SF : Asal 2-1 Momen

[7] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-1 [2] Tarek Momen (Egy)  11-9, 6-11, 11-4 (68m)

Tarek didn’t start well, it’s a euphemism for sure, finding himself 8/2, thanks to 4 errors at the start of the opener, added to the pressure imposed by Raging Bull..

We had a few blocks from Mostafa, penalised, and slowly slowly, the Momentor closed the gap to nearly nothing, saving two game balls, 10/7. He finally bowed 11/9 in 27m.

Tarek had given away 6 points (5 errors and a stroke), Mostafa only 3.

In the second game, it looked to me Tarek got to do a few nice ‘Walls of China’ himself, not letting Mostafa through, it felt like a response to Mostafa’s over physical squash and movement. But what do I know.

2/2, 5/5, 6/6, Tarek scoring 6 points in a row 11/6 (from 5/6 down) in 10m. Giving away only 1 point (one error), 5 for Mostafa (2 errors, 3 strokes).

At that point, Mostafa asked for 3 minutes on top of the two minutes between games for a blister to be attended to.

The last game was a succession of decisions, arguments, shoving, blocking, conduct warning, physical contacts, nice rugby match in fact. 19m of a bad advert for the sport, ending 11/4 for Mostafa.

Incredibly, it was the first time I witnessed it in Egypt, the crowd was very silent at the end – apart from Mostafa fan club, who were over the moon. But most of the spectators just stayed silent, no clapping, nothing.

Whoever you were supporting in this match, one thing is sure: Squash wasn’t the winner.

I can’t describe my feelings right now. It was a very tough game and mentally it was really, really tough. Mind games is my job, you know. That is what I am good at and I am learning from Mohamed ElShorbagy and just how mentally tough he is.

I didn’t know whether the quality of squash between me and Tarek was good today but mentally and physically I was there. There was lots of interference, too much talking as well so I am happy to be through.

For sure, Tarek is an unbelievable player and a World Champion and all credit to him. I grew up learning from him so I am really happy to be through and I am looking forward to my next match.

I am giving 100% in all of my matches. I am playing legends so I am happy to be through. I am not surprised by any results. I am looking for World No.1, I want to win the tournaments, I am happy and I want to thank everyone who is here today.