Ali Farag defeated Diego Elias 3-1 in the Paris Squash 2023 championship match to win the first Platinum event of the season!
It was an all Dunlop clash and the title of World No.1 was on the line, so there was a lot riding on the outcome, and it was the Egyptian who held his nerve to retain his position atop the Men’s game.
Farag, who defeated Paul Coll in a titanic 96-minute struggle yesterday, didn’t get off to the best start as Elias exploded out of the gate to establish a commanding 9-2 lead before winning the first 11-2.
Farag gained the much-needed momentum to regain control of the match after falling behind. He looked active in the initial exchanges, but Elias appeared to have the edge to take a two-game lead. However, Farag regained initiative with the game ball before Elias intervened to save him. The Egyptian had another saved, but he managed to restore parity by getting lucky a third time. The Egyptian went on to take the contest – 3-1: 2-11, 13-11, 11-1, 11-9 (61m)
“Diego [Elias] played well more than me being sluggish [in the first game]. My timing was completely off and I tried to go for the volley too soon and my length wasn’t accurate enough to hunt the next ball,” said Farag.“My timing was off and Karim [Darwish] told me to take a step back but to go back in again. I usually like to play at a higher pace than that against Diego, but because of that I had to slow it down a little bit.
“He likes to play at a controlled pace as well and then at 9-6 I was drawing inspiration from Karim and if I was on my own the sluggishness wouldn’t have run away like it did in the second.
“I’m proud of the way I backed up yesterday and kudos to those who take care of my body and my mental state because I couldn’t have done it on my own.”