Momen wins channel VAS Championships to end trophy drought
World No.4 Tarek Momen has ended a four-year trophy drought after beating fellow Egyptian Ali Farag 3-2 to win the channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill, PSA World Tour Gold event held in Weybridge.
Momen had been in brilliant form throughout the tournament – dispatching Cameron Pilley, Paul Coll and Diego Elias without dropping a single game – and was up against the 2017 runner-up in Farag.
Momen was also a beaten finalist at this tournament, losing to Coll in 2016, and he twice went a game behind against the World No.2 today, but fought back both times to force a decider as he played some accurate, attacking squash.
The drama inside St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club rose to a crescendo in the fifth as Momen thought he had won it after playing a winner while holding a championship ball. Farag questioned whether the ball had clipped the tin, and Momen agreed to play a let to put his title win on temporary hold.
But the 30-year-old held his nerve to close out the win on the very next point as he completed an 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9 victory to capture the fifth PSA Tour trophy of his career, and his first since the Macau Open in October 2014.
“I can’t believe it, it’s been four years since I won a title,” said an emotional Momen afterwards.
“It’s the biggest of my career and I’m really proud of this moment. As for Ali, I have the utmost respect for him, he’s a really good friend of mine. We’ve been away for a month and each of us has won a title, so we should be fine going back home.
“Putting everything aside, I’m really happy with how I’ve progressed mentally over the past year and a half. I used to give up when I was really tired, now I’m much better at it. I can be exhausted, but I can still push and find other plans.”