Rösner & Farag To Contest Qatar Classic Climax
1 Nov 2018
Germany's Simon Rösner and Egyptian Ali Farag - ranked five and two, respectively, in the world - will go head-to-head in the final of the 2018 Qatar Classic after prevailing in their respective semi-final encounters against Peruvian Diego Elias and Egypt's Tarek Momen at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
Paderborn-based Rösner enjoyed a career breakthrough here last year when he reached the semi-finals at a Platinum level event for the first time to usher in what was the most successful season of his career to date.
But the 30-year-old went one step further this time when he easily brushed aside a tired looking Elias - the 21-year-old struggling both mentally and physically to back up his victory over world No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the previous round.
Elias looked flat from the off and Rösner, who finished runner-up at last month's US Open - the first Platinum event of season - was quick to grasp the opportunity and take control of the court to punish Elias at every opportunity and complete an 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 win in just 31 minutes.
"Diego had a tough match yesterday, and it's very hard to pick it up the next day," said Rösner - now in the 19th and biggest PSA World Tour final of his career. "He beat the world No.1 to reach his first ever Platinum event semi-final and it's a lot to take in.
"I know what he is feeling because last year, I played my first semi-final here and I literally got chopped so I feel for him.
"But for me, I'm playing my second Platinum final in a row. If you had told me that two months ago, I would probably have laughed, so I'm very happy. I will try and enjoy the moment tomorrow and play the best squash I can.
"I feel like I've gotten better round-by-round this week and hopefully I can lift it to another level again tomorrow. Making two finals in a row is very special for me but there is another match to go and obviously you want to win those matches, not just be there for the sake of it.
"Every final is special. I will put in everything that I have. I will fight for every point and try to make the most of the chance."
Farag meanwhile defeated compatriot, and 2017 tournament runner-up, Momen in a four-game battle that saw them produce some sublime squash as they traded the opening games tat-for-tat whilst battling for control of the court.
But, after losing the second, it was Farag who managed to gain the ascendency to force Momen onto the back foot and accelerate away to compete the win 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4 and avenge his defeat to his fellow countryman in the final of the Channel VAS Championship last week.
"It definitely wasn't easy at any point tonight, Tarek has been playing some of his best squash recently and he proved that with the win last week when he came from 2/1 down to beat me," said Farag.
"He was better than me on the day then but today I had a different plan and I think I executed it well, especially in the third and fourth games. I feel like I'm playing better event by event as well so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
"Simon is playing the best squash of his career at the moment and he obviously beat me at the US Open so I'm looking forward to the rematch. I feel fresh and I'll do all the recovery that I need to and hopefully I'll be ready to fire it up in the final."