SQUASH - Golan Survives Momen Marathon In KL

Golan Survives Momen Marathon In KL
Fourth seed Borja Golan made the semi-finals of the CIMB KL Open Squash Championship as predicted - but the Spaniard was taken the full distance before overcoming fast-rising Egyptian Tarek Momen in a 95-minute marathon quarter-final in the PSA World Tour International 50 event today at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

It was the pair's sixth meeting Tour meeting, but the first since world No10 Golan lost to the world No11 in last September's Malaysian Open, also in KL, where Momen went on to win the title against expectations.

After Golan took the first game, the Egyptian grabbed the next two to open up a 2/1 lead. But the 30-year-old Spaniard held his nerve to take the fourth and led 4-0 in the decider. Momen caught up to nine-all, but after two long rallies Golan snatched the final two points to secure his 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory in the longest match of the event.

"My match today was a tough battle as it always as when I play Tarek," said Golan later. "I tried to push him to the back of the court but it is difficult because he wants to attack all the time and you have to be very alert.

"I'm very happy to beat him because last September I lost to him in four games here in Malaysia and it's always nice to have a revenge.

"Tomorrow it will be another tough one with Shorbagy so I hope I can play my best. This is my third semi in Malaysia so I hope I can reach my first final here. Step by Step. Point by point!"

Mohamed El Shorbagy, the No2 seed who was runner-up two years ago, stopped fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.

There will also be Egyptian interest in the other semi-final when top seed Karim Darwish faces Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller.

Darwish, the world No6 from Cairo, reached the semis for the fifth time since 2007 after despatching flying Finn Olli Tuominen 12-10, 11-5, 11-6.

But Mueller disappointed the packed crowd surrounding the all-glass court by denying the event local interest in the last four when he beat Malaysian number one Ong Beng Hee.

Mueller, the world No21 reached game ball first in the opening game, but 33-year-old Beng Hee saved it before going on to take the game. Games were then shared to take the battle into a fifth game decider.

"The fifth started point for point to four-all," said event spokesman Andrew Cross. "Nicolas got to match ball first but wasted the first one, but won the second with a backhand drop as Beng Hee was awarded a no let.

"What we saw here was two men that have a huge amount of respect for each other, very honest, no arguing with the referee," added Cross after unseeded Mueller's 11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 in 81 minutes. "Great for the sport!"

Mueller admitted that he felt nervous during the match: "Beng Hee played really well, intercepting a lot of my cross courts - but I kept on playing them, hoping they would go past, but they didn't.

"Little bit less pressure on me today as he was playing in front of his home crowd," added the 23-year-old from Zurich. "It was a huge match for both of us but I'm very happy to be moving on to the semi-finals."

RESULTS: PSA International 50 CIMB KL Open, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (38m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 (81m)
[4] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 (95m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (45m)

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v [4] Borja Golan (ESP)

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