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ElShorbagy, Abdel Gawad set up all-Egyptian Qatar Classic final


Photo: PSA

Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad have defeated Nick Matthew and Daryl Selby respectively to earn a spot in the 2016 Qatar Classic final.

ElShorbagy, who won the tournament’s last two editions, had a tough encounter with Englishman Nick Matthew in the semi-final. The World No.1 lost the first two sets (8-11 and 9-11) but he recovered from a 2-0 deficit and produced a strong comeback to win the remaining three games (11-9, 11-4 and 11-9).

“I think we were both up and down in our level in this tournament, but this is the 20th time we’ve played each other in our career,” ElShorbagy told the PSA website.

“For me tonight, I think that was my best performance of the whole season. The way I fought back and the way we played, I think we had a go at each other, but we played the game in the right spirit,” he added.

World Champion Abdel Gawad also struggled in the early stages of his game against England’s Daryl Selby as he lost the first set 14-16, but the World No.3 quickly found his rhythm and edged Selby with a 3-1 victory after winning three sets in a row (11-6, 11-2 and 11-5).


Photo: PSA

“Everyone hides it their own way, but inside I feel so much pressure. It’s part of our game so I have to deal with it,” Abdel Gawad said.

“It’s always tough to play ElShorbagy, and to play him twice in two weeks is even tougher. Tomorrow, I’m expecting a very tough match. I’m looking forward to my first final in Qatar,” he added.

ElShorbagy and Abdel Gawad will face each other in the tournament’s final on Friday with ElShorbagy looking to win his third Qatar Classic title in a row. Meanwhile, Abdel Gawad will be looking to achieve another impressive win after being crowned world champion for the first time ever earlier this month.

The pair’s most recent meeting was in the semi-final of the PSA Men’s World Championship, which saw Abdel Gawad book his place in the final with a 3-2 victory over ElShorbagy.

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