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Tarek Momen celebrates

Qatar Classic QFs: Momen Halts Makin

World Champion Tarek Momen ground out an extremely hard-fought 3-2 victory over Welshman Joel Makin to book his place in the semi-finals in Qatar for a second edition in succession.

Momen fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he won the PSA Men’s World Championship in Qatar 12 months ago, and he moved to within one win of back-to-back finals in the country courtesy of a 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 victory in 79 captivating minutes.

The fixture was an intriguing clash of styles as Makin aimed to defend against Momen’s tricky angles before attempting to counterpunch with his own winners into the front of the court.

The World No.3 had lost his last two matches to Makin – the most recent of which came at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals in September – but ultimately held his nerve and cut out the errors at crucial moments in the fifth game.

Errors cost Momen in the opening game and the fourth, but the 32-year-old showed nerves of steel to draw ahead from 7-7 in the decider to seal his place in the semi-finals.

“I really felt I didn’t play my best the last couple of times, but today I was a lot sharper,” Momen said.

“My shots were going in nicely a lot better than the two times before and yet I still barely won 3-2. All credit to him, he played a really good match and made it extremely tough. I thought I had some chances in the fourth game, I was 8-5 up and I shouldn’t have squandered that lead.

“I’m glad I kept my head in the game, I didn’t focus too much on what was going on movement-wise on court. I just tried to focus on my game plan, tried to make the least amount of errors possible and thankfully that’s what I did today.

“I’m always excited to play here, I love the court conditions and I think I play my best squash here because of the setup. I’m definitely looking forward to my match tomorrow. I’ll try to recover to the best of my ability so I can be prepared for a good match again.”

Momen will play either Peruvian Diego Elias or World No.1 Ali Farag in the semi-finals.

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [8] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (79m)

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