Ali, finally at the Pyramids, Tarek, flat…

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0 [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (48m)

Tarek was as flat as a baladi bread tonight – for those of you who never came to this part of the world, it’s like a double pancake…. Let’s not take away anything from Ali, who’s been through the mill for a year now.

A few people will remember that it was here, exactly a year ago, that his little nephew Ali got suddenly very ill, and consequently passed away. This event was always going to be very difficult from an emotional point of view the Farag Family, and it is incredible how they all got through the horrific loss and saw Elhamdoulillah some light at the end of the dark  tunnel, as a little girl was born a few days ago…

First game was a good start for Ali, 4/2, but a very positive Tarek, finding some feathery volley drop shots to push a bit his opponent to the front, but a bit of lack of accuracy at the middle of the game, 6/6, and Ali takes the lead, 9/6, 10/7, 11/8 in 13m.

The next two games will be as long, 11 and 12 minutes, Tarek never gave up trying, but there was no doubt who the winner was going to be….

At the end, Ali got out of court, burst into tears, and was then reunited with his mum, an emotional embrace followed, not a dry eye in the crowd. “Un Ange est passé”.


I definitely had a great week, despite today’s result. I used to come here when I was a kid, and when I was top 10, I was supposed to make it to the Pyramids, but I used to lose early on in the tournament, and I usually come and support my wife in her final matches. So this year, for the first time, the rules are reversed, she is the one whose come to support me today, and the one playing…

The final matches do not depend only on what happens on the day, you sort of invest in the whole week, and whoever is the more economical with their efforts, the ones that are going to be more fresh have an advantage on that day.

Well, Ali was really economical this week, he put on some clinical performances the whole week and managed to dispatch his opponents a bit easier than I did. I struggled a bit yesterday and the day before.

Today I knew I had to be sharp from the very beginning to even have a chance. I think I pushed hard in that first game, it was entertaining, but then, you know the slope, it just went down!

I’m a bit sorry for that, because I wanted to put up a good show for everyone, but I truly did my best, and I think I’m proud with my week overall.

I have to thank the main sponsor CIB, who is also my sponsor, for their efforts, for everything they’ve done for us, for the last few years. Squash would never be in that position with all those great players who are coming up, without the support of CIB. Thank you so much.

My sponsors as well, Harrow Sports, for their support for many years now. My home club, Gezira Club, and everyone that has worked, volunteered to make this event possible.

A big thank you to PSA for organising this event, without their effort, we would still be at home, waiting for the Corona virus pandemic to be over… We had tough 6 months not playing, and we really appreciate the efforts to get us back.

Hope to see you next year…


“It was pretty emotional you know. What an occasion to be able to capture here. As I have said after every match, we have always dreamt of being on such a stage in front of the pyramids and to be able to win it at the third time of trying, it is an amazing feeling.

“Especially coming up against one of the greatest players on tour at the moment in Tarek. You saw how gracious he is and how much of a role model for our sport that he is so I couldn’t be prouder to share the court with him.

“I think I am talking on behalf of the crowd, the players, the PSA. I would like to thank CIB endlessly to help bring the tour back, and everyone there is supporting us. Hussain Abaza is our godfather really. He is the main support, I can’t tell you the amount of times he picks up the phone to support us. I have knocked on his door for any kind of advice and I am forever grateful, so thank you, and thank you to CIB for being the main sponsor. Also, thank you to Amr Mansi and iEvents for the efforts. The PSA are also doing an amazing job in these tricky times.

“I am going to bore you guys, but I have so many people to thank. My wife, she is unbelievable you know, she is one of a kind. She never ceases to support me! My parents, I always say how big of a deal my mum is, but I don’t think I give my dad enough credit. He is the pillar of the family and he is always there. He is one of a kind as well. My elder brother Wael, everyone knows how much he means to me and how much of a role model he is to me so I am forever grateful.

“My coaches, including Karim Darwish, who is a former World No.1 and he played on this court. I didn’t have the best start of the season and he was always checking on me, supporting me and having faith in me so thank you so much Karim. Thanks to my fitness coach, Hossam Shaddad, my club Wadi Degla and my new sponsor, Etisalat Sports.