Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1  Joel Makin (WAL) 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (73m)
In the last match of the night at the Club S Allegria in Cairo, 2019 World Champion Tarek Momen fought back from behind to overcome Manchester Open winner Joel Makin in a tough four-game battle.
The Egyptian came into the contest having won the last four meetings between the pair, with the last of those being an 83-minute five-game encounter in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open presented by Truist in 2021. It was the ‘Golden Tiger’ who took the first, in what was a tight and tactical battle, but Momen bounced back to claim a lengthy second game, giving him the momentum in the contest.
Momen, who claimed the World Championship crown in Doha in 2019, then won the third game comfortably, but after Makin asked for a new ball at the start of the fourth, things changed somewhat. The Welshman looked like he was back in the contest, but the World No.6 eventually got through the match to take the win, advancing to the last eight of the sport’s premiere event.
Tarek Momen has ice in his veins! ❄️
An inch-perfect shot by @TkMomen brings a brutal rally to an end! 👏
A wonderful contest is going on in the third round of the #PSAWorldChamps! pic.twitter.com/3KC2bjNm7r
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) May 17, 2022
“I can’t lie, I was nervous before, because I knew I was in for a tough one. The conditions at the beginning, they were a bit tough and the ball was a bit bouncy. I was thinking where I could place the ball so he wouldn’t retrieve it. He retrieves very difficult shots easily, so imagine I couldn’t even hit those difficult shots because the ball was bouncing so high!
“It was a tough one for me mentally! I lost the first game very close, and then he went up in the second game 9-8 and he was very close of getting to 2-0 up. I had to dig really deep so I am proud of how I fought today because, as you said, I have always played tough matches against Joel, I don’t think we have ever had an easy one. Today was no different, and I am so glad I got the win today.
“Obviously, the second game was so crucial, I didn’t want him to go 2-0 up. When I managed to sneak that one, I had an advantage in the third because the ball was dying. I knew it would be in my favour, the ball would bounce so much lower so I knew I could use my shots, my attacking game to the front and if I didn’t hit the tin, it would go in my favour.
“I knew, 100%, that he would change the ball after the third so I tried to prepare myself mentally to regroup, and get ready for another game with longer rallies. Thankfully I managed to do that and I am really pleased with how it went!”