PSA: Tarek takes Colombian title

September 2, 2012 - 4:28am
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Tarek Momen in action

Tarek Takes Colombian Crown

2 September 2012

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Club El Nogal Bogota Colombian Open, Bogota, Colombia

[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10 (58m)

The brave run of home hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez came to an end in the final of the Club El Nogal Bogota Colombian Open when Egypt’s Tarek Momen claimed the PSA World Tour International 35 squash title after almost an hour-long battle at Club El Nogal in the Colombian capital Bogota.

Unseeded Rodriguez, the Colombian number one, reached his fourth national open final – and the 27th Tour final of his career – after a sensational run which included upsets over the top seed and defending champion Mohamed El Shorbagyand fourth-seeded South African Stephen Coppinger.

But third seed Momen was hungry for success in his maiden appearance in the long-established Tour event in South America.

Playing on his home club courts, 26-year-old Rodriguez took the opening game. But the 24-year-old from Cairo struck back.

“In the second game, Rodriguez’s endurance began to wear out given the previous matches and he became imprecise, while Momen tightened his drop shots and tied the match to one-all,” said tournament spokesman Juan Carlos Santacruz. “The continuous unforced errors of Rodriguez and his anxiety in the rallies gave the Egyptian the advantage, becoming more confident in his attack.”

Rodriguez led early in the fourth game, but at nine-all in the fourth took a brief injury break after an accidental clash with his opponent’s racket.

The drama continued until 10-all, before a drop shot gave the Egyptian the match 3-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10 after 58 minutes.

“Today was a really tough match as I expected tough competition from Miguel, but I wouldn’t have thought he would put on such a great performance after two hard matches he had during past couple of days,” said Momen after winning his second – and biggest – title on the PSA World Tour.

“He is a true champion and I am so happy to have pushed myself so hard to win that fourth game.

“I have had the most amazing week here in Colombia,” added the world No19. “I would like thank the organizing committee, the sponsors and all the amazing Nogal Club members, for their great hospitality and support during this entire week, and making this event a great success.

“I also want to thank the people who have supported me all the way back home, my parents, coaches, teammates and friends…. I am not mentioning names, so no one gets upset, hahaha!!”

Rodriguez was also more than happy with his performance: “It does not matter about the result today, but from the last three I think I prepared myself pretty well to start the season with good results.”

Of his victory over El Shorbagy, the world No25 added: “Mohamed is a fast guy on court, and has great abilities with his wrist which makes it more difficult to read and finally reach a ball. I wanted to win it at home and I think the key of this match was mental strength and determination in every shot.

“I did it, and finally after seven years of joining the PSA, I have beaten a top 10 guy – one of the goals for a player around my ranking!

“With Stephen, I knew that I was going to be as hard as Shorbagy as we have been training in Orlando together already for a few weeks. He is a steady, strong guy that does not give you easy points. For me it was important to win it to reach again a second consecutive final – the third game was a thriller!

“I want to say thank you to my Dad, Angel Rodriguez, who has been working since I started playing; Sardar Ali Khan who has taught me a lot of things which have helped me achieve a lot of great results since 2008; and now David Palmer, who has changed a few things in my game, which seem to be working!”

SEMI-FINALS: Miguel Marches On In Bogota

1 September 2012

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Club El Nogal Bogota Colombian Open, Bogota, Colombia

Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [4] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-0 (66m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (20m)

Local hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez maintained his mighty run in the Club El Nogal Bogota Colombian Open by beating higher-ranked South African Stephen Coppinger to reach the final of the PSA World Tour International 35squash event at Club El Nogal in Bogota.

The sensational win takes Rodriguez into the final of the established Tour event in Colombia for the fourth time since 2006.

Unseeded, the Bogota-based Colombian number one made his breakthrough in the previous round where he ousted top seed and defending champion Mohamed El Shorbagy, the world No8.

The world No27, winner of the trophy in 2008 and 2010, now faced South African champion Coppinger, the No4 seed ranked a single slot higher.

“The first game was long and intense,” said tournament spokesman Juan Carlos Santacruz. “Rodríguez waited for the right moment to attack and won the first game. Two exceptional drop shots in the second game motivated Coppinger to win the second game after 40 minutes.”

Spurred on by the partisan crowd at his home club, Rodriguez reclaimed the advantage to win the third game after a tie-break.

“In the final game the Colombian attacked with precision and won,” added Santacruz.

The 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-0 victory in 66 minutes was the 26-year-old’s second successive match lasting more than an hour.

Rodriguez will now face third seed Tarek Momen, the world No21 from Egypt making his maiden appearance in the Bogota event.

Momen ended the giant-killing run of Henrik Mustonen, beating the Finn who upset second seed Hisham Mohd Ashourin the first round.

The 24-year-old from Cairo needed just 20 minutes to quash Mustonen 11-7, 11-5, 11-2.