Egypt’s World No.3 Tarek Momen and New Zealand’s World No.7 Paul Coll will contest the final of the 2019 Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic tomorrow after they claimed respective wins over World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy and Mathieu Castagnet at London’s East Wintergarden earlier today.
Momen lost in the final here 12 months ago to ElShorbagy, but he was in sublime form to avenge that defeat, winning 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 to reach the final of this tournament for the second time.C
World No.3 Momen ended a nine-match losing streak to ElShorbagy with an extraordinary triumph in the semi-finals of the PSA World Championships two weeks ago, and ‘The Viper’ picked up where he left off in Chicago tonight as he came flying out of the traps to take a comfortable 11-7 victory in the opening game.
ElShorbagy, who today became the youngest player of the modern era to reach 500 PSA Tour matches, stepped up the ’T’ in the second to level, but he squandered an 8-4 lead in the third to hand the initiative back to his opponent. Momen fell 9-7 behind in the fourth, but he held his nerve in front of a packed house at East Wintergarden to overturn that deficit and complete the win.
The win came shortly after wife Raneem El Welily had edged Nouran Gohar in five games to reach the final of the Black Ball Open in Cairo.
“I was having déjà vu because only two weeks ago, I was playing Mohamed in the semi-finals of the World Champs, and Raneem had just finished a five-game match, 12-10 in the fifth,” Momen said afterwards.
“She lost, and it was very hard for me to go on court and play Mohamed only five minutes after it happened. Today, it was the same scenario. Literally two minutes before I started warming up, their match [El Welily and Gohar at the Black Ball Open] was over.
“I am kind of trying to get this approach where I go on and give 100%. I know I had Mohamed today, I was tired yes, but I just wanted to win and I didn’t want to give it up. I want to be the best in the world, and to be the best, I have to perform at my best every single match and every single tournament.”
Meanwhile, Coll overcame 2016 champion Mathieu Castagnet to reach a second successive PSA Tour final, winning 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 in 47 minutes.
Castagnet has been one of the surprise packages of this tournament – beating both No.2 seed Simon Rösner and No.7 seed Fares Dessouky – with the best of three format playing into his hands.
But Coll was too strong for the World No.26 today as he matched his traditional length hitting with some fine touches at the front of the court to close out the win in straight games.
“I was watching it [Momen v ElShorbagy] while I was warming up,” said Coll.
“It was incredible, such high-quality squash in that match. Both players probably deserved to win that match. I am going to have my work cut out for me tomorrow, but I am looking forward to the challenge against one of the top players in the world.
“I am just going to have to be really alert. He is taking it in so well, with lots of angles and lots of severity. I am going to have to really watch him and be careful where I leave the ball on the court because he can put it away. He is one of the best in the world at putting the ball away.”
Coll will appear in the final of this tournament for the first time and will be aiming to win his first PSA Tour title since the 2016 Channel VAS Championships – where he beat Momen in the final.
Coverage of the final begins at 19:00 (GMT) on Friday March 15 and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and mainstream broadcasters such as BT Sport, Sky Sports New Zealand, Fox Sports Australia and more.
Result – Semi-Finals: 2019 Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 (60m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (47m)
Draw – Final: To Be Played March 15th
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)