Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-2 Youssef Ibrahim (Egy) 11-9, 15-17, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9 (80m)
I came back from my surgery very slowly, I was still in a lot of pain in the last tournaments I played. After the BritishOpen, I took three weeks to prepare for this tournament and I was really excited to play against Mostafa.
Now, I’m very sad because it’s the end of the season, and I’m finally getting going!
I feel I’m finally able to move without pain, and it’s sad because I feel that I’m finally reaching my level again.
The match was tough, Mostafa was playing very well, a lot of bumping but you just got to get through that. I pushed mentally, but I think that in the crucial points, I missed a bit of match fitness, I hadn’t played that kind of matches for a while but all credit to Mostafa.
Just sad it’s the end of the season!
The Egyptian also discusses what it is like to play as defending champ 🏆⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dSJWyCgxPy
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“It was a really difficult match. To be defending champion of the tournament is difficult. It’s so risky when you play one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen. Since we were juniors he was like an idol for me and we were always sharing rooms as juniors in the World Championship juniors or British Open juniors.
We are so close to each other, he went to study in the States and he’s such an amazing character. Today was all about respect between me and him. It was a 3-2 in good spirit in the right way. I hope everyone who watched this match enjoyed it. This match should be later in the tournament rather than the early rounds on SQUASHTV on the glass court. I’m so happy to win today.
“It’s different vibes coming into a tournament as defending champion. You’re imagining yourself holding the title again. Last year I won El Gouna and World Tour Finals so it was a good season for me. I think it’s better than this season despite reaching World No.1. I’m so glad I got through against a really talented player. If we both stay injury free, we could dominate the sport.”