Omar Mosaad during his titanic tussle with Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Hong Kong Update: Mosaad Wins Marathon Battle With Rodriguez
World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad produced one of the best performances of his career as he came from 2-0 down and the brink of elimination to defeat Miguel Angel Rodriguez in a mammoth 102 minute quarter-final encounter at the 2015 Hong Kong Open.
The powerful Egyptian, nicknamed ‘Hammer of Thor’, had to come through an 81-minute battle with Lucas Serme to make the last eight and the exertion of that, coupled with his exploits at the World Championships one week ago, looked to be taking its toll as he slumped to 3-11 losses in the opening two games and cut an exhausted figure compared to the sprightly Rodriguez.
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But he showed supreme mental resilience as he dug in during the third game, mounting a huge challenge and disrupting the Colombian’s rhythm as he levelled the match to the disbelief of the capacity crowd at the Hong Kong Squash Centre and set up a thrilling decider.
It was Rodriguez who took the ascendancy and found himself 10-5 ahead and a certainty for the win before Mosaad again dug into his reserves to reel off five points and force a decider after a series of physically excruciating rallies. He again saved match ball at 11-10 before eventually taking the match at the first time of asking to inflict a brutal blow on Rodriguez, winning 3-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 13-11.
“That was very, very tough but I’m delighted to win in the end and reach the semi-finals here in Hong Kong for the first time ever,” said Mosaad.
“He played so well in the first two games and I was feeling it – I had a tough match yesterday and a hard week last week at the World Championship so I just told myself to take it point by point in the third and see what happens.
“it started to change and I stuck with that approach in the fourth. I was so tired after that game but I kept telling myself this could be my last match of the year and just push and push. At 10-5 I thought it was the end but I somehow got some points in a row.
“I just kept pushing and telling myself one more point, focus and stay calm.”