Eain Yow Ng saves match balls in the fifth to reverse last month’s defeat to Miguel Rodriguez in Hull in another thriller
[9/16] Eain Yow Ng (Mas) 3-2 [9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 5-11, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10 (81m)
“No way, No Way”
I’m going to give you a little summary of the match, but one thing first. As I was watching those two incredible fair, intense, talented gladiators, in a club in the middle of the desert, with only a few authorised staff watching, with the match being shown for free by PSA on Facebook – that’s such a huge bonus for democratising the game – I felt the emotion going to my throat. We are incredibly lucky to see such intensity, such high quality entertainment, produced by incredible athletes, and you know what, fork those who do not want to support us or don’t feel we are adding value to their games – you know who I mean. Fork all of them. We have the best athletes in the world.
The whole match was of an incredible intensity, with Miguel playing at his best level, moving extremely well, finding some superb short shots and counter attacks. As for my little Smiling Ninja, he reminds me more and more of Ali Farag in his calm construction of rallies, low percentage squash, keeping a maximum of pressure on your opponent with a minimum energy waste.
The 5th is a classic, with nerves starting to show at the start, both making a few unforced errors. But from 3/3 to 8/8, not a point between them. Then Yow showing finally his youth, making a tired wrong long drop shot ending in the tin then another tin on the following serve. 10/8 match ball.
Then out of the blue, whereas he didn’t take any real risk the whole match, the Smiling Ninja went for long drop shots. At 8/10 down ball ball. And it worked. On Miguel’s tired quads, it forced the Colombian to be just a bit late on the ball, and not able to put as much pressure on his opponent he was able to do before that.
Yow forced the decider with panache, leaving Miguel flat on his stomach, requiring the poor cleaner to work extra hard to make the court playable again, bless him. Another two extraordinary rallies, I mean just watch the replay on SquashTV.
Finishing with like I said, Yow, having beaten both Raging Bull and Cannonball in the space of 24h going “no way, no way”….
I am sooo proud to be involved in the best sport in the world.
Eain Yow : You know I felt that the top guys were taking their space against me, maybe I was backing off too much. And after that, I got too aggressive, in some ways, I was arguing, trying to get in the way, and I was thinking, ‘Yow, that’s not me’. And now I believe I found the balance: I’m relaxed, if I need to, I’ll take my space, and I’m not afraid of you coming up to me. I play fair, I’m playing my game, standing my ground, but if I need to be tough, I’ll be tough.
About three weeks ago, we were playing at the British, we had a massive match, 100m, in the middle of the 4th, he cramped, at the end of the 4th I fully cramped, still won the game and in the fifth, 4/2, fully cramped.
And today I was thinking, it’s the same, and there was a bit of those fears at the start. The first game you could see I was in my shell, I was a bit scared, going too long, so I wasn’t fighting for every point.
10/8 match ball down, if you ask me how I won it, I have no idea. I just somehow won it. I was lying down on the floor at the end thinking to myself, no way, no way.
People who know me, my team, they know how hard I’ve been working over the last few years. Coming from wining the world juniors, I wasn’t coming up as fast as I wanted to, the people close to me know how bad I was struggling with that.
But this year, after being away from my family for a whole year, based in Bristol, it’s starting to pay off. The two Shorbagy brothers toughen me up, and the reward is maybe a chance to play with Mohamed in the next round.
Zahed Salem (Egy) 3-1 Shahjahan Khan (Usa) 11-13, 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (42m)
Zahed Salem comes from a game down to claim the first men’s quarter-final spot
Shah : I had a good start, I was in confidence in the first game, putting everything to it, but then at the end of the first game, I felt something was not right in my ankle, and I kind of lost track in the second game, you can see the score was very bad.
When I regrouped and got back in the match in the 4th, I got the momentum again and I fought but all credit to Zahed, he took the opportunity, and he wheeled it, he was the better player today.
Zahed : Today, I was not giving up, I was pushing. Like I said yesterday, off the courts for 2 months, I see that Dessouky retired yesterday, I feel sorry for him, I know what it is to be injured, and I hope he’ll recover soon. But this was a good opportunity for me to get to the quarters of a Platinium.
But now, Shah is a tough player, it’s never easy when you play against a lower ranked player. So, you should focus and respect him, and that’s what I did today. You cannot take it easy or anything of the kind.
I was so concentrated from the beginning. I made a few errors in the opener, at the end, but I didn’t give up, I told myself ‘you need to get your confidence back and this match will give you that confidence back, especially reaching the quarters for the second time for me’.
I managed to play the next three points very concentrated, going to the ball and not giving him too much time to recover. Glad it worked well.
I played once at the Pyramids in 2016 quarters but I lost twice in the first row of the Egyptian Open after that, so so glad to be back on there, and for a quarters of a major event.