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Tarek Momen lines up on day four of the Qatar Classic

Qatar Classic Day Four: PLAYER REACTION

The third round of the Qatar QTerminals Classic continues today as the likes of British Open champion Paul Coll and former World Champion Tarek Momen compete at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

Reports and reaction from each match will be available right here. Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar is pitted against Adrian Waller at 15:00 (GMT+3) before U.S. Open champion Mostafa Asal takes on Youssef Soliman.

No.3 seed Momen then heads onto court to face Englishman Tom Richards, before Coll and Frenchman Baptiste Masotti bring play to a close at 17:15.

You can watch all the action LIVE on SQUASHTV.

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You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

All times local (GMT+3)

Abouelghar Eases Past Waller to Reach First Platinum Quarter Since 2019

Mohamed Abouelghar (right) celebrates his win over Adrian Waller (left)

Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar has reached his first PSA World Tour Platinum quarter final in over two years after he toppled World No.29 Adrian Waller in a comfortable 3-0 victory to reach the Qatar QTerminals Classic last eight.

Abouelghar, a former World No.7, has slipped down to No.15 in the rankings after a run of poor form that had seen him fail to make it beyond round three at a major PSA event since the 2019 Allam British Open.

However, the 28-year-old has shown signs of returning to form this week after a 3-1 win over No.5 seed Karim Abdel Gawad in round two, and he made no mistake against Waller with a masterclass of a performance seeing him win 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 in 27 minutes.

Waller came into the event on a high off the back of a title win at the Cleveland Skating Club Open, but wasn’t at the races physically and couldn’t prevent Abouelghar from hitting his marks.

“I’ve been trying to get my performance back and have been fighting to stay consistent and hit my targets the whole match,” said Abouelghar.

“I’m happy with how I did it today. I was consistent until the end even though I had a little bit of a lack of focus at the beginning of the third game. I managed to get it back though and I’m very happy with that performance.

“The ranking is the best picture of how a player is playing. If you look at the top 10, they all deserve their places, and when I dropped out of the top 10 it was because I wasn’t good enough. I had to accept it and work.

“Now I feel like I’m back again and ready to break back through again, give them a hard time and hopefully get the wins. I’ve been struggling a lot to finish off 3-2s, which could have helped me with my ranking. But there is no looking back and I’m looking forward to what is ahead of me.”

Either No.2 seed Paul Coll or Frenchman Baptiste Masotti will await Abouelghar in the quarter finals.

Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 (27m)

Soliman Retirement Sees Asal Advance

Mostafa Asal in action

U.S. Open champion Mostafa Asal has advanced to the quarter finals of the Qatar Classic for the first time after his third round opponent – Youssef Soliman – retired during the third game due to a hamstring injury.

The match was shaping up to be a captivating affair, with Asal prevailing in a 33-minute first game on the tie-break. However, Soliman wasn’t at his best physically and struggled the longer the match went on, eventually shaking hands in the third game.

“I’m very disappointed to win like that,” said Asal.

“It happened to me against Ali but it was like 9-5 and the game was going to end. I know the feeling when you can’t compete, and he was struggling from the beginning. He’s my partner at the Al Ahly club and I hope it’s not serious and he will recover very well.

“Youssef is a very tough opponent and we all like playing really great battles. I wish him a very speedy recovery.

“I was very disappointed last year that I didn’t come to Qatar. It’s very enjoyable and the way they treat the players is top. I’d like to thank everyone who is behind this tournament and also this amazing crowd, which is always supportive of squash.”

Asal could face the man he beat in the U.S. Open final earlier this month – former World Champion Tarek Momen – if Momen can overcome England’s Tom Richards in his third round fixture.

[7] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-8, 2-1 retired (52m)

Momen Wins Quick-Fire Clash with Richards

Tarek Momen

No.3 seed Tarek Momen is through to the quarter finals after winning a quick-fire clash with England’s Tom Richards in straight games.

Momen – who won the 2019-20 PSA World Championships on this very court – had won five of his previous six matches against Richards, including the previous four matches.

Each of those six encounters had seen Richards take a game, but this time around Momen claimed a 3-0 triumph. The match flitted between winners and errors, with very few long rallies being played.

The majority of the action took place in the front of the court, and Richards was close to taking both of the opening two games, only for Momen to find that extra bit of quality to build up a 2-0 lead.

And ‘The Viper’ made no mistake in the third game to set up a quarter final meeting with Mostafa Asal, where he will look to avenge his defeat to his compatriot in the U.S. Open final two weeks ago.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I knew Tom is capable of giving me a hard time on court,” said Momen.

“He did today, he played really well. I can’t say I’m really happy with my performance today, I’m not so pleased with it, but I’m happy I got through in three games.

“I remember in the last 16 [of the World Championships he won] I almost got knocked out by Abdulla Al Tamimi. It wasn’t a smooth ride to the final, but I felt like we were a bit unlucky with the ball today, we played with the worst ball that was ever made. We both had to deal with it and he managed to adapt a bit better, but towards the end of each game I managed to close it out.

“It was bouncing funny and I felt it was very difficult to pick it up from the back corners and even from the front. It wasn’t because the court was too cold because it was cold from the very beginning and I am used to these conditions. Sometimes you get the unlucky ball in the box that bounces funny, and I think that’s the reason it was a bit scrappy today.

“Both of us were playing really short rallies with no structure or rhythm. It was down to who could close it out and I’m just happy I managed to close out the first two.

“I’m expecting a tough one [against Asal]. Two weeks ago, I had the right tactics and I was just a bit unlucky not being able to close it out in the end. I’m hoping to repeat my performance again and I’ll try to get through this time and get the win.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 13-11, 11-5 (29m)

Coll Ousts Masotti

Paul Coll in action

No.2 seed Paul Coll overcame the dangerous Frenchman Baptiste Masotti to book his spot in the quarter finals.

The Kiwi – who reached the final of both the 2019-20 PSA World Championship and last year’s Qatar Classic in Doha – didn’t quite find his short game today and there were a few moments in the first and third games where it looked like Masotti could cause him some damage.

The British Open champion remained composed though, while Masotti cut a frustrated figure in the latter stages of the match, and it is Coll who moves through to the last eight, where he will take on World No.15 Mohamed Abouelghar.

“It’s been a long gap between my last one and this one,” said Coll.

“So it was a bit of a slow start from me. He played very well and he was quite controlled, I think he’s been working on his game and he’s a bit more mature now. All credit to him, but I started a bit slowly, I didn’t quite find my attacks like I wanted to and it’s something I’ll work on for the next round.

“I wasn’t too nervous, I knew what I was doing wrong and what I had to do, so it was about correcting that. Halfway through the second, I got a bit more aggressive with my body and movement and my shots flowed from there. I didn’t quite carry that through to the third, but I’m happy to get off in three, no damage done and I know what I need to work on.

“He [Abouelghar] has quick attacks and he’s got really good racket head speed. I’m going to have to stay in front of of him and not give him any loose balls at the front. It will be a tough one, but I’m feeling confident for it.”

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (48m)

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