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Squash: World Champion Matthew, Elshorbagy reach Qatar Classic final

World Championship winner Nick Matthew (right) of England beat Borja Golan of Spain 3-0 to reach the final of the Qatar Classic in Doha. Photos: c/o Squashpics.com.

World Championship winner Nick Matthew (right) of England beat Borja Golan of Spain 3-0 to reach the final of the Qatar Classic in Doha. Photos: c/o Squashpics.com.

November 14, 2013: World Championship winner Nick Matthew and Egypt’s fifth seed Mohamed Elshorbagy will contest the final of the Qatar Classic after each came through straight-games wins in the semi-finals of the seventh PSA World Series event of the year.

 

World No. 4 Matthew, fresh from success in last week’s World Championship in his native England, took on giant-killer Borja Golan, the seventh-seeded Spaniard who stunned top seed Gregory Gaultier in the previous round to earn a place in his first World Series semi.

 

Matthew continued his straight-games run in Doha with an 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 win over Golan at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex to qualify for the 57th PSA World Tour final of his career and his third in a row.

 

“It was 3-0, but it was tougher than the score suggests,” said the 33-year-old from Sheffield, seeded third in Doha. “The first half of each game was tough and I was pleased with how I finished each game. I played good squash at the end.”

 

When asked about the pressure of coming into the event as World Champion, Matthew responded: “I’m really proud of my efforts this week, pleased with how I’ve backed up. I could easily have come here and lost first round, but I want to go all the way.”

 

World No. 6 Elshorbagy, who reached the final of last year’s World Championship on the same court almost 12 months ago, defied a 9-2 career head-to-head lead by his opponent Karim Darwish to beat the fourth-seeded World No. 5 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 in 35 minutes.

 

World No. 6 Mohamed Elshorbagy beat No. 5 Karim Darwish in an all-Egyptian semi-final.

World No. 6 Mohamed Elshorbagy beat No. 5 Karim Darwish 3-0 in an all-Egyptian semi-final.

The score was remarkably similar to Elshorbagy’s win over his illustrious Egyptian teammate – twice a Qatar Classic title winner – when the pair met in last December’s World Championship quarter-finals in Doha.

 

“I was really looking forward to playing the semi. I was confident I could do it and that was very important to me. Being in the final after a 3-0 win will mean that I’m fresh,” said the 22-year-old, who will contest the 14th PSA World Tour final of his career.

 

Elshorbagy made a sensational start and reached match-ball at 10-2 before Darwish mounted a late fightback.

 

“I started getting really nervous, thinking ‘Oh my god, I’m going to lose this game’,” Elshorbagy said. “If I had lost that game, I’m not sure how I would have handled it. But luckily he made the error at 7-10. I think this was the best match I’ve played the whole tournament.”

 

Qatar Classic semi-finals:


[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Karim Darwish (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (35m)

[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [7] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (47m)

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