Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) 3-1  Mostafa Asal 3-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (60m)
Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-1  Tarek Momen 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10 (68m)
 Tarek Momen 3-2  Diego Elias (PER) 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 (69m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-2  Ali Farag 13-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (72m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) 3-0 Youssef Soliman 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 (37m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy 3-2 Shahjahan Khan (USA) 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-14, 11-7 (80m)
 Mostafa Asal 3-0 Fares Dessouky 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (55m)
 Tarek Momen3-0 Yahya Elnawasany 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (23m)
CIB Tarek Momen, who has fond memories of the Doha court after winning the World Championship here in 2019, recorded an even quicker victory in the day’s final match. In a dominant performance, he brutally swatted aside 20-year-old Elnawasany 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 in just 23 minutes, with the 34-year-old utilising the court conditions with his famously devastating shot-making skills.
Momen added: ““I was trying to be economic and very sharp from the very beginning.
“We know each other’s game pretty well because we train a lot, so I needed to stick to a game plan from the very beginning and not let go at any point during the match.”
In the day’s opening match, No.8 seed CIB Marwan ElShorbagy came from behind against the USA’s World No.30 Shahjahan Khan in an entertaining encounter. Khan, who played one of the best matches of his career, was excellent throughout and deservedly took a one game lead with an 11-8 win.
ElShorbagy, though, was able to counter, finding his mark at the front with increasing frequency to move into the lead with an 11-7 and an 11-9 win. Khan came back well to save three match balls before levelling with a 14-12 win in the fourth game, before World No.9 ElShorbagy brought an entertaining 80-minute match to an end with an 11-7 win in the fifth game.
Afterwards, ElShorbagy said:
“Shahjahan played very well of course. I’m very happy to get the win at the end. It’s the start of the season and I’m very happy to be back competing again and looking forward to the day off tomorrow!
“My concentration [is something I want to improve]. Yesterday, I lacked a bit of concentration. Today, I don’t know, I guess it’s just the first match on the glass court. As I said, I’m just happy to get the win at the end and looking forward to the day off tomorrow.
“This court makes you feel like you’re in survival mode. Most of the time, if you don’t play a good shot, you have to cover the next and the ball goes dead. Most of us have been coming to Qatar every year and we know how the court plays, as every court is different. This court is a dead court and that’s what makes the sport interesting and you need to adapt differently.”
World No. 3 Mostafa Asal cruised his way into the quarter-finals with a straight sets victory over CIB Fares Dessouky.
Asal was ruthless in the first two games, but Dessouky battled his way back into contention in the third. However the highest remaining seed in the tournament proved too strong for his opponent. The 21-year-old faces another fellow Egyptian in the quarter-finals on Thursday as he takes on CIB Marwan ElShorbagy.
“It was a tough match today. He (Dessouky) is an unbelievable player – so talented, so skilful. He was one of the first players who used to play with me when I was young,” he said.
“There was a clash when we were playing. He said a bad word to me in Arabic so I was a bit upset with him, but it’s all good. Off court we are friendly but most of the Egyptian’s inside the court aren’t so friendly.
“To play in this court, in front of this amazing crowd, I want to thank everyone supporting this tournament – it’s unreal. Thank you for having us here again and again!”
 Ali Farag bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) wo
Youssef Soliman 3-1 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (73m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 Declan James (ENG)
Fares Dessouky 3-0 Omar Mosaad 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (13m)
 Mostafa Asal v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Yahya Elnawasany 3-1 Karim El Hammamy 3-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 (66m)
 Tarek Momen v Grégoire Marche (FRA)
World No. 9 CIB Marwan ElShorbagy required five games in order to overcome Declan James in the second round.
ElShorbagy, the tournament’s No. 8 seed, was in control in the first game, but James mounted a strong fightback to move into a 2-1 lead and potentially cause a big upset. However ElShorbagy got back on top to force a decider in game five, and some strong shots from the Egyptian helped him secure his place in the next round.
“It was good, I’m just happy to get the win in the end,” ElShorbagy said.
“I played okay, I thought the squash was good, just mentally I know I lost some focus in the second game. Declan did well to come back in that game. Overall I’m happy to get the win, it was more important to win today. It doesn’t matter how I won in the end, I know the elements are there it’s just concentration that’s something I can work on in the next match.
“Declan did well yesterday and I’m really happy for him to see him playing well. I think his last couple of seasons he’s not done what he wanted to do. We all know the level he can play at so I’m really happy to see him beat a top 20 player yesterday and almost beating me today. He’s moving well, his shots are there, his accuracy is there, and I hope this is just the start for him and he can keep playing at that level.”
Over on court one, Youssef Soliman fended up off a spirited display from Mathieu Castagnet for a place in the third round. Soliman, who clinched the inaugural CIB Zed Open recently, found himself 1-0 down but the confidence displayed in Egypt a couple of weeks ago shone through for him to eventually triumph 3-1.
