feature in the final in Canary Wharf for the first time in his career, in what is only his second appearance at the tournament.

“I would like to think that I can still get better. Today I went on court with a mix of emotions. I was inspired by Nour, she just won a thriller of a match in Cairo, at the Black Ball Open, against an unbelievable player in Raneem El Welily,” Farag admitted.

“I was super inspired but at the same time I was also super intimidated to see Nick Matthew in his corner. Nick, way beyond his prime years, gave me a lesson at the U.S. Open. I know that from the outside, he can give the right tactics.

“Even though Mohamed and I are No.1 and No.2 at the moment, we have only played twice so far this season. We have won one each and I think it is always exciting when we play against each other. He is totally different to play compared to Marwan, but it is equally as tough. It will be another test but for now, I will just enjoy the result and then focus on tomorrow.”

St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic: Semi-Final Results
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1: 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (49m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (39m)

St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic: Final Draw – To be played Friday 13th March
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

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