2015 Men's World Championship Bellevue - SEMIS

[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 James Willstrop (Eng) 11-1, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)

JAMES, A MATCH TOO FAR

I know, James never mentioned it, and was only praise for his opponent in his aftermatch interview, but to be honest, he didnít have much left. In the first game in particular, no length, no width, and no height! 11/1 in 8mÖ.

The second was a bit better, with the ďold bonesĒ moving a bit better, getting warmer and the movement more fluid, James having more incidence on the game, 3/3, 4/4, but Greg just finding his target both at the front and at the back, 10/4. Another big push from James, that seems to relax and strings a few lovely rallies, but itís still the Frenchman on top, 11/8 in 17m.

The third is a bit more tense, with James feeling he was probably up and down decisions at the end, when he tries and gets back from 5/9 down and gets a few calls that he is truly and utterly not happy about.

James extremely rarely discusses or argues with the Refs. For him to do so, he really must have felt ďwe was robbed!Ē. The booing from the crowd that accompanied those three in a row decisions probably made him feel he was not the only one that felt the way he did.

But truly, I donít think Ė what do I know Ė that Greg was going to be denied tonight.

Very calm, sharp and accurate, the French was on a mission: ďyou will win your first ever World on your 5th attemptĒ.

As my compatriots, say ďInshallahĒ

The first time I got into a Worlds final, I was 23, I had 5 match balls, I didnít manage to win them. Overall, I have played 4 finals, and it would be easy to just think about it, but itís important to move forward. I think I have improved on those important moments, I am more mature, Iím better at dealing with those crucial moments, Iím calmer Ė even if I appear still intense on the court, but thatís the fire you need to have burning inside to win the kind of matches we played today.

I think the match I played with Ali yesterday really helped me today. I hadnít had that kind of test earlier in the tournament and I think it really help opening my lungs and made me more fluid with my movement. I knew from the morning that I felt much better - I was moving better in practice this morning.

Iím just happy with how I moved and played and my head is there as well. After all these tournaments and travelling my body is still there and I feel really fresh - Iíve been training really hard to peak this week. I felt relaxed today and Iím feeling happy

I said to James when we came off court that Iím really happy for him. Heís had difficulties with his hip but it is good to see him coming back to near his best. Heís a genius player and itís good to see him back.

I am more than motivated. I came here and I was sick the first few days. I struggling and I had to deal with it. The motivation makes the difference at the end of the day - if you head is there you can deal with everything.

Itís going to be my 5th final tomorrow, Iím going to try and do it, for myself, my country, my team and for all the people that support me during those Worlds Champs.

 

There is no difference of level between Mohamed and Greg, but he was a different player on a different day, and with Mohamed, Ramy and Nick out, maybe he got his ears pricked a bit.

Today, he just played super squash, and I didnít have much answers for most of it although I managed to produce some good spells of my own.

I was really shocked by the bad decisions I got at the end, like 6, 7, 8! I thought there were horrendous decisions really.

I went it wanting to win it, but there were two players, and one was just really good tonight, all credit to him.

Fairytale just donít happen, it just had to come to an end, but I had a fabulous week, and Iím thrilled to be playingÖ

James Willstrop

[7] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-0 [8] Tarek Momen (Egy) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (50m)

TAREK JUST FLAT

It wonít take anything away from the Hammer of Thor, but the Momentor was pretty done today I felt. Like James in the previous match, it was the match too far. Too much hard work in the previous matches, but not only that, mentally, taking Nick out was just immense for Tarek, and today, he didnít have anything left.

Omar bless him, had also enormous work done this week but he has more training! He got to several semis and a major final, the US Open one against of courseÖ Grťgory GaultierÖ

Hammer of Thor played a pretty immaculate match today, he never gave Tarek a sniff at it, making 2 unforced errors in the whole match (in the 3rd). That used to be his weakness, too many tins probably because he was not fit enough.

But now, truly in the best form of his like, Omar can rally all day, and was never put under pressure by Tarek long enough to get out of his comfort zone.

First two games, 11/4, in 10m, 11/4 in 15m, and the last one, Tarek giving it a big push, but still stuck at the back with a splendid length/width from Omar, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 7/4 Omar, 9/6, 11/8 on his first match ball, 19m of hard work but only 50m match, perfect for the Hammer to be defending his chances tomorrow.
 

First of all, let me say how happy I am to have Ramy with us watching the matches todayÖ And as I won while sharing with Tarek, I wonder if I could change room and share with Greg tonight!!!

Iím feeling amazing. Itís the second time this season Iíve made a big final so Iím really happy.

Last time I played with Tarek was at the US Open and it took 80 minutes to beat him, and that was only for a 3/0, the first game alone was 55m. This is the fifth match this tournament for us and people have tired muscles Iím really happy to win 3-0. especially as I had only hard matches, 3/2, 3/1 and 3/2 with Ramy last night. It will help me play well and win tomorrow.

This match against Tarek was a big chance for both Tarek and I. Weíve been playing since the juniors, we always played hard matches, and I wasnít expecting anything different tonight.

I think I did a great job today, I was 100% focused. I tried and not think too much about the potential final before I played today, I have to thank my coaches Ė my brother and also Islam Hany. They helped me with the tactics, told me to be calm, not to think about the final, they gave me good tips which worked.

Tomorrow I have the advantage that Shabana will be in my corner so Iíll pick myself up and come back strong tomorrow. But Iíll just prepare as usual, stretching, massage with Hossam, like every day.

I want to thank my brother Mohamed and my dad who flew all the way from Cairo to support me. As most of you know, three months ago my family had an accident and I lost two of them so I hope I can win tomorrow and dedicate this title to my father because he deserves it. Heís been a role model for me and I want to win for him.

Itís a big achievement, yes, but I have another match to play tomorrow.

I felt flat today, both mentally and physically, I hadnít played 5 matches back to back for a long time, because I kept losing early. Iím of course disappointed to perform the way I did, but overall, it was a good tournament, and very proud I reached my first worlds semi final.

Omar played a superb match, and I wish him all the best for tomorrow against Greg.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Amr Shabana for his invaluable work here, my coach Haitham Effat and also Ahmed Moshen and Omar Mohy who helped me when Haitham got injured, my fitness coach, Jorg, my mental coach Mohamed El Araby and also my former coach Hesham El Attar for his continuous support until today and offering his help whenever he can.

But first and foremost, my parents, and my wifeÖ

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