PSA World Tour
Ali Farag won his third QTerminals Qatar Classic title today after beating Diego Eliasin a gripping final at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.
Ahead of the match, much had been made of the World No.1’s dominant 19-3 head-to-head record over Elias, with the Peruvian’s sole win since 2017 coming when Farag was forced to retire hurt in the final of last year’s U.S. Open.
Despite Farag’s superior record, it was Elias who started the opening game better, with the 26-year-old accurate at the front as he took the first five points of the final.
Farag responded by pushing up the court and flipped the momentum, taking ten of the next twelve points to earn three game balls at 10-7.
Elias dug in well to save all three, forcing a tie break at 10-10.
After three more game balls for Farag, and one for Elias, it was the Egyptian who managed to break the deadlock, clinching a brutal 26-minute first game 15-13.
The bruising nature and finale of the first game appeared to have sapped the strength from Elias’ legs in the second, with the Peruvian struggling badly against Farag’s relentless pressing as the top seed doubled his lead with a comfortable 11-5 win.
Game three was a more even contest, with Elias moving far better than in the second game.
Farag, who appeared to be closing in on a second title of the season at 8-5 up, then allowed Elias back into the contest, with the World No.1 making an uncharacteristic number of errors as a resurgent Elias forced his way into the contest with an 11-8 win.
There were more worrying signs from Farag early in game four, with the Egyptian – who appeared fatigued – making more errors as Elias dominated play to take the first three points.
The Egyptian, however, was able to claw back momentum, finding a second wind and going on the hunt as he reeled in ‘the Puma’s’ lead before bringing a thrilling final to an end with an 11-9win.
For both Elias and Farag, attention turns to the Platinum-level U.S. Open, which takes place which takes place between 07-14 October in Philadelphia’s Arlen Specter US Squash Center.
Afterwards, Farag said: “I had to put in a world class performance to be able to compete with Diego. He’s such a champion, the way he’s been playing these last couple of years.
“This week he’s been phenomenal, and I don’t need to talk about his squash because it speaks volumes about itself.
“He’s a true champion. To call a tin against himself at 12-12 when we’re going for the No.1 spot and the referee hadn’t called it speaks volumes about the character he is and I really appreciate sharing a court with him and I look forward to many more [finals] together in the future.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. I had a lot of the people I care for and who care about me in my corner.
“The crowd lifted me up all week.”
Farag added a moving tribute to wife and women’s World No.8 Nour El Tayeb: “The one person I want to thank the most and is my inspiration every day is Nour. The way she juggles between being a great mother, a great wife, a great squash player, a great daughter and a great friend, everything is about her is admirable. I really am grateful to be witch such a person day in and day out.”
Elias added: “I’m not very happy with the result, but I’m actually very happy with the way I ended up fighting at the end of the match.
“I’m just happy I’m getting closer and hopefully next time I get the title.
“I’ve been improving match by match, tournament by tournament and I didn’t finish too badly. I’m just excited for the next one and hopefully I can fight for another title soon.”
Result: QTerminals Qatar Classic – Men’s Final
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt  Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 15-13, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 (69m)