Tarek in 5 against Diego

QF: 3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2 [5] Diego Elias (PER)  7-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 (89m)

Tarek was not at his best today we are told, probably a bit of food poisoning, stomach cramps. But as he stressed in his aftermatch interview, that’s no excuse, and he fought a tough opponent.

I loved watching Diego tonight. I love his game, and although he is not as fit he would like/should be probably, he is such an entertainer. Love the way he goes out to pick up the ball that slowly the crowd got involved bless them, or how he is suddenly so keen to learn how to sweep when he needs the air. He does it with grace, flair, you know he is doing it, and still, you can’t help smiling…

We had two artists on tonight, both of them loving to punish those front corners, both volleying as soon as fast as often as possible, both so fast side to side in particular, able to put so many pressure at the back of the court, and recycle a sublime “winner” by another even more winner.

First game, Tarek just not there – probably the cramps – and it’s 7/1 up for the Peruvian, and even if the Momenator claws back to 7/9, he is playing catch up and it’s Diego in 17m of ridiculous hard work from both.

The second is much closer, 3/3, 5/5, and some extremely clever squash from Tarek who forces Diego to pick up numerous boasts and volley drop shots, getting the reward mid game, a few errors, and the Egyptian levels 1/1 11/7 from 10/5 in 14m.

If Tarek made 5 errors that second game, he’ll make 6 in the third, coupled with giving away 2 strokes. A funny moment in that game at 4/2 Diego, Tarek asks for a let, he is awarded a stroke, only to be told by the official that in fact, it’s mean no let, and that Diego has won the point.

Are you confused? We certainly were, even Diego bless him was and asked what was going on? “you won the rally” replied the ref. “But I would like to understand…” “Play on”. There you go.

If the 3rd went to Diego 11/4, the game was still pretty long, 15m, same length for the following one, but reverse result, 11/6 for the Egyptian.

A good battle in the fifth, with again some ridiculous rallies, with the court as big as a football pitch, from 2/2 it’s 7/3 for Tarek, 9/5, and game/match on his first attempt for the World Champ, 11/7, 21m….



“I don’t think I enjoyed my experience today on court but I am very proud with the way I fought. Throughout the whole match, I kept fighting, whether I am in pain or not it is irrelevant. It is all about what is happening on court and I just get it my all. It was a very tough match and he is just so talented, so tough to beat, so to get a win today is such a privilege in front of my home crowd.

“I need to check what I had for lunch to make sure I don’t have it again. That is the main issue, but I am okay. It was a bit painful but nothing to take away from the way I played. It was a hard-fought match and I cannot make any excuses. I won’t 3-2 against a very tough opponent and that is it.”