Quarters – that was a long day!!

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-2 [6] Marwan ElShorbagy         8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5 (75m)
Fares Dessouky 3-2 Youssef Ibrahim                 11-4, 12-14, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5 (66m)

[3] Tarek Momen 3-2 [8] Joel Makin (Wal)               9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (79m)
[2] Ali Farag 3-2 [5] Diego Elias (Per)                    11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (69m)

Both Fares Dessouky and New Zealander Paul Coll will play for a place in a maiden Qatar Classic final following respective victories over World No.41 Youssef Ibrahim and World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy today.

Marwan lost a nailbitting quarter against Paul 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5. Coll had won only one of his four previous matches against ElShorbagy – which included a loss to the eventual CIB PSA World Tour Finals winner in September – but kept on fighting to reach his first Platinum semi-final since the restart of the PSA World Tour.

World No.12 Fares Fearless Dessouky stands between Coll and a place in the title decider after the 26-year-old ousted giant-killer Youssef Ibrahim 11-4, 12-14, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5 to reach his first Platinum semi since April 2019.

21-year-old Golden Boy caused one of the biggest shocks in the 19-year history of the Qatar Classic with victory over top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy in the previous round and took Dessouky to five games, but the older man had enough in his locker to edge the win.

On the opposite side of the draw, reigning World Champion CIB Tarek Momen will take on defending Qatar Classic champion CIB Ali Farag after both players came through five-game battles in today’s quarter-finals.

With a final appearance in 2017 allied to his World Championship triumph, Momen has often performed well on Qatari soil but had to hold his nerve to oust the dangerous Welshman Joel Makin, ending a two-match losing run to the World No.10.The other match of the day saw World No.1 Farag topple Peru’s Diego Elias, winning 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 to book a spot in the last four of this tournament for the second time.

Ali was pressed hard by the skills of the languid World No.7 but won the physical battle to claim victory after 69 minutes. He will go up against Tarek for the second tournament in a row after defeating his fellow Egyptian in the CIB Egyptian Open final last month in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

“It was a very tough match. I saw him playing yesterday against Mohamed, and as I told you after my match, anyone can win. He is playing brilliantly and he is very talented,” Dessouky explained.

Everyone is saying he is the next Amr Shabana and I hope so, for sure. We need a Shabana back on tour. He is a very good player and he has a bright future on tour.

“I have been through a lot. Many people, they say that mentally, I am not very strong. Today I showed how strong I am. I have been through two surgeries. It is not easy for anyone. The other guys are playing without injuries and it is not easy to play at this level with injuries I believe in myself and I will keep going!”


“I really felt I didn’t play my best the last couple of times, but today I was a lot sharper. My shots were going in nicely a lot better than the two times before and yet I still barely won 3-2. All credit to him, he played a really good match and made it extremely tough. I thought I had some chances in the fourth game, I was 8-5 up and I shouldn’t have squandered that lead.

“I’m glad I kept my head in the game, I didn’t focus too much on what was going on movement-wise on court. I just tried to focus on my game plan, tried to make the least amount of errors possible and thankfully that’s what I did today.

“I’m always excited to play here, I love the court conditions and I think I play my best squash here because of the setup. I’m definitely looking forward to my match tomorrow. I’ll try to recover to the best of my ability so I can be prepared for a good match again.”


Marwan (On Instagram)
Lost in the quarters here in Doha after a tough battle with Paul..
Time to go home and get some time off.

Paul Coll
“Marwan’s an all-round quality player. He’s probably got some of the best lengths out of anyone on tour, and if you let him dominate you then you can lose seven or eight points within a matter of minutes. You’ve got to be on your mettle with everything, he gives you nothing. I always love a battle with him, he gives you nothing and it’s never easy.

“I really enjoyed that match today, I think it was pretty clean and a real battle between two players.”


Thanks to SquashInfo for the Stats