PSA Quarters Roundup : Marwan stuns Mohamed

Marwan ElShorbagy stuns older brother Mohamed in Doha …

World No.10 Marwan ElShorbagy completed one of the most significant wins of his career in Doha, Qatar as he overcame older brother Mohamed in a nail-biting five-game battle to reach the semi-finals of the 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship – meaning a new name will be etched onto the iconic trophy by the end of this week.

The ElShorbagy siblings became the first brothers in history to contest the World Championship final when they went head-to-head in the title decider in Manchester back in December 2017. 28-year-old Mohamed claiming the win on that occasion to finally get his hands on the most prestigious trophy in men’s squash and he boasted 14 wins out of 17 against his sibling heading into today’s clash.

But this time around it was the younger ElShorbagy who emerged victorious after 59 minutes of thrilling action, earning an 11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-8 to claim his fourth, and biggest, win over Mohamed to eliminate the top seed and only remaining former World Champion left in the tournament.

Marwan has been working with one of Mohamed’s biggest rivals – the now retired three-time World Champion Nick Matthew – since the summer and said the 37-year-old, alongside coach Haitham Effat, has been one of the key reasons for his superb form in this tournament.

“I have so much experience in my corner here, in Haitham and Nick and the way they speak to me between games, it motivates me and it pushes me,” Marwan said afterwards.

“It was five games in less than an hour, but I know it was really tough mentally for me. Mohamed is one of the most experienced players in the draw. He has played against so many different generations, so I knew it was going to be really tough mentally much more than physically.

“At the end it was all mental, and I gave it everything I had.”

Marwan’s victory blows the draw wide open and he will take on New Zealand’s Paul Coll for a place in the final after Coll overcame World No.16 Zahed Salem to become the first Kiwi since the legendary Ross Norman in 1988 to reach the semi-finals of the men’s World Championship.

Coll came through a brutal 119-minute epic against 2015 runner-up Omar Mosaad in the previous round but showed very few signs of physical discomfort as he completed an 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 victory in 47 minutes.

“I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals of a World Champs, it was something that was a minimum goal going into the tournament,” Coll said.

“I’ve got to put that behind me now, even though I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals, I don’t want to stop there. I’ve just got to regroup after this and enjoy the moment while it lasts.”

No.2 seed Tarek Momen and Germany’s Simon Rösner will line up in the other semi-final after they achieved respective wins over Peru’s Diego Elias and 2010 runner-up James Willstrop.

Momen, the World No.3 who reached the final of this tournament during the 2018-19 season, saw off Qatari No.1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi in the previous round and put in a superb performance against World No.7 Elias, winning 11-6, 13-11, 11-6 to move through to the semi-finals.

“I know that Diego has been into a few semi finals before but maybe the World Championship is a little bit different.

“He has the experience of making it to the latter rounds, but maybe the good start that I had made the difference. I am really looking forward to playing Simon again, and I am hoping for another win to make it to another final at the World Championships. It would be unbelievable for me to make two finals in a row at the Worlds, so I am really looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Rösner is through to a second World Championship semi-final after he ended Willstrop’s resurgence, earning a 14-12, 11-6, 11-3 victory to prevent the Englishman from following up his shock third round win over No.3 seed Karim Abdel Gawad.

A 25 minute first game proved crucial as Rösner converted on the fifth game ball despite some terrific battling from Willstrop and that gave him the confidence to take the game to the former World No.1 in the final two games to book his place in the last four.

“You want to win the title when you get this far and it has to be my aim now,” Rösner said.

“You don’t want to lose just before the finish of the tournament, so I’m definitely up for the next match no matter who I’m playing tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that one.”

[5] Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-0 James Willstrop (Eng)                                              14-12, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [14] Zahed Salem (Egy)                                                         11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (47m)

[2] Tarek Momen (Egy) 3-0 [6] Diego Elias (Per)                                                     11-6, 13-11, 11-6 (37m)

[9] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-2 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy)  11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-8 (59m)