SF: Ali 3-0 Tarek

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0 [8] Tarek Momen (EGY)  11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (47m)

Tarek will be unhappy with the result – in particular the 3rd, he felt at some point unfair decisions from the video ref, he asked who it was “it’s not relevant at this point” stressed the main ref. I think Tarek suspects one of the ref is not that favourable to him. True or false, that’s not the point, what matters is what Tarek feels the reality is.

The first game was magnificent from Tarek. Like Karim yesterday against Paul, it was a joy watching him being so relax and calm, patient, accepting the rallies as he trusted his physical prep, he worked extremely hard during Ramadan after his foot injury.

A very high quality game, not a single error from Ali, only one from Tarek, but it’s Ali that gets the points at the end of very long rallies, 11-6 in 17 m of hard work on a pretty warm court.

Ali seems in control in the second, well until the middle of the game that it, 6/3, three unforced errors get Tarek back in the game, 6/6. At 8/6, a hit on Tarek’s eyebrown stops the game for a few seconds, but the Momenator “a la tête dure”, tough cookie Tarek is. Ali, after feeling very embarrassed having hit his mate – those two are very close – puts it out of his mind, and gets the oh so important second game 11/8.

Another very hard game, 15m, 4 errors Ali, 9 winners, Tarek only 2 errors, 4 winners.

The third is too onesided for Tarek to have any influence of the game, 3/1, 8/2, 11/4, errors have crept in for the Momentor, and Ali will be pleased with another 3/0 against yet another very dangerous opponent.


“He didn’t give an inch, except maybe a little at the mid-stage of the third. The first game was the best we’ve played against each other for a long time.

“The tussle for the T was really tough. He was using different heights, paces and angles to get me off the T and I tried to match him. Both of us were really tuned into it until at 5-4 I got a stroke and a tin and that made the difference a bit.

“The ball softened in the second and I took advantage all the way to 6-3 until we had a stoppage for review. I hit three tins, the first was silly and the other two were the right shots but I had to reset.

“In the third, at 2-0 after two tough games I had momentum and took advantage of it.”

On whether his dominant record against Momen affected his preparation, Farag said: “It kept me very much on my guard. Maybe I’ve beaten Tarek more than he beat me but every match with him is this hard, or harder. If you switch off for a second he gains advantage and you’re on the back foot. I had to be focused from the beginning and had a good gameplan with Karim Darwish and he fired me up again after the emotions of the quarter-final.

“I’m sure Mostafa and Karim will challenge each other in the other men’s semi-final. They’re both brilliant, as we saw in Black Ball and last night.”

On reaching the final of every event he’s played this season, Farag said:

“I rate it very highly. I’m very grateful and as we say, it takes a village. It starts with Karim, my family, parents and Nour, Hossam Shaddad my fitness trainer.

But one guy sitting right here is Dr. Ahmed Seif. This time last year I wasn’t even sure if my knee was going to hold up. I’d play a match and it would get sore the next day. It’s one thing to get through an injury and another to get stronger after and not have to think about it anymore. Thanks to him and Dr. Heiss in Egypt, they’ve done an incredible job and now I play pain free and am free in my headspace and hopefully I can keep on going!”