9:10 pm
20 May 2024

Veteran Rodriguez Stops Momen To Make Black Ball Quarters

13 Apr 2024

Miguel Rodriguez and Youssef Ibrahim claimed significant seeding scalps on day two of the Black Ball Open, defeating No.5 seed Tarek Momen and No.6 seed Joel Makin to progress to the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour Gold event in Cairo.

Rodriguez, 38, claimed his first victory over Momen since the 2017 World Championships, fighting off a comeback from the higher-ranked Egyptian to win in five games.

The match saw Rodriguez still playing without the majority of his equipment which he lost during his flight to Cairo, but nonetheless included its fair share of vintage entertainment, with the Colombian losing, picking up, and carrying one of his shoes in one notable rally.

Despite Momen forcing a deciding game from 2/0 down, the Colombian eventually came through the encounter in 81 minutes, booking a quarter-final date with world No.1 Ali Farag.

"I came with no expectations," Rodriguez said after the match. "I was not supposed to be in this tournament, I had many issues before coming here. But it was a fantastic performance from me, a terrific result. That was my main goal in this tournament and it was a great day for me!

"[Mohamed] ElSherbini lent me some clothes, and this is the same outfit as yesterday so something is working! I have to go back to the hotel and wash it and play in it again in the quarter-finals. When you have more difficult challenges, and when you have to fight, maybe that's when you have more surprises."

Meanwhile, world No.17 Ibrahim had to be at his relentless best to defeat world No.10 Makin in four games. After losing a nip and tuck 20-minute first game, Ibrahim turned the match in his favour, striking the perfect balance of patience and aggressive stroke-making on the all-glass court in the Black Ball Sporting Club.

In the women's draw, defending champion Nouran Gohar got her title defence underway with a straight games victory over Fayrouz Aboelkheir, while No.3 seed Nour El Tayeb also advanced to the last eight after defeating Zeina Mickawy.