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Tarek Momen

CIB Black Ball Open: Day Four Afternoon - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players who are in action this afternoon on day four 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 – Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
18:15 – [4] Paul Coll (NZL) v Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
19:15 – Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
20:00 – [1] Ali Farag (EGY) v Mostafa Asal (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.

World Champion Momen Takes Out Marche

Reigning World Champion and World No.3 Tarek Momen got the better of France’s Gregoire Marche in an open and entertaining match to reach the last eight of the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open.

“Towards the end, I almost lose that fourth and that would have been huge mistake on my part. At 9-3 up, I thought I had a very clear ‘no let’. To me it was very obvious that it was a ‘no let’ and I thought I was match ball up at 10-3. It was overturned and I lost my concentration, he then played a few winners,” he explained.

“I had match balls at 10-5, lost a couple and then I went for the volley nick. I looked on the screen, saw it was a double bounce, to me it was very clear it was a double bounce. Maybe when I watch it again I might see something different but I am pretty sure what I saw was correct.

“It got to my head and then I was 10-9. At this point, instead of panicking, I was thinking that even if it goes to 10-all I can still win this so I switched back to my gameplan and to just play it out. Thankfully I got that cross-court to win the match.

“I always make it to the finals of the semis on a consistent basis and I have won the World Championships so I know I have it in me to win plenty more big titles, so I always like my chances.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9 (56m)

Coll Overcomes Gaultier In Four

New Zealand’s World No.4 Paul Coll is into the quarter-finals in Cairo, after defeating former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in a high-quality four-game battle.

“That was one of the best highlights of my career. I look up to Gaultier a lot and that moment at the end when he just gave me a pat on the head there, that was huge for me,” the Kiwi said.

“I loved every second out there. I went and trained with him early in my career, he taught me a lot and he taught me some more lessons today. Enjoyed every second of that.

“The way he controlled me in that third game. He slowed it down but he slowed it so accurately and turned me. I just codlin inject the pace that I wanted to and it made me go into a negative state where he picked me off. It was a good lesson, and a class performance to be out there with him.

“It is going to be another tough battle. [Marwan ElShorbagy] is a different player to Greg just now, but as good as any out there on his day. It will be a tough battle as it always is, but I am really looking forward to going out there tomorrow. I loved every second tonight and I can’t wait to be out there dancing.”

[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-1: 11-3, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4 (69m)

ElShorbagy Advances To Quarter-Finals

World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy is through to the last eight of the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open after a convincing performance over Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal in the third round.

“Saurav always plays well against me, even though our head-to-head is crazy in my favour. I think the last time I lost to him was in 2008, which is a crazy record to have against someone with the calibre of him. The last two games we had we went to a tie-break in the fifth and then a tie-break in the third so I knew I had to dig in deep in the first two games and win those big crucial points, which I did, and I am thankful for that.”

“I always believe the top players have to deal with all types of conditions, and they find a way to win. Whether it is hot, it is humid, it is cold, I have played in all sorts of conditions throughout my career, I have won in all sorts of conditions throughout my career, I have lost in all sorts of conditions throughout my career.

“It might be slightly difficult but it is the same for everyone so there is no excuse. I am just happy to win and I look forward to being in the quarters.

“Joel [Makin], we train together in England. He lives in Birmingham, I live in Bristol, just an hour, hour and a half from each other. We play with each other twice a week so we know each other’s games very well.

“He knows what I am going to do tomorrow, I know what he is going to do tomorrow, so I do think that whoever will get it right on the day will win. He has had a big win against me before, every win I have against him is a big win, so I look forward to playing against him.”

[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-2 (49m)

Farag Sets Up Clash With Dessouky

World No.1 Ali Farag is through to the last eight of the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open after a come-from-behind victory over compatriot Mostafa Asal.

Farag will now face World No.8 Fares Dessouky in a rematch of the final at the same venue three months previous, one that slipped away from the 28-year-old.

“It was very bitty, especially at the beginning of the third. There were a lot of referee’s decisions, there was no malice from either of us but it was just the way it was. It was tough, I want to play rallies and put some long rallies into him so it wasn’t easy with the stop-start,” Farag said.

“Very happy after I started off loose again today, my shots weren’t hitting targets at all, but then after the first, I regrouped well and hit my marks a lot better.

“First of all, I shouldn’t show that I am frustrated, but also, looking at this draw. Playing [Mohamed] Abouelghar in the first round and then potentially either [Mostafa] Asal or Declan James in the second round, I knew I had a tough task at hand. I keep telling Nour [El Tayeb, Farag’s wife] that I haven’t lost before the quarter-finals since El Gouna in 2017 so I didn’t want to break that record here. That was the first goal of the tournament and now that is done, it is time to focus on the quarters.

“Fares [Dessouky] has been on a roll, especially on this court. He has beaten so many top players and we saw again today how well he played. It will be a tough one but I am definitely looking forward to it.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 (60m)

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