R3: 36m match for Mazen to oust Marwan

[9/16] Mazen Hesham (Egy) 3-1 [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 11-2, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)

What to say about the match. Four games in 36m. 5m, 7m, 11m and 7m. A lot of tins from Mazen, nothing new there, but on a cold court, his unpredictable shots were working wonders.

The player I call the Controller, Shorbagy Junior, was not controlling much today to be honest. Didn’t play first game, perfect in the second, then a good battle in the 3rd it seemed, but it became again onesided Mazen from mid game, 8/4, 10/5, 11/6. Marwan was working hard but was clipping the tin at the end of long, ridiculously fast and mad rallies.

Last game, he made his feeling towards the ref pretty clear “if it was the good decision, there wouldn’t be any arguing”, then went on ranting in Arabic (along with Mazen) after Marwan saw Mazen’s front left shot not up (so did I but what do I know).

All that led to being penalised with a conduct stroke for descent. It should have been 9/4 Mazen, it was then 10/4. One match ball saved, but still 11/5 Mazen.

Mazen :  Like our last match, it was a weird match [Pittsburgh Open back in Feb 2023, Mazen won 11-6, 11-8, 3-11, 2-11, 11-7 (52m)].

Marwan and I always seem to play with a lot of decisions. He was trying to come back from a bad season, like myself, which I think he did well in the second game and part of the third. But I guess you could see we are both mentally tired. So we had to dig deep mentally.

The match was never going to be long, win or lose.

I pushed at certain stages, crucial ones, I’m glad I managed, and it was important to keep me motivated.

Yes, I can be a bit too expressive at time. Being too emotional is not good, being too quiet and lazy is wrong, it’s a question of balance, pumping yourself up or on the contrary, calming yourself down.

I still get angry and excited sometimes, but I’m working on it. And I think that’s what I really need to work on, and improve. The mental side of things now that the fitness is getting better. Of course, you have to be careful not to play the shot too far and keep the injuries down.

But if your body is good, your mind is good, your squash will come for sure.