ElShorbagy Brothers Claim Last 16 Spots at PSA Men’s World Championship
Bristol-based Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy remain on course for a quarter-final clash at the 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship after both players claimed their round three spots at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.
World No.2 Mohamed and World No.10 Marwan became the first brothers in history to contest the men’s World Championship final when they met in the title decider of the Manchester event in December 2017, and both players moved one step closer to a rematch after respective wins over England’s Adrian Waller and Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.
ElShorbagy was caused plenty of problems by World No.17 Waller, who played at a fast tempo and dominated large parts of the fixture. However, unforced errors ultimately proved to be his downfall as he failed to capitalise on leads in all three games as ElShorbagy won 13-11, 11-9, 11-9.
“I have never seen Adrian play with such a fast pace before,” said 28-year-old ElShorbagy, who plays India’s Saurav Ghosal in the next round.
“After the first game, he played with such a high pace and he has never done that against me before. I told myself after the first game that he would not be able to do it all match. You can tell yourself there is no pressure, but the only solution is to try and deal with it. After all these years on tour, I cannot fail because of pressure because it is not acceptable.
“It is only the second round and there is still along way to go for this event. The World Champion is not always the best player in the world. There is usually a surprise in this tournament. I will give it my best shot and see how it goes this week.”
26-year-old Marwan faced a stern test against World No.27 Mueller and initially went a game down after the lower ranked player built on an 8-0 lead to take control. But ElShorbagy had won their four previous matches and he drew on that experience to impose himself on the match from the second game onwards to complete an 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 victory.
“I had to do something, because he could have just played like that for a good three games and I would have lost the match. I am glad that I fired myself up and I found a rhythm. I found my game and I think I started to control the match from about halfway through the second game, and I played really well after that.”
His opponent for a place in the last eight will be No.7 seed Mohamed Abouelghar, who snuck past Hong Kong’s World No.30 Leo Au by the slimmest of margins, with two controversial stroke decisions right at the death seeing him edge an exciting 68-minute battle by an 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 12-10 margin.
The match was an intriguing tactical affair, with Abouelghar dominating the first two games against a disinterested looking Au who struggled to get to grips wth the Egyptian’s shot-making talents. But Au looked like a different man as he returned to court after the game break, taking advantage of the cold conditions on court as he lobbed the ball to the back of the court time and time again, and he duly drew level.
The fifth went to a tie-break, when Au received a stroke against him after the referee adjudged him to have taken Abouelghar’s line after a drop, and the decision was upheld after an Au video review. That lost review proved crucial as Abouelghar was awarded with another stroke at match ball in a similar situation, meaning Au was unable to query the decision as Abouelghar advanced into the next round.
“I couldn’t be happier, I know we get tough calls, both me and the opponent, it’s part of the game,” Abouelghar said afterwards.
“I’m not really sure about the decision, but I thought I had a good pickup earlier that was called not good, so it is just part of the game. I had an injury two months ago and I had to stop playing for a month. I’m happy I’m back, my goal is just to enjoy myself, take one match at a time and hope things go well.”
“It has been a good tournament so far but I have got eyes on much further down the line,” Coll said.
“I am just taking it match-by-match and not getting caught up in it. I am really happy today but I am also looking ahead to my next match.”
He will play 2015 runner-up Omar Mosaad, who defeated Syed Azlan Amjad in a comfortable 3-0 victory as the Qatari player made his return from injury after being struck with the ball in his opening round match with Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu.
Colombia’s No.8 Miguel Rodriguez and Egypt’s Zahed Salem were the other winners on day three as they beat Scotland’s Alan Clyne and World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal, respectively.
Day THREE Results: Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Borja Golan (Esp) 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)
 Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-0 [wc] Syed Azlan Amjad (Qat) 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (25m)
 Zahed Salem (Egy) 3-1 Mostafa Asal (Egy) 11-8, 6-11, 11-2, 11-7 (58m)
 Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 3-0 Alan Clyne (Sco) 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 (29m)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 3-2 Leo Au (Hkg) 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 12-10 (68m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-1 Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (40m)
 Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0 Lucas Serme (Fra) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (36m)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 Adrian Waller (Eng) 13-11, 11-9, 11-9 (48m)
Round three gets under way on Monday 11th November with four matches in store starting from 15:00 (GMT+3). Action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the PSA Facebook page.