Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt  Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-2: 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-5 (72m)
Top seed Omar Mosaad narrowly avoided a quarter-final exit at the hands of crowd favourite Daryl Selby in an epic five-game battle under the lights of London’s East Wintergarden earlier today that saw the duo battle it out for over 70 minutes for a berth in the semi-finals of the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic.
In a roller-coaster encounter it was Mosaad who eventually prevailed as he made amends for twice dropping game-leads to empty his energy reserves and secure a maiden appearance in the tournament’s last four – where tenacious Spaniard Borja Golan awaits.
Mossad started in blistering form, romping to an early game lead as he played aggressive, attacking squash that was every inch worthy of his top seed billing, and continuing to dominate early in the second.
But the match was turned upside down as Selby began to creep his way into proceedings, managing to lengthen the rallies and force Mosaad into lengthy exchanges which began to take their toll on the big man – who quickly showed the effects as weariness took over.
To his credit Mosaad dug deep and regained the ascendency in the third game to reestablish his advantage before the momentum swung back in favour of Selby again in the fourth, when in a mirror of the second, he extended the play to tire the Egyptian once again.
Mossad looked down and out as the fourth ended and opened up with a series of errors in the fifth. But he mined into his reserves yet again and powered ahead from 4-4 to hold match ball at 10-4, before eventually sealing the match with an 11-5 fifth game.
Mosaad looked to be out on his knees at the end of the fourth and continued to look weary as the fifth got underway, as he made a series of unforced errors as proceedings began, but his ability to push through the extremes of lactic acid build up and find a second, third and fourth winds saw him through.
After rlookin tired and sluggish at end of second OM upped his energy levels in the third and upped the pace – taking time away from DS and regaining momentum of the match.
Shot of the match
Selby is known for his often outlandish winners and he produced a backhand winner of note to go 9-4 up in the fourth.
Omar Mosaad: “Playing Daryl here is very hard – I though it was going to be easy after the first game and I was up in the second as well but he started to play really well.
“He was playing very well but after coming back from 2-2 I’m very happy to win.
“I played Colombia and Chicago and trying to be strong mentally. I’m very happy to reach the semi-finals here for the first time.
“Borja is a very tough player. I’ll go and do my recover and hopefully play well and make it to the final.”
Daryl Selby: “Omar is so powerful, the quality of his length and his hitting has improved dramatically. Before he was powerful, but not 100% accurate, whereas now he is powerful and accurate.
“When he was overpowering me, he was wining the game, but when I was implanting my game – taking away the pace and forcing him to create his – I was wining the games. It all came down to a few points in the 5th, he squeezed me really well.
“It was a great battle.”