‘It feels amazing to play Ali Farag – he is my idol’
By ELLIE MAWSON in Cairo
Egyptians Mostafa Asal and Omar Mosaad both enjoyed huge wins as round two of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open PSA Platinum tournament came to a close in Cairo, Egypt.
World Junior Champion Asal caused the biggest upset of the day when he defeated England’s World No.19 Declan James in a five-game thriller at the Black Ball Sporting Club to reach the last 16 of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time.
At just 17 years old, the young Egyptian proved that he has all the attributes to be a serious contender on the PSA World Tour after he battled back against the Englishman to prevail 15-13, 4-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8 in 89 minutes.
World No.52 Asal will now face World No.2 Ali Farag for a place in the quarter-finals after Farag comfortably overcame France’s Lucas Serme in straight-games earlier in the day.
“It feels incredible to play in this atmosphere,” said 17-year-old Asal following his victory. “I want to thank all of the people that came to cheer for me.
“It feels amazing, to be able to play the World No.2 – he is my idol and I hope to be able to play a good match with him.”
Elsewhere, it was also a good day for Asal’s compatriot Mosaad, who took out Colombia’s World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in another long five-game battle.
Cairo-born 6ft 4in Mosaad started strongly in front of his home crowd and was able to survive two comebacks from the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ to book his place in the last 16 of the PSA Platinum tournament.
The tall Egyptian, known as the Hammer of Thor, will now face India’s Saurav Ghosal, who defeated Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi in straight-games.
“I was expecting this tough match,” said 30-year-old Mosaad. “I have played a couple of matches with Miguel and they have all been 3-2, so I just played my game and focused.
“Playing against Miguel is really tough, he’s so fast around the court. I had to be strong mentally more than physically, so I’m really happy with my performance today.”
Elsewhere at the Black Ball Sporting Club, England’s Chris Simpson enjoyed a big win over Egypt’s World No.26 Zahed Salem.
The 31-year-old Englishman was forced to dig deep to hold off a resilient Salem to claim an 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in 75 minutes.
“It’s a massive win,” said World No.40 Simpson. “So far this season I’ve not been confident, I lost from match ball up in my last tournament and then in the fourth I thought about that a little bit and I thought ‘right, concentrate’ but he came back. In the fifth when I was 10-7 up I think I again played some not so great rallies but I was just willing myself to win somehow.”
Simpson will now face New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the next round after he claimed a dominant straight-games win over United States No.1 Todd Harrity.
The other last 16 clash will see Germany’s World No.3 Simon Rösner face France’s Gregoire Marche after they enjoyed respective wins over Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Hong Kong’s Leo Au, who had to concede because of injury.
The third round takes place on Thursday December 6 when the remaining players battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals. Matches from the glass court will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) from 12:00 local time (UTC+2).
CIB Black Ball Squash Open, Cairo, Egypt.
Second Round (Bottom half):
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-2: 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-3, 9-3 retired (74m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (75m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (35m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt  Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-2: 11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 (79m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-1, 13-11 (36m)
Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-2: 15-13, 4-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8 (89m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (30m)
Third Round (December 6):
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
Diego Elias (PER) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v George Parker (ENG)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Mostafa Asal (EGY) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA