[Above: Tarek Momen (l) against Joel Makin]
Oracle NetSuite Open two seeds Tarek Momen and Camille Serme are both through to Sunday’s semifinals following challenging quarterfinal encounters on the Squash Engine Glass Court Saturday night in Embarcadero Plaza. Saturday’s matches were presented by Martin Sign Company.
Momen entered the match against Welsh six seed Joel Makin having reached the quarterfinals in all four of his career appearances in San Francisco, but never progressing to the semifinals. The Egyptian world No. 3 was at risk of another quarterfinal exit after Makin took the opening game 11-7. Momen bounced back to take the second 11-5 and set up a decisive third game. The third game proved to be one of the most entertaining of the tournament thus far as Makin pulled off two successful dives down 6-9, saving ball after ball and keeping himself in the match. Momen eventually clinched on his first match ball with a volley winner 11-7 after forty-six minutes.
“At the end of the game, it seemed like I could not put the ball away,” Momen said. “Wherever I put it, he just dived and got it. It made me a bit edgy. The one at 9-6, I thought I had won it. I don’t know how he got those two balls back and all of a sudden we are playing a let. It was a tough match because Joel has been a rising star on the tour. His physicality is unbelievable and he has been improving his game which makes him harder to beat. with the way I played after the first game. It is always a pleasure to make it all the way. We [along with wife Raneem El Welily] are still looking for that double final appearance, but let’s just take it one day at a time.”
Earlier on tonight, @JoelMakin showed us his phenomenal athleticism by diving not once, but twice, to keep this epic point going!
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) September 29, 2019
Momen vie for a place in the final against Colombia’s four seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez. The ‘Colombian Cannonball’ made a swift end to the evening session, speeding to a twenty-minute 11-3, 11-6 win over Scotland’s Alan Clyne. Both Rodriguez and Momen are targeting their first final appearance in San Francisco.
Following the unfortunate withdrawal of Amanda Sobhy due to injury earlier in the day, France’s Camille Serme and Wales’ Tesni Evans contested the lone women’s quarterfinals. Serme entered the match having won all seventeen career matches against Evans, and Saturday proved to be no different.
The Welsh No. 9 pushed Serme in the first game, which extended to 15-13. Evans stayed within reach throughout the second as well, but Serme pulled through 11-9 after thirty-one minutes.
“If you find a good shot, it is pretty hard to get it back in these conditions,” Serme said. “She had some amazing shots that, even though, I felt good with my legs, I could not get to it because it is so dead on court. I was a bit lucky with some bounces as well, but I am glad to be through. I am very excited to be through. Last year I did not make it to the glass court, so I am happy to have made it this year. I have added another round on that as well which is a positive so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Sunday’s session will feature all four semifinals starting from 6:45pm local time.