Semis – Fares 0-3 Coll, Ali 3-0 Tarek

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [9/16] Fares Dessouky         11-9, 11-0, 11-0 (37m)
[2] Ali Farag 3-0 [3] Tarek Momen                       11-9, 11-2, 11-4 (37m)

CIB World No.1 Ali Farag and New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll will contest the final of the 2020 Qatar Classic after respective wins over CIB World Champion Tarek Momen and World No.12 Fares Dessouky.

Ali and Paul will lock horns tomorrow in a repeat of March’s 2020 Windy City Open final, where the Egyptian came from two games down to win the title in a thrilling battle in Chicago.

Both of today’s semi-final matches at the PSA Platinum event were 3-0 victories with Coll claiming an 11-9, 11-0, 11-0 victory over Egypt’s Dessouky to reach his first Qatar Classic final and second in the country after reaching the final of the PSA World Championships on the same court 12 months ago.

There was no sign of fatigue from Coll following his two mammoth five-game battles in the previous days as he took a crucial first game, 11-9, finding his length and accuracy well to nullify the attacking intent from the talented Egyptian to go one game up.

A lack of concentration from Dessouky for the remainder of the match following a disagreement over a decision in the second saw Coll comfortably close out the win, remaining professional to take an 11-0 victory in each game to book his place in the final.

Coll’s competitor in the final will be World No.1 Farag after he was at his accurate best to defeat World No.3 Momen, 11-9, 11-2, 11-4 in 37 minutes.

Farag, who is the defending champion at this tournament after beating Germany’s Simon Rösner in 2018 to lift the Platinum title, was in full flow to take an evenly contested first game and lay the foundations for an impressive victory over one of his closest rivals.

Fares (on twitter)
I just want to apologize about what happened today in my semi-final match, wasn’t the best attitude I know but I tried so hard to keep my feelings hidden, but I couldn’t due to many calls went into my head . I want to thank everyone who supported me throughout the tournament 🙏🏼 ❤️

“Playing another Egyptian adds a psychological aspect to it. 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 player plays 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 with Paul Coll are 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.”