Egypt’s Mohamed Elshorbagy will appear in the final of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Qatar Classic for a fourth consecutive occasion after defeating world number one Gregory Gaultier of France in the penultimate round today.
Elshorbagy and Gaultier were meeting for the 21st time in what is one of the fiercest rivalries of the modern era and after coming through a spell-binding opening game, it was the former who prevailed 14-12, 11-9, 11-1 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
Victory for the world number three means he avenges his defeat to Gaultier at the Tournament of Champions (ToC) in New York City in January and brings an end to the Frenchman’s 30-match unbeaten run over a best-of-five games format.
"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," Elshorbagy, who lost to compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in last year’s final having won the previous two editions, said.
"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."
Standing between Elshorbagy and the title tomorrow is fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen, who will appear in the first major PSA World Series tournament final of his career after defeating Germany's Simon Rösner 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.
In what was the sixth meeting between the pair, Momen came out firing in the early stages to pile the pressure on first-time PSA World Series semi-finalist Rösner.
The 29-year-old profited from a series of unforced errors to take the opening game and set up the foundations for a comfortable victory.
"I’m really happy, I can’t believe I’m in my first World Series final - it’s amazing," Momen said.
"I really wanted to win.
"It's been long overdue 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."
The Qatar Classic is the second PSA World Series tournament of the 2017-2018 season.