Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1  Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (68m)
The score says it very well. It was a battle from the first rally to the last. Tarek, pretty nervous, wanting so much to do good, just didn’t have his A game today. Playing the wrong shot at the wrong time, he lost little by little confidence in both his game and in the ref, who had a few strange calls tonight – for both it has to be said!
Joel looked more comfortable, I guess it comes from being the contender, having nothing to lose. But what I noticed tonight, was the new layer in Joel’s game, his backhand volley drop shot that he started to use from the second game on, and that really put enormous pressure of the Egyptian, who was struggling to find the correct position on the court between being present at the back as Joel’s length/width is immaculate, and being close enough to the front to catch up the new shots that Joel has added to his weaponry.
Joel was ahead the whole of the 4th, Tarek doesn’t like playing catchup, he finally levelled at 7/7, 9/9, but a superb drop shot and a stroke (was it one?) and it’s 11/9 to the Golden Tiger…
I have had two tight losses to him recently. He played well and he is tricky, he moves the ball quickly around the court, he’s got into some really consistent form over the last few years and he hasn’t really lost to anyone lower down for a while, so that was really big for me.
“The last few times we have played, maybe I was a bit too passive. I was aware of his attacking options and I think I just had to go for it a little bit more and attack a bit earlier and not be so afraid of his counters and I thought it paid off.
You always have expectations, I don’t want to come in and lose what is my first match in this tournament. I didn’t feel I was too far off going into it and I had a bit of belief. I just had to change a few smaller things and that made a difference today, so I was really happy.