2024 Reports Quarters

QF: [1] Ali Farag 3-1 Miguel Rodriguez

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1 Miguel Rodriguez (COL)  11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (48m)

To keep you informed on the Miguel LostBag-Gate, the bag is still lost and Miguel was still playing with Mohamed ElSherbini’s outfit and shoes he just bought, bless him.

One interesting fact as well, Ali had played 35m in this tournament so far, while Miguel had spent 124m on court… Knowing Miguel’s physicality and the fact they had a day off since round two, I’m sure it didn’t make that much difference, but still…

I realised how incredibly gifted Miguel is when it comes to take the discipline away from his opponent. Because of his unorthodox squash – to say the least – the mixing of his shots, from very hard hitting to delicate little flower to the front, but also because of the unpredictability of his moves on the court, it’s so easy to get out of your own game, and starting just reacting to what ever the Colombian is throwing at you…

He even managed to do that to Ali, probably the most disciplined player on tour at the moment…

Ali was uncomfortable in today’s match, well, not before the last game anyway. He was a bit edgy, showing signs of displeasure when certain calls were made against him. To be honest, I didn’t get to see a bit of a naughty side to Ali often.

After taking the first game rather comfy, 8m for 11/7, Ali seemed to switch off completely, allowing the Colombian to roll him into batter and fry him crispy style: 5/0 down. To his credit, he clawed back to 5/5, but you could feel how Miguel’s intensity and unpredictability was unsettling for the World Number One.

8/8, 9/8. The kids are hysterically chanting Ali’s name but it doesn’t really help the Wadi Degla man. Ali makes two unforced errors at the point, with a let overruled to stroke against him to add insult to injuries, and it’s 11/9 for the Colombian in 13m.

Ali gave away 6 points on that game alone (4 errors and 2 strokes conceded), scoring only 5 winners. Miguel scored the same number of winners, but he only gave away 4 points.

The third is paramountly crucial. From 3/0 down—another bad start—Ali is two or three points behind. How, I’m not sure, but he manages to claw back to 8/8—maybe a bit of tiredness from the 38-year-old champion.

A no let confirmed by the VR gives Ali the advantage for the first time in that game, 9/8, and a lovely deep crosscourt gives him a game ball that he’ll concretises, 11/9 in 13m.

8 winners each…

Finally, Miguel is struggling to keep up with Ali in the rallies in the 4th, and the Egyptian can impose his “Ali’s game” with much more ease, and it’s 7/3, 8/4, 11/6 in 9m last game.

I think I heard the “soupir de soulagement” – sigh of relieve from Ali’s camp as the ref read the score…


“Two things. First and foremost, what Miguel is doing at 38, I’ve never witnessed it in any sport before. The athleticism of him, not just the experience, but also his passion for the game, it never goes away. It’s something that we all need to learn from and hopefully it will rub off on me.

“As for me, I’m very proud to come through today. For the first three games, my length was so short, and credit to Miguel because he was putting me under so much pressure, but I couldn’t find my length for the first three games. Especially at 8-5 down in the third, I kept on looking outside to get the energy and the motivation from my corner and I managed to win some quick points. I then gained in confidence in the fourth.