ElShorbagy and Momen set up all-Egyptian final in Qatar

Source : PSA World Tour

World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy will appear in the final of the Qatar Classic for a fourth consecutive year – where he will be aiming to win the title for a third time – after he defeated World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of the 2017 iteration of the event to set up an all-Egyptian clash with Tarek Momen, who defeated Germany's Simon Rösner to reach the first World Series final of his career.

ElShorbagy, who lost to Karim Abdel Gawad twelve months ago, and Gaultier were meeting for the 21st time in what is one of the fiercest rivalries of the modern era but, after coming through a spell-binding opening game, it was the 26-year-old from Alexandria who prevailed at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex to end the the Frenchman’s 30-match unbeaten run over a best-of-five games format.

Buoyed on by a partizan crowd ElShorbagy – who showed little tiredness after a brutal five-game clash with Ali Farag the day before – attacked with intensity from the off to avenge his defeat to Gaultier at the Tournament of Champions in New York in January.

“I’m really happy to be back in the final here, it’s where I won my first ever World Series and to be back in my fourth consecutive final is an honour. He made a fool of me in that match in New York and I thought about it all summer – it motivated me to get back to my best in the off season and I really wanted to go out there today and beat him 3-0. Without the way that he beat me at the ToC that day, I wouldn't be as hungry as I am now. I had a bad season by my standard last year but I feel like I'm better every tournament and every match this season so far and I'm really pleased to be competing for the title here once again.” Mohamed El Shorbagy

Meanwhile Momen, three years ElShorbagy's elder at 29, secured a long awaited debut in a major PSA World Series tournament final courtesy of a dominant and controlling straight-games victory over Germany's Simon Rösner – who was himself competing in just his first ever World Series semi-final.

It what was the sixth meeting between the pair it was Momen who kept his nerve on the big stage, coming out firing in the early stages to pile the pressure on the big German, profiting from a series of unforced errors to take the opening game and set up the foundations for an 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 victory.

“I’m really happy, I can’t believe I’m in my first World Series final – it’s amazing. I really wanted to win. It's been long over due for me. I've been waiting to get to the finals of a major event for a long time. I saw the opportunity today and wanted to make the most of it. I think I had a physiological edge – with the crowd supporting me and having been in a semi-final before – and I took advantage of it. Earlier this season I wasn't in the zone mentally but I knew I wasn't far off and finally it materialised this week and I'm so happy. I've had some huge matches against Mohamed before and I have won against him as well so I know nothing is off the table. I'm in the final and I'll give it my all and continue to believe in myself.” -Tarek Momen

Results – Semi-finals

[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-9, 11-1 (55m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (40m)

Draw – Final

[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [8] Tarek Momen (EGY)

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