R2: Marwan 3-1 Eain Yow

[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1 Eain Yow Ng (MAS)        11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 (49m)

Oh boy. My little Smiling Ninja is going to be so good. Like Sivasangari for the girls, the future of Malaysia is looking bright, let me tell you. How fast, clever, sharp, determined, fit and relentless is that little 21-year-old boy?

Yow today was coached by Peter Genever who used to train him when Peter was working for Malaysia, but now he has deposed his bags in Bristol with Hadrian Stiff – who starts to have a great group. Today, he had Peter in his corner, and it was nice to see him, long time no see…

Marwan dominated the start of the match, 3/1, 7/3, but was quickly caught up 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. It took Marwan top game to close it out, 11/9 in 15m, 5 winners each.

The second is a bit more one-sided, 4/0, 8/2 (a few errors from the young man), 9/3. At 9/5, a very very, VERY long rally, ending with a tin from the Egyptian, 6/9. But the experience pays off at the end, 11/6, 14m, and 6 winners Marwan, still 5 Yow.

An excellent response from the Smiling Ninja, 4/1, 6/2, 10/4 11/5, 4 errors from the Egyptian, 8m….

Close up to 4/4 they will be in the fourth, but now the hard work Marwan forced in the legs of his young opponent is paying dividends, and it’s 9/5, 11/6 in 8m. But what a great match that was and it’s a real joy to see that young player getting better every time I see him…

I knew how tough this match was going to be. I have played with him once or twice in practice and I know how much he has improved and how well he has done this season.

He did well in the Malaysian Open in September and moved to Bristol actually a few weeks back – we’re really happy to have him there and think he will add a lot to the city. We will be training together quite a lot, so it’s really good to see him doing well. He’s a former World Junior Champion and I’m pretty sure he will have a great career in the PSA.

Since I came back on the Tour, what I struggle the most with is the backing up of events. I spoke with Danny (Massaro), Nick (Matthew) and Haitham (Effat) this morning, telling them that I really didn’t feel fresh. And they managed to sharpen me up and transform this as a challenge for myself.

This is really the biggest problem I have since my return, and that’s why I didn’t go too hard on myself after losing the first game in the US Open. I didn’t used to have any worries before my time away from PSA, but now, it has become one. Still I’m happy with the way I’m improving and I’m sure it’s going to be better very soon.