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Fares Dessouky

CIB Black Ball Open RoundUp: Dessouky and Farag Set Up Title Decider

Egypt’s World No.11 Fares Dessouky will face World No.1 Ali Farag in the final of the men’s CIB Black Ball Open, PSA World Tour Gold tournament following respective wins over World Champion Tarek Momen and World No.14 Mostafa Asal.

Dessouky will feature in his biggest PSA final to date after he got the better of World Champion Momen by a 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 1-11, 11-7 to reach the eighth PSA final of his career.

The 26-year-old had never beaten Momen in three of their previous encounters but cut a determined figure on court today as he displayed his formidable shot making ability during a stop-start match, littered with decisions to hold his nerve and convert in 75 minutes.

“There is a lot of ups and downs,” said Dessouky afterwards. “Especially if you are playing well from the first [match] of the tournament. He’s playing incredibly, he’s very fast on court so I had to really focus on every point. It’s hard to keep my focus until the end of the match.

“I’m very happy to make it to the final, this is my biggest final since I started playing PSA, so I’m really happy to be back and competing again, especially here in Egypt. I have to recover and make sure my body is in good shape. Tomorrow will be a tough match against Ali, he’s the World No.1 and is in good form so I will try to dig really deep to grab the win.”

Meanwhile, Farag will line up in the Black Ball Open final for the second time in his career, after finishing runner-up to Karim Abdel Gawad in 2018, following a polished 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 victory over rising star Asal.

Ali Farag in action against Mostafa Asal

Asal had been the talk of the tournament following his victories over World No.4 Paul Coll and World No.10 Miguel Rodriguez coupled with his extravagant celebrations. But despite some impressive winners from the 19-year-old in the opening game, the victory never really looked in doubt for Farag as he played an effective game to advance to his third successive final.

“It felt very good,” said Farag. “I had a game plan in mind, but you never know if you’re going to be able to execute it in three or four games and even when he came out with outright winners, I still knew I was going with the right game plan. It’s this balance of being aggressive without getting too explosive because that’s how he likes to play.

“When you’re at No.1, finals is what you try to achieve consistently. I’ve never won three titles back-to-back. I’ve won at the Pyramids and then in Qatar, so it would be amazing if I can add another one here.”

The final will be held at 21:00 (GMT+2) tomorrow (December 18) and the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the channels of contracted broadcast partners.

For more information on the 2020 Black Ball Open, visit the tournament website or follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.

Results: Men’s CIB Black Ball Open – Semi-Finals
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [11] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (39m)
[9] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [2] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 1-11, 11-7 (75m)

Draw: Men’s CIB Black Ball Open – Final – To be played December 18
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [9] Fares Dessouky (EGY)