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World Tour Finals: ElShorbagy Axes Farag to Reach Final

Egypt’s World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy has confirmed his place in the final of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals at the expense of World No.2 Ali Farag.

It was a rematch from their quarter-final battle at the Manchester Open a couple of weeks ago, but the outcome was still the same as ElShorbagy got the better of Farag once again in a tightly contested encounter.

The younger brother of World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy is one of few players, along with his sibling, to hold a better head-to-head advantage over the talented Farag and the 27-year-old improved that record with a focused display at the Mall of Arabia.

It was ElShorbagy, who has started strongly since the PSA Tour returned from a six-month suspension, who got off to the better start taking a tight first game, before Farag hit back in the second to get back on level terms.

The contest continued to be nip and tuck right until the final moments with a stroke awarded against ElShorbagy handing match ball to Farag. However, the lower seeded Egyptian did well to recover and was able to rattle off three quick points in succession to book his place in the final where he will take on Karim Abdel Gawad.

“Ali is the toughest player to beat on the PSA World Tour by far,” said ElShorbagy afterwards.

“Ali is the type of player that if I had ten sets of ghosting, I’d say that’s not enough to beat Ali – it’s never enough to beat Ali. He’s always there, he’s always digging in and he’s such a tough player to play. I’m so happy with the win today because it could have gone either way. He was 10-9 up in the third and then suddenly it was 11-10 match point and out of nowhere I found myself with match point.

“It was such a tough match and I’m so happy with the win – hopefully just one more tomorrow. Being lucky is a part of the process, it could have gone either way but I’ve trained really hard over the summer to get back to where I was so results like this don’t surprise me anymore.

“Even if I win tomorrow, being realistic I know that my brother [Mohamed ElShorbagy] is not here. He’s the current No.1 and the best player in the world, even if I win tomorrow, I know I still have a lot of work to do and he is the player to beat. No matter who wins tomorrow, we know we have a lot of work to do.”

Result:
[5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-1: 11-9, 7-11, 12-10 (61m)