SF:  Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-2  Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 5-11, 11-5, 3-11, 13-11, 11-6 (68m)
I don’t get it. I truly don’t. I have known Marwan since he was 12. And what I see at the moment from the Controller is not what I know of him. He is playing the best squash of his life. Truly. He was reading Tarek’s game like a book. And to be truthful, he is maybe the best player in the world at this point in time.
So… What the heck?
I am sure, absolutely sure he knows in himself the ref doesn’t hate him. But it is exactly how Tarek said: what the heck happened? Marwan nearly put his elbow in Tarek’s face at some point for crying out loud! That’s not my Marwan. He’s always been streetwise, and I always accepted it. Because he was clever, and he was doing it with a cheeky smile and made you enjoy the ride. But that is not streetwise behaviour. This is self-destruct behaviour.
I hope that we get Marwan back. Cause I sure miss him.
“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.
“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.”
How it went, Steve C reports : Marwan took early charge of the match, controlling the first game and while Tarek levelled, that control seemed to have returned in the third. There were a few quibbles with the referee, but it was in the fourth that Marwan’s sense of victimisation by the referee really came to the fore.
He still managed to get two match balls – both of which he put into the tin early in the rally – and after losing that fourth the mental wheels really came off in the fifth and Tarek charged through to the final.