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Mostafa Asal

U.S. OPEN Finals: Player Reaction

It’s finals night at the U.S. Open presented by Truist, with action beginning at 19:00 (GMT-4) at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia, we’ll have the latest reports and reactions right here.

The finals are an all-Egyptian affair, with World No.6 Hania El Hammamy, playing her first U.S. Open final, taking on World No.2 and defending champion Nouran Gohar in the women’s final.

There's a guaranteed new winner in the men's final, as 20-year-old World No.10 Mostafa Asal and 33-year-old World No.4 Tarek Momen battle for their first U.S. Open title.

You can catch all the action live from the Specter Center on SquashTV, and you can also buy tickets from the tournament’s website.

Sign up to SQUASHTV now using the promo code OCTWEB15 to get 15 months for the price of 12!

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

Here’s the Order of Play
(All times are local – GMT-4)

Nouran Gohar defends U.S. Open title with 3-1 win over Hania El Hammamy.

No.2 seed Nouran Gohar defended her U.S. Open title after coming from behind to beat No.3 seed Hania El Hammamy 3-1.

Going into today’s match, Gohar held a 6-0 record against El Hammamy, with the most recent victory a 3-1 win in this year’s Egyptian Open quarter final.

While Gohar’s reputation may be for her brutal attack, in the first game it was her defence that was worked hardest. El Hammamy looked strong, particularly when targeting winners from the centre, and the World No.6 found herself on the front foot after a deserved 11-9 win.

El Hammamy continued to attack early in the second, matching intensity with quality and striking the ball early whenever possible. At 9-4 down, Gohar changed her tactic of targeting length and went on the attack. This paid immediate dividends and Gohar rattled off seven rapid-fire points to turn the match on its head with an 11-9 win.

After the devastating second-game loss, El Hammamy appeared rattled in the third. The 21-year-old made a number of mistakes as Gohar seized the match’s momentum with an 11-7 win.

The World No.2 continued to dominate the beleaguered El Hammamy in the fourth, securing the title with a brutal 11-3 win.

After the match, Gohar said: “It feels crazy. I can’t really believe it, but it seems like I have to always be down in the final of the U.S. Open. Last year I was match ball down, this year thankfully I was only 1-0 and 9-4 down. I just wanted to stick around most of the time. I’m just glad with the way I dealt with it. I felt I was the most experienced today, so that made a huge difference. Maybe I didn’t play my Plan A game, which is fast paced, because the court didn’t really help, but I’m just glad that I adapted in a very big final like this one. To win it twice, back to back, is just unbelievable. I can’t believe it, actually.

“I’ve been in these situations before against the top players and I know sometimes the excitement can reverse, I think what made the difference is that I just wanted to stick to my game plan and adapt a little bit. I played better, I thought about it more and that made the difference today. I think many matches, many losses, were in the back of my mind so I could remind myself of how other players did with me, so I just took the experience and was trying to execute it today.

“Thankfully, also I had my coaches here, they gave me a couple of tips and I reminded myself of the initial plan on court and I think that made a difference. 

“I just want to thank you all for coming today, it has been unbelievable. I just love to play in front of the U.S. crowd. You guys are such an amazing crowd, very energetic. It makes a huge difference in those matches and critical points, so thank you for coming today.”

Result: [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (74m)

Breaking – Mostafa Asal comes from 2-0 down to win U.S. Open

Mostafa Asal became the youngest-ever U.S. Open winner after fighting back from two games down to beat Egyptian compatriot Tarek Momen.

The 20-year-old had looked out of the match at two games down and 5-2 down in the third, only for an unbelievable comeback from the World No.8 to shock World No.4 seed Tarek Momen.

Ahead of today’s final, the players had a 2-2 record, with the two remembered for a particularly heated 2-1 Asal win in this year’s World Tour Finals.

Momen took the first game 11-5, moving Asal around the court with his trademark back-to-front squash.

Momen moved the ball around beautifully, keeping his game error free as Asal tried to push to the front of the court. Though Asal tried to find his usual bullish energy, he was unable to pose a consistent threat to the 33-year-old, who took the second game 11-5 again.

The third game initially looked like it would be a formality for Momen, who raced into an early 5-2 lead. However, from here Asal fought his way to parity with aggressive, high-risk squash. From 5-5, both players traded the lead, until Asal threw a cat among the pigeons with a beautiful drive to take the third game 11-9.

In the fourth game, Momen once more opened up a 5-2 lead, only for Asal to fight his way back yet again. From 5-2 down again, Asal countered and pulled level at 9-9, then taking the game 12-10 to force a stunned Momen into a fifth game.


In the fifth, for the first time all match, it was Asal who started the game the stronger. ‘The Raging Bull’ came out charging, and only got quicker, with Momen looking increasingly exhausted as Asal incredible returned everything the 33-year-old could offer. As the final game of an epic title bout wore on, it became increasingly clear that U.S. Open history would be made, as Asal only furthered his dominance, eventually taking the game 11-3 to seal one of the all-time great comebacks.

“I don’t believe the feeling, this week as well. I have all the respect for Tarek, he was 2-0 up and I think it was a great battle today. I’ve been having so many 3-2s in the last couple of days and I cannot believe it until now. Thank you guys for having me at this tournament as well. I was having problems before the tournament, whether I would enter or if I couldn’t but hopefully I managed to win the title.

I want to thank all my team, all my coaches, my parents and I want to thank Jahanzeb [Khan]. I entered the States because of him as well. He helped me a lot with visa issues because I didn’t play the World Championship. I have all the respect for him and thanks for making everything happen.

“I want to thank everyone, my coaches, my physios, mentally for me to be able to recover after all of these matches is something unbelievable and lastly I want to thank U.S. Squash and the PSA, Lee Beachill and everyone behind this tournament. Thank you guys for having us again and I can’t wait for the next event for this tournament.”

Result

[8] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [4] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3 (91m)

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