1:31 pm
30 May 2024

El Hammamy & El Sherbini To Contest Qatar Classic Climax

15 Sep 2023

On a day of drama in Doha, Egyptian duo Hania El Hammamy and Nour El Sherbini reached the women's final of the QTerminals Qatar Classic, while in the men's draw defending champion Mohamed El Shorbagy crashed out to Mazen Hesham in the quarter-finals.

In the women's semis - the first held since 2015 after the return of the women's tournament this year - world No.3 El Hammamy put in an ice-cold performance against USA's surprise semi-finalist Amanda Sobhy.

The 23-year-old, who will have been all too aware of the dangers posed by Sobhy after the world No.5 downed top seed Nouran Gohar in the previous round, was completely dominant, playing the front of the court perfectly as she wrapped up a 3/0 win in 34 minutes.

Afterwards, El Hammamy said: "I'm definitely very proud of how I'm picking myself up.

"I've been working on improving each round, each match, each game and I'm very positive about the way I am on court this week."

El Sherbini, meanwhile, recorded an even quicker win, with the world No.1 at her very best and requiring just 25 minutes to dispatch Belgian world No.10 Tinne Gilis in straight games.

Afterwards, El Sherbini said: "For me, I'm really happy with my performance.

"[Gilis] has a lot of potential and this is her place. You're going to see her at this stage a lot this season."

Meanwhile, in the men's quarter-finals, Hesham claimed his first ever win against reigning Qatar Classic champion ElShorbagy as he fought back from two games down to win in five.

The match, a thrilling affair which pitted Hesham's flair against ElShorbagy's tactical acumen and grit, ended in bizarre circumstances: at match ball down, ElShorbagy played the ball into the floor via the side wall following Hesham's serve. The England No.1 claimed this was an attempt to give the ball back to Hesham as he had not been ready to receive the serve, but - to ElShorbagy's fury - his appeals were rejected, handing Hesham the victory.

Afterwards, Hesham reflected on the incident: "Think about it; if I play the serve and he plays it into the front wall, he was going to take it and I'm fine with that.

"It's the rules and I play by the rules."

Hesham will face No.2 seed and 2021 champion Diego Elias in his semi-final, after the Peruvian beat 2016 champion Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt 3/1.

The other semi-final will be contested by Egypt's world No.1 Ali Farag, a 3/1 winner over compatriot Tarek Momen, and Wales' Joel Makin, who beat Scotland's Greg Lobban 3/0.