Monday, April 15, 2024

Fares fightback foils Farag in Black Ball final

Fares Dessouky celebrates his victory in the CIB Black Ball Open

Fares fightback foils Farag in Black Ball final
By SEAN REUTHE – Squash Mad Correspondent

Egypt’s World No.11 Fares Dessouky has lifted the biggest PSA World Tour title of his career after staging a stunning comeback from 2-0 down to overcome world No.1 Ali Farag in the final of the men’s CIB Black Ball Squash Open earlier today.

Dessouky, 26, came through a 75-minute battle against World Champion Tarek Momen 24 hours previously while he also beat defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 in round two. He found it tough going in the opening stages as Farag – also a runner-up in 2018 – played some scintillating squash to take a two-game lead in the final PSA Gold event of this fractured year.

Dessouky looked down and out but suddenly the winners started flowing from his racket as he fought back to take the next two games in impressive fashion to force a decider.

Farag was the man in form after winning a career-best 14 successive matches coming into the match, while he had beaten Dessouky in all five of their previous matches.

But he was powerless to respond to Dessouky’s brilliance in the decider as the man from Alexandria closed out an 5-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 victory to capture the fourth – and most significant – title of his career.

Moment of triumph: Fares Dessouky sinks to his knees as he claims the biggest win of his career

Dessouky said afterwards: “It feels amazing. This is the biggest final of my career so far, and today I got the win, so I’m very lucky.

“I didn’t have any plan for today, to be honest. I just went on court to give 100 per cent so people could enjoy the match. The last match I played in Qatar, I gave up in the semi-final and I didn’t want to do the same at this tournament.

“I wanted to grab the win for my family and all my friends who came here to support me, so thanks a lot to them. I have a new mental coach now. I know the people wanted something like that, and it’s working step-by-step.”

Farag said: “I’m disappointed but not in myself. I left it all out there and that’s something I can be proud of. Sometimes you come up against an opponent who is playing really well and tactically he got it spot on.

“When you’re playing well in the first two games and you lose it, it can be hard to regain it. All credit to Fares, winning so many great battles back-to-back is a testament to who he has become, so I want to congratulate him.”

Dessouky wins over $16,000 for his title win in the last PSA World Tour tournament of 2020. England’s World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry won the women’s title, which concluded on Saturday December 12, the day before the men’s tournament began. Perry also came back from 2-0 down in her final against Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy.
$112,500 Men’s 2020 CIB Black Ball Squash Open, Black Ball Sporting Club, Cairo, Egypt.

[9] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (73m) 

Trophy time: Fares Dessouky and Ali Farag after the CIB Black Ball Open final

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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