10:37 am
17 Mar 2018

El Tayeb & Farag Become First Married Couple To Reach US Open Finals

14 Oct 2017

Egyptians Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag, the Cairo-based pair who married in 2016, will be hoping for double delight in the finals of the 2017 US Open Presented by Macquarie Investment Management after becoming the first wedded couple ever to reach the finals of the historic PSA World Series event.

The pair were part of an Egyptian quartet who completed a clean sweep on semi-finals day at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Just over one year since their wedding day, the pair enthralled the crowd as they produced similarly scintillating performances to defeat their last four opposition in the shape of England's Laura Massaro and fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad - with Farag's 3/0 win securing him a place in a World Series final for the first time in his career.

In a repeat of the 2015 US Open final - which she lost 3/2 - El Tayeb put in a performance of pure class as she dismantled Massaro with a shot-making masterclass to come through 3/1 and book her place in the 11th Tour final of her career.

"I'm very pleased with my performance," said 24-year-old El Tayeb.

"Laura and I played a few years ago in the final here and I was so nervous that time - so today I was telling myself that it's just a regular match and to go out there and enjoy it, which I did.

"She doesn't give up and she keeps going - she takes advantage of any loss of concentration from any of her opponents. That's something I learned from her and it's unbelievable to beat her in such an occasion.

"I made the final three years ago but I'm just enjoying it. My squash couldn't be going better - I've been working really hard and I'm happy that it's starting to pay off."

World No.14 El Tayeb will go up against Raneem El Welily, the current world No.3, after the 2012 runner-up halted the charge of New Zealand's Joelle King.

"It feels absolutely fantastic to reach the final," said El Welily.

"Joelle is in fantastic form, I played with her here last year and it was something similar to today's match.

"She has had a great season and has beaten everyone in the top five. I just tried to keep pushing and digging as much as I could - she was playing really well. I think I broke her mentally and that was key.

"Everyone is in top form and Nour (El Tayeb) is playing her heart out this tournament."

Farag, a 25-year-old Harvard graduate, secured his place in the climax courtesy of a dominant straight games victory over Mosaad - the 2015 runner-up who returned to top form this week after suffering a dip in form through the past two years.

Farag weathered a Mosaad onslaught during a crucial 14-12 second game to set up the platform that ensured his progress to face defending title holder Mohamed Elshorbagy.

"I feel very happy to get past such a tough opponent," said Farag.

"Omar is never easy to play against, he's finding his form again and so to get a win against him is a great pleasure, but there is still the final tomorrow so I will just enjoy this for half an hour and then start focusing on tomorrow's match.

"I knew today was going to be tough so I'm really pleased to be through - it's special to be into the final along with Nour, but it will be even more special if we can hold the trophies together."

After his victory over England's Nick Matthew, in a repeat of the 2016 final, Elshorbagy said: "Every single point was very important today.

"The level of squash we have played so far, I think we are playing even better than last year but sometimes it's the luck of the draw and we both had to deal with it as professionals.

"I thought we dealt with it well and in front of a crowd like here, quality squash is supposed to be played and I'm really glad that we could both play that kind of squash and I can't wait to play in my third final here tomorrow."