World No.1 Mostafa Asal’s public war of words with France’s Victor Crouin continued at the Gillen Markets Canary Wharf Classic.
The pair clashed in the second round in London on Monday night with Asal running out an easy 11-5, 11-3 winner, setting up a quarter-final against another Frenchman, Baptiste Masotti.
At one stage in the second game, Asal was 9-0 up and after the match, the controversial Egyptian said: ““At 9-0 in the second I wanted to bagel him. Why not?”
Referring to the recent barbed exchange between the pair, reported extensively by Squash Mad, Asal added: “If you say negative things about me, it’s not good for you when you play me, I get in an angry mood and I want to beat them 2/0, 3/0.”
On Tuesday, Crouin responded via social media: “As for Asal’s remarks after the match, they show very poor sportsmanship and a lack of maturity. I believe my comment on Asal after the ToC was very much nuanced and considerate given what had been going on for a few months.
“Unfortunately, he still feels the need to create controversy on and off court while his squash abilities are good enough to earn him the respect he would otherwise receive from all the players.
“It’s a shame and it sadly shows how insecure he must feel. He is an incredible player with tremendous squash and fitness abilities but needs to look at our former champions to realize that there’s no need to do more than playing good squash to create an exciting experience for fans… Quite the opposite in fact.”
Elsewhere on Monday night, Joel Makin continued his fine recent form, knocking out Peru’s world No.2 Diego Elias in straight games.
Wales’ World No.11 made the semis of the Black Ball Squash Open last week, and continued his form into this week’s competition in London by making Wednesday night’s semi-finals at the PSA World Tour Gold level event at East Wintergarden, London.
Elias had the opportunity to go to World No.1 this week, but Makin was too good on the day, with his new attacking brand of squash proving to much for the Peruvian.
“That’s the brand of squash I want to play,” Makin said afterwards. “That’s not a brand of squash I’ve played before or at this level, initiating attacks and playing a better pace than the world’s best players.
“I’m in a good place. I want to keep this going. I want to win these events.”
Fresh from his final appearance in the Black Ball Open, Tarek Momen continued his run of good form with a two-game win over top English prospect Patrick Rooney.
“I just hit one of my lowest points right before Black Ball Open, but that match where I saved eight match balls, that changed everything,” said Momen. “Now I feel I’m in a much better place, I’m very happy with how I’m standing right now, and I just hope I can keep building on that.”
Crouin made a claim that Asal needs to work on his sportsmanship, and then Asal goes says he wants to teach him a lesson by bageling him. I feel like Asal is missing the point; sportsmanship is orthogonal from success in matches. If he wanted to teach Crouin a lesson, then he should do it by being more sportsmanlike or rebut his points with his perspective.
Regardless, it was a good match at least till the half of the 1st game. Hopefully Crouin can come back with answers to Asal’s questions, as I find his talents to be an intriguing mix to the crop.
They both need to S TFU. One thinks he’s beyond any criticism and the other thinks he’s such the moral arbiter of all that he can publicly critique another guy’s character.