Saturday, December 9, 2023

End of the road for ElShorbagy brothers as Diego Elias and Ali Farag win through to U.S. Open final

By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

World No.4 Diego Elias has become the first Peruvian to reach the U.S. Open final after overcoming England’s three-time champion Mohamed ElShorbagy at the Arlen Specter Squash Center in Philadelphia.

It was a masterclass from the 25-year-old – a semi-finalist at last year’s U.S. Open – who nullified ElShorbagy to run out a 12-10, 11-7, 11-6 winner.

“I’m just very happy with my performance,” said Elias. “We’re now 5-5 in head to heads and it’s always very tough. He became a very good friend of mine and it’s always tough playing with him.

“I’m feeling great, I won 3-0 yesterday and today so I’m fresh. It’s a bit late but I think I can still recover pretty well and be ready for tomorrow.

“I think the start of the tournament wasn’t great. My first two rounds I got in trouble for no reason really. This tournament has a few rest days so it kind of felt like a new tournament from the quarters onwards and having (coaches) Jonathan (Power] and Wael (El Hindi) here with me is great and having their support is the best.”

Ali Farag battles through against Marwan ElShorbagy

Elias will line up against two-time champion Ali Farag in the final after the Egyptian – who will return to World No.1 on Monday – dispatched ElShorbagy’s younger brother, Marwan.

Farag has often struggled against Marwan and had lost eight of their 14 matches on the PSA World Tour coming into the contest. However, the 30-year-old bounced back in the fourth game shortly after seeing his 2-0 lead halved to seal his place in a third U.S. Open final. He will look to continue his 100 per cent record following wins in 2017 and 2019.

“He’s got all the weapons in his repertoire to hurt you with, so I’m really happy that I didn’t panic after the third and I kept my focus,” said Farag.

“Usually I hit more aggressive length in the back corners, I hit it with more bite, but today because I knew I don’t want to tire myself out, it was a little bit more calculated. And that made the difference and that’s why I didn’t feel necessarily as tired at the end.”

The U.S. Open finals will begin at 18:00 local time (GMT-4) today and all of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV as well as on the channels of the PSA’s broadcast partners.

Nouran Gohar silences critics to reach women’s final against Nour El Sherbini

PSA Platinum 2022 U.S. Open, Arlen Specter National Center, Philadelphia, USA.

Men’s Semi-Finals:
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6 (63m)
[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-6 (47m)

Men’s Final:
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [4] Diego Elias (PER)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour 


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