R2: Marwal ElShorbagy 3-1 Nicolas Mueller

[9] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (40m)

Not for the fainted hearted between Marwan and Nici…

“He had a plane to catch” smiled Nick Matthew, who’s been coaching Marwan The Controller Shorbagy since this summer.

“I needed something new in my life, a new set up, after the not that easy period I went through last year”, confessed Marwan at the end of the match. “Today was the first time I had the “Haitham/Nick” mix, and it’s the best you can get: Nick as a player, Haitham as a coach…

Well, it was interesting to see how it worked for Marwan actually. The Swiss Rocket started very fast and furious – I’ll hold the press – and in took the first game in 6m bless him, 11/5.

The second was crucial, and played at the same ridiculous pace, very close throughout, 3/3, 5/5, 6/6. Marwan took a good lead, 9/6, 10/7. Some superbly swissrocket shots, but it’s Marwan on top, 11/9 in 12m.

The next two will be on the same pattern, some great shots from the Swiss but Marwan just better in the long run, 7/4, 10/6, 11/8 in 7m in the 3rd, and despite a good start from Nici in the last game, 3/0, Marwan led the rest of the game, 7/4, 105, 11/6 in 8m.

Marwan

He was all over me in the first game, there was nothing I could do, he was going for his shots, and playing so well.
In the second, I was down 3/5 and I thought you cannot keep playing like that, I had lost my game plan. I managed to stick to it better from that point on.

We are so well treated in Qatar, we can only hope that the other organisers will follow suit. And it always brings good memories when I play in this court. Meeting Mohamed on this court will be a great moment, he is a great guy both on and off court, and I just hope that the match will have the same result that we had for the World Juniors!
I started working with Nick in the summer. I needed something new in my life, a new set up, after the not that easy period I went through last year. I started working with Mark Campbell for my fitness as well, and the set up is working well for me every time I go to Sheffield.

I speak with Nick before every match, and with Haitham as well, they bring both something different in my squash. Today was the first time I had the “Haitham/Nick” mix, and it’s the best you can get: Nick as a player, Haitham as a coach… It’s just perfect for me.