R3:Tarek 3-1 Leonel

[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1 Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 (48m)

A very strong statement I thought from the Mexican today. Backing up his 5 games win against the Golden Tiger Joel Makin yesterday was going to be tough but he managed to do it for 3 and a half games today I felt.

Apart from a first where his attacking shots were finding the tin (5 times), Tarek was very comfortable with his squash today, and fluid in his movement. With his coach Omar Abdel Aziz watching, along with pregnant Raneem and their son Shahir – Shisho, the Momenator twisted and turned the poor Leonel who eventually got tired at the end of the fourth, from 5/5.

A very good tactical match from the Egyptian, but I feel Leonel is going to become a threat to the top 5 very soon if he keeps his progression…

Tarek : I have to know how to deal with those tough players that keep sending everything back, Miguel, Leonel, it’s a good practice for me.

I’m trying to build my confidence back, as I told you yesterday, getting back to the way I used to play, and maybe even better than that.

I felt I was a bit flat in the first game. I didn’t have the worst basic game, I was getting some good length and crosscourts but when it came to the finishing touch, I didn’t get the feel of the ball I’m used to, and I had maybe 5 or 6 errors from easy positions.

On the other hand, he was up for it from the very beginning, which made it a little bit more difficult. So on the second game, I had to be more confident, go for my shots and try to get a bit sharper. I didn’t want to turn into a passive player, scared of going for my shots, and just playing to the back. I wanted to get those shots in.

Thankfully, from the second game, I started onto the volley a bit earlier, took the ball earlier, and executed the shots better, applying more pressure. And when I got the chance, I really went for it, with no hesitation.

And it went well. I’m happy with the way I played.