World No.1 Ali Farag secured a quarter final berth at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open following a hard-fought 3-0 victory over compatriot and World No.21 Mazen Hesham in Cairo.
Farag was completely in control in the first game as he set the tempo of the match and took advantage of errors from Hesham to claim the opener.
Hesham, who has been plagued with injury throughout the last few years of his career, came back strongly in the second to play with maturity as he forced Farag to change his tactics to double his advantage.
The World No.1 then ensured a safe passage through as he conquered his compatriot, 11-7, in the third and will now face England’s Daryl Selby for a place in the semi-final after the Englishman defeated Chris Simpson earlier in the day.
Absolute scandal from
Thesquashfalcon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SquashByThePyramids?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SquashByThePyramids</a> <a href="https://t.co/mZkpU2886O">pic.twitter.com/mZkpU2886O</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) October 27, 2019
“When you play with Mazen you don’t want to get into his shot making game plan,” said World No.1 Farag afterwards.
“But at the same time when you put him in the back two corners then you are being passive with your movement, he kills you. I lost this balance in the second because of him, not being of my energy or anything. He forced me to hit it to the back two corners with his deep hitting. When I was 7-3 down, I thought at least put some work into his legs and if it doesn’t pay off by winning the game then it will at least pay off as the match goes on.
“All draws are tough, but to draw Omar Mosaad in the first round and then Mazen in the second it is probably one of the toughest draws you can get at the moment. To be through is a great feeling, but to be through in three is obviously a huge bonus.
“I played Daryl [Selby] last week at the U.S. Open and he has got so much experience under his belt and he knows how to mix the pace really well. Thankfully I have a day off tomorrow and hopefully I will rest up and be ready for Tuesday.”
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (42m)