Egypt’s reigning World Champion Tarek Momen was on his metal to come from one game down against World No.8 Marwan ElShorbagy and book his place in the last 16 of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
The two players are heavyweights of the men’s PSA World Tour and have met six times previously, with Momen taking five wins and fresh off the back from helping Egypt retain the WSF Men’s World Team Championship trophy, Momen was once again on top form to survive a tricky last 32 clash.
ElShorbagy took a narrow first game, before a crucial second went in the favour of Momen which set up the platform for his victory as the two players battled it out in a titanic tussle which went all the way to 16-14 on the tie-break.
From that moment on the momentum stayed in the favour of the World No.3 as he took advantage of a fatigued ElShorbagy to claim the third, before securing his victory in the fourth.
Momen will go onto face Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng for a place in the quarter finals.
“There were a lot of nerves involved,” said Momen. “It’s really unfair for either of us to leave the tournament this early. There is a claim that it makes it interesting from the first day, it is interesting for the people, but it’s so harsh on any of us that are put in this situation.
“This is the third year in a row where I get to play the World No.9 in the first round. It puts a lot of pressure on me coming to New York every time to play a tough competitor in the first round.
“Despite what happened on court, me and Marwan are really good friends. It’s a bit unfortunate that we got a bit nervous and a few rallies were a bit scrappy but overall I think it was highly contested. The second game was crucial for me because I was almost 2-0 down, and that really helped me to get the win today and live to fight another day.”
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 16-14, 11-7, 11-9 (56m)