Mostafa Asal: Working hard to reach World #1

Just two years ago, Egypt’s Mostafa Asal was lifting his first World Junior Championship title and getting started on the PSA World Tour. Now, with four titles under his belt, a second World Junior Championship crown and sitting at a career-high ranking of World No.18, the Egyptian teenager has become one of the hottest talents on the tour.

This season alone, Mostafa rose 11 places to break inside the top 20 on the men’s tour for the first time in his career and is currently the youngest player ranked there. He also most recently picked up the prestigious award for PSA Young Male Player of the Year.

“It’s unbelievable for me,” said Asal. “I started and my ranking was in the 500 and also I had a lot of junior tournaments, so to make it balanced between PSA and juniors was really tough.

“I can’t take off-season, this is my first rest for two years or something like that, and also to move and to be World No.18 now is unbelievable and if the season was completed my goal was to reach top 10, I need to believe and achieve this my plan.”

The 19-year-old has already caused a number of upsets against the top ranked players with the likes of compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar, Peru’s Diego Elias and former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier all falling victim to the attacking Egyptian, who insisted he is hungry for more.

“I don’t feel that I am 18, I feel that I am 23 or 24 because when I think that I am 18 I say to myself ‘wow you are achieving’. I don’t care if I lose but I motivate myself, and in my mind think that I am 24 to be more hungry. I think also it’s been a while since there was a junior in the top 20.

“My goal at the start of the season was to win two world junior championships, and I did it this season. Another was reaching top 10, I was trying to do that but in the secret and quiet!

“I am hungry to achieve more, and I want to be World No.1. I believe that I could one day with the support of my parents, my team, my friends, my fans will make it for them one day.”

Away from the court, Asal is a keen gamer and has a particular rivalry ongoing with training partner and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad.

“Away from squash, I like to play on my Playstation 4 and FIFA all the time and soccer as well chilling with my friends. I always beat Gawad in FIFA everyday he is my partner in training and in same club and always used to get the PS4 with him everywhere.

Mostafa, like all of us, is missing the Tour terribly.

“We miss playing on tour, it is hard to us. I need to say to everyone to stay safe and healthy – leave squash and everything and stay at home with your family and get your friends with you.

“I miss all the fans of squash all over the world. We play for your happiness everyone so stay safe and healthy to be happy to watch squash again.”