QF:  Mostafa Asal (Egy) 3-0  Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 11-4, 11-9, 11-6 (38m)
How long have I’ve been asleep!?? Between last time Mostafa played Paul, it seemed that he matured 5 years, but between last night and today?? He was calm, composed, only turned to the crowd at the end of the first point of the first game, and only got back to them at 9/4 in the 3rd. Calm, composed, accurate as much as his fast pace/heavy hitting would allow.
It was actually the first time they played together, and they arrived on court with incredibly the same time spent on court, 167, both having had two heavy 3/2 to get to the quarters.
To be fair, from the word go, Mostafa seemed in control, and Miguel had to do an awful lot of retrieving/running for his life today. He was able to put a lot of pressure on Mostafa though, as he pushed Asal to make 4 errors, while he did none. Close all the way through, 1/1, 3/3, 5/5, 7/7, 9/9. Rallies played at 200 miles an hour, a stroke confirmed by the ref at the back of a huge exchange, and a superb backhand boast to finish, 11/9 for Mostafa, 17m.
The last game is as strange at it comes, as Miguel seems up for a battle, taking for the first 4 points. Uncharacteristically, he will make 3 errors from that point on, and it will be 10 points in a row for Asal, 10/4, one match ball saved, but a drive that glues to the side well, and it’s 11/5 to the Egyptian.
Who didn’t take the shirt off….
I was pretty okay today, I was playing well.
Miguel is an unbelievable player and he gets every ball. I thought that it would go to the fourth if he took two more points [in the third] because it would be 6-0, but I’m glad to move through with this performance.
I’m training all of the these shots so I have the variety to go for it. I’m happy that I have the game in the back and the short game, and I’m grateful for this crowd as well, they were unbelievable.
Ali and Mohamed are both unbelievable to play, even in practice, so I wish them all the best. They are my partners, I learn a lot from them, so I’m going to watch and no claps for this one.