France’s Gregoire Marche booked his place in the Round of 16 of the Qatar Classic 2020 with a straight-games (11-8, 11-7, 11-5) defeat of Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini on Monday.
Ahead of the match, the two players had only met on two previous occasions with the stats evenly split between them, and it was ElSherbini who walked away with a 3-0 victory earlier this year at the Motor City Open, the last time they clashed.
The World No.17 Marche, however, was the more determined of the duo in the encounter as ElSherbini, ranked 32, was unable to withstand the outstanding performance of the 30-year-old Frenchman who powered to victory in just 42 minutes.
The Egyptian complained of an injury to his right leg in the third game, but that notwithstanding, Marche was having a good day at the office, and even a fully fit ElSherbini wouldn’t have been able to stop him inside the Glass Court in Doha on Monday.
“I’m quite pleased with the whole performance today. I managed to be focused at the crucial times, like in the middle of every game where it was 4-4, 5-5 and I pushed a little bit more. I wasn’t sure about how I was going to react today physically because I haven’t played for the last five days,” said Marche after the match. “I couldn’t do a practice game or anything, so I was a bit scared about my body and how it would react. I feel good; I’m fresh and ready to compete here”.
“Since the lockdown in March, we had a two-month lockdown in France, so I decided to take a big break. I was a bit tired last year, and for me, it was the right time to take a proper break. I think I hadn’t played for four months and I was a little scared to come back and how I was going to feel. I trained hard all summer physically, and I think it’s paid off now.”