James Willstrop beats Ali Farag to reach semi-finals of PSA Dubai World Series Finals

James Willstrop defeated World No.5 Ali Farag 4-11 11-9 11-6 to reach the semi-finals of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Dubai World Series Finals where he joins World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, Germany’s Simon Rösner and former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Willstrop produced another superlative performance to hold off World No.5 Ali Farag to reach the last four for the first time since the 2012 edition.

With one win and one defeat under his belt, 33-year-old Willstrop needed to beat Farag to reach the last four, but was under cosh from the first point as an inspired Farag surged to victory in the opening game.

Willstrop weathered the storm though in the second game to edge out an 11-9 victory and he closed out game three for the loss of six points to seal second place in Group B.

"People throw it around when they say that someone can become World No.1 and it doesn’t happen that easily, but Ali’s an awesome squash player and a credit to the game as well," said Willstrop.

"I didn’t think I did too badly really, he was just so good. It was maybe a little bit short when I was hitting to the back and I thought that all I could do at the start was to stay in it. I had to have a bit of faith that, despite the fact it’s gone wrong on the scoreboard, I could turn it around.

"You’ve got to regroup and you can’t let it get to you mentally. I thought that I just had to win the two games, it’s as simple as that."

The World Series Finals brings together the top eight players on the Men’s and Women’s PSA Road to Dubai Standings who are then split into two groups of four, with matches played in a best-of-three games format.

Players then battle for points to qualify for the knockout semi-finals and beyond.

The semi-finals of the 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals will take place from 22:00 local time (GMT+4) on June 9 and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and the following broadcasters:

Astro (Malaysia / Brunei)
beIN Sports (Middle East / North Africa)
BT Sport (United Kingdom)
DAZN (Japan)
Eleven Sports Network (Singapore / Taiwan)
Fox Sports Australia (Australia)
MNC Indonesia (Indonesia)
Now TV (Hong Kong)
Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand)
Super Sport (Sub-Saharan Africa)
Ten Sports (Indian Subcontinent)
Truevisions (Thailand)

Results - Men’s Group A Day Three: 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 12-10 (33m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5] Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 13-11, 11-8 (39m)

Results - Men’s Group B Day Three: 2016/17 PSA Dubai World Series Finals
[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 2-0: 12-10, 11-7 (17m)
[6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [8] Ali Farag (EGY) 2-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)

Willstrop will today play World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the semi-finals of the season-ending event.

Draw - Semi-Finals: To Be Played June 9th
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [6] James Willstrop (ENG)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) v [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

The 2016/17 Professional Squash Association (PSA) Dubai World Series Finals are being staged at Dubai Opera and the lucrative tournament is offering $160,000 in prize money.

UNSQUASHABLE is committed to developing equipment to be used by the world’s leading players because we believe that engineering equipment for professional competition makes for a better product for the everyday player.

James Willstrop uses the UNSQUASHABLE JAMES WILLSTROP AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com

For more information regarding the PSA Dubai World Series Finals, visit: www.psaworldtour.com & www.squashsite.com