Tarek meets Ramy as he bids for another upset in PSA World Series Finals
From a Squash Mad Correspondent in Richmond, Virginia
Tarek Momen achieved a shock victory over fellow Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy in the PSA World Series Finals group stages.
Momen came from one game and match-ball down to beat the world No.4 Mohamed Elshorbagy 2-1 at the Westwood Club in Richmond, Virginia.
It was a victory that keeps the 26-year-old’s chances of making the semi-finals alive and blows open Group B, with all four players going into the final day of round robin action with one victory apiece.
Having lost of James Willstrop in his opening match, Momen appeared to be heading to a second consecutive defeat but he put in an inspired spell of audacious shot-making to force a second game tie-breaker, which he took 17-15 before going on to win a tense third game 12-10.
“I’ve never come back from that sort of deficit before and it’s just unbelievable really,” said Momen.
“Mohamed was playing ridiculously well, he was great killing it and he was taking every opening and when he had match-ball I thought the match was over.
“I just wanted to stay on the court a little longer and play a few more points and suddenly I found myself hitting shots that kept going in and I’m really happy with how I played.
“I think it was one of my best squash days I’ve had and I want to keep building on this now.
“Today was probably the best mind-set I’ve ever been in during a match. I’ve not kept my cool that well before and stuck to a plan so I’m really happy with that.”
Momen will now take on World No.3 Ramy Ashour with the knowledge that victory for either player will see them progress to the semi-final stage but he says he’s not thinking too far ahead.
“I came here to have fun,” he said. “This is my first participation in this event and I’m not thinking about qualification or looking at how the table stands. I’m not putting any pressure on myself.
“I just want to play the best I can and if I make the semi-finals then that’s just an extra bonus so I’m just going to enjoy it.”
In Group A French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier has all but secured his berth in the semi-finals after putting in an imperious performance to beat World No.1 Nick Matthew 2-0.
The Frenchman looked a force to be reckoned with as he overturned his recent run of form against Matthew, the man who beat him to glory in the 2013 World Championship in a dramatic 111-minute battle, to record an 11-7, 11-4 victory.
“This one is the toughest events in the world to play because you are up against the very best players every day,” said Gaultier.
“The competition is really close between the top players and there are no easy games and I think the intensity is even higher in these best of three games because of the shorter format.
“It was a very tough first game against Nick. He was always in front of me and I had to find a solution to that which I did and I’m very happy to win.”
World Series Finals – Round Robin Day Two Results
Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-0: 11-7, 11-4 [35 mins]
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 2-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 [60 mins]
Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 2-1: 7-11, 11-7, 12-10 [50 mins]
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 2-1: 5-11, 17-15, 12-10
Picture by Mick Anders Photography