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Tarek Momen in action against Eain Yow Ng

CIB Black Ball Open: Day Two Afternoon - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players who are in action this afternoon on day two of the men’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open Platinum event.

Here’s the schedule for this afternoon
(All times are local GMT+2)
17:30 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
18:15 Ramit Tandon (IND) v [7] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
19:15 [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Zahed Salem (EGY)
20:00 [1] Ali Farag (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)

You can catch all the action live from the Black Ball Sporting Club on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Momen Rampant in Round Two

Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen got his CIB Black Ball Squash Open campaign started with a confident 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 victory over Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng.

World No.3 Momen will face France’s World No.15 Gregoire Marche in the last 16 at the PSA Platinum event.

Here’s what he had to say after his win:

“Those backhand drop shots felt good at the end in the last match, I was pleased to throw in a few of those in my first match,” said Momen.

“I’m pleased to get a 3-0 win. It’s been three months since we’ve played a tournament and the first round is always tough. Yow is the Malaysian No.1, he has been on good form recently, playing consistently and improving. I was on edge today, in my warm-up I felt like I was lacking a bit of energy and it got me concerned a bit at the beginning of the match. I tried to pump myself up and with every game, I tried to push myself a little harder and eventually, I managed to play the important points a bit better which got me the win.

“Greg tends to play pretty well against me. He’s also been improving a lot, his results have been really good – he’s had a few tough draws recently but has been playing well and he had a very good win today, so I know I have to be on my top form. He runs the ball down, picks up a lot of ridiculous shots and also attacks well. I’m expecting a good match.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 (36m)

Defending Champion Dessouky Begins Title Defence

Defending CIB Black Ball Open champion, Fares Dessouky ensured his event got off to the perfect start with an 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 win over India’s World No.56 Ramit Tandon.

Tandon secured the shock of the day in round one after he axed Scotland’s World No.21 Greg Lobban but after a good first game was unable to back that up as Dessouky showed why he is in his best form to move into the last 16 where he will face Omar Mosaad.

“I feel I played must better than the first round in the last tournament,” said Dessouky to SquashTV.

“I was always down and then I won in three, but today I was always the one who was leading most of the match so that was the good thing. Today, the backhand side wasn’t working very well but I’m pleased that at the end it started to be a bit sharp, I’m going to work on that 100%.

“The last time I came here I was hungry to be honest, but I wasn’t looking to reach a final. This time I’m more hungry, I’ve trained really well and pushed really hard over the last three months, now I feel more ready than last time and more fresh.

“I have to remember that I’m the World No.8 and not the World No.1 yet, so the pressure is on the other guys, not on me yet, so I’m going to enjoy that. I hope to play well in the next round and get through.”

Tandon added:

“I never had the feeling I was sacrificing squash over my studies. I think we all have our own journey, our own path. And mine was to, after the World Juniors, having the will to pursue my studies, and I chose to go to Columbia.

“I think it helped me to become a better player, I was training with Ramy [Ashour], so it was very good for me. And then one day, I was in my office, watching SquashTV, and I got the sparkle again. I realise how much I missed the game, how much I loved the game, and I decided to go back on tour.

“I was very lucky as a lot of players don’t make it back to the Tour, they struggle with low rankings. But I was lucky to climb up the rankings pretty quickly, and live moments like this one, on the glass court.

“Now the next step would be to perform better when I get that moment in the big stage.”

[7] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 (30m)

Salem Goes Through as Gawad Forced to Retire

Egypt’s World No.18 Zahed Salem is through to the last 16 of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open after 2018 champion Karim Abdel Gawad was forced to retire from the match due to injury.

Gawad took the first game before Salem drew level as the former World No.1, who has struggled with a plantar fasciitis injury towards the end of last year, was forced to shake hands and walk off court in the third game after struggling to put weight on his foot.

That means that Salem will face France’s Mathieu Castagnet in the third round.

“I didn’t want to win like that,” said Salem afterwards.

“Karim is a top five player and one of the strongest players I’ve played with. It’s a tough match of course, I’m based in Alexandria and I had heard about his injury, but you don’t know sometimes, he has clever shots and if I’m not focus and I don’t push from the beginning and he finds his game even with his injury then that’s not good for me. I wish him a very quick recovery – we miss him on the Tour.

“I’ve spent the whole day in the room, so I watched a lot of matches and I watched him against Sherbini. He’s back again and I hope I can get through this one. I will give my best and looking forward to it.”

Zahed Salem (EGY) bt [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-3, 6-2 retired (32m)

Farag Through to Third Round

World No.1 Ali Farag has set up an exciting third round match with compatriot Mostafa Asal after overcoming Mohamed Abouelghar, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 in 37 minutes.

A tight first game went the way of last year’s runner-up Farag before a flare up of a knee injury began to cause problems for Abouelghar and the World No.1 was able to close out.

“I don’t think I’ve felt that nervous for a match for over a year and a half,” said Farag afterwards.

“I remember exactly the time I was that nervous. It’s not my type, I’m usually a laidback person but ever since I got the draw I was alright because I wasn’t into the heavy training, I was only focusing on myself. Then as the tournament was approaching, I was having sleepless nights and things that are not really me and this is what Abouelghar does to you.

“I could see myself going home all morning, I was preparing myself for a big match and you could see that in the first game. I was nervous but I knew that if I saw this through it would give me a big push psychologically and everything and unfortunately at the start of the second he felt something in his knees and he just told me that it has been hindering him for a week. I’m really sad for him but. I have to look at it in a selfish way and be happy for myself.

“Bigger than a banana skin, Mostafa is not one of the youngsters coming up anymore. He’s proven himself in the latter stages of tournaments and he’s playing really well. We saw that today, he’s had unbelievable wins and every time we play it’s never easy. I have to be on my metal again, it’s not going to get any easy from here. It’s like the previous Black Ball but starting two rounds earlier, I’m having the same draw – it’s exciting in a way.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (37m)

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