Valiant Al Tamimi goes down in tough contest
Egyptian World No. 3 Tarek Momen ends Qatari player’s superb run at the PSA Men’s World Squash Championship at home.
Whenever there is a five-game contest, Abdullah Al Tamimi’s stamina becomes suspect. It was once again the case on Monday, at the PSA Men’s World Squash Championship at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
Al Tamimi went down 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 4-11 to Egyptian World No.3 Tarek Momen, ranked 44 places above him, in the last-16 round.
The young Qatari had done exceptionally well to fight back from a game down and even took a 2-1 lead. The Egyptian struggled to find answers to some superb drop shots and brilliant play from the youngster.
A huge upset was on the cards when disaster struck. Standing at 7-7 in the fourth game, Al Tamimi tried just a little too hard to recover a return by Momen. He did an acrobatic dive, fumbled, dropped to the floor and scraped his knee.
He was forced to take an injury break to treat his bleeding leg and returned with a strapped knee. But clearly, the momentum was gone.
Momen clawed his way back into the match and won the game. He then snatched the decider from a visibly tired and error-prone Al Tamimi and moved into the last eight.
The setback disappointed Al Tamimi’s legions of fans who had turned up to cheer him on. He will now have to wait longer to please his supporters at home.
“I was tired in the fifth game, and Tarek took advantage of that. When you’re tired, you’re bound to make errors, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Al Tamimi.
- Tarek Momen (2, Egypt) bt Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qatar) 11-9, 12-10, 11-5
- Diego Elias (Peru) bt Farris Dessouky (Egypt) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5
- Simon Rosner (5, Germany) bt Joel Makin (Wales) 11-8, 11-8, 11-5
- James Willstrop (England) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (Egypt) 10-12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7.
“You can’t afford to make mistakes against a player like Tarek. It wasn’t the injury that cost me the game. I must credit Tarek who played well,” he added.
The Egyptian also had warm words for Al Tamimi.
“He’s one to watch out for in the future. He played well against me, and he’s going to be difficult to beat in the future,” said Tarek.
Tarek had an easy start as Al Tamimi committed too many errors in the first game, giving it away 11-5 in just eight minutes. But the Qatari player uncorked some special fare in the second and third.
Ranking and seeding did not seem to matter, with skill and craft winning him points. And the scoreline of 12-10 and 11-9 in his favour was justified as Al Tamimi’s brilliant play overshadowed the higher-ranked player.
With the momentum and the home crowd on his side, Al Tamimi looked set to close out the match in the fourth game. After leading 5-2, errors crept into his game and Momen drew level at 6-6.
The players again levelled at 7-7, at which point disaster struck. After returning from the injury, he went down tamely in the decider.