Just 31 minutes was all it took the World No. 31 Mohammed Elsherbini to book a place in the second round of the Qatar Classic 2020, which began at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha on Sunday, as the Egyptian shook off any suggestion of a loss in form to post a 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 straight games victory over Qatar’s Syed Azlan Amjad.
The 26-year-old, who is the cousin of current women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, has not been in action since Chicago in February due to injury and the Doha tournament was his first since then.
The first game was a no-contest as the Egyptian proved too strong a contender for the Pakistani-born Qatari player, who secured a wild card entry into the PSA Men’s Platinum event, as he took it in just eight minutes.
The second and the third games were more keenly contested with the 112-ranked Amjad providing answers to some beautiful strokes of his opponent as he leveled at