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22 Jul 2024

Mighty Momen Removes Mosaad In ToC Upset

15 Jan 2017

Unseeded Egyptian Tarek Momen despatched No.7 seed Omar Mosaad in today's second round of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions to end a two-year losing streak to his closest national rival in the first PSA World Series of the event of the year at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

Both 28, the pair have been competing against each since they were eight years old - appearing on the international stage for the first time in the British Junior U13 Open final in 2001, then two years later contesting the U15 final in England, on both occasions Momen emerging victorious.

Momen was in sensational form in today's encounter on the all-glass court in the Vanderbilt Hall, beating former world No.3 Mosaad 11-5, 11-8, 11-1 in 34 minutes - his first straight games Tour victory over his rival.

"I'm over the moon with my performance - it's been a while since I've been trying to come back," said the Cairo-based world No.8. "Last year I lost to him three times, so this is unbelievable.

"The change came at the Al-Ahram event last September. I was training hard but not performing well.

"I had to take time off and change a few things. In addition to my squash coaches Haitham Effat and Mohamed Abbas, I'm now working with a new fitness coach Samy Farrag."

Recalling the early days with Mosaad, Momen admitted: "There was much greater pressure in our matches then. For a long time, we didn't even speak to each other!

"We are good friends now. For the past 20 years, there has never been more than an inch between us!"

Momen will now face Gregory Gaultier, the third seed from France who was champion in 2009 and twice a runner-up.

But the world No.3 dropped the opening two games as unseeded Fares Dessouky looked set not only to deny Gaultier a place in the last eight for the first time since 2004, but also set up an all-Egyptian top half of the draw.

Undeterred, the experienced Frenchman - a former world number one who lost his most recent battle with the Egyptian world No.12 - held his nerve to take the next two games to draw level before clinching the decider to close out the match 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 after 81 minutes.

"Today I was really focussed," said Gaultier. "It was a good fight and I'm glad I was able to come back. I raised my game.

"I could see at the end of each game he was struggling."

The quarter-final crowd will be treated to an all-Elshorbagy clash after Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan Elshorbagy prevailed in today's second round.

Fifth seed Marwan overcame a first game deficit - and an inferior career head-to-head record - to beat South African Stephen Coppinger and earn a place in the quarter-finals for the third time.

"I knew how hard this match would be," said the 23-year-old Egyptian after his 4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 victory in a minute less than an hour. "So I'm very happy with the way I played."

It was in the last match of the day that older brother Mohamed Elshorbagy battled to an 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 win in 44 minutes over US-based Australian Ryan Cuskelly to take one step nearer to a successful defence of his 2016 title.

It will be the pair's seventh meeting on the PSA World Tour - with world No.1 Mohamed currently holding an unbeaten 6-0 record over his younger sibling.

"I know he'll get me some time and I'll be very proud of him when he does," Elshorbagy senior told event MC Will Carlin. "But I don't want it to be at this tournament!"

Defending women's champion and top seed Nour El Sherbini eased into the second round after seeing off Hong Kong's Joey Chan 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 in 30 minutes.

The 21-year-old from Egypt won the title for the first time last year and four months later began her nine-month reign as world number one.

"It's never easy to play against Joey," said the title-holder.

"There is more pressure coming into the event as defending champion - it's really hard and it's a challenge

"But it's nice too. I try not to put too much pressure on myself - I just want to enjoy it."

El Sherbini will now face surprise opponent Salma Hany Ibrahim after the 20-year-old qualifier, a compatriot, twice came from behind to claim the scalp of England's 9th seed Alison Waters.

Londoner Waters, a runner-up in 2015, went down 8-11, 11-1, 11-13, 11-9, 11-2 in 62 minutes to hand a second round berth to Ibrahim for the first time.

Malaysia's former world number one Nicol David took the shortest route through to round two - beating career-long rival Jenny Duncalf, the one-time world No.2 from England, in just 24 minutes.

David, the record eight-time world champion who topped the world rankings for an unprecedented 109 months in a row, experienced the worst year of her career last year when she failed to reach a single final for the first time ever.

"2016 was my biggest learning year," explained 2014 champion David after her 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 win. "You learn a lot about yourself after a year like that - you find out what makes you you.

"I was happy with my performances in the last part of last year - things started to come together. I really enjoyed it."

Three months after winning the US Open title against expectations, France's fifth seed Camille Serme was back in winning form to overcome Welsh opponent Tesni Evans 11-4, 11-5, 11-7.

"Tesni is such a fighter - she gave everything," said the world No.4 from Creteil who is bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the third year in a row.

"I'm loving playing here in this great location - I'm happy to be back in the US."