2024 Reports Quarters

QF: [2] Mostafa Asal 3-1 Fares Dessouky

[2] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1 Fares Dessouky (EGY) : 11-7, 11-6, 13-15, 11-6 (62m)

Everybody who is anybody in Egyptian squash was in Black Ball watching that match. A lot of expectations from the Fares camp, although being aware that Fares hasn’t reached his top fitness since his return from his back injury.

Both players were extremely calm—well, as calm as two gladiators can be, of course. Mostafa was funny without being a clown or overdoing it. He was just a young man with plenty of wit and joie de vivre. As for Fares, he had his serious mask one, the Iron Mask, scare me I tell you!

More seriously, it was a good match. Not the messy aggressive all over the place argumentative we had in the past. It was just a good, intense battle, and even when they didn’t agree with the ref, it was always in control and in a good sportsmanship manner.


The pace was incredibly fast the whole match, but it’s Mostafa that comes on top from 6/6, 9/6,11/7, 11m. Not an error from those two, 10 winners from the Joker, 6 from IronMask.

Mostafa dominated the second from the start, 6/2,  7/3, 10/5, 11/6. Yes, we have hard rallies, but I wrote “Fares seems subdued” in my notes at that point. Again, 11m game, 8 winners for Mostafa, two errors, still none from Fares, and only 4 winners.

Hell got loose in the third! If Fares was subdued in the first two games, he blooming woke up in that third, let me tell you! Out of the blue, he finds winners from hell, 5/1 in seconds. Waking up, the Joker levels 5/5, but Fares is on fire, 9/6!

The ref is kept busy, but once again, it’s normal contact between two players playing a ridiculously fast squash and taking the ball very early, twisting and turning each other! All three game balls that Fares had are now gone, we are 10/10. One more game ball for the Alexandria boy, but we are back at 11/11.

Both players are diving to save the shots, it’s crucial time. Mostafa gets two match balls, 12/11, and 11/12. A stroke saves the first one, a no let the second.

And it’s finally Fares that clinches that 3rd, after 24m of sublime squash, 15/13. Fares makes his first two errors in that game, 11 winners though. Mostafa 9 winners but he conceded 4 strokes.

The fourth sees the Joker full focused, 4/0, 6/3, 9/5, 11/6, and with an unforced error, Mostafa is in the semis, 10 winners, only 4 for Fares…

Let’s bring on Mr Gawad…


“It was a tough match as always. Fares, I’m feeling sorry for him having been on and off with injuries. He’s an unbelievable player. He’s the kind of player who could be World No.1 easily.

“He has been winner here once as well so he always has success here as well. He can beat anyone with his physicality.

“As I said yesterday, I can’t play as intense a tournament because the tournaments are every ten days, so I’m enjoying my week, my matches, and preparing for the biggest tournaments that are coming up, like the World Championships.”