Friday September 14, 2012
Heroic first-round win takes its toll on Nafiizwan
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan’s heroic effort in beating fourth seed Adrian Grant in the first round took its toll on him as he went down fighting to Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals of the CIMB Malaysian Open at The Curve in Mutiara Damansara yesterday.
The world No. 33 Nafiizwan emerged victorious in a 96-minute battle against 2006 champion Grant on Wednesday.
And the Terengganu-born player was a clearly spent force as he had no answer to Momen’s aggressive attacking play.
Down two sets, he provided some cheer to the home crowd by taking the third set. But Momen, widely known as the fastest squash player in the world, took advantage of Nafiizwan’s fatigue to win 11-8, 11-4, 11-13, 11-4 in 40 minutes.
“I started slowly and I was really tired after giving everything in that five-setter against Grant,” said Nafiizwan.
“Tarek was the fresher player and he’s a tough player with loads of experience, even though he’s younger than me.
“But the defeat has taught me a lesson ... I need to be physically more prepared if I intend to go far.”
The tournament lost its top seed after Karim Darwish retired against Spaniard Borja Golan following a recurring ankle injury.
The world No. 5 Egyptian was already trailing by 3-11, 10-12 when he suffered the injury and subsequently left to seek treatment.
Golan, semi-finalist in the 2009 KL Open, was pleasantly surprised with his easy passage into the last four.
“It was a surprise because I did not expect going through like this,” said the 29-year-old Golan, who will face Momen in the semi-finals.
In other matches, second seed Mohamed El Shorbagy overcame Finland’s Olli Tuominen while Swiss player Nicolas continued his fine form by disposing of the gifted Abdullah Al Muzayen of Kuwait.