SF : MoElShorbagy 2-1 Coll

[5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy)  2-1 [3] Paul Coll (Nzl)   11-5, 5-11, 11-6 (50m)

Those two just played in the final of El Gouna, similar court conditions, and same court actually.

First thing we can say, it was a much better performance today I felt, as Paul was much more in control and proactive in the second in particular, able to put pressure on his opponent, thing he couldn’t achieve in Gouna.

An excellent start from the Egyptian, 4/0, 6/1, 8/2, 9/3, Paul getting very frustrated at the end of the game, 11/5 for Mohamed in 16m.
A very high quality game for both, 0 errors from Mohamed, 1 from Paul.

The second is the reserve really, Paul taking a superb start, 4/0, 7/2, 9/4, 11/5, 13m game.
This time Mohamed gave away 5 points (4 errors, 1 stroke), Paul only one error.

At the end of that game, Mohamed asked for three minutes injury time on top of the 2m, and had the physio attend to his two calves and two ankles, having them massaged and stretched.

In the third, Mohamed seemed to be taking a heck of a lot of space to play his shots but fair game said the ref, two no lets for Paul, forced to make a few errors as well, 3 I counted. The Egyptian was always ahead, 3/1, 7/3, 9/4, 10/5 match ball, 11/6 in 14m.

A much better performance from the Kiwi, closer but no cigar…

For me, at the World Tour Finals the toughest match is always the semi-finals because when you play the best-of-three format in the group stages, if you mess one match up, you still have another chance. Anything can happen in the best-of-three, so the semi-final is the only match where you have to get it right so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I was nervous from the first point today. I got lucky in the first game, Paul made a lot of errors and he started slow.

To be honest, I don’t think he has played his best throughout the whole event and he still topped his group and that is what the top players are best at, finding a way to way. He did that in finding a way to win every match in his group and he beat great players and that is credit to him.

Today, we both made a lot of errors, we played well in patches and it was so up and down. I made sure I started better in the third game and I just kept that lead. He tried to come back at me but it was very difficult because yesterday I had a rest day. Obviously against my brother, I had to fight hard for the first game to get into the semis and then I switched off after to save some energy.

It was the group of death, and I think myself and Asal were the best two players and we are the best two in the tournament. We completely deserve to be in the final. I have played against so many players, from those ten years older than me, like Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier. Players from my own generation like Ali, my brother, Gawad and now I am playing Asal who is ten years younger than me.

We are good friends off the court. I love the guy off the court, he is one of the nicest guys on Tour. For me, he is a winner and he will win so many titles. I am one of his fans, before being a competitor, but I love his game and he is a superstar in the sport already. I look forward to playing him tomorrow.