World Champion Tarek Momen defeated Mexico’s Cesar Salazar, 11-9, 11-8, 13-11, to move into the quarter finals of the CIB Egyptian Open played in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Momen, who admitted during the CIB PSA World Tour Finals last week that he wasn’t playing his best squash, ensured he got the job done tonight in front of his home crowd as he overcame Salazar in three to set up a quarter final with Peru’s Diego Elias.
Both Momen and Salazar enjoyed patches of good squash but error-strewn moments as well, with neither player able to get a tight handle on the match. However, it was the experience of the bigger points that worked in the favour of the Egyptian as he was able to save game ball from Salazar in the third to take the match in straight games.
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TkMomen</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/cesarsm88?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">cesarsm88 bringing the entertainment in front of the Pyramids!#SquashByThePyramids pic.twitter.com/UGZiuaZ65g
“I think I played a good match,” said Momen.
“Coming off the World Tour Finals where I tried my best but I don’t think I did the best I could or performed the way I wanted, so to get the win today and two days ago against Fares [Dessouky] I felt like I am picking things up. I’m playing a lot better and I’m gaining more confidence day by day, so overall, I’m very pleased with my performance. I may have played a few errors but it’s tough to estimate with the wind is a bit difficult. You might play the right shot but a few centimetres off and the ball goes the wrong way, I think overall, I’m happy with the way that I played.
“It definitely helps when I play in my hometown and against foreign players. I’ve had this experience here and at the World Champs as well – I had a lot of Egyptian support and it made a difference. Overall I’m very happy to be playing at home and winning matches and I’m very pleased to be coming back after tomorrow.
“All of us when we were kids used to come here by the Pyramids and watch our role models play. My advice to juniors here is to make the most out of the experience and keep working hard and maybe in 10-15 years they will be playing here.”
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 13-11 (38m)