Ali Farag has finally won the British Open at the fourth time of asking, after losing three previous finals. He faced off against Peru and Team Dunlop’s Diego Elias in the final, the new World No.1!
The opening game was intense, played at a fast pace with both players showcasing their remarkable skills. There were some brilliant winners. Elias had the first two game balls, but he couldn’t convert them. In contrast, Farag capitalized on his first opportunity, hitting a jumping cross-court nick to take the early lead.
Elias proved his worth as the sport’s first South American World No.1 though, making a strong comeback in the second game. He raced to an 8-3 lead and comfortably won the game, levelling the match at one game each.
In the third game, Elias raced to a 4-0 lead. However, Farag soon turned the game around, going on a run of seven points in eight, to lead once again. As the tense game played on, a controversial no-let decision, which was upheld on video review, gave the Egyptian a 2-1 lead in the match.
Farag managed to keep up with Elias in the fourth game, but Elias maintained a cushion throughout. However, Farag made a quick burst of points towards the end of the game, coming through to take it 11-9 and win the British Open for the first time in his illustrious career.
“So many great emotions at the time winning the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’. This is something that has been eluding for me the past few years and I’ve been trying very hard to do it. I came up short against some great champions in the past, and I was up against another great champion today,” Farag said.
“It was lucky it went my way but a quick word about Diego [Elias] – coming out of Peru and becoming World No.1 is an unbelievable achievement. In our part of the world we have so many great champions in the past who gave us belief and we look at their pathway to get there. It’s not handed on silver platter and we have to work really hard to get there! But for his side, growing up on his own with his dad working hard every single day and seeking the advice from the best like Jonathon Power and Wael El Hindi – he’s done extremely well for his goal and he’s got there. Kudos to him!
“I called my parents and I called everyone I know on my phone as I wanted to tell people that I feel like I’m back! They couldn’t believe it but I’ve been trying so hard for the past six months to get back in it. You lose faith in your injury if it’s ever going to come back to normal and you lose faith in your confidence. It’s such a long process, but I’m not the first or last athlete to get an injury but for me it was my first time to experience it.”
See full quotes on PSA Website.