Ali Farag (EGY) def [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 11-7 11-5 11-1 (26-min)
Harvard educated Ali Farag is not one to rest on his laurels. Earlier this month at the US Open, the World #5 and his wife Nour El Tayeb made history, becoming the first married couple to win the same major title on the same day. It was Farag’s first World Series final, and first career World Series title. Now the front-runner on the Road to Dubai, he’s reached the final of all three events he’s played this season.
Despite that momentum and confidence, Ali refuses to take any opponent for granted: “I cannot complain about the results I’m having lately, but you cannot make a career out of your past results. Every day is a new day, a new match, and I try and play point by point, rally by rally…”
An attitude and work-ethic he employed today with great precision, against an opponent who’s already played two qualifiers just to reach the 1st-Round.
High quality squash
Farag and Ali Fathi played a fantastic match. Though the scoreline depicts domination, the first two games were competitive. Farag and Ali Fathi often train together under Karim Darwish at home in Egypt, so they’re familiar with each other’s style of play, and comfortable sharing space on court. Thanks to that comfort and familiarity, it was a match packed with winners and creative shot selection. Farag offered-up only three errors during the match, Ali Fathi just six. (FULL MATCH RECAP)
Simply put, Farag had more gas in the tank to make late runs in all three games. Ali Farag after the match: “I’m lucky as I’m fresh, whereas he had to come through two hard qualifying matches. That made the difference today.”
Ali Farag. A future World #1
Farag’s had a phenomenal 18-months. Last season, he qualified for the World Series Finals for the first time. He started the season as the World #10; and by June, cracked the top-5 for the first time. With the results he’s enjoyed over the first two months of the new season, he will climb to a career-high ranking of #4 in the World when the new rankings come out Wednesday.
Karim Ali Fathi. Building on success
Karim is also playing the best squash of his career. In June, he completed the 2016-17 season by winning his 10th career PSA Tour title at the Costa Rica Open. Now a 17-time finalist on tour, he’s reached a career-high ranking of World #33. The firsts continue: In just his second Doha appearance, he played through qualifying to make his Main Draw debut. At just 24-years-old, there are a lot of positives to build upon as the season continues.