Egyptians Asal & Mosaad Claim Major Black Ball Upsets In Cairo
6 Dec 2018
World Junior Champion Asal caused the biggest upset of the day when he defeated England's world No.19 Declan James in a five-game thriller at the Black Ball Sporting Club to reach the last 16 of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time.
At just 17 years old, the young Egyptian proved that he has all the attributes to be a serious contender on the PSA World Tour after he battled back against the Englishman to prevail 15-13, 4-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8 in 89 minutes.
"It feels incredible to play in front of this atmosphere," said 17-year-old Asal. "I want to thank all of the people that came to cheer for me.
"It feels amazing, to be able to play the world No.2," added the teenager. "He is my idol and I hope to be able to play a good match with him."
Elsewhere, it was also a good day for Asal's compatriot Mosaad, who took out Colombia's world No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in another long five-game battle.
Cairo-born Mosaad started strongly in front of his home crowd and was able to survive two comebacks from the 'Colombian Cannonball' to book his place in the last 16.
"I was expecting this tough match," said 30-year-old Mosaad. "I have played a couple of matches with Miguel and they have all been 3/2, so I just played my game and focused.
"Playing against Miguel is really tough, he's so fast around the court. I had to be strong mentally more than physically, so I'm really happy with my performance today."
The 31-year-old Englishman was forced to dig deep to hold off a resilient Salem to claim an 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in 75 minutes.
"It's a massive win," said world No.40 Simpson. "So far this season I've not been confident, I lost from match ball up in my last tournament and then in the fourth I thought about that a little bit and I thought 'right, concentrate' but he came back. In the fifth when I was 10-7 up I think I again played some not so great rallies but I was just willing myself to win somehow."