R3 : Asal 2-0 Farag

[7] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-0 [1] Ali Farag (Egy) 11-4, 11-6 (34m)

Well, incredible composure from Mostafa today. He didn’t go junior on us, he didn’t go all over the place, he didn’t block, he didn’t roar during the match or encourage the crowd to shout after certain points as he can sometimes do. Even his aftermatch interview was short and sweet, like he didn’t realise what he just achieved.

Now, to be honest again, and please don’t hate me for saying so but watching Ali on court tonight was as painful as watching a Ferrari with 4 flat tyres in the last lap of Le Mans. The world number one, in complete loss of confidence after losing to both Bagies 13/11 in the third, not making it to the semis of the event, just didn’t have it in his heart, soul and legs to find the mental energy.

It’s not that he didn’t try and we could hear at times his famous Yalla, Yalla but it was not even going to the 3 yalla he was normally shouting…

Mostafa just hammered the nail deeper and deeper as the match went along, 4/1, 9/2, 11/4 in 16m in the first game and 4/1, 7/2 in the second, before nerves and realisation he was not only beating Ali for the first time ever, and also reaching the semis of the PSA flagship event for his first participation.

Four errors followed, still 8/4, Ali closing the gap 6/8, but that was it for the Wadi Degla Star, 11/6 in 18 for Moustafa.

Strangely enough, neither world number 1 (Men and Women) made it to the semis this year…

Mostafa :

“It’s definitely one of my favourite matches to date.

“It’s an unbelievable win and I’m looking forward to the semi-finals. It’s my first tournament here and I appreciate everyone who came and supported me today.

“It’s FIFA celebrations for sure. All of my friends are saying to me “do this today” “do this”. This is a huge win, I can’t describe my feelings, I’m looking forward to my next celebration.”