Tarek Momen (EGY) def Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-4 11-6 7-11 11-7 (43-min)
Good friends. Great squash. Tarek Momen and Mohamed Abouelghar are two of the quickest athletes on the PSA World Tour. They both have incredible reaction time and firmly believe they can get to any ball, from anywhere on the court…and often they do.
Abouelghar. Career High Ranking
24-year-old Mohamed Abouelghar comes into this year’s Qatar Classic with a career-high ranking of #13 in the World. Impressive, considering this time last year he was ranked outside the top-20. Last month, he started the new season by winning his 8th PSA Tour title at the Macau Open…without losing a single game. Two-years-ago here in Doha – as a qualifier – he upset former World #1 James Willstrop to reach the Round of 16.
Tarek “The Viper” Momen. 10th Qatar Classic
At 29-years-old, Tarek has won 4 PSA Tour titles – his last coming three years ago, also in Macau. A consistent Quarterfinalist, he’s kept his ranking inside the top-15 for 61 consecutive months. That makes all the difference in maintaining one’s match and recovery routine, avoiding the additional endurance needed to qualify for main draws. Last season, his consistency earned him three Finals appearances. In February, he won the Cambridge Cup, defeating Gregory Gaultier to reach the championship match.
This is Tarek’s 10th Qatar Classic. Doha’s glass court is where he earned the biggest win of his carer, defeating World #1 Nick Matthew in the Round of 16 at the 2011 Qatar Classic. It was the first time he and Matthew had ever played, and his Quarterfinal run that year annually fuels his confidence when he touches down at Hamad International.
It took Tarek Momen just four points to find his rhythm. Down 1-3 in game-1, he launched an attack and strung together points with ease, quickly earning the game 11-4. He was firmly in control in the second, as well – allowing Abouelghar only six points.
In game-3, Abouelghar took more risks, played to his strengths and shot ahead 8-3. While Momen made a late game charge, Mohamed extending the match with an 11-7 win.
Thankfully, Tarek’s sister Farah was in his corner, eyeing every point with hawkish precision. She pointed out that Tarek had dropped his intensity in the third and was leaving balls short. So he launched into game-4 with a determination play his “basic game”…and he tore it up. Tarek earned six unanswered points, then ultimately captured victory 11-7 on his third game ball. (FULL MATCH RECAP)
Tarek Momen: I can’t believe I’ve been coming here since 2007, nor that I will turn 30 next February! Last time I looked I was 21 and a spring chicken! I have still a few more years left in me, but time flies and I want to make the best out of it.
With a start like this against an incredibly fit opponent – someone familiar with his game – The Viper’s chances of going deep in Doha look strong.