Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) might be an adept at misdirection, but in the end, that's what lost him the match against Saurav Ghosal (IND) in today's quarterfinal. Just as often as Abouelghar showed flashes of brilliance, he made an error, and Ghosal's more straightforward play carried the day. Ghosal stayed on top of some tricky pick-ups throughout, forcing some overeager errors from Abouelghar. But while Ghosal wore his opponent down, he didn't seem fully in control of play until the very end of the match, when a couple of lovely shots of his own gave him the points he needed to win 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9 in 55 minutes. (For match statistics and analysis, click here.)
"It was just a barrage," Ghosal said. "There was some ridiculous shot-making by him. I was just telling myself I have to stick in and make it hard for him and hope he can't keep up making the shots he wanted. I had to dig pretty hard to get him frustrated. There was no rhythm whatsoever. I tried to make it as hard as I could."
"I felt like I got everything from within," Hesham said. "I really tried in the fifth game. I was panicking a bit because of the injury earlier in the match. But I was really lucky to win this match. This is my first tournament as a top 20 player, so I need to earn my place. I tried my best and am happy with my fighting spirit. I played with all my heart. That's what it takes to win against someone like that."
Golan one match closer to final
Adrian Waller (ENG), last week's NSCI Open top-seed and champ, saw the world turn full circle today as he lost to top-seed Borja Golan (ESP) in a quick 3-0. Golan, who has lost to Waller the last two times the players faced off, clearly came in with a plan to keep Waller off the T, and it worked in the first two games. By the third, Waller seemed stymied and an unusual string of unforced errors helped send the game and match to Golan 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 in 41 minutes. (For match statistics and analysis, click here.)
"The match today was really important," Golan said. "I tried to find a good length and tried to take him off the middle of the court. He was tough to beat. I tried to move him all the time."
Le Roux takes testy match against Fathi
Shaun Le Roux (RSA) enters tomorrow's semifinal off a testy match against Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) in which the referee repeatedly admonished the players not to address each other. Much of the first two games was fought in the front court corners. Fathi's short game was tighter in the first; Le Roux's trumped in the second. The third game saw the play lengthen and the players grow more frustrated. Le Roux did a better job of channeling it into his play, and -- after a conduct warning for comments to Fathi -- took the third and fourth games, helped by some key unforced errors by Fathi at the end. Le Roux won 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-1 in 51 minutes. (For match statistics and analysis, click here.)