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Tarek Momen celebrates his victory in the last eight in Cairo

CIB Black Ball Open QFs: Momen Downs Makin In Tough Clash

In the final clash of the evening, reigning World Champion Tarek Momen overcame Welshman Joel Makin in straight games, with the final game lasting for what seemed like an eternity.

The pair had met five times on the PSA World Tour before, with Momen holding a 3-2 advantage, but the Welshman had also scored a big win over the World No.3 whilst playing for his country at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in Washington, D.C. twelve months ago.

The first game was tight to start with, but once Momen found his lines, he became almost unplayable, and for the next game and a half, the ‘Golden Tiger’ could do nothing about it, going down 2-0 with scoreline of 11-7 and a shocking 11-2 in the second.

Despite the majority of his energy levels having been spent in his second round match with England’s James Willstrop just 24 hours earlier, Makin was able to dig deep to send the third into a tie-break, saving a couple of match balls in the process.

There was drama galore in that third game, with a power outage at 9-9, which saw a loss of video review, before a lengthy tie-break which lasted almost ten minutes. In the end, though, after saving several game balls, Momen closed out the victory, booking his place in the last four.

“I honestly thought I was going to get away with an easy win today. I played some of the best squash I have played this season for the whole match,” Momen said.

“At 7-4 up in the third, I knew he had the potential and the ability to come back and I was really trying to close it out. He just turned on a second engine and started picking up everything I was throwing at him.

“I made a few errors but not too many. Today was one of the few matches that I have made very few errors in the whole match. In the end, he forced me to make a few mistakes with all the pick-ups and the shots he was making. I am very pleased to win that third game 16-14. I really didn’t want to play another game. I want to be a bit economic with my energy spend and yeah, I am pleased!

“That game probably served me well. Sometimes, you are flying on court and you have a really good day and everything works your way. You might then show up the next day a bit flat so I am happy that this happened and I had to push myself so that I can, at least mentally, be as sharp as I can tomorrow and I think it worked for the best for me today.”

[2] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [7] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 16-14 (52m)

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