2022 Quarter-Finals

The 2022 Optasia Championship continued tonight at The Wimbledon Club with four quarter-final matches.

You can Watch Live on SquashTV, follow on Live Scoring and our social feeds, and we’ll have updates and reaction here with a roundup at the end of the day.

Optasia Championship 2022 : QUARTER-FINALS, Wed 9th Mar

Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-1 [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy)    8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (44m)

[1] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 [5] Joel Makin (Wal)   11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (43m)

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [8] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)    11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)

[3] Diego Elias (Per) 3-2 [6] Mazen Hesham (Egy)  9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 12-10 (63m)


Diego squeezes past Hesham

[3] Diego Elias (Per) 3-2 [6] Mazen Hesham (Egy)  9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 12-10 (63m)

The last quarter-final was a real thriller as Diego Elias and Mazen Hesham traded games, with the Peruvian finally coming from 7-10 in the fifth to clinch the semi-final spot.

“When I was 10-7 down, anything could have happened. He goes for it and it could have been 11-7 and done within a second, or this!

“Everyone knows how much I hate playing Mazen or Mohamed Abouelghar, those guys! I am trying to change my game against them because sometimes it doesn’t work. This court is a bit cold, it bounces weird at times. I am very happy with the comeback and I am excited for tomorrow!

“Since I was very young, I would watch my dad play. He was National Champion and he would take me to the South American and Pan American tournaments since I was 6 or 7 years old. I loved the game from then and when I thought I was okay at squash, I decided to go pro!”

ElShorbagy avenges 2019 final defeat

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [8] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)    11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)

The 2019 final (then known as the channel VAS Championship) was a thriller, with Karim Abdel Gawad triumphing in five games and 90 minutes. Revenge was sweet for Mohamed ElShorbagy tonight as he despatched his compatriot in a third of that time.

“In two months, I will have been inside the top three for nine straight years, so to do this, I have done it over generations! I came up playing against Lincou, playing Shabana, against Greg and James. Then I had to take some time out a few years later because Gawad came up to me, and Ali and my brother.

“Now I had to take some time out because Paul Coll stepped up and then Asal. Different generations, different times, different speeds, and in order to keep up with these generations, you have to go back and tell yourself that you’re not good enough and you can’t keep up.

“You then go out and train and you can do better, you know. I wanted to do better, to do myself justice, and I am just really happy to get off in three.

“The two players that stand out right now, in the coming generation, and that is Asal and Youssef Ibrahim. Ibrahim reminds us a lot of Shabana, he is so talented, and then Asal is so strong and brutal. He is a beast to be honest.

“At the end of the day, they are young stars, and they deserve the support of all squash fans, whether you like their style or not. We need to support them as squash fans because they are two superstars who will rule the sport at some point you know. There will be others that will come up with them from different countries.

“I just lost to one of them, Ibrahim, in the last tournament and the head-to-head with him is 0-3, but there is no shame in that. It is great for the sport to see a new generation stepping up, that is what I did when I was 20, 21-years-old, and I am so happy. I am a squash fan before I am a competitor, so I am glad to see that, definitely.”

Farag races into semis

[1] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 [5] Joel Makin (Wal)         11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (43m)

Top seed Ali Farag lost to Joel Makin last time out, but made no mistake today as he put in an increasingly authoritative performance to stay on track for his first title in England.

“The crowd is amazing. It is not often that we go to tournaments where there is a full crowd from the very first day. Thanks to everyone who is involved. You guys have been amazing, you make it special for us, so thank you.

“I used to think about it a lot more when I hadn’t achieved the World No.1 spot. I was very eager on getting it. I heard Laura Massaro once say that when you stop needing something and you start wanting it, you become less desperate and you play more freely. I am very grateful for the career I have had already, but as long I am here, this time I am breathing down Paul Coll’s neck.

"So are so many great players, like Mohamed ElShorbagy who is the best player of our generation, you’ve got Diego Elias, Marwan ElShorbagy, Tarek Momen, everyone is chasing that No.1 spot. I am just one of them but I will do my best to get it back hopefully.

“Thanks to everyone who keeps supporting these events. For me, it would have been hard to play all of the four British events as we just came from Chicago. I am playing this and then skipping Canary Wharf, I’ve got the little one to take care of, and I had to miss my wife’s birthday yesterday so I need to get back and make that up!"

Mueller makes it a hat-trick of upsets

Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-1 [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy)     8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (44m)

Swiss rocket Nicolas Mueller recorded a third successive seeding upset as he came from a game town to oust fourth seed Marwan ElShorbagy and reach the semi-finals.

“I’ve got goosebumps here. The crowd here was amazing!

“That win was one of my better wins in my career, considering it was the first quarter final of such a big tournament! Hopefully the journey doesn’t end here and I can go even further than that!

“Obviously, it’s Wimbledon, and the Swiss do like to play well here so I’ve heard over the years! I am just super pumped to be in the tournament and to keep going.”