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Ali Farag

Qatar Classic Semi-Finals: Farag Beats Momen to Advance to Final

World No.1 Ali Farag will face New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the final of the 2020 Qatar Classic after defeating World Champion Tarek Momen, 11-9, 11-2, 11-4, at the Khalifa International & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.

Farag, who is the defending champion after beating Germany’s Simon Rösner in 2018 to lift the Platinum title, was at his accurate best to condemn Momen to a straight-games defeat.

An evenly contested first game went the way of Farag, after he was able to fend off a two point lead following a strong start from Momen to lay the foundations for an impressive victory.

Momen, who lifted the biggest title of his career when he won the PSA World Championship on the same court last year, allowed his accuracy to go wayward in the second as Farag was able to assert his authority on the match, taking control of the middle of the court to double his lead.

A two-game deficit proved too much for Momen to be able to come back from on this occasion as the World No.1 was able to close out the victory in 37 minutes to reach his second Qatar Classic final.

“Playing another Egyptian adds a psychological aspect to it,” said Farag.

“We’re very good friends off court, we train together at least once a week and we know each other’s game inside out. It’s tough because you know what to expect, but he also knows what to expect – that’s the Egyptian aspect but then there’s so many different layers to Tarek Momen. His fitness, his physique, his short balls – I don’t think any players play shorter balls than Tarek on the PSA World Tour. We neglect his straight line hitting and the deep corners as well, he hits them very well and makes it tough with the side wall boast so every single shot you are on your toes.

“The first game was crucial, started off a little too erratic which I think favours him more than me. I just tried to execute my game plan better by the end of the first game, even if you don’t win it at least you go into the second you have the momentum. I did win it and I think that made a big psychological difference.

“All of our head-to-head between us [Paul Coll] is 3-2, it’s never easy. Today, he played brilliant squash and is going to be very fresh tomorrow, he had two big matches in the last 16 and the quarters but then today he didn’t have a very long match. Paul is very fit, so when’s he fresher, it’s even more scary. Thank god we’re not playing a fitness game here, I will try to execute my game plan of squash better and if I can, I will give myself a chance. It will be a tough one, he has made two back-to-back finals in Qatar now, so he seems to like it. It’s always a pleasure to play against him, he is such a warrior and competitor but in the right spirit of the game, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-4 (37m)

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