17 May 2012


(2012 British Open, second round, Ramy Ashour - Borja Golan 3:2). 
I was in the players' lounge saluting Borja Golan who was already doing his dynamic warming up procedure in preparation for his match against Ramy Ashour. I went then to one of the O2's many Thai restaurants a few corners away from the glass court and as I was sitting and eating there for a while I noticed Ramy coming with his huge squash bag from the tube's direction, stopping and chatting in a relaxed spirit with some people out there. He was on his way to the site, whereas Borja has been warming up for more than 40 minutes by that time. 
I don't know if it was down to the difference in warm up, but in the first two games Borja Golan looked like a top5 player and Ramy like an amateur. In the beginning of the second game, after losing the first couple of points, Ramy even turned hysterically to Amir Wagih, the Egyptian national coach in the second row of the viewers area, indicating him to get him a new grip for the next break between games. Indeed, Ramy's grip was as dirty and old as it can get. At that point he seemed a mixture of an amateur and a primadonna. 
Well he got his new grip and a few suggestions from the national coach and things got better. It was still not straight forward, as at 6:8 Ramy was just three points away from losing in the second round of the British Open. But from that point onwards he won 27 points to 8 only from Borja
Ramy got away with his nonchalance for another time. I am sure he will give Shabana a lot more respect Friday 12.45 Uk time in their quarter-final encounter. It could be a hell of a match. 
And well done to Borja, the first three games were top5 stuff for sure. However winning matches is the real art, and that's what the very top guys know how to do even on the so-called off-days.