Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag is through to the quarter-finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open, after getting the better of compatriot Omar Mosaad in straight games on the glass court at the PSA World Tour Gold level event.
The reigning two-time World Champion was in great form as the temperature started to drop at Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco, but he showed his class throughout the contest to take victory in 23 minutes.
Farag took the first 11-4, and was in complete control throughout the opening exchanges. The ‘Hammer of Thor’ started to mount a comeback in the second game, but the World No.1 was able to withstand the pressure, and he took the win with a lucky winner which went through Mosaad’s legs en route to the front wall.
“It is not only affection, but I have idolised him [Mosaad] since a young age. We grew up playing for the same club and he was World No.3 when I first started on Tour. He was giving me lots of advice and he still is! We share the fitness trainer so we train with each other a lot and I have nothing but maximum respect for him and a lot of affection as well!” Farag said.
“My goal is obviously to try and win it but there a lot of great names in the draw. Every top player is playing it and it is no coincidence because John Nimick knows how to put on a great event. All of us wait to come back to this beautiful city of San Francisco, with this great set-up, this amazing crowd and this court! None of this would happen without John and his amazing team. They take very care of us and obviously, the sponsor keeps coming back again! Evan [Goldberg, EVP of Oracle NetSuite], we can’t thank you enough!
“[Having a baby] is the best thing to happen to both of us in our lives so far. It is such a blessing and Nour [El Tayeb, Farag’s wife] is such a selfless mum. She is doing the job while I am here, but she has been hitting the gym already and she is aiming to come back to play in front of you guys! I can’t wait for that because I miss her being here!”
29-year-old Farag will now face Joel Makin in the quarter-finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open, after the Welshman got the better of Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal earlier on in Friday’s action.
Elsewhere, 2019-2020 World Champion Tarek Momen got the better of USA’s Spencer Lovejoy in a quick-fire contest, while Mostafa Asal beat compatriot Mazen Hesham to make the last eight.
In the women’s draw, US No.1 Amanda Sobhy needed just nine minutes to book her place in the quarter-finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open, as she blew Nadine Shahin away on the glass court at Embarcadero Plaza.
The American had the home crowd behind her, and she rode that wave, dropping seven points in a rapid-fire match, one of the quickest ever on the PSA World Tour. She will now face Welsh No.1 Tesni Evans in the last eight on Saturday evening.
Amanda Sobhy (right) and Nadine Shahin (left) in action
“It has been a process, looking back. My injury, the whole road and journey that I have been on. To see that I was World No.5 was really a testament to the hard work. I have enjoyed it for that period of time, and now I need to keep going, solidify into the top five and hopefully keep going up,” Sobhy said.
“It’s been a tough time for everybody. I moved to Philly in August 2020, in the middle of the pandemic and everything was closed, the clubs were closed, the schools were closed, so I had nowhere to train.
“The Racquet Club of Philly took me in and they became my home. From there, and because that was the only club in the city that was open. A lot of the college students, the Drexel [University] team some of the [University of] Penn guys were there, so was my sister. It was just a blast and I think that being able to fully enjoy training and my squash there, that’s what kept me going. In this situation, if you’re not loving what you’re doing, it will be really difficult!”
The quarter-finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open takes place tomorrow with play beginning at 13:00 (GMT-7), with glass court action from Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco live on SquashTV.
Results – Round One (Bottom Half): Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open 2021
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [WC] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) 2-0: 12-10, 11-9 (19m)
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 2-0: 11-3, 11-3 (29m)
 Joel Makin (WAL) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 2-0: 11-9, 11-6 (34m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 2-0: 11-4, 11-7 (23m)
Draw – Men’s Quarter-Finals: To Be Played September 25th
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Mostafa Asal (EGY)
 Joel Makin (WAL) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Results – Round One (Bottom Half): Women’s Oracle NetSuite Open 2021
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 2-0: 11-5, 11-9 (22m)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Emily Whitlock (WAL) 2-0: 11-8, 11-5 (19m)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Olivia Fiechter (USA) 2-0: 11-6, 11-7 (20m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 2-0: 11-3, 11-4 (9m)
Draw – Women’s Quarter-Finals: To Be Played September 25th
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Salma Hany (EGY)
 Joelle King (NZL) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)