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CANARY WHARF                     Official CW site

FINAL

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [3] Tarek Momen      11-8, 12-10, 11-3 (64m)

SEMIS

[3] Tarek Momen 3-1 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy            11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 (60m)

Momen and Coll to Meet in Citigold Canary Wharf Classic Final

World No.3 Tarek Momen and New Zealand’s World No.7 Paul Coll will contest the final of the 2019 Canary Wharf Classic tomorrow after they claimed respective wins over World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy and Mathieu Castagnet at London’s East Wintergarden earlier today.

Momen lost in the final here 12 months ago to ElShorbagy, but he was in sublime form to avenge that defeat, winning 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 to reach the final of this tournament for the second time.

World No.3 Momen ended a nine-match losing streak to ElShorbagy with an extraordinary triumph in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships two weeks ago, and the Momentaor picked up where he left off in Chicago tonight as he came flying out of the traps to take a comfortable 11-7 victory in the opening game.

ElShorbagy, who today became the youngest player of the modern era to reach 500 PSA Tour matches, stepped up the ’T’ in the second to level, but he squandered an 8-4 lead in the third to hand the initiative back to his opponent. Momen fell 9-7 behind in the fourth, but he held his nerve in front of a packed house at East Wintergarden to overturn that deficit and complete the win.

The win came shortly after wife Raneem El Welily had edged Nouran Gohar in five games to reach the final of the Black Ball Open in Cairo.

"I was having déjà vu because only two weeks ago, I was playing Mohamed in the semi-finals of the World Champs, and Raneem had just finished a five-game match, 12-10 in the fifth," Momen said afterwards.

“She lost, and it was very hard for me to go on court and play Mohamed only five minutes after it happened. Today, it was the same scenario. Literally two minutes before I started warming up, their match [El Welily and Gohar at the Black Ball Open] was over.

“I am kind of trying to get this approach where I go on and give 100%. I know I had Mohamed today, I was tired yes, but I just wanted to win and I didn’t want to give it up. I want to be the best in the world, and to be the best, I have to perform at my best every single match and every single tournament."

Coll will appear in the final of this tournament for the first time and will be aiming to win his first PSA Tour title since the 2016 Channel VAS Championships - where he beat Momen in the final.

QUARTERS

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy 2-0 Declan James (Eng)       11-9, 11-2 (28m)
[3] Tarek Momen 2-1 [8] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)    8-11, 13-11, 11-5 (51m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)[7] Fares Dessouky   2-1 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 (49m)

Ryan came out firing today. He was playing superbly well and I expected it because I had seen bits and pieces of his match with James. I knew he would be aiming for too much attacking, and then if it goes in then I am going to be in trouble. It is kind of tough, backing up throughout the season. I have been having some really good results.

However, it comes with the consequence that I am actually playing so many matches in every tournament. This is new territory for me, having to back up tournament after tournament.

I am gaining a lot of experience and I am counting on my fighting spirit to get me through because today I was really behind. I was 1-0 and 6-3 down and I was not moving that well, which is something I always count on.

When I don’t have my best movement, I try to come up with anything to get through. I even lied to myself, telling myself that the score was something else. I was 6-3 down and I was telling myself it was 5-5 to keep myself going.

Eventually, what got me through today was my sheer desire to win and I am very happy to get through. I had a rest day yesterday which I really made use of. It was very important. The best of three is helping in that regard, so I am happy to go only three games today, and hopefully I will get some good recovery for tomorrow.



Declan is one of my good mates on tour. We trained together this summer. He came to Bristol and we trained a few times. I don’t think I am going to train with him anymore. He beat my brother and I think Marwan is going to blame me for that.

He has been playing really well and I am really happy for him. He is a great guy and we get on really well and I am really happy for him.

I played him three years ago at the TOC and I said that he was the best English player from that generation, of those coming up the ranks. I think he has a great future in front of him. This season he has been playing so well. The last few years he would have a good result but then not back it up, but this season he has played many great tournaments in a row. He has shown the improvement that he has been working on and I am really happy for him.

