Egypt’s World No.19 Mazen Hesham came from 2-1 down against England’s World No.45 Chris Simpson to book his place in the last 16 of the Channel VAS Championships at St. George’s Hill in Weybridge, England.
It was a topsy turvy match between the two players with just the second game proving to be a tight battle. Hesham began the match full of confidence as his natural shot-making ability come to the fore to take the first.
The second game saw Hesham pick up where he left off as he took a 7-2 lead, however, Simpson battled back bravely with his own display of attacking squash to absorb all of the pressure Hesham was mounting on him to level the scores at 9-9.
The experienced Englishman continued to push on from there as he showed he was unfazed by the Egyptian’s unpredictability to shut down his opportunities and convert on his second game ball attempt to level the scores, before then comfortably taking the third as Hesham had a huge lapse in concentration.
simposquash</a> is showing his skills off on home soil here, and this lovely drop finish is one of the best so far! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#squash</a> <a href="https://t.co/exlrDHGNUl">pic.twitter.com/exlrDHGNUl</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) November 19, 2019
Hesham came back in typical style, however, to set a relentless hitting pace and not allow Simpson any time to settle into his rhythm as he closed out an 11-6, 10-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3 victory and set up a thrilling second round clash with Peru’s Diego Elias.
“I’m really happy to be stood here,” said Hesham following his win.
“I really love playing and I cherish every moment now to be honest. I’ve started to really enjoy my game and I think I’ve started to find my range a bit more, I’m playing faster and getting better each tournament. Hopefully one day I will reach 100% and reach my potential, but for now I’m really happy to be here.
“I didn’t think I would be able to compete at this level again, so I’m really happy to be here and play and perform like this and I hope the best is yet to come.”
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-2: 11-6, 10-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3 (59m)