Ali Farag -02- (EGY) def Mohamed Abouelghar -09- (EGY)
Match recap from Squash Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.
Round-2 Final: 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (68m)
Ali Farag is on a mission – in hot-pursuit of the World #1 ranking. After today’s hard-fought, deciding-game victory over one of his toughest opponents, he openly admitted after last year’s break-through season – he’s accomplished more in 12-months than he anticipated. So why not? The sport’s top-ranking is in his cross-hairs.
At last year’s Qatar Classic, Farag came into Doha after capturing his first Platinum-level title at the US Open. Unfortunately, the draw dealt him World #1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the Quarterfinals. Although Farag lost that deciding-game battle – he went-on to win the Egyptian National Championship, reached 3 more Platinum Finals, contested the championship match at the PSA World Tour Finals in Dubai, and climbed to World #2. That’s a storybook season.
Ali Farag’s draw at this year’s Qatar Classic is insane.
There’s no doubt Ali has a tough draw again this year in Doha. Tonight, he had to get through the World #9 just to face the World #11 tomorrow. And this evening’s victory was no guarantee, considering his history with the remarkably talented Mohamed Abouelghar.
► Apr 2015 – Egyptian National Championship (F) – Mohamed Abouelghar def Ali Farag
► May 2011 – Egyptian Circuit No1 (R1) – Mohamed Abouelghar def Ali Farag
Each player’s announcer introduction for today’s Round-2 match…
 Ali Farag -02- (EGY)
The reigning Egyptian National Champion, this 26-year-old returns to Doha with a career-high ranking of World #2. Last season, he was on fire, capturing his first Platinum-level title at the US Open and reaching 3 Platinum Finals by season’s end. He earned a career-best Semifinal run at the World Championship, won the Egyptian Nationals title for the first time, and contested the championship match at the PSA World Tour Finals in Dubai.
This September, he picked-up the new season right where he left off – winning his 12th PSA title at the NetSuite Open in San Francisco, defeating Willstrop, Elias, Gaultier and Mohamed ElShorbagy en-route to the title. And just last week, he appeared in his 25th career Tour-level Final, reaching the championship at St. George’s Hill for the second year in a row. Competing in his 4th Qatar Classic Squash Championship – From Egypt, please welcome the #2 Player in the World, Ali Farag.
▲ R1 — Bye
Ali Farag’s storybook 2017-18 Season
Early on, Ali won his first Platinum-level title at the US Open. At the other Platinums, he reached the championship matches in both Hong Kong and El Gouna, the Semifinals at the Tournament of Champions and Windy City Open, and the Quarterfinals at the Qatar Classic and British Open. Overall, he won 3 titles, reached 7 Tour-level Finals, won the Egyptian National Championship, and climbed from World #5 to a career-high ranking of World #2. In only his second appearance at the year-end showdown, he reached the championship match at the PSA World Tour Finals. To top it off, he earned a career-best run at the World Championship, reaching the Semifinals.
Announcer Corner | Most significant highlights of Farag’s 2017-18 season
Sep-2017 | F | China Open. 17th career PSA Tour-level Final. Falls to Ramy Ashour
Oct-2017 | W | US Open. He and Nour El Tayeb, 1st married couple to win same major sports title on same day
Oct-2017 | F | St. George’s Hill Classic. Falls to Mohamed ElShorbagy
Nov-2017 | F | Hong Kong Open. 2nd career PSA Platinum-level Final
Dec-2017 | SF| World Championship. Career best performance at sport’s most prestigious event
Feb-2018 | W | Swedish Open. 11th PSA World Tour title
Feb-2018 | W | Egyptian National Championship. Wins title for the first time
Apr-2018 | F | El Gouna International. 3rd career PSA Platinum-level Final
Jun-2018 | F | World Tour Finals. Reaches the Final in only his 2nd appearance at the year-end championship
Mohamed Abouelghar -09- (EGY)
At 25-years-old, this 2015 Egyptian National Champion comes into Doha with a career-high ranking of World #9, after a truly impressive start to the new season. Last month, he opened his 2018-19 run by going undefeated at the China Open, capturing his 9th PSA title, and earning his first career victory over legend Gregory Gaultier. He then defeated 2016 World Champion Karim Adbel Gawad at the US Open, en route to his 3rd career Platinum-level Quarterfinal. Now a 14-time Finalist on Tour, he is currently ranked 4th on the Road to Dubai – with six match victories and only a single loss to start the season. Competing in his 6th Qatar Classic Squash Championship, he earned his first main-draw victory here 3-years-ago, defeating 2005 Champion James Willstrop to reach the 2nd-Round. From Egypt, please welcome the #9 Player in the World, Mohamed Abouelghar.
▲ R1 — Bye