Mighty Momen Ousts Darwish In Windy City
Egyptian World No.12 Tarek Momen pulled off the upset of the tournament so far to dispatch compatriot Karim Darwish, the number six seed and former World No.1, in the first round of the 2014 METROsquash Windy City Open in Chicago today.
Momen, who was competing in Chicago for the first time, twice came from behind to eventually prevail 3-2 in a tough and tense contest and record his first ever career victory over Darwish.
“That was definitely one of the biggest wins of my career,” said Momen.
“I have never beaten Karim before in my career so it’s a very special day for me today and I think I played really well. I had some concentration lapses which he took full advantage of and he made it hard for me, but I’m very pleased with how I kept mentally strong.
“There are so many positives for me to take from the match.
“I train with Karim a lot in Egypt and there has always been a mental barrier there. He’s a top player and I used to look up to him a lot and it’s hard when you are getting closer and it’s mentally very tough to breakthrough so I’m happy that I managed to break those shackles today.”
Spanish No.1 and World No.7 Borja Golan survived a tough and testing encounter against Columbian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in his first round match, coming through a feisty 86 minute encounter 11-5, 13-11, 11-13, 11-6 to set up an all-European encounter against German champion Simon Rosner in the second round.
“The first match of a tournament is always difficult for both players and today was no exception,” said Golan.
“It wasn’t the best quality match that we have ever played but I think it was a real mental challenge and those are the kind of games you have to get through in these tournaments.
“Miguel played really well today and matches against him are always difficult. We had some long, tough rallies and he showed his character when I had match ball in the third game and he managed to take that one so I’m pleased to have come through in the end.”
Elsewhere Egyptian trio Mohamed Elshorbagy, Omar Mossad and Karim Abdel Gawad progressed to the second round, beating Stephen Coppinger, Shawn Delierre and Karim Ali Fathi, respectively, while French joint World No.1 Gregory Gaultier wasted no time in dispatching English qualifier Joe Lee 3-0 in his opening match-up.
2014 Windy City Open: Round One, Bottom Half Results:
Second Round Draw
1 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v  Peter Barker (ENG)
5 James Willstrop (ENG) v Amr Shabana (EGY)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
4 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Tarek Momen (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER) v  Borja Golan (ESP)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
The 2014 METROsquash Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim and EquiTrust Life Insurance takes place at the University Club of Chicago from February 26 to March 3.
Tickets cost from $25 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.windycityopen.com