10:04 am
20 Jun 2024

Momen Is Malaysian Open Champion

15 Sep 2012

Saving two match-balls in the dying stages of the game, unseeded Tarek Momen overcame second seed Mohamed El Shorbagy in today's first ever all-Egyptian final of the CIMB Malaysian Open to win the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event at the Curve Shopping Mall in Selangor in dramatic style - and claim the biggest title of his career.

The 24-year-old from Cairo had only beaten world No8 El Shorbagy once before in his career - in the semi-finals of the 2010 Malaysian Open!

And Shorbagy led his close friend in the opening game before underdog Momen, ranked 11 places lower, won it on a tie-break.

But Shorbagy drew level after the second - and led 10-6 in the third before Momen found a run of six points to again take the game on a tie-break.

The positions were reversed in the fourth where Momen led - only for Shorbagy to reclaim the advantage and again draw level to force a decider.

"In the fifth, it was close all the way and both players were getting more and more frustrated as the decisions of the referees don't seem to be consistent," said event spokesman Andrew Cross.

"Tarek reached game ball first but couldn't convert. Shorbagy had a chance to win and probably should have had a stroke but not given as Tarek never looked back and went on to win the fifth for his second title in two weeks."

Momen said after his 12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 14-12 victory in 109 minutes that he was happy to have won especially after playing and crashing out of the event six times before this.

He praised El Shorbagy in his post-match interview: "I hope we can make it to the top five together," said Momen, clutching the biggest trophy of his career.

Event MC Sharon Wee asked him about Squash and the Olympic Games: "I was watching the Olympics, I was watching every day and I thought, what a shame - our sport deserves to be there."

A frustrated El Shorbagy summed up his feelings later on Twitter: "10/7 up in the 1st, 10/6 up in the 3rd, 9/7 up in the 5th and had 2 match points!!!"

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Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 14-12 (109m)