Egypt Pools Day One


15th December – Pools Day One

Pool A [1] Egypt 3-0 [12] USA C1

Tarek Momen 3-0 Chris Hanson                        11-2, 11-9, 11-8 (27m)
Ali Farag  3-1 Todd Harrity                         11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4 (37m)
Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1 Andrew Douglas 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (41m)

Favourites Egypt eased through their opening tie in the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in Washington DC – but hosts USA did not make it easy for the title-holders in front of a partisan home crowd surrounding the all-glass showcourt that doesn’t seem to have many seats available…

Egypt fielded a full-strength team for the eagerly-awaited opener in Pool A – featuring Ali Farag, Karim Abdel Gawad and Tarek Momen, ranked 1, 3 and 4, respectively, in the world. Their US opponents were not only ranked considerably lower, but each had never before faced his American opponent.

Tarek, the reigning World Champion, put the top seeds ahead with an 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 victory over the US No.2 Chris Hanson.

In the following battle between the top strings, Todd Harrity dropped the first two games as world No.1 Farag, a former Harvard graduate, powered ahead. But US champion Harrity thrilled the crowd by fighting back to take the third and reduce the deficit. The new momentum was short-lived, however, as Farag stormed back to clinch an 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4 win after 37 minutes.

There was excitement in the third-string when event debutant Andrew Douglas, a 21-year-old from New York, took the opening game against Gawad, the PSA World Tour Finals champion. But, again, the home player was unable to maintain the momentum as the Egyptian raised his game to close out the match 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 and give his country a 3-0 win.

“I’m really pleased with our start,” said Farag afterwards. “We had a strong team in front of us in the USA – Todd has been playing well so it was good to get that win myself and also for Tarek to give us that head start. It’s good to get the first win under our belt.

“Having the likes of Karim, Abou and Tarek next to me gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of things to look up to. We lift each other up and hopefully, we can bring home the title.”

US national coach Paul Assaiante was upbeat about his team’s performance: “We played three people who have all been world champions.

“We had a couple of guys coming off some injuries and we were hoping they could play their way through – and in all cases I think they felt better about themselves coming off the court. All three guys came off the court with their eyes a little bigger! They did a really nice job – I’m very proud of them.