Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-0  Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 13-11, 11-3 (42m)
I’m truly grateful to Mostafa to win in 42m, as we started the match at a few minutes after midnight, we actually had an early night – compared to the previous night… I often say to the players when I’m tired, listen, win or lose, I don’t care but do it in three. In that case, do it in two. I’m mean. Sue me.
That first game, my friends, not for the fainted hearted. Close, so close, 4/4, 5/5. Marwan being warned about his movement very earlier on, with Captain Nasser as Mohamed would say stating clearly that both players would be penalised immediately if blocking were observed. That was quite efficient to be honest! A very clean match from that point on.
From 7/7, Mostafa on cloud 9, 10/7, courtesy of errors from Marwan. But incredible attacking from Marwan, and experience paying off, back at 10/10 we are, with the Controller managing a game ball of his own, having won 4 points in a row, 11/10..
But Mostafa, carried by his mum – Yalla Asal – his dad – Yalla Moustafa, and most of the crowd as Raging Bull lives basically round the corner, manages to find a kill and forces an error from Marwan, 13/11, 30m of hard, intense, incredible battle.
Strangely enough, like he sort of did against Abouelghar in Gouna, (11/5, 11/3 in the last two games), Marwan seemed to lose his way, more mentally than anything else in the next game. 10m game, 9/2, 11/3, and the young 20 years old giving us another of his rehearsed wining routines.
Yes, he is sometimes a bit too much, too flamboyant, too original, but come on, he is 20, and very good at it! Yes, he needs to sort out his movement, it reminds me of Mohamed Shorbagy young, he learned too. As I often say, I love the player Mostafa is going to become.
“I’m so proud of myself today, very big performance and I want to thank my team and my friends that are here.
“It’s a very tough group, when you play against World No.1, World No.2 and World No.5 it’s an unbelievable group. I’m focusing on my squash, all of my friends are here and they want to enjoy the moment. There’s still more to come.
“I’m going to play against Ali, he’s beaten me all the time. It’s not going to be easy and I hope we enjoy the day’s rest and then we can compete.”