2018 SEMIS : Mo & Tarek win all-Egyptian five-setters
Egyptian duo Mohamed ElShorbagy and Tarek Momen will compete in their maiden Canary Wharf Classic finals after they beat compatriots Marwan ElShorbagy and Ali Farag on semi-finals day at East Wintergarden.
World No.1 Mohamed had won 10 of his previous 12 meetings with younger brother Marwan and had prevailed in their last three fixtures, including last week’s Windy City Open final and the title decider of December’s PSA Men’s World Championships.
The latest chapter of their gripping rivalry looked to be going the way of Marwan as he played some sublime squash to twice take a one game lead, but Mohamed came back in the fourth to level, before coming back from 8-6 down in the fifth to claim an 8-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-3, 11-8 victory.
“We just played last week and he definitely played better this week,” said Mohamed, who has now reached nine finals in his last 10 tournaments.
“Playing someone with the quality of my brother twice in the same week is definitely not easy. After I beat him last week he would have learned so much and he wanted to do things better this time.
“I could see from the first point in the first game that he wanted to win badly today, but I had to try and fight. There were times when he was unstoppable and I couldn’t really cope with his pace, but I had to keep digging in and hope he made a few errors and I think my experience got me through in the end.“
Momen will take on Mohamed for the second time in as many tournaments after the World No.6 also prevailed in a five-game battle against Farag.
The 30-year-old came flying out of the traps as he hit winners for fun and made it difficult for Farag to put any points on the board.
Farag was much improved in the second and third games as he overturned the deficit but, with the scores locked at 6-6 in the fourth, Momen rediscovered his best squash and punished a rapidly tiring Farag to complete an 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6 victory and he will aim to avenge defeats to Mohamed in the Qatar Classic final and Windy City Open semi-final in tomorrow’s title decider.
“I just tried to give it my best because I know Ali is an unbelievable opponent,” said Momen.
“What he achieved in less than three years on Tour is remarkable. I’ve been playing for 12 years and look where he is at with only three years of experience, so I salute him for that.
“He’s such a tough opponent to break, he’s very tough physically and mentally, with some good racket skills as well. He has the full package and to beat him is just unbelievable.”
What They Said : Mohamed Elshorbagy
Best of Three, Best of Five ?? This is the kind of drama we need in our sport. Someone is 2/1 down and wants to come back in the match…
This is the kind of battles we live for. And we don’t want to make it easy. You can make it more difficult for us, but don’t make it easier…
We just played last week and he definitely much played better this week..
Playing someone with the quality of my brother twice in the same week is definitely not easy. After I beat him last week he would have learned so much and he wanted to do things better this time.
I could see from the first point in the first game that he wanted to win badly today, but I had to try and fight. There were times when he was unstoppable and I couldn’t really cope with his pace, but I had to keep digging in and hope he made a few errors and I think my experience got me through in the end.
I was talking to David Palmer between the games, we’ve been trying to get things right this season and it’s definitely not easy playing so many matches and so many tournaments. It’s never easy to back up match after match and tournament after tournament, but if you want to try and be the best in the world you don’t give yourself excuses.
You just keep pushing and pushing, that’s what all of us do and I’m glad to be in another final.