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Tarek Momen looks out to the adoring crowd after his semi-final win over Marwan ElShorbagy

CIB Egyptian Open SFs: Momen Downs ElShorbagy In Fractious Affair

Reigning World Champion Tarek Momen is through to the final of the CIB Egyptian Open after coming through a war of attrition against Marwan ElShorbagy, winning out in five games in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The pair had met eight times on the PSA World Tour before, with ‘the Viper’ holding the 7-1 advantage, but it was ElShorbagy that came out the stranger of the two and raced into a one-game lead in under ten minutes.

However, from then on, the match became tense and fractured. The World No.4 was able to fight his way back into the contest by winning the second game 11-6, but then seemed to lose concentration in the third, allowing ‘the Jackal’ to resetablish his lead in the match.

The match showed glimpses of turning into a high-quality affair in the latter stages but was often marred by repeated arguments with the referee as well as multiple video reviews. This came to a head at the start of the fourth game, as Momen was awarded a conduct stroke due to ElShorbagy’s reactions towards the referee.

From then on, Momen had the momentum, as the World No.7, last week’s CIB PSA World Tour Finals winner, seemed to lose his head, and he became more argumentative in the latter stages of the contest. ‘The Viper’ won the clash after 68 minutes, and booked his place in the final against Ali Farag on Saturday evening.

“I really don’t know what to say. Marwan is a great guy and I have known him forever and he has always been a good friend,” Momen said.

“I just don’t understand what was happening today. He just seemed to be so irritated from the very beginning, and I am not sure if he had an issue with the ref but he was very angry and this anger just started to transform into aggression on court. I am sure he is just trying to win and he is just trying to play his own game.

“I knew today was not going to be easy and I knew I was going to have to be very calm. This is the only positive out of today, I am happy with the way I held my nerves because that was a real challenge with everything going on. I hope he is okay and I really don’t know what to say, I am just shocked with the whole experience.

“I am over the moon. This is my first time to play a final in Egypt, finally! I finally made it to the last day of an event in Cairo and it is an achievement for me. Ali is a good friend and I hope we put on a good show for everyone and they enjoy it.”

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 11-6, 3-11, 13-11, 11-6 (68m)

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