Egypt's Ramy Ashour during the US Open final in 2012 (Photo: the tournament's official website)
Although world number four Ramy Ashour and fellow Egyptian Ali Farag were eliminated from the squash World Championship on Saturday, their countrymen Omar Mosaad and Tarek Momen will both compete in the tournament's semis.
Ashour, the defending champion, was knocked out of the tournament after losing to world number seven Mosaad 11-8, 11-7, 1-11, 1-11, 11-5 in 60 minutes early on Saturday.
"I’m feeling amazing - it’s the first time in my life to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship and it’s amazing. I’m really happy," Mosaad said after his victory over the three-time world champion.
"I’m really sorry for what happened to Ramy because he was controlling so I was lucky a little bit tonight, but I need to go and recover and get ready for tomorrow’s match," he added.
Farag, the world number 33, also failed to proceed at the prestigious tournament after losing to world number three, Gregory Gaultier of France, 5-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-1, 11-3 in 72 minutes.
"That’s what experience does, you know. A good week for sure overall," Farag said about his loss.
"That was tough enough. He is only 23 years old, and the way he plays already is incredible," said Gaultier, whose win keeps his hopes of reaching a fifth final and taking his first title alive.
"He’s an unbelievable player. His ranking will be top ten in a few months - he’s already up there at that level. It’s good for us all to have new players like him coming through and testing us because it keeps us all on our toes," he added.
Hopes pinned on Momen and Mosaad
After the elimination of both Ashour and top seed Mohamed El-Shorbagy a day earlier, Omar Mosaad and world number eight Tarek Momen now carry Egypt's hopes for the title.
Momen delivered an outstanding performance to beat world number two, England's Nick Matthew, 5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 in 84 minutes.
"I won it three times; I can’t complain," Matthew said after the match.
"I’m happy with the fact I left it all on there tonight. I don’t mind losing when I give it everything I have, I don’t like when I lose a match like in the US Open, 11/3, 11/4, that I’m not happy at the end, but when I give it all, I’m satisfied I tried my best," he added.
Englishman James Willstrop, former world number one and currently ranked 24th, will be competing in the semis alongside Momen, Mosaad and Gaultier.
Momen will face Mosaad in an all-Egyptian semi final while Gaultier will play against Willstrop.
Willstrop defeated Colombia's Miguel Rodriguez 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 in 42 minutes to reach the semi-finals.
Thirteen Egyptian squash players competed in this year's World Championship, and eight have reached the tournament's final 16.
The competition started on 13 November with the first qualifying round, and will conclude on 22 November.
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