Momen, Rösner spring a surprise in Doha

 02 Nov 2017 - 1:16

Momen, Rösner spring a surprise in Doha
Gregory Gaultier (left) of France in action against Diego Elias of Peru during their Qatar Classic quarter-final match played at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha Yesterday. Gaultier eased into today’s semi-finals after beating the Peruvian 3-0 (11/2, 11/7, 11/5). Picture: Anvar Sadat

By Armstrong Vas / The Peninsula

Fourth seed and three-time World Champion Nick Matthew suffered a straight-games loss to Egyptian eight seed Tarek Momen and crashed out of the Qatar Classic 2017 Championship while two-time Egyptian winner Mohamed El Shorbagy along with World No. 1 Gregory Gaultier of France and Germany’s World No.12 Simon Rösner made it to the semi-finals at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex Yesterday.
Momen, along with Gaultier and Rösner eased to comfortable wins in the $165m PSA Series event while former World No.1 El Shorbagy was stretched to the limit by compatriot Ali Farag.
In today’s semi-finals, El Shorbagy will take on Gautlier while Momen faces Rosner, with the two players making their first appearance in the last four in Doha.
Englishman Matthew, who won here in 2009 and playing his last tournament in Qatar having announced his retirement earlier, went down tamely in 43 minutes.
Momen, who last won against Matthew in 2011 Qatar clash and thereafter lost seven matches in a row proved that past records do not matter on a day when one is in top form.
The Egyptian steam rolled over Matthew to book a place in the semi-finals.
The other clash involving two Egyptians was certainly not a one sided affair.
El Shorbagy and Farag threw up yet another superb clash, with World No.3 withstanding a late fight back from Farag to reach the last four.
“I told him after the match that I am going to make him train harder than he has ever imagined,” said El Shorbagy.
“He is making me train harder than I thought I would, he’s making me push that extra mile every time. We’re going to push each other for the rest of our careers, we always play such great matches together and it was a fair, tough battle.
Gaultier made it 30 matches unbeaten over a best-of-five games format after the ‘French General’ disposed of training partner and World No.14 Elias in straight games.
The 34-year-old dominated the opening stages as he dropped just two points to go one game up after putting in some perfectly constructed rallies and very few errors and followed it up by taking the second.
Elias was then forced to take an injury break after just two points of the third game with a thigh problem and that robbed the 20-year-old of any efficient movement when he returned to court, leaving Gaultier to close out an 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 victory in 44 minutes.
“I was moving much better than in the first two rounds, I felt a bit better physically,” said Gaultier.
Meanwhile, Rösner will appear in the first World Series semi-final of his 14-year career after the 29-year-old ousted World No.6 Marwan El Shorbagy in a 3-1 triumph.
Rösner had reached a number of quarter-finals at this level before but he came into the fixture after claiming a superb win over World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the previous round.
The German will line up against Momen in the semis.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” said a delighted Rösner.
“Even though I beat Karim last night, getting to the semis is the most special thing for me because I haven’t been able to reach this stage at this kind of tournament, so it’s the biggest achievement for me so far.
“It’s the happiest day of my life really, to reach this stage after so many years, and I’m turning 30 on Sunday, so it’s just before my birthday. I think this is already a good birthday gift but the tournament is not over yet, if I play like this like I did the past two days then I can get even further.”