In a battle between two of the biggest men on the PSA World Tour it was Egyptian World No.4 Omar Mosaad who prevailed against former World No.1 James Willstrop in an attritional 75 minute first round encounter at the 2016 Windy City Open.
Willstrop led the pairings head-to-head record 4-0 heading into the encounter but with Mosaad currently playing at a career high ranking and in the form of his life the scene was set for an intriguing match up and the duo duly delivered a tense affair that contained well constructed rallies of the highest quality, sumptuous winners and delicate court craft.
From the off the momentum continually shifted back and forth as dominance and control alternated before a questionable decision by the referees, who were to play a major role in the flow of the encounter, allowed Mosaad to take the opening game much to the frustration of Willstrop.
The Englishman responded in positive fashion in the second, opening up an early 5-0 lead before eventually holding off a Mosaad charge to level the scoreboard at 1-1 but the influence of the three-referees became more frequent during a bitty and scrappy third game.
Mossad managed to take it, and the crucial fourth, after a series of contentions calls, just several of 44 decisions made in total, to record his first ever win over the World No.12 and secure a second round berth.
“James is always tough and we’re both big guys as we’ll so it can be difficult,” said Mosaad.
“He’s a former no.1 and a top player but I’m happy with my performance today and to come through and get the win.
“I’ve been pushing hard this year and if you want to complete at this level you have to continually adapt and it has been working.”
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 (75m)