Canary Wharf Classic 2023: Mostafa Asal keeps World No.1 rivals at bay

March 15, 2023 - 7:33pm
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LONDON — This was a quarter-final night where Mostafa Asal largely let his squash do the talking as he kept hold of his World No.1 spot, we saw the sight of a former rival in Mohamed ElShorbagy’s coaching corner, while Paul Coll continued his bid for a hat-trick of Canary Wharf Classic titles.

Last year’s runner-up was left last man standing in the race for top spot as Asal set up a semi-final with Wales’ Joel Makin – a repeat of their marathon 95-minute best-of-three tussle from 2022 (the longest ever on tour), with the format now turning to the traditional best-of-five.

The young Egyptian kept his World No.1 status by virtue of challenger ElShorbagy slipping to an 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 defeat against old rival Ali Farag. While James Willstrop had young son Logan in his corner on Tuesday, ElShorbagy had old rival Nick Matthew in his 24 hours later as part of the England Squash coaching setup now afforded to him. However, he will now be sweating on what looked like a niggling groin issue during his battle with Farag, at 37 minutes the longest of the last eight matches.