Sunday, March 3, 2024

Tarek Momen takes out Daryl Selby in Zurich seeding shock

Egyptian meets top seed James Willstrop in Grasshopper Cup semi-finals
By Squash Mad Correspondent

Tarek Momen (green shirt) on the attack
Tarek Momen (green shirt) on the attack

England’s former champion Daryl Selby was denied the chance to make the Grasshopper Cup final for the third year in a row when he was beaten by Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the only quarter-final upset in the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event at the ezw-Unterwerk Selnau in the Swiss city of Zurich.

Just two world ranking positions separated the pair who went into the sixth meeting of their careers with Momen leading 3/2 in their head-to-heads. And it was the World No.12 from Cairo who took an early two-game lead before Selby, the World No.10 who won the title in 2012, survived a tie-break third game to reduce the deficit.

But Momen regained the advantage in the fourth to close out the match 11-3, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5 after 61 minutes.

“I’m very happy with my performance today,” said 26-year-old Momen, making his Zurich debut. “I felt I was sharp from the beginning – I had a game plan and I was very patient and didn’t make many errors.

“I wish I could keep this up and repeat such a performance for the next matches and until the end of the season!”

Momen will now face James Willstrop, the top seed from England who recorded his seventh successive career win over Simon Rösner when he beat the fifth-seeded German 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 in 61 minutes in the final match of the day.

“It’s been a long day, but it was worth the wait because the crowd was great to play in front of – and the atmosphere was exciting even though it was getting late in the day,” said the World No.6 from Yorkshire.

“It’s not always easy to hold your concentration when you’re thinking about the match all day but I think we both played some quality squash.”

It was first match of the session which disrupted the schedule – one which finished 134 minutes after it started, but included a 22-minute break when a power-cut caused the court lights to fail.

Spaniard Borja Golan finally emerged triumphant over Egypt’s No.7 seed Omar Mosaad – the No.2 seed from Santiago de Compostela avenging his defeat to the World No.13 from Cairo in last week’s PSA World Series El Gouna International Open in Egypt to win 12-14, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 in 112 minutes.

“I knew that today’s match was going to be really hard,” said Golan, the 31-year-old World No.5 and highest-ranked player in the championship. “I played him last week and didn’t feel very confident.

“In the first game I felt the same, I didn’t feel comfortable with my shots and I was playing on his rhythm. But then in the second I felt more comfortable and attacking more and playing faster and it was working.

“I needed a big victory like that – hopefully it will help my confidence for the next match!”

golmoszurGolan (pictured right, in all-white) will now face Egyptian Amr Shabana, the 34-year-old four-time world champion from Cairo who ended qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar’s run when he beat his 20-year-old protégé 14-12, 11-4, 11-8 in 30 minutes.

“It was tough playing him, I wish nothing but the best for him,” said former world No.1 Shabana of his opponent, currently ranked 57 in the world. “He is an amazing player – I think he has a tremendous future – I hope he makes it to the very top!

“Today I experienced the circle of life. During the first game, I remembered the first time I played Jonathon Power when I was 17 and he was 22. And I remembered the respect I gave him that day and today I really sensed that with Mohamed.

“I’m happy to be in the semi-final. It’s been a healthy season for me so far – I’ve put in the work. Hopefully it can carry me through to some decent results.”

PSA International 50 Grasshopper Cup, Zurich, Switzerland. Quarter-finals:

[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [5] Simon Rösner (GER) 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (61m)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [4] Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-3, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5 (61m)
[3] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 14-12, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
[2] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 12-14, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 (112m)

Semi-final line-up:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[2] Borja Golan (ESP) v [3] Amr Shabana (EGY)

Grasshopper Cup images by Michael Baer


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