Sunday, May 26, 2024

Hania El Hammamy lifts first Qatar Classic women’s title for eight years

Hania El Hammamy became the first Qatar Classic women’s champion for eight years after fighting back to beat Egyptian compatriot and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in Doha.

Meanwhile, World No.1 Ali Farag of Egypt and World No.2 Diego Elias of Peru will contest the men’s final after they beat Welsh World No.10 Joel Makin and Egyptian World No.7 Mazen Hesham.

In a scintillating women’s final, the first since 2015, World No.3 El Hammamy traded frenetic rallies with El Sherbini to thrill the Doha crowd.

After taking the first game 11-9, El Sherbini was pegged back by the same scoreline in game two.

‘The Warrior Princess’ reclaimed the lead with another 11-9 win in game three before El Hammamy incredibly took the fourth game by the identical score yet again.

The fifth game, though, was all about El Hammamy.

The No.3 seed came charging out, moving more quickly than at any other point in the match as she raced into a 9-1 lead against a stunned El Sherbini.

The 29-year-old finally managed to gain a foothold in the game, but by then it was too late, with El Hammamy seeing out the match with an 11-6 win to bring the 84-minute rollercoaster to a close.

Afterwards, El Hammamy said: “It’s unbelievable for me.

“I’m definitely proud of the way I’m fighting every day and the way I bounce back after each loss.

“[El Sherbini is] the one I look up to and I try to learn from her to carry that image when it’s my time to be on top.”

While both Elias and Farag progressed in straight games, neither of them enjoyed a comfortable passage through to the final.

2021 Qatar Classic champion Elias got the day’s action underway against training partner Hesham.

The Egyptian caused Elias no end of problems in an intense clash that was characterised by a number of long, lung-busting rallies, with the Peruvian eventually winning 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 in 49 minutes.

“On court, we hate each other but off court we’re very good friends,” Elias said afterwards.

“[After the match] I told him he’s so talented and makes me go the wrong way – I hate that!”

Farag, too, was forced to work hard for his win against a stubborn Makin, with the World No.1 dictating play and looking back to his best after an uneven quarter-final win against compatriot Tarek Momen.

After the match, Farag said: “I’m very proud of myself. It was a very, very tough match. I know the scoreline shows a 3-0 win but every single point was very hard fought.”

Result: QTerminals Qatar Classic – Women’s Final

[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (84m)

Results: QTerminals Qatar Classic – Men’s Semi-Finals

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (48m)

[2] Diego Elias (PER) bt [6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (49m)

Draw: QTerminals Qatar Classic – Men’s Final, To Be Played 16 September

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [2] Diego Elias (PER)

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