Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi and Englishman Joel Hinds will meet in a surprise Madison Open final after both produced straight games’ upsets over higher-ranked opponents in the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event in its fourth year at Madison Squash Workshop in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
Third seed Ali Fathi, a 20-year-old from Cairo playing only his second Tour event in the USA, faced experienced New Zealander Martin Knight, the 29-year-old No2 seed who was bidding to reach his fourth Tour final this month – and who arrived in Wisconsin fresh from winning the Charlottesville Challenger in Virginia.
In a match described by Egyptian club member Ahmed Afifi as “Pure Squash; Pure entertainment” – and one in which there was “not a single decision by the ref the entire match” – Ali Fathi brushed aside world No53 Knight 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 in 51 minutes.
“Quite happy to be through in three games,” said Ali Fathi (pictured above, right, with Knight) after reaching his first Tour final of the year, but the eighth of his career. “I knew that if I just played steady, I would lose.
“I had to be aggressive and force the issue if I wanted to win,” explained the world No56. “Looking forward to the final tomorrow. It will be tough! Joel is very good.”
Hinds, a 26-year-old from Birmingham, played fellow 26-year-old and fellow non-seed Peter Creed, the Welshman who ousted fourth seed Charles Sharpes in the previous round.
“That was hard work,” said world No87 Hinds after the 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 victory in 65 minutes which takes him into his tenth career Tour final.
“Peter seemed to play the beginning of each better, but I think I played the ends better!
“Looking forward to tomorrow. I’m sure it will be hard. Karim’s a good player.”
Image courtesy of Dan Masliah
Joel Hinds (ENG) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (65m)
 Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt  Martin Knight (NZL) 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (51m)
Article courtesy of the Professional Squash Association