Thursday, November 30, 2023

Falcon Mazen Hesham flies high to beat James Willstrop in Houston

Mazen Hesham on the attack against James Willstrop

Brave Reuben Phillips bows out to Tarek Momen


In just his second tournament since returning to competitive PSA World Tour action following a six month injury absence, Egyptian Mazen Hesham scored a major first round upset to knock former World No.1 James Willstrop out of the Life Time Fitness Houston Open, PSA M70 tournament.

Tournament wild card Hesham, currently ranked World No.47, overcame a gap of 41 positions on the World Rankings to defeat Willstrop in straight games courtesy of his unorthodox style and maverick shot-making abilities.

After taking the first two games for the loss of just six points the 23-year-old withstood a Willstrop resurgence to come through a tense third game tie-break and set up a quarter-final encounter with compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar – who squeezed past another Englishman, Nathan Lake, 3-2.

Tarek Momen made it a trio of Egyptian winners on the night as he dispatched Reuben Phillips in three while former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez avoided another shock first round exit as he battled back from 2-1 down to defeat Mexican Arturo Salazar.

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2017 Life Time Fitness Houston Open, Houston, Texas, USA.

First Round (Bottom Half):
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Reuben Phillips (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 12-10
[6] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-2: 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5
[WC] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [2] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 13-11

Quarter-Finals: To Be Played April 21st
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [5] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[7] Paul Coll (NZL) v [4] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [6] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [WC] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 

Pictures by Matthew Pace / Pace Photography


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