R3 : Momen 2-0 Makin

[2] Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-0 [6] Joel Makin (Wal)     14-12, 11-2 (55m)

Egypt’s Tarek Momen has qualified for the semi-finals after defeating Wales’ Joel Makin. But how…

First game, 41m. Second, 13m.

As the players tried to survive on the court tonight without getting injured, the words of Sarah Jane Perry in Gouna quarter final came back to me: “I have never been any good as iceskating”…

It’s nobody’s fault if the weather in Egypt changes very quickly and as we are in the desert – 6th of October is like New Cairo, a city built out of nowhere a few years ago to try and get people out of Centre/Old Cairo, so overpopulated – today being extremely warm, the night is consequently very humid, much more than the previous nights.

It wouldn’t have been a problem if for some unknown reasons, the two fans at the front of the court that are there to compensate in those conditions, not used at all this week as not needed, had not been stored away.

So from the 3rd point of the match, Tarek started complaining about the conditions. As he was making a lot of errors due to the lack of footing on the slippery conditions, and as Joel joined in, we eventually had our National Nasser Zahran, world ref, who was not refereeing the match, that came on court and attested that yes, the conditions were pretty poor.

Court was cleaned so many times first by the players themselves as the Bubble rule says that only the players are allowed to clean the court, for the whole of the first game actually.

In that opener, like I said, Tarek had made a lot of errors to start with, down 6/2, 7/4, we levelled 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. A stroke to Joel made it 10/9 game ball, a tin took it away 10/10.

Joel was to have another go at 12/11, but the conditions being extremely difficult for both at that point, it was a bit of a toss of a coin, with a few calls/reviewed. Finally, not sure he knows how he made it, Tarek takes the game in 41m.

Yes, 41m, thanks to so many stoppages, having offered to his opponent 8 points (5 errors, 3 strokes). Joel, despite the terrible slipping conditions, only made 1 error bless him, and conceded 2 strokes.

The second, not sure how to describe it really. Although now the cleaner was allowed on the court from that point on, it was not enough to make the court safe.

As Tarek said, “we are going to wake up tomorrow with sore muscles we never use!”

Again, toss of a coin, and in that one again Tarek was able to control the ball and sent Joel doing splits in the four corners at every single rally. You read well. Splits at every single rally.

Joel, to his credit, took the punishment, never argued, never hit the roof – I know a few players that would have gone A.S. and just refuse to go on. He kept being punished, kept running, slipping, splitting, and losing, point after point.

I always had major respect for that young player. It’s now exponential 20.

Tarek and Joel were able to finish the match without injury. That’s the positive of the match. And Tarek will now face compatriot Mostafa Asal in the last four.