2021 GOLD NEWS

2021 Gold : Men’s Semis

Contrasting semi-final wins for top seeds Ali Farag and Paul Coll – Farag gets past Mostafa Asal in a five game thriller while Coll beats Marwan ElShorbagy in three.

2021 CIB Black Ball Squash Open GOLD Day EIGHT: Men's SEMI-FINALS

[1] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-2 [4] Mostafa Asal (Egy)  14-16, 11-1, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 (97m)

[2] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy)               11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (49m)

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Contrasting semi-final wins for top seeds Ali Farag and Paul Coll – Farag gets past Mostafa Asal in a five game thriller while Coll beats Marwan ElShorbagy in three.

Farag’s match with World No.6 Asal will go down as one of the matches of the year – and one of the best battles ever at the Black Ball Sporting Club – with the 29-year-old finally prevailing by a 14-16, 11-1, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 scoreline after 97 pulsating minutes of action.

Farag had beaten Asal in eight of their nine PSA  matches coming into today’s match, but there was very little between them as Asal overturned eight game balls to take the opening game, before fighting through the fatigue to draw level in the fourth.

However, Farag just about had the better of the fifth game and finally got the win over the line to reach his third final at the Black Ball Sporting Club and his second at the Gold tier Black Ball event following his runner-up finish last December.

“That was very enjoyable, very enjoyable! I think I started off really well, and it was one of those days where you don’t feel good all day, but then once you step on court, you feel good all of a sudden. It is very weird, and I can’t pinpoint on something that makes me feel good, I try to prepare the same way every time, but I didn’t feel off court before stepping on.

“I felt good all the way to 10-5, a few stoppages here and there and I lost my rhythm. All credit to him, he is such a warrior, he kept digging and digging.

“I think I had eight game balls in that one and I couldn’t convert, but I am extremely proud of how I didn’t let that get into my head. It was a big blow psychologically, but I took the positives from the first and carried it on into the second and then the third, I played well again. In the fourth, a lot of stoppages again, the ball softened up a bit and I couldn’t get it to the back and I didn’t really have a plan, and the fifth was a flip of a coin man!

“We can’t thank the Black Ball Sporting Club enough for hosting so many tournaments during the pandemic. We are very grateful, and to CIB for always being a support.

New Zealander Coll  reached his first final at this tournament following an 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 victory over World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy. ElShorbagy won the Platinum edition of the Black Ball event in March of this year, but he was unable to follow up an impressive performance against World No.4 Tarek Momen in the previous round.

Coll, who was 2-1 down in his quarter final match with Joel Makin before an injury to the Welshman saw him retire, has now reached three PSA Tour finals in a row for the first time since 2016. Coll and Farag have contested four matches so far in 2021, with two wins apiece. If Coll wins in tomorrow’s final, he will become the first non-Egyptian man to win a PSA World Tour title in Egypt since Gregory Gaultier won the 2017 El Gouna International.

“It’s never easy playing someone like Marwan. I had to stay on my toes the whole time because he is probably one of the best players at winning quick points in a row, so I had to stay on my game.

“I didn’t really feel like I was clicking in the first two rounds, but I stopped taking ice baths during the day, and I felt a lot better today, so I won’t be doing that again tomorrow.

“I am just going to come out and play my game again, I won’t be tweaking anything, just need to get my game plan down, ready for Ali.

Try and stick to that from the word go, and make its as tough as I possibly can tomorrow. He had a big one tonight, it was an amazing match, him and Mostafa. I just gonna be on my mettle tomorrow, have my game plan sorted from the first rally and just go hard.