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Miguel Rodriguez (left) and Joel Makin (right) played out a 106 minute epic in 2018

Qatar Classic: Classic Encounters

The Qatar Classic returns to the PSA World Tour for the first time since 2018, having made way for the PSA Men’s World Championship last year, the third time in the last decade that the premiere event has been held in Doha.

The PSA Platinum level tournament returns this year to the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, the home of the event since its inception on to the PSA World Tour in 2001.

There have been plenty of epic encounters over the last decade or so, with the last women’s match, the 2015 final, being one of those great games.

Here is a look at some of the best matches to have been played at the Qatar Classic. Feast your eyes on these!

2018 Men’s Round 2: Joel Makin v Miguel Rodriguez

Clocking in at 106 minutes, this clash between Welshman Joel Makin and the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Rodriguez was one of the longest on the PSA World Tour in 2018.

The match went back and forth, with neither player able to take a commanding lead in the match. Makin led twice, but Rodriguez was able to fight back. Would the Welshman be able to stun the No.5 seed?

2017 Men’s Quarter-Final: Ali Farag v Mohamed ElShorbagy

Now the top two in the World Rankings, back in 2017, Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy were the No.5 and No.3 seeds for the Qatar Classic, respectively, but that didn’t stop them putting on a show in their quarter-final encounter.

ElShorbagy was already a two-time winner of the event, having claimed the title in both 2013 and 2015, while Farag was continuing his rise up the rankings. The pair battled it out for 93 minutes, including a 25-minute fourth game, but who would come out on top?

2016 Men’s Semi-Final: Mohamed ElShorbagy v Nick Matthew

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy took on former World No.1 Nick Matthew in the semi-finals of the 2016 title, with ‘the Beast’ aiming to defend the crown he had won twelve months earlier in Doha.

The Englishman took a two-game lead, but ElShorbagy fought his way back to send the match into a deciding game. Would it be the Egyptian who won it or would Matthew be able to dig deep to take the win and advance to the final in Qatar?

2016 Men’s Quarter-Final: Gregoire Marche v Nick Matthew

Before Nick Matthew’s epic five-game battle with Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last four of the 2016 Qatar Classic, he had to come through another tricky test against Frenchman Gregoire Marche, who stormed into the lead.

The then-World No.24 went two games up against the former World No.1 and three-time World Champion, but the Englishman was able to fight back in emphatic style.

2015 Women’s Final: Laura Massaro v Nour El Sherbini

The last women’s match to take place at the Qatar Classic was the 2015 final between England’s Laura Massaro and Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini. The pair had met 18 months earlier in the World Championships final in Penang, Malaysia, where Massaro had come out on top.

This encounter between the pair went one way and then the other, as the Englishwoman lead twice, only for El Sherbini to fight her way to get back level on both occasions. Who would take the crown in front of a raucous crowd at the Khalifa Complex?

2015 Men’s Quarter-Final: Ryan Cuskelly v Miguel Rodriguez

Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez was the No.3 seed for the 2015 Qatar Classic, and went tow games up against Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in their quarter-final encounter.

However, the qualifier pulled out one of his best ever performances on the PSA World Tour to fight his way back into the match to send it into a decider. In a clash that eventually ended after 88 minutes, would it be the Aussie or the favourite that took the win?

2013 Men’s Final: Mohamed ElShorbagy v Nick Matthew

The 2013 Qatar Classic final pitted Mohamed ElShorbagy up against Nick Matthew, in what would be one of their many wonderful clashes at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex over the years.

The Egyptian had the crowd behind him, but the Englishman, a former World No.1, kept fighting his way back into the clash, after falling a game down twice. It went to a decider, but who would take the title?

Bonus – 2014 World Championships Final: Ramy Ashour v Mohamed ElShorbagy

Here is a little bonus one for you, and what could possibly be the greatest squash match ever played, the 2014 World Championship final, held at the Khalifa Complex in Doha, Qatar.

The Qatar Classic made way for squash’s premiere event, and it was Ramy Ashour and Mohamed ElShorbagy that made their way through to the final of the World Championships.

It was an epic five-game battle, that swung firstly in Ashour’s favour, before ‘the Beast’ came back to take a 2-1 lead. ‘The Artist’ then won the fourth to send it into a deciding game, one of the most dramatic games in the sport’s history!

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