Momen Upsets World No1 Gawad To End 4-Year Losing Streak
6 May 2017
In his first win over the new world number one in more than four years, Egypt's world No.10 Tarek Momen beat compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad on a dramatic day of quarter-final action at the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich in which fellow Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy - the man who topped the PSA World Rankings for 28 months up to March 2017 - also crashed out.
After taking the opening game 11-7, 29-year-old Momen managed to keep his composure and produce one of his best performances in recent years to fend off a huge charge from Gawad, 2016 World Champion, and see out the match in five games.
Momen's 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6 victory was his first in six Tour meetings with Gawad since February 2013. He will now face Frenchman Gregory Gaultier - who hasn't lost on his last 21 outings on the PSA World Tour - for a place in the final.
"That was a big match for me today because I know I've been playing well and been in some of my best form of late - but I've been coming up short by narrow margins time and time again," said Momen.
"It was very tough for me mentally - I tried very hard to keep believing in myself and not fall into the trap of doubting myself after making errors. I'm very happy that I managed to come through because I feel like I was due one big win before the end of the season.
"There was some scrappy play at times today but to beat the world No.1 is amazing and I'm going to enjoy the semi-final tomorrow. I've played some big matches with Greg this season and I'm looking forward to another one tomorrow."
Gaultier was in commanding form as he despatched Germany's Simon Rösner in a routine 3/0 - while it was world No.8 Ali Farag who toppled tournament top seed Elshorbagy in a back and forth 81-minute battle.
Elshorbagy, whose recent performances on court have seem him battle internal demons more than his opponents, put in a Jekyll and Hyde performance while Farag fought through physical barriers in the decisive fifth game to complete a come-from-behind win.
"There was a crucial point in the middle of the fifth game where I gave him some cheap points," said Farag.
"But I dug in, told myself not to give up on it and thankfully it worked because it was a flip of a coin at the end. I was trying to loosen up and go for my shots because I was maybe playing too conservative before then and I was starting to cramp up physically.
"I'm really excited to be in the semi-finals now."