Tarek Momen is aiming to continue his red-hot form when he competes at the Grasshopper Cup next week.
The World No.3 has had an extraordinary March already, making the finals of the PSA World Championships and the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic. In the process, he ended a seven year winless streak against the former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy by producing back-to-back semi-final wins against 'The Beast'.
Momen overcame ElShorbagy in a high-octane four-game encounter inside London’s East Wintergarden, before falling to New Zealand’s Paul Coll in the title decider as he narrowly missed out on the Canary Wharf Classic title for a second year running.
Paul Coll and Tarek Momen in action in the final of the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic
Now, after a week's recovery back home in Cairo, 'The Viper' says he is ready for the Grasshopper Cup, where he will meet the winner of the Mathieu Castagnet and Saurav Ghoshal first round clash next Thursday.
“In Canary Wharf I had another brutal semi-final with Mohamed [ElShorbagy] and there is no way that is not going to have an effect in the final,” Momen revealed.
“My recovery [for the final] was tough but that is the way it is when you are going deep in tournaments and making finals.
Tarek Momen and Mohamed ElShorbagy in action at Canary Wharf last week
“Obviously it was going to be tough to back up making the final of the Worlds in Chicago and then to go again at Canary Wharf. It's the same for every player who makes a major final, whether it is Ali Farag, Paul Coll or myself. At the elite level of the PSA Tour there are no easy matches and everyone can beat everyone in the top 10 on their day.
“But I have had time to recover back home in Egypt with Raneem [Momen’s wife, El Welily] and I look back on these last two tournaments with pride and I will be good for the Grasshopper Cup and I want to go one better there.”
But as he gets ready to go again at Grasshopper Cup, there can be no doubt that Momen’s back-to-back breakthrough victories over long-term nemesis ElShorbagy have given him a significant shot of self-belief.
The 31-year-old has reached a career high of World No.3 after winning the CCI International in Mumbai and the Channel VAS Championships earlier this season but it is arguable that the successive March slayings of 'The Beast' have provided Momen with his best moments of the season.
Tarek Momen won the Channel VAS Championships earlier this season
“Probably the biggest positive for me over the last two tournaments was beating Mohamed in both semi-finals. Obviously beating him in Chicago was massive in that it ended a nine-match losing streak that had gone back over seven years,” admitted Momen.
“But to back up that win over him by then winning in four sets at Canary Wharf was massive. So often over the last few years Mohamed has been the man to beat. It is a rule of the squash gods: “If you want to win the biggest titles you must beat ElShorbagy!” I had wins over everyone else including Ali [Farag] but he was the guy I could not beat and at last I managed to beat Mohamed when it mattered most.
“Now I am setting my goals to win every tournament I play in and my determination is to add to the two titles I have already won this season.”
The Grasshopper Cup begins on Tuesday, with the eight seeded players getting a bye into Wednesday’s second round in Zurich.