Ali Farag beats Diego Elias to win 2023 Men's QTerminals Qatar Classic

September 17 2023

Ali Farag secured his third QTerminals Qatar Squash Classic title in a thrilling final clash against Diego Elias, captivating the crowd at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

Leading up to this showdown, much had been discussed about the dominant head-to-head record of World No.1 Farag, boasting a commanding 19-3 advantage over World No.2 Elias. The Peruvian had managed a solitary victory over Farag since 2017, a win that occurred when Farag was forced to retire due to injury in last year's U.S. Open final.

In a surprising turn of events, Elias took control of the opening game, displaying precision at the front of the court to secure the first five points of the final. Farag, however, swiftly adjusted his strategy, aggressively pushing up the court to shift the momentum in his favour. He claimed ten of the next twelve points, earning three game balls at 10-7. Elias remained resilient, saving all three and pushing the game to a tense tiebreak at 10-10, but after a series of game ball exchanges, it was Farag who ultimately broke the deadlock, clinching a gruelling 26-minute first game with a score of 15-13.

The physically demanding nature of the first game seemed to drain the energy from Elias, evident in the second game, where the Peruvian struggled against Farag's relentless pressure. Farag, the top seed, won the second game comfortably 11-5 to double his lead in the match.

The third game proved to be a more balanced contest, with Elias showing improved movement compared to the previous game. Farag, who appeared to be on the verge of claiming his second title of the season with an 8-5 lead, allowed Elias to stage a comeback with a series of uncharacteristic unforced errors, and a resurgent Elias secured the game 11-8.

Early in the fourth game, there were concerning signs of fatigue from Farag, as he again made several errors while Elias dominated play to secure the first three points. However, the World No.1 found a second wind to mount a spirited comeback and eventually seal the thrilling final by taking the fourth game 11-9.

QTerminals Qatar Squash Classic 2023, Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar
Men’s Final:
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Diego Elias (PER) 15-13, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 (69m)

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