Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (72m)
A stellar performance from England’s Chris Simpson saw the World No.22 give tournament top seed and World No.4 Omar Mosaad a stern test during their first round encounter at the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic – with the 28-year-old putting in a performance of note despite coming out on the losing side.
An 18-minute opening game set the tone as Mosaad, showing signs of minor lethargy after his exploits in the recent Windy City Open and the transatlantic time-zone shift, got off to a stuttering start with Simpson playing composed and collected squash to maintain a slender lead throughout the majority of the game. The powerful man from Cairo dug into his reserves to mount a comeback and took a crucial rally at 11-11 to take the opening game from under Simpson’s nose.
With Simpson rattled from dropping the first Mosaad quickly extended his lead before Simpson responded in kind at the start of the third to take advantage of the big man’s tiring legs as he opening up a 5-0 lead. Mossad again discovered a second wind to come within one point but Simpson held firm to see it out and get his name of the scoresheet.
The Guernsey man looked like he could be en-route to forcing a decisive fifth as he clung to Mosaad, stepping up the court continually to pressure the play and force the game on Mosaad, but he couldn’t find the killer blow as the Egyptian stood firm to take the match in four.
A huge rally at 11-11 in the fifth game played a crucial role in the outcome of that game, and the match. Simpson had been a head but Mosaad put in a monster effort to force the error before takin the game just seconds later. With the big man from Cairo suffering from his exploits in Chicago and the effects of jet-lag, losing the first could have been the extra edge that Simpson needed in what was a compelling battle.
Shot of the Match
At 5-7 in the third game Mosaad, known for his hard-hitting slams, pulled off a perfect forehand volley drop at full extension, displaying perfect balance and technique in a wonderful execution of skill.
Omar Mosaad: “Of course I’m very happy to win today – I came here from Chicago a few days ago and I am feeling a little tired so I am happy to come through.
“Chris played very well today, especially in the first and third games. He is a hard player. I need to get through as easy as I can to save energy from Chicago and I tried hard to push so I’m really pleased to win and reach the quarter-finals for the second time.”
Chris Simpson: “I’ve felt good today like I have been feeling good for most of my PSA matches for the last 6 months.
“I feel I’m actually getting closer, without actually winning. It’s because players like Omar are classy players, and they have that little extra in their game.”