R3:  Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-1 Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9 (56m)
Tarek Momen win an entertaining four-game duel with Gregoire Marche.
That’s all I can say about it. The quality of the game plan from Tarek, relentlessly finding his targets in the front corners. The quality from Grégoire who I think never played such an accurate length ever, making hardly any errors the whole match.
And you could see how it reflected in Tarek’s game. The Egyptian was forced to make 4 errors in the first two games, credit to the French’s accuracy and tight squash.
In the last two, Grégoire’s legs started to quite rightly slow down just a bit, and it was enough to give a bit more time to the Egyptian on the ball. The last game, Tarek in complete control, 9/2, would you believe, with the French truly running on fumes.
10/5 match ball, and Gregoire, giving it all, a few decisions with none of the players liked, discussions a bit heated, pressure up from both, and Greg finding his third wind, only bowing finally on a crosscourt kill that he couldn’t retrieve…11/9, 16m last game….
Tarek: “Towards the end, I almost lose that fourth and that would have been huge mistake on my part. At 9-3 up, I thought I had a very clear ‘no let’. To me it was very obvious that it was a ‘no let’ and I thought I was match ball up at 10-3. It was overturned and I lost my concentration, he then played a few winners,” he explained.
“I had match balls at 10-5, lost a couple and then I went for the volley nick. I looked on the screen, saw it was a double bounce, to me it was very clear it was a double bounce. Maybe when I watch it again I might see something different but I am pretty sure what I saw was correct.
“It got to my head and then I was 10-9. At this point, instead of panicking, I was thinking that even if it goes to 10-all I can still win this so I switched back to my gameplan and to just play it out. Thankfully I got that cross-court to win the match.
“I always make it to the finals of the semis on a consistent basis and I have won the World Championships so I know I have it in me to win plenty more big titles, so I always like my chances.”
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 22, 2021