Day TWO : Makin and Masotti stun seeds

Makin and Masotti stun seeds on Day Two

There were two big upsets on the second day of play at the East Wintergarden venue, as Joel Makin beat third seed Diego Elias, setting up a repeat of his Black Ball marathon against Tarek Momen, and Baptiste Masotti came from a game down to beat sixth seed Marwan ElShorbagy, earning the Frenchman a shot at top seed Mostafa Asal in the quarters.

Read on for reports and reaction …

GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic 2023 : Day TWO, Round TWO (top)

[7] Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-0 [9/16] Patrick Rooney (Eng)  15-13, 11-6 (30m)

[9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 2-0 [3] Diego Elias (Per)  11-5, 11-7 (32m)

[1] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-0 [9/16] Victor Crouin (Fra)  11-5, 11-3 (24m)

Baptiste Masotti (Fra)  2-1 [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy)  3-11, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)


[7] Tarek Momen (Egy) 2-0 [9/16] Patrick Rooney (Eng)  15-13, 11-6 (30m)

Momen downs Rooney in two

Fresh from his final appearance in the Black Ball Open, Tarek Momen continued his run of good form with a two game win over top English prospect Patrick Rooney. Rooney started well opening up a 4-1 lead, but Momen pegged it back to 5-5 and it was point for point thereafter with the Egyptian taking the lead on his fifth game ball. He took that momentum into the second, maintaining the lead as he closed out the match.

“I thought it was a very good match. Yes, he had the support, but the crowd here is quite fair and they appreciate a good shot. So I didn’t feel like I was being rooted against or anything,” Momen said.

“He played really well in both games and he pushed me to the limits, especially in that first game. I knew it was important. I wanted to close it out.

“I just hit one of my lowest points right before Black Ball Open, but that match where I saved eight match balls,  that changed everything. Now I feel I’m in a much better place, I’m very happy with how I’m standing right now, and I just hope I can keep building on that.”

[9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 2-0 [3] Diego Elias (Per)  11-5, 11-7 (32m)

Makin dents Elias’s #1 hopes

Wales’ Joel Makin continued his fine form from the Black Ball Open as he beat third seed Diego Elias in straight games, halting the Peruvian’s bid to claim the world #1 ranking for another week.

Makin dominated the first game, then pulled away at the end of a close second to secure one of his best wins.

“If my squash is sharp and I’m taking the ball early and initiating that kind of pace, I can beat these guys. That’s the third top five player in the last couple of days, backing it up after last week because that’s not easy to do,” said Makin.

“My length’s been way better for the last couple of days. So that’s giving me flip ups. I have to be direct. If I’m playing Diego in a best of three, you’re not going to be able to pop the ball into space. You have to risk hitting more tins.”

“That’s the brand of squash I want to play. It’s not a type of squash I’ve played before or at this level, initiating attacks playing a better pace than the world’s best players. So yeah, I’m in a good place. I want to keep this going. I want to win these events.”

[1] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-0 [9/16] Victor Crouin (Fra)  11-5, 11-3 (24m)

Asal eases part Crouin

Top seed Mostafa Asal, who lost his opening match in last week’s Black Ball Open, made no mistake in his his Canary Wharf opener as he eased past France’s Victor Crouin in straight games.

Asal pulled away after a close opening to the first game, then raced to a 9-0 lead in the second before sealing the victory.

“If you say negative things about me, it’s not good for you when you play me, I get in an angry mood and I want to beat them 2/0, 3/0 [the pair have exchanged words on social media!]

“At 9-0 in the second I wanted to bagel him, why not.”

Baptiste Masotti (Fra)  2-1 [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy)  3-11, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)

Big win for Baptiste in first three-setter

Day Two concluded with a second big upset as France’s Baptitst Masotti came from a game down to oust sixth seed Marwan ElShorbagy.

“I succeeded in holding my nerves, focused on the game plan. The first game was very hard for me because he steped on my foot, even in the warmup, I saw that he was focused,” Masotti said.

“He was hitting the ball hard so in the first game, I was surprised. I just got back to my game plan and I held my nerves during the match. Especially in the best of 3 format you need to stay on your line. It can be crucial at the end. So you need to be strong during each point.

“I’m happy to step on court with Asal, even after everything that has happened around him. He is World No.1 so I’m happy to to play against him and let’s see how it goes.”