QF: Mostafa Asal 3-1 Mazen Hesham

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1 [6] Mazen Hesham (EGY)  11-4, 2-11, 11-8, 11-3 (58m)

Next opponent: Paul Coll

World No.3 Mostafa Asal has advanced to the semi-finals of the sport’s biggest tournament for a third successive year after he defeated World No.6 Mazen Hesham in the final of tonight’s two matches at the Palm Hills Club.

Asal, who lost to Hesham in their last meeting at January’s Houston Open, raced out of the blocks, playing the scintillating, hard-hitting style he is synonymous with and Hesham had little to answer with as the higher-ranked man went a game ahead.

If the first game showcased Asal’s talents, the second game saw Hesham prove he has considerable racket skills, too, as he nullified Asal and hit a host of winners to draw level. Asal refocused and took a crucial third game, before pulling away to victory in game four to set up a semi-final battle with No.2 seed Paul Coll.

Mostafa :  “It’s really difficult to play Mazen, it’s a nightmare. He’s playing really well and beating most of the top guys. I got the win today and I’m very pleased with this because I lost last time we played in Houston and it was very tough, I lost 3-2. You can never expect what’s going to happen on court with his nicks and everything, so when I play with Mazen I have many game plans in my mind.

“I’m trying to hit my width and not give him so many opportunities. If you are fit or getting the balls he still has many winners. I tried to be calm, hit my targets and it was very solid today.

“I didn’t see the match between Coll and ElShorbagy] because I was warming up. Paul is in amazing form, but playing him in Egypt is different. He beat me the last three times, and he was very solid, so all credit to him in these matches.

“I’ll have the advantage in Egypt, the crowd will be with me, and I’m going to go for it.”