Just two weeks after their pulsating five-game battle in the final of the U.S. Open presented by Truist, Egypt’s Mostafa Asal and Tarek Momen will face off in the quarter-finals of the Qatar QTerminals Classic.
In that contest at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia, Momen held a two-game advantage but the ‘Raging Bull’ came fighting back to claim his a major title, winning the match 3-2. They will meet again in the last eight of the PSA Platinum level tournament in Doha this week.
World No.4 Momen made his way through to the final after a rapid-fire 29-minute clash with England’s Tom Richards, one which saw quick rally after quick rally with plenty of winners and unforced errors across the three games.
The pair had previously met six times with ‘the Viper’ having won five of those, but in each of those wins, the Englishman had taken a game. However, that was not to continue in this contest.
The majority of the action took place in the front of the court and Richards was close to taking both of the opening two games, only for Momen to find that extra bit of quality to build up a 2-0 lead. ‘The Viper’ made no mistake in the third game, taking it 11-5 to continue his run in Doha, the scene of his PSA World Championships victory two years ago.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I knew Tom is capable of giving me a hard time on court,” said Momen.
“He did today, he played really well. I can’t say I’m really happy with my performance today, I’m not so pleased with it, but I’m happy I got through in three games.
“I remember in the last 16 [of the World Championships he won] I almost got knocked out by Abdulla Al Tamimi. It wasn’t a smooth ride to the final but I felt like we were a bit unlucky with the ball today, we played with the worst ball that was ever made. We both had to deal with it and he managed to adapt a bit better, but towards the end of each game I managed to close it out.
“I’m expecting a tough one [against Asal]. Two weeks ago I had the right tactics and I was just a bit unlucky not being able to close it out in the end. I’m hoping to repeat my performance again and I’ll try to get through this time and get the win.”
Momen will face compatriot Mostafa Asal in the last eight after the World No.9 came through against another Egyptian, in Youssef Ibrahim, with the latter having to retire from their third round match through injury.
The match was shaping up to be a captivating affair, with Asal prevailing in a 33-minute first game on the tie-break. Soliman received some treatment from the physio in between game-breaks, but did not look himself as the match went on.
The World No.19 continued into the second game, and had his chances to push Asal all the way, but the ‘Raging Bull’ was able to take it, while Soliman constantly tried to keep the pressure off his injured hamstring.
The match ended prematurely in the third game as Soliman shook hands with Asal, unable to continue through the injury. The World No.9 continues his unbeaten run, stretching it to seven matches, going back to the start of his campaign in Philadelphia.
Fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar also made his way through to the quarter-finals in Doha, reaching the last eight of a Platinum event for the first time since the British Open in 2019. He defeated Adrian Waller, and will now face New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll in the quarters, after the Kiwi got the better of France’s Baptiste Masotti.
The quarter-finals of the Qatar QTerminals Classic take place tomorrow with play starting at 15:00 (GMT+3) at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
Results – Third Round (Bottom Half): Qatar QTerminals Classic 2021
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 13-11, 11-5 (29m)
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-8, 2-1 rtd (52m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 (27m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (48m)
Quarter-Final Draw: To Be Played October 21st
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v  Joel Makin (WAL)
 Diego Elias (PER) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Mostafa Asal (EGY)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)