Egypt’s Mostafa Asal is through to the last 16 of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open in Cairo after coming through a fractious five-game duel with India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar.
It was Asal who came out the quicker of the two players, using the home advantage to his favour. Mangaonkar was able to fight back to send the first into a tie-break, but the Egyptian eventually took it 12-10
The Indian, who was appearing in a professional tournament for the first time since the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York in January, fought back to take the next two games and hold the advantage in the match.
It started to become a real battle between the pair in the middle stages of the match, one that lasted over 80 minutes, with what seemed like a referee’s decision on every point, with plenty of chatter between the duo, and the referee.
After a brief stoppage in the fourth game for a blood injury, in which Asal was told to come back on court as the cut was not constantly bleeding, he came out fighting. He was able to win both the fourth and the fifth, winning the decider quite comfortably, to move through to the second round of this PSA Gold level event.
“I didn’t expect that at all. Mahesh surprised me today. I didn’t think that he would play like that. I wasn’t ready for that type of match, a 3-2,” Asal said.
“My dad was playing the whole time! I am happy to go through and maybe I am thinking about the next, and hopefully we can do good things today! In the end, I am thankful to go through, and I am ready for the next match.”
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-2: 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-1 (82m)