Farag Masterclass Sees Top Seed Into Swedish Open Semis
10 Feb 2018
A masterclass performance from Ali Farag saw the Egyptian world No.3 dispatch former world No.1 James Willstrop with ease to secure his place in the semi-finals of the 2018 UCS Swedish Open and underline his credentials as title favourite.
Farag was sublime as he moved with an effortless grace and hit with devastating precision to twist and turn Willstrop at every opportunity, leaving the tall Englishman unable to find a way to stop the onslaught as Farag wrapped the match up 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 in just 30 minutes.
Willstrop was after revenge in the pair's first meeting since Farag beat the England No.2 in the World Team Championship final decider last December in Marseille.
"Players like James are the guys who I grew up watching and dreaming of playing against so it is an honour to play against him here today," said Farag.
"I am really happy with how I played. Everything unfolded the way I wanted. I was in control of the T for most of the match and whenever I went for a shot it came off as well - so I couldn't ask for any more than that."
Farag will face Paul Coll for a place in the final after the New Zealander defeated Omar Mosaad 3/0, while Egypt's Tarek Momen showed impressive grit and desire to back up his 97-minute first round victory over Mathieu Castagnet with a 54-minute defeat of Australian Cameron Pilley.
Momen was far from his usual explosive self during the first, losing it 11-8 as Pilley controlled the court. But the world No.7 cut an altogether different figure in the second as he began to impose his speed and agility on play and make life difficult for the tall Australian.
After levelling, Momen then showed off his soft hands in the third to take it 11-2 before keeping his composure to take the match in four games.
"I'm happy that I managed to recover and regroup from yesterday and just play as good as I can," said Momen.
"I think today's match was really good and I'm happy that it didn't go to five, as that will allow me to have some more recovery for tomorrow."
"I had a really tough match yesterday but today I found my rhythm and found my length and found my short game as well - everything seemed to be working well," said Rösner.