Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2 Mazen Hesham (EGY) 11-8, 11-7, 3-11, 9-11, 11-7 (78m)
Shootout at OK St George’s….
Both of them love attacking, we are talking serious attacking, from anywhere on the court. But both can also string tins like necklaces of pearls…
First and second game, Abou splendid, controlling – if we can call it that – the rallies and containing Mazen as much as humanly possible. A little wobble at the end of the opener, 10/4 Abou, with the nicks coming from all angles from Mazen’s racquet, but the Bullet finally closes it down 11/8, 16m. And if Mazen takes a good start in the second, 3/0, we are all levelled at 5/5, and it’s Abou again on top, 8/5 11/7 in 15m.
Abou just seems extremely tired in the third, Mazen bursting with energy, 6/0, 7/1 11/3 in 10m. But when Abou lead 9/5 in the fourth, we think the end is near. Tins appear out of nowhere at the end of the game, and six points later, it’s Amazing Mazen that forces a decider, 11/9 in 15m.
Injury break at the point for Mazen, which allows Abou to recover – he looked very tired at the end of the 4th… And it’s as fresh as a rose that he stars the last one.3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6. Very quickly, Abou shoots winners and although he tins one match ball, he finishes it 11/7 in 13m.
We are in the same age group and I have grown up playing Mazen. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played him, but it doesn’t matter how many times we play every time is different and you never know what he is up to. You still can’t read him even if you play him 100 times.
I think I had a good start going 2-0 up and then I think I lost my length a little bit and he took advantage of it with his unbelievable skills and he made it really hard for me to get that momentum back.
It’s very difficult to read Mazen’s shots, you have to be on your toes constantly, and weather the storm a bit, be patient, until it goes away, and until you find some rhythm again…
So after the 4th, I told myself you are 2/2, might as well give it everything you have and go for it, and see where it takes you! We were very close up to 6/6, and I think I surprised him there when I went for my shots, I think he was expecting me to go for long rallies. I won three quick rallies and that gave me my confidence back.
I’m unbelievably happy to win that one…