Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-1  Gregoire Marche (Fra) 13-11, 11-13, 11-7 (65m)
The only time before this encounter Gregoire managed to get a victory out of Tarek was a few years ago, in Qatar, in an epic match I still remember!
But today, it was all possible for the French Acrobat: perfect conditions for his game – warm court, and no pressure.
Exactly the reverse for Tarek, who luuuuuve cold conditions and had all the pressure in the world, having lost his first match against Superman Paul Coll.
Was it a walk in the park?? Jzzzz no…. First game we had those two pretty close 4/4, 7/7, playing at an extremely fast pace, Grégoire choosing to twist and turn Tarek instead of waiting for him to make errors. It was a good tactic, and it pushed the Momenator especially after he got himself two game points, 10/8.
A high number of calls, video calls, with both players extremely unhappy each their turn, and don’t ask me, cause I lost the plot on that one, didn’t know what was right and wrong, I seem to get it wrong constantly!!!
Still, after a few too many calls, Greg didn’t close the game at 11/10, to finally let Tarek take the opener 13/11 in 20m.
Second, great start from the French, 4/1, 9/5, but Tarek clawing back to 9/9. The Egyptian will have 2 match ball in that game alone, 10/9, 11/10, but the Acrobat that closes it 13/11, 22m length. 4 errors for Tarek, one for Greg.
The last game is as long, 19m, with Greg looking extremely good 6/3, 7/4. Again some strange call/video reviews, one in particular overturning a stroke for Greg into a no let. Another no let at 7/4, and tiredness helping, the French starts making errors upon errors, giving confidence to the Egyptian he is on the right track.
7 points later, Tarek takes the match on his third match ball. 11/7 to the Momenator.
I could give you the quote from Greg after the match, you would learn a bit of flowery French words…
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) June 24, 2021
“It was a brutal match mentally because I fought so hard in that second game to come back from 9-5 down. I wanted to close it out 2-0 because every point in this tournament counts and I wanted to get the four points.
“Losing that second game hurt a bit given that I had match balls and I missed it by a millimetre on two drop shots. It was very frustrating but then I wanted to do what I did against Paul so I wanted to come back in the third.
“He turned on an extra gear, made no errors, everything was going where it was supposed to go, and I felt that I was getting outplayed until 6-3. Then I used my experience and I used matches where I was down. I pushed hard to come back, I believed in myself that I could do it and I just had to put in the effort.”