Monday, July 22, 2024

The Big Interview with Omar Mosaad

Omar Mosaad in full flight against James Willstrop
Omar Mosaad in full flight against James Willstrop

Hammer of Thor is top seed at Canary Wharf

By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor


1: Omar, it’s wonderful to see you back at Canary Wharf, especially as you are the top seed this year. How does it feel to be at your highest-ever ranking of four in the world?

A: It is a big achievement for me to be number four right now and I am aiming to be number 1, so I am setting everything up to reach that position as soon as possible.

omarwinJW2: What do you think are the main reasons for your rise up the rankings? You look slimmer and fitter, but have you made any changes in the way you are playing the game?

A: As you know, if you keep doing the same things that you have done during your life, you are going to get the same results, so in order to get different results you have to be willing to try new things. And I think that my team is doing a great job regarding this.

3: As a very tall guy (6ft 4in) how do you take care of your back?

A: Actually this is a good question, because there is something that almost nobody knows and is that ten years ago I got injured in my lower back and I had to stop for three months so after the injury I had to take more care of my back, doing more core work and therapy.

4: Do you feel that being tall gives you some advantages, like reaching for a volley or stretching to dig out a difficult shot?

A: Yes, actually I believe that everyone has advantages and disadvantages and the key here is how to manage your advantages to become so skillful at them and I am lucky to be this tall which is of course yes, a big advantage inside court.

5: Are there any disadvantages, in squash and in life, in being so tall? Like ducking under the low doors on the London Underground, for example! Or buying clothes?

A: Ha-ha! Yes, I found this is a big disadvantage, especially when I need to buy my squash shoes. If you know where to find adipower stabil adidas size 13 shoes, please just tell me!

Omar turns on the power against Saurav Ghosal
Omar turns on the power against Saurav Ghosal

6: Egypt is so strong in squash right now, with Mohamed Elshorbagy at world number one and four other players in the world top ten. What are the reasons for Egypt being so dominant in both men’s and women’s squash right now?

OMletJWA: I think it is because it is easy to train with each other specially if you live in Cairo and of course the competition makes everyone to be at his/her best. And also it is a great opportunity for juniors to watch all these professional players and their tactics and training.

7: Who are the main coaches responsible for producing so many talented players? What is Amr Shabana’s role with Squash Egypt? And what help is he able to give you during the major PSA tournaments?

A: There are a lot of great coaches in Egypt and of course Amr Shabana has been of great support being beside us after his retirement, especially at this high level where we are right now.

8: Please tell us about the Wadi Degla Club in Cairo.

A: It is a club located in Cairo and there are some branches around the city and soon to come in Alexandria. This year the club will be holding the World Open and in my opinion it is going to be very interesting event because it will be the first time for men. The good thing for me is that it is only five minutes away from my house, so I won’t need to look for a hotel.

9: You had an outstanding run of results to reach the World Championship final in Seattle in November, beating Borja Golan, Ramy Ashour and Tarek Momen before finishing runner-up to Gregory Gaultier in the final. What were the things you did well that week?

A: In those tournaments I was taking one step at a time: thinking about each match individually and not thinking really in reaching the final, that is why I could get through tough matches, starting from the second round.

Omar at full stretch against James Willstrop
Omar at full stretch against James Willstrop

10: Your quarter-final match against Ramy had an astonishing scoreline: 11-8, 11-7, 1-11, 1-11, 11-5. What happened in the third and fourth games? And how did you pull it round in the fifth?

A: In the first game I slipped and fell on my arm, and also felt some pain in my right leg. That’s why in the third and fourth game I started struggling with my movement. However, I tried to keep going so I changed my tactics; all credit for him in the third and fourth games. He played really well. In the fifth game I started very well. Suddenly he started struggling with his movement and then I found myself winning the match. I was really sorry for him, all respect for him for being a true player and playing the match until the end.

11: What are your plans, targets and ambitions for the rest of 2016?

A: The first one is to become world number one, and then to win the World Open at the Wadi Degla Club later this year.

Thank you for talking to us, Omar. Good luck next week at Canary Wharf.

Omar sets up a volley against James
Omar sets up a volley against James

Pictures by STEVE LINE ( with thanks to Windy City Open

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