Tarek Momen (E-GY) 3-1 Raphael Kandra (GER) 12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 (52m)
That was definitely a banana skin for the second seed and world number 3. Tarek must have lost of a bit of confidence as he was ousted in the Egyptian Open R1 by Joel Makin. And we all know how well Rafi is playing at the moment, and the scalps he took lately.
First game though, he had a huge chance as he was up 10/7, but couldn’t stop the Egyptian return, wining the next 5 points 12/10 in 14m.
The second was close up to the end, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8; 9/9, game ball Tarek, but it’s the German that closes it out, 12/10 in 12m.
Third is the turning point. 4/4, it’s anybody’s, still, Tarek finds his exquisite feathery winners – and making the court very big for the German, 8/4, 10/6, 11/7 in 11m.
Rafi paid the price for the work produced in the 4th, 9m and it’s 11/4 for the Egyptian, only too happy to close it in 4….
“It gets more difficult every time because he plays me a lot, he studies me, he knows what he did wrong, and then he tries to correct what happened, so he comes up with a better plan every time,” said Momen, who reached the final of the 2017 Qatar Classic.
“I have to keep countering what he throws at me. It keeps getting harder, and I’m just glad I managed to pull another one out today.
“There is nothing more I want than winning this tournament. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was six years old. I’ve done the speeches in my head and have imagined winning the trophy for the past 20 years.
“I’ve always wanted to win this title, I keep coming back to fight for it. I have another chance this time, and I’m pretty determined to go all the way until I fulfil that dream.
“I’m playing Mazen next, that’s another tricky one and we haven’t played each other in a while. I know how tricky he can be, he has a pretty awesome arsenal of shots, and I definitely look forward to having a good match against him tomorrow.”