Frenchman Victor Crouin ended home hero Abdulla Mohamed Al Tamimi’s impressive run at the 2022 QTerminals Qatar Classic with a 13-11, 11-6, 11-7 victory to book his maiden semi-final spot at a Platinum event.
World No.44 Al Tamimi, who was featuring in his first-ever quarter-final of the event at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, tested the World No.18 to his limits in the first set, but failed to keep up the momentum in the next two games against the French opponent.
Al Tamimi on his way to the quarters, shocked World No.2 Paul Coll in the second round before defeating Englishman Geroge Parker to book his maiden quarter-final berth since making Qatar Classic debut in 2010.
Crouin, who less than two weeks ago reached the final of the Bronze-level CIB Zed Squash Open, was delighted after defeating Al Tamimi.
“(It feels good after) beating Abdulla here in Qatar. I remember I looked at my notes and we played a 50K six years ago and lost in less than 25 minutes, so I was kind of worried going into this match, I just wanted to play for more than half an hour!”Crouin said.
“If you’re not disciplined against Abdulla and try to play the way he plays, he’s going to beat you. I had to use my strength and aggressiveness that I used in the first four rallies of the match where I just went for shots. It’s all about finding the balance and I’m really enjoying myself on court, hitting the right shots at the right times and pushing through every rally and I’m so glad I don’t have to think about everything around the match,” the Frenchman said.
Crouin will take on World No.6 Tarek Momen, who yesterday came from behind to beat the defending champion and World No.4 Diego Elias (3-2: 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7), for a place in the final.
Despite Elias’ success in Doha last year and his higher ranking, Momen looked the better player in the first game, with the 34-year-old taking advantage of Elias’ troubles on defence to take the first game 11-8.
The Peruvian then made a strong reply to draw level with an 11-9 win before taking the lead with a dominant 11-4 win in the third.
Momen made it 2-2 by taking the fourth game 11-9 following an error from the Egyptian as the pair went into a tense fifth game.
Momen took a 6-2 lead earlier on, but Elias, who is enjoying his career high ranking, pulled back to 6-5, before the Egyptian halted his momentum and made it to his fourth Qatar Classic semi-final with an 11-7 win.
Earlier, England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy reached his first Qatar Classic semi-final since 2017 after defeating Colombian Miguel Rodriguez in straight games (11-6, 11-4, 11-7).
World No.17 Rodriguez entered yesterday’s quarter-final by putting up a stellar performance to beat World No.1 Ali Farag in round three, but failed to maintain the momentum against the Egypt-born ElShorbagy, who is chasing his fourth title in Qatar.
“I’m glad to make the semis once again in Qatar, I haven’t made the semis for a few years and to be in the semis is an honour for me,” ElShorbagy, who missed an opportunity to play his younger brother Marwan in the semi-final, said.
No. 8 seed Egyptian Marwan went down fighting to Mostafa Asal 3-1 (11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-2) as the World No.3 reached his second consecutive semi-final.
Victor Crouin (FRA) bt. Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)3-0: 13-11, 11-6, 11-7 (40m)
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt.  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)3-1: 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-2 (54m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt. Miguel Rodriguez (COL)3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (32m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt.  Diego Elias (PER)3-2: 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 (69m)
17:00 - Tarek Momen  Vs Victor Crouin
Mohamed Elshorbagy  Vs Mostafa Asal