2024 Reports Semis

SF: Ali Farag 3-2 Mazen Hesham

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-2 [4] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 5-11, 11-5, 11-2, 8-11, 11-2 (59m)

One single stat for this one. I counted 27 unforced errors for Mazen.

And one little quote from the ref: “there is too much talking, Mr Hesham”. Me to the ref “have you met Mazen??”

I think Ali made the report for me: his length not good enough in the first game, 7/1 9/4, 11/5 in 12m. The 9 minute second game saw a better length from Ali, and just frustrating the Falcon with mid pace high shots, forcing 8 errors out of him.

Physio time (his foot seemed to bother him for a whole game), and 11/2 in 10m for Ali in the third.

Foot not troubling Mazen in the fourth, while Ali went “junior squash” on us, short, short and then even shorter, 8/1, 9/2, and connecting his neurones to the brain nearly worked but still 11/8 in 15m for Mazen.

The last one, 6 unforced errors from Mazen, giving Ali the confidence he needed.

The end.

Karim Darwish

Today, two players from Wadi Degla, so I couldn’t coach Ali.

Mazen played a good match, on and off again. Ali wasn’t at the best I think, his length wasn’t what it should be against someone like Mazen. But then again, this is why Ali is world number one, on an off day he can still win.

Tomorrow is another but Ali will need to be sharper…


Mazen was immaculate in the first; his length hitting was so good. Maybe I opened up the court a little bit and gave him too many opportunities.  I played a couple of good rallies in the first but not enough to put enough mileage into his legs.

The second game, I started to hit a better length, and then when I started to go into the front corners I didn’t feel sharp enough. I just tried to put some miles into his legs and some errors from him then, and that was the plan for the second and third.

I was not aware he was suffering from his leg. He normally takes care of his shins during matches, so I thought that was what it was.

In the fourth, I was stubborn, squash players, I wanted to prove that I could go in short and then all of a sudden I find myself 7-1 down. I started to come back but he found a perfect shot at the end.

In the fifth, I was now very nervous by then. I had a good start and then Mazen maybe started to lose it a little bit. I was obviously very happy to get that last point there and move through to the final.