9:50 am
18 May 2024

Malik Stuns Mosaad In Mighty Black Ball Breakthrough

12 Apr 2024

Unseeded Englishman Curtis Malik overcame home favourite Omar Mosaad in a thrilling fifth-game tie-break to conclude proceedings on the opening day of the Black Ball Open, the PSA World Tour Gold event in Cairo.

The world No.43 stunned the crowd into silence early on as he took a two-game advantage with some smart strategic play, lengthening the rallies and pulling former world No.3 Mosaad around all four corners of the court.

However, the world No.32 who trains at the Black Ball Squash Club, used the crowd to his advantage to save a match ball in the third, and subsequently send the match all the way to a deciding game. From there, Malik saw three more match balls slip through his grasp before a no-let decision in his favour in the tie-break sealed victory for the Englishman.

"It was a really weird match actually," Malik said after the match. "I got a good lead in the first but let him back in in the second. The third was similar to the second. I lost my focus, but he did start to play better as the match progressed, and he started to use the crowd well. I was feeling a bit more pressure as the match progressed, but I just decided I wanted to hit good targets into the back of the court.

"I was literally just thinking about the training I've been doing recently - I'm physically feeling really fit, so I thought, why would I cheap out with cheap shots? I just decided to string out the rallies and try to get myself back into it because I felt physically pretty good."

Elsewhere across the two draws, there was plenty of success for Egyptian players, with a total of 11 home players booking their spots in the second-round. Among those who claimed victories were Aly Abou Eleinen, who fought past Mexico's Leonel Cardenas in four games, and Salma Eltayeb, who upset the rankings to defeat compatriot Nadine Shahin.