QF:  Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (50m)
Greg will be disappointed for sure. He hadn’t played on the glasscourt since Chicago at the start of the year, and in difficult conditions – humidity, wind, dust – he was less able to adapt than Ali I think. I don’t think he enjoyed the let’s clean the court together and get out of the match episodes either, like I said in my previous report, his face when Lee Beachill, PSA COO, told him he had to clean the court himself was a picture in itself…
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) October 14, 2020
He did well, though. Truly. First game, as usual when you come from the traditional court, he struggled to find the timing of the ball, but from the second onwards, the Frenchman was as positive and incisive as he always was.
First game was still 16m for an 11/5 score, that tells you how hard Greg made Ali work. From the T, Greg was proactive, but 5 errors against a player of Ali’s calibre, not putting him under pressure enough, from 2/2 to 6/2, 9/3, 11/5.
The second, we have a match in our hands, great rallies, Greg still at the front dispatching the shots, but Ali shot for shot, 2/2, 4/4, 5/5, 6/, 7/7. A little drop in energy maybe or just lack of match fitness, and it’s a couple of errors, 10/7 game ball, Greg frustrated with himself, and game 11/8 in 17m.
The third, well, Greg is not happy with the floor, he seems a bit lost 3/0, 5/1, 8/2, 9/3. Surely, that’s the end. Nooope. Greg, patiently, capitalising on Ali’s relaxation probably in view of the finishing line, and it’s 4 points for Greg, 7/9, but match ball with a crispy backhand volley drop shot, that prompts the first (and last) yalla yalla yalla from Ali.
Greg, feeling that a fourth game is in view, keeps pushing, keeps fighting, as “la petite chèvre de Mr Seguin”, look it up, and he’ll only bow 11/9 in 17m. And we can only salute the French determination, never saying die, even from 2/0 and 9/3 down…
First of all many thanks to CIB, I-Events, Amr Mansi PSA to have made this fantastic event possible. Very grateful to be able to compete and get the chance to play at the pyramids which is always an amazing experience.
Congrats to Ali on playing solid squash, I did what i could and I’m looking forward to play again and keep improving my squash. I remember at that time last year I was watching this event on TV and had no clue if i would be able to ever play again, so it’s a massive bonus in my life and pure pleasure despite losing yesterday.
Many thanks to all my coaches, physios, sponsors, clubs, family, friends and supporters to help me get this opportunity to be back on this kind of stages, without them it wouldn’t be possible.
“Even though I am the highest seed, when I come up against Greg I feel like the pressure is on him.
“When I was here at the age of 14 in 2006, he was 23, I was up there watching him from the stands, and I always dreamt of being on this court, but I never imagined I would be on here with him.
“The pressure is mostly away because of those situations, so I have maximum respect for him to keep going after all these years and to still be competing at the top level.
“For me, I just want to be executing my game plan. The court is a bit tricky with the wind and the softening up of the ball because of the cooler temperatures, so I had to adjust every game to get the ball deep into the back corners and yeah, I am extremely happy for sure.”