2023 Reports 2023 Round Two

R2: Mazen impressive against Soliman

[8] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0 Youssef Soliman (EGY)  11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)

Two completely styles of squash on there: Mazen, erratic, unpredictable and mad, Youssef, a bit of a Nick Matthew format in my mind, hard-working, determined, physically strong and disciplined…

Today, it was obvious that he needed that first game. He tried to push Mazen and get him out of his comfort zone, but you need to cover a heck of a lot of ground to be able to do that, and I’m told that he was a bit under the weather. Beating Mazen needs a 100% body form! Today, impossible to reiterate the upset of their last encounter…

Still, Mazen was on song today, moving extremely well, it’s such a pleasure to watch players like him, Gawad, Nour Sherbini, those people who were born with THE GIFT. And seeing Mazen fit, and able to offer us his second to none talent is a treat for us all.

“I played Youssef back at the U.S. Open and he beat me 3-0. I wasn’t feeling great mentally at the start of the season, many things were going on behind the scenes, so I was looking forward to the next match. Youssef is a good friend of mine, but on court we push each other to the max.

“I don’t think he was struggling physically, I think I played the right tactic, that’s a different thing. I moved him a lot in the first two games and I think it paid off in the last game. I was sharp at the end, which was really important.

“I was not pumped for the tournament, but I think when I came here and saw my family and friends it helped and it was great to have a rematch with Youssef today because I was pumped as I wanted revenge. It was the perfect match for me to play in the first round of the tournament.

“Diego and Greg are going to play a good match, both of them are in good form, especially Diego who is looking to get the No.1 position here. I’m taking it match by match, day by day, and I’m going to focus for the next one.”