In the all-Egyptian, all-unseeded battle on Thursday evening, Fares Dessouky got the better of Youssef Ibrahim to a book a spot in the semi-finals of the PSA Platinum level Qatar Classic at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
This was the first ever meeting between the pair, and came after Ibrahim had knocked out the tournament’s top seed and three-time Qatar Classic champion, Mohamed ElShorbagy, in the last 16.
It was Dessouky who started the stronger of the two, as the young left-hander looked mentally and physically fatigued early on. He hit seven errors in the first game to give ‘Fearless Fares’ the early advantage.
He then had to fight back from 4-0 down in the second game to level the match. Ibrahim required four attempts at game ball, as Dessouky kept staying in it as it went to a tie-break, but the World No.41 eventually got the second game under his belt. The match was not level long though, as Dessouky reeled off nine straight points to take it 11-2, moving back into the lead once again.
However, the World No.12 then started to make errors of his own, allowing his fellow countryman to get back into the match. Ibrahim had to save match ball deep in the fourth game, but he won the tie-break 12-10 to take the match into a decider. It was eventually Dessouky that secured the victory though, and set up a clash with World No.5 Paul Coll in the last four on Friday evening.
“It was a very tough match. I saw him playing yesterday against Mohamed, and as I told you after my match, anyone can win. He is playing brilliantly and he is very talented,” Dessouky explained.
Everyone is saying he is the next Amr Shabana and I hope so, for sure. We need a Shabana back on tour. He is a very good player and he has a bright future on tour.
“I have been through a lot. Many people, they say that mentally, I am not very strong. Today I showed how strong I am. I have been through two surgeries. It is not easy for anyone. The other guys are playing without injuries and it is not easy to play at this level with injuries I believe in myself and I will keep going!”
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 11-4, 12-14, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5 (66m)