Egypt’s No.6 seed CIB Tarek Momen breezed past France’s Gregoire Marche to progress to the third round. Momen, who has fond memories of Doha after winning the World Championship there in 2019, made a confident start to the match as he settled after a few errors and took the first game 11-8.
Marche appeared set to level when he stormed into a 6-1 lead in the second game, only for a brilliant comeback from the Egyptian to stun both Marche and the crowd.
Momen, who targeted the back wall excellently in the second game, shattered Marche’s confidence as he incredibly reeled off 11 consecutive points to take a 2-0 lead that moments before had appeared unlikely.
The World No.6 continued to dominate in the third game, which he took 11-6 again to wrap up the match in just 30 minutes.
Afterwards, Momen said:
“Greg is more than a tricky opponent and he’s given me some really hard times in the past and has actually beaten me here on this court so I wanted to be really in the zone and focused from the beginning. I think I did that, in the first game I was focused on what I needed to do.
“There were a few errors here and there but overall I knew what I needed to do and I got the good start. Then all of a sudden, I don’t know, just a complete switch-off and suddenly I’m 6-1 down. I honestly didn’t think I’d come back but I thought I’d give it a try. My initial plan was to get back into the game and, even if I don’t win it, get my momentum back and if gets the win I can start well in the third. Thankfully, it turned out better than I expected and I got to convert the deficit and from then on I just kept applying the pressure in the third and eventually got the win.
“I feel at home playing here. There are so many Egyptians who come and support me and Arab fans. I really feel like I’m playing in Egypt when I’m playing here. Of course, I have the most special memories and biggest win of my career, the World Championship title, here. So if I could choose one place to definitely come back to, it’s Doha.”
Yahya Elnawasany 3-2 Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8 (69m)
Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0 Zahed Salem 15-13, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
Karim El Hammamy 3-0 Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 11-1, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1 Moustafa El Sirty 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10 (78m)
Yahya Elnawasany saw off Sebastien Bonmalais in five games to earn his place in the second round. It was the first time the pair had met on Tour, and it was the Egyptian who took the spoils in a five-game thriller.
Elnawasany was 2-1 down in the first three games, but fought back well to win the last two games 11-8 to seal his place in the next round.
In a rollercoaster encounter, Egypt’s Omar Mosaad got the better of the USA’s Faraz Khan to set up an all-Egyptian second round tie with Fares Dessouky.
After an even beginning to the first game, Mosaad found his length and sped away from 5-4 up to an 11-5 winner. Khan took a more proactive approach in the second game and his tactic of looking to drop from deep proved to be astute as he levelled with an 11-5 win of his own. Mosaad, however, came back hard, with the 34-year-old recording yet another 11-5 win to reclaim the lead.
In the fourth, Khan took the short ball in well and had opportunities to force a fifth game when he had game balls at 10-9 and 11-10. The World No.57, however, was unable to convert and World No.21 Mosaad brought an entertaining match to a close with a 13-11 win.
Afterwards, Mosaad said: “I didn’t expect that. The first round is always a bit tricky because you’re not 100 percent. Today, in the first game I was relaxed but in the second game he started to attack really well and I think I lost a bit of confidence, so I’m happy I could win 3-1.
“At this level, the mental side is very important and I’m really happy that I’m keeping going. I’m trying hard to push again.”
On his match with Dessouky, he said: “Fares is such a good player. I think everyone wants 100 percent [to win] every match and I will do my best to win this match and I think he will do his best as well. I’ll be playing him on the [traditional] court so I’ll try again to be back on the glass!”
World No.1 CIB Ali Farag will return to Doha for the first time since taking victory in 2020, as he starts his 2022-2023 season as the top seed for the Qatar Classic, which will take place from 4th to 10th September.
Farag missed last year’s tournament, but has fond memories of the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, having won this tournament in 2020, when he defeated New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the final. The pair will be the top two seeds once again next month, with Farag set to face either Mexico’s Cesar Salazar or Qatar’s Syed Azlan Amjad, one of two wildcards for the event. He could then face either Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez or Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in the third round, before a possible meeting with England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last eight.
Meanwhile, double Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Paul Coll will start his campaign in Doha against either home favourite Abdulla Al Tamimi or India’s Ramit Tandon, followed by a possible meeting with either Germany’s Raphael Kandra or England’s George Parker. Welshman Joel Makin could lie in wait in the last eight, in was would be a repeat of their Commonwealth Games final.
Defending champion Diego Elias will meet Indian #1 Saurav Ghosal, the Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist, in the second round in Doha, before a possible clash with England’s Adrian Waller in the last 16. Either Frenchman Gregoire Marche or Egypt’s Tarek Momen, the winner of the 2019-2020 PSA World Championships at the very same venue, could lie in wait for the Peruvian in the quarter finals.
Egypt’s World #3 Mostafa Asal will face one of the toughest tests possible in his opening match of the 2022-2023 season, as he will take on World #9 Marwan ElShorbagy in the second round of the Platinum level tournament. Possible meetings with Egypt’s Fares Dessouky and Mazen Hesham could come prior to the quarter finals.