Marital harmony as Farag joins wife in semi-finals


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP)

Ali Farag made more sporting history with a 5-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 victory over Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia in a quarter-final clash in the squash World Championships on Friday.

Farag's victory enabled him to keep pace with his wife and fellow Egyptian Nour El Tayeb as she is also in the last four of the women's tournament making them the first married couple to reach the world championship semi-finals.

The pair had already made history at the US Open in October by becoming the first married couple in any sport to win major titles simultaneously.

It required an intelligent and tactically disciplined performance by Farag to make this happen after he made an indifferent start.

Not till the second game did he establish a pattern of more disciplined deep driving which wore down the high speed rallying of Rodriguez

"I was a bit nervous," admitted Farag.

"But Nour was in my corner and I also had Karim Darwish (a former world number one) who knows just what to say and when."

El Tayeb reached the semis on Thursday by beating Welsh opponent Tesni Evans 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 declaring afterwards that if she wins the world crown she could happily hang up her racquet and have children.

Camille Serme, the third-seeded former British Open champion, became the second French player to reach the semi-finals with a 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 win over Joelle King in which she was too tenaciously consistent for the ninth-seeded New Zealander.

Serme -- whose compatriot Gregory Gaultier reached the last four on Thursday -- looked an odds on winner from mid-way through the second game, as she gradually added more volley drops to her consistent rallying.

By the third game King's error ratio was too high for her to get back into contention.

Serme will play the winner of Raneem El Welily, the second-seeded former world number one from Egypt, and Malaysian legend Nicol David, the 34-year-old eight times former world champion.

Farag will play a compatriot in the last four on Saturday, either Karim Gawad, the titleholder, or the younger of the ElShorbagy brothers, the sixth-seeded Marwan.