Young Egyptian Ali Farag takes out top qualifying seed Gregoire Marche to reach El Gouna main draw
By NATHAN CLARKE in El Gouna
World No.73 Ali Farag pulled off a shock upset in the final round of qualification to lead a five-strong Egyptian contingent into the main draw of the 2015 El Gouna International, PSA World Series event taking place in the Red Sea Resort.
Farag stunned top seeded qualifier Gregoire Marche, the World No.26 from France, with an impressive 3-1 victory that will see him compete in the main draw of a World Series event for the first time since the 2014 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions while number two seed Mazen Hesham along with Mohamed Abouelghar, Karim Ali Fathi and Omar Abdel Meguid all won their encounters to complete a victorious day for Egyptian squash.
Those wins mean that there will now be 14 Egyptian players competing in the 32-man strong field which is headlined by World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and world champion Ramy Ashour – the men who contested the final here 12 months ago.
Following his victory over Marche, Farag will now face World No.1 Elshorbagy in the first round while after a tough five-game encounter with Henrik Mustonen of Finaland the talented Mazen Hesham will face German Simon Rösner.
Elsewhere Meguid will face Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, Abouelghar will take on compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad and Karim Ali Fathi will play the dynamic Colombian cannonball Miguel Angel Rodriguez, this month celebrating a record high World No.5 ranking.
PSA El Gouna International
Results – Qualifying Finals:
Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-4, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (51m)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt  Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (51m)
 Leo Au (HKG) bt  Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3 (63m)
 Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt  Joe Lee (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 (69m)
 Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt  Rex Hedrick (AUS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (45m)
 Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt  Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 4-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8 (64m)
 Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt  Shaun Le Roux (RSA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (46m)
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt  Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-2: 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (58m)
Draw – Main Draw, First Round:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rösner (GER) v [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Max Lee (HKG) v [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v  Peter Barker (ENG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
[WC] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [Q] Leo Au (HKG)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Amr Shabana (EGY)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)