Again, we were lucky with those two semis, the “3/0” doesn’t tell the story at all!
Adam Atta will kick himself for not taking the first game. He was leading 4/1, caught 4/4, 6/6, but thanks to a few junior errors – that figures – from his opponent, got a nice comfy lead, 10/7 game ball. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t concretise any of the 4 he got and as often, it’s Salman Khalil that snatched the game out of his racquet on his first attempt, 13/11.
At that point, Adam looked vey tired, and in the second, got warned twice for time wasting – his glasses never were so cleaned – and he went down 3/0, 5/1. A big push from Adam, finding his second wind, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8! Salman gets the advantage this time 10/8, and takes the game 11/9.
I was expecting Adam to fold really but that didn’t happen, and the third could have gone either way but it’s Salman that takes it 12/10…
Meanwhile on court 7, we had an upset as Belal Kadry played out of his skin today, pushing his opponent Malek Mahmoud to the four corners, retrieving everything and eventually taking the match 3/0.
Belal takes the first game 11/5 rather comfortably but the second is the one Malek needed really. He is up 10/7, surely he is going to equalise but no. Belal dives, lunges, runs as if his life was at stake, and forces a decider, 10/10. A few errors from each, but it’s Belal eventually 15/13 as Malek shot goes off court.
It will take a while for Malek to come back mentally in the match, but he does come back with a super winner down 6/4. At 8/9, everything is still possible, but Belal is so relaxed and fearless, he clinches the last point, 11/8….