Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0 [WC] Omar Azzam (EGY) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)
Trust me when I tell you Tarek didn’t come here with “la fleur au fusil”, he went fully mentally prepared, and giving the youngster all the due respect.
“I gave it all” said the 17 years old from Black Ball, coached by Ahmed Effat to comment about yesterday’s performance. And it’s never easy to back it up.
So a bit of a wobbly first game, 9/3, 11/4. But a better second game, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, with Omar displaying his skills at the front of the court. Once he gets the balance at the back, he will be a very dangerous player, especially as he seemed to be a very solid and organised player in his preparation. Tarek got first blood at 10/5, Omar saved it with a perfectly stuck to the side wall drive 6/10, but Tarek closes it 11/6. 8m first game, 9m second. The third is a formality, 11/3.
Still a funny moment. At the end of the second game, Ozzam showed his leg to the ref, where there was a bit of blood. “It’s only a graze” commented the official, “I’m happy with that”, you have only two minutes between games” – as he already warned the youngster about time wasting.
And the funny moment was that Tarek, who played 542 matches in his PSA career, asked as he came back on court “so do we have 2 minutes between games?”
Yesterday's match was a tough match. I gave it all, and I feel today I was a bit short, and didn't perform as well as I would have liked. But it's a good start for me in my PSA career, and I can't wait to play my next tournament with these top players.
I've been dreaming about playing in this event for the past 5 years, I talked with Captain Ashraf [Hanafi, tournament promoter] and Mr Raef [BB CE0] for a long time, and I think I delivered well, especially if you consider it was my first time playing at that level!
Playing with Nici Mueller, I admire him so much, he's turned pro since 2005, I was born in 2005... So it was a great for me to beat him yesterday. For starters, he is one of my idols, a very tough player.
You know, they are very tough players, those top players are better than you see them play, when you get on court with them, you realise how good they are!
I am so happy with my performance, today a bit disapointed because of course I wanted to win. But you know, I only planned yesterday's match! I didn't think I was going to win, so I prepared my match against Nici, watch some of his matches and studied his shots and game. Whereas for Tarek, I was not prepared at all, I only watched a match between him and Mohamed Shorbagy, and man, he is world champion!!!
But I'll be ready with my game plan next time we meet... 🙂
“It was a bit tricky because it was my first match and it’s always hard to get into it from the start. I thought I did well and I’d like to congratulate him on a good run. This is his first big event, he’s only 17, and to get a win against Nicky is incredible at his age, so he’s obviously done really well and I was prepared for a good one today. I think we’ve played once or twice before in practice a long time ago, I knew he could be dangerous and I needed to make use of my experience.
“I did that well today and I managed to focus in the first block of every game and get a big enough lead to stay confident in my shots. I’m happy to get a 3-0 win today, at 35 I wouldn’t want to extend my first matches too much and suffer the consequences later on, so I’m happy to get through.
“Asal and Dessouky, they're both very skilful players and very powerful. You can never expect or anticipate what’s going to happen on that court, I hope it goes a long time. I don’t really want to focus on what’s going to happen there, I just want to recover and try to pull off a game plan against whoever I’m going to play.
“I need to be a bit active, I’m going to cool down now, recover and then tomorrow I need to have a hit on the court whether it’s on the glass or side courts, I just need to move the body a little bit."