On the 1st of March, I lost the World No.1. On the 2nd of March, I lost the World Championships. I am not sure March is a very good month for me, but I am coming to this event knowing that it won’t be a test physically and mentally for me because I know what I can do on my day. This is going to be a test of character and I am going to challenge myself here and see. It is hard when you lose the World No.1. It is not an easy thing to lose. When you lose it because someone has raised their level over yours, you raise you hand up.

Ali, right now, is playing the best I have ever seen him play and right now he is the best player in the world. I am going to be chasing him now. It is a different scenario with our matches, but for now, maybe luckily for all of us he is not playing this event, because he has been playing so well this season, but I look forward to tomorrow now.

Tarek got out of jail a little bit today. Ryan was playing so well, but Tarek has been playing an amazing season. He beat me last week and I really forward to having another great match with him.

Round 2
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy
2-1 Borja Golan (Esp) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (47m)
[3] Tarek Momen 2-1 Raphael Kandra (GER)     12-14, 11-4, 11-4 (33m)
Declan James (Eng) 2-1 [5] Marwan ElShorbagy  7-11, 11-5, 11-9 (45m)
[7] Fares Dessouky 2-0 [9/16] Daryl Selby (Eng) 11-5, 11-2 (25m)

England’s James Upsets ElShorbagy to Reach Canary Wharf Quarters

England’s World No.20 Declan James claimed arguably the biggest win of his career as he upset Egypt’s World No.10 Marwan ElShorbagy at London’s East Wintergarden earlier today to reach the quarter-finals of the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic.

Nottingham-based James had never been able to get the better of a player inside the world’s top 10 before and was appearing in the second round of the prestigious PSA World Tour Gold tournament for the first time.

Defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy - Marwan’s older brother - will play James in the next round after he kept his title defence alive with a testing 2-1 triumph against Spanish veteran Borja Golan.

A best-of-three games format is being trialled up to and including the quarter-finals at East Wintergarden, and at times it looked as though Golan would come through to take the win after some terrific attacking squash saw him go toe-to-toe with the Egyptian. But ElShorbagy held his nerve at the crucial points and ground out an 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 victory to reach the quarter-finals.

Momen, competing at his first tournament since losing out in the PSA World Championship final a fortnight ago, surrendered three game balls in the opening game as Kandra edged it on the tie-break, but the World No.3 struck back in games two and three to eliminate the German.
 

“It is warm, but at the same time, the ball dies pretty well at the front. I thought I started the match quite well, but them somehow, along the way, I lost my tactics,” Momen admitted.

“He just upped the pace and started hitting some beautiful drop shots at the front. It was a great comeback from him to win that game after being 8-4 down.

“It put me under a lot of pressure, because when you are 1-0 down in a best of three format, it is not the best feeling. I am very happy with the way I turned it around in the second and the third.

“I got my tactics right again, and I had Mazen [Hesham] and Fares [Dessouky] with me, in the corner. They just had to remind me of what I should be doing. It worked pretty well and I am very happy with the way I played towards the end.”



“Borja is such an experienced player on tour. We have had so many great battles before, and today I knew it was going to be another battle again.

When I had that lead in the second game, I thought I had him a bit. It is always a mistake when you do that against an experienced player like him. Obviously, he took advantage of that and the third, I was so lucky. He gave me a few mistakes which were at times when he was attacking in the rally. I have to thank my lucky stars for winning today.

Every season is always more difficult than the season before. You get to be studied, the longer you stay there, and every season is a different challenge, every day is a different challenge. I like to challenge myself, and right now, I am in a completely different challenge in my career. I expect myself to be up for it. I have to adapt, that is my job, and that is what I will have to do on a daily basis, and I cannot wait to see what happens for the rest of this event.”



"I played very good squash today, even my movement was quite good. I had an ACL injury so I had surgery in December [2017]. After that I had another small surgery, and I feel like I’m improving every tournament.”

Round 1

James Willstrop (Eng) 2-0 Mazen Hesham  11-9, 11-7 (29m)

   

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