R1: Ali Farag 3-1 Todd Harrity

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1 Todd Harrity (USA)  8-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-5 (38m)


Todd : I figured I’m playing the world number one, there is nothing to lose. And sometimes when you are playing the top players, there is no choice than to play well.

I went on the court thinking to be super sharp, very clinical, really tight, tight drives, wide crosscourts, anything I can to keep him behind me. Because if he gets in front of me, that’s it, lights out, game over.

I was really sharp at the start, I couldn’t believe it. I played well and he was a bit sloppy. I went up 7/0 and then after that, he kicked into gear and started playing really well. It was tough to win points after that.

But I’m really happy with the way I played today, even when I was getting crushed after the third game, I thought don’t get down on yourself, don’t just go away and give up, getting beyond moppy and everything, stay with it and managed to get a few more points in the 4th game, and I definitely learned a lot today.

Ali :  “I’m not sure if it was a slow start or an immaculate start from his side. Yesterday the court conditions were completely different, it was windy and a lot colder than today. I hit the ball the same way today and it sat up big time because it was warmer. He adapted much better and then starting from 6-0 down I got into the groove.

“I was standing in front of him for most of the game but I wasn’t using the front two corners until I got used to the court. When you give someone of Todd’s calibre a 6-0 headstart it’s very hard to comeback, but I think I used that momentum all the way to the end.

“Karim Darwish told me not to take any risks and to find my weight of shot. I think it was Amr Shabana who told me when I first started on the tour to take the game into stages, start with length hitting first, hit the back corners with angles, and then go to the front corners. I had Shabana’s and Darwish’s advice, so it couldn’t get any better.

“There is pressure, you play this sport because you want to achieve the pinnacle of it, and the World Champs is that. I want to win it, but not any more than any other player, so it’s a good kind of pressure and I hope I can take it positively into the next match.”