ē Grasshopper Cup 2017 ē 03-07 May ē Zurich ē  


 TODAY at the Grasshopper Cup 2017

06-May, Semi-Finals:

[5] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 [4] Nick Matthew (Eng)
                      11-8, 11-8, 11-3 (37m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [7] Tarek Momen (Egy)
                       11-9, 11-5, 12-10 (51m)

Farag and Gaultier through to final in Zurich

Egypt's Ali Farag continued his fine run of form in Zurich as he beat third seed Nick Matthew in straight games to reach the final, where he''' meet Gregory Gaultier after the in-form Frenchman beat Tarek Momen in straight games.

[5] Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 [4] Nick Matthew (Eng)
                      11-8, 11-8, 11-3 (37m)

I immediately couldn't help noticing that Nickís tactic was not his usual grinding and pushing physically his opponent right down into his coffin today.

On the contrary, from the start, Nick was attacking Egyptian-Like and finding superb nicks all over the front corners. He zoomed up to 5/2, 7/4, but Ali managed to get in front of him, scoring 6 points in a row, 10/7, taking the 13m opener 11/8.

Media previewIn the second, Nick was clearly not moving as freely as he normally does, went down 4/1, 6/2, but managed to put pressure on DaddyLongLegs Farag, again, lots of uncharactesristic attacking squash, short rallies, 5/6, 7/8. Some superb rallies there, Ali in control, dispatching and control each and every single rally, with some great reflex squash from both of them, and itís Ali again, 11/8, in 12m.

In the third, Nick seemed to have troubles on the backhand, didnít seem to be able to twist his upper body as he would have liked, hence some uncharacteristic errors crept in, giving even more confidence to the Egyptian whose game, accuracy and tactic was perfection today, 11/3 in 8m DLL Farag...

Felt like a car running out of petrol today! 😂Bad day at the office. We all have them.Say well done, learn from it, draw a line & move on.

I was hoping I would get that second wind, but it didn't come. Ali just too sharp.

on twitter

To beat two players of that calibre back to back is something that Iím very proud of, even I feel that Nick was not at his best tonight. I think that I played better today than yesterday. Iím very happy with the win.

Today I was just trying to dominate the T area, and not give him so much time, because when he has, he is lethal with the ball.

Before the match I actually had no expectations Ė for the first time in my career I was going into a match knowing I wouldn't mind losing.

I think that mindset meant I loosened up and played some of my best today. I'm very happy with how I played in the first and then there were a few crucial points in the second that went my way and that was crucial because 1-1 and 2-0 is very different. Had I lost that second it would have been a totally different story.

I want to thank Nick for teaching me so much. The last time we played he gave me a lesson and today he wasn't at his best. I got away with the win and hopefully tomorrow I can pull off another one and I've another final to look forward to. Last time I made a PSA M100 final in Al Ahram (in September 2016) I didn't back up very well and lost easily in the final so tomorrow I'll give it a big push.

[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [7] Tarek Momen (Egy)
                       11-9, 11-5, 12-10 (51m)

PSA reports
The roll continued as Greg Gaultier, despite at times not being at his best, racked up consecutive win number 22 with a 3-0 win over Tarek Momen to set up a title decider with Ali Farag at the 2017 Grasshopper Cup.

The opening game saw the pair jostling and probing for openings in the early goings with Momen Ė who scalped Karim Abdel Gawad in a highly impressive quarter-final encounter Ė more than equal to what the General was producing. With Gaultier playing at a more conservative pace than usual the pair were neck and neck before a disagreement with the referees provided the impetus needed for the Frenchman to change gear and put the first to bed.

He continued to step up his levels in second, punishing anything loose from Momen as he began to settle and take command, to which Momen had no answer.

In the third Momen managed to find more and got ahead on the scoreboard, opening up a two point lead at 6-4. But inevitably Gaultier came back at him after a series of blistering, all action rallies, to hold match ball at 10-8. Momen gamely launched his own challenge, managing to force the third game into a tie break, but he was left frustrated as a no let decision by the video referee handed the match to Gaultier.

I havenít dropped a game so far this week but it was close today as there were some very intense rallies in there.

I managed to keep my focus at the end despite being maybe a little nervous. I was being too passive and was waiting to counter him. He had a bit of bad luck with the last call but the referees were consistent throughout trying to make sure both players were playing through interference.

When I play him Iím always sharp the next day because he puts the ball into all four corners, so Iím going to be sharp tomorrow. Iím just trying to do the best I can and keep up my level.

Ali has been playing well every match. He had an unbelievable quarter-final and it was surprising how well he backed up today. We know it will be a fair match because he is a very fair player Ė but it will also be intense. He has lots of skills so I have to be on my toes and be ready but hopefully I will bring my best performance of the week.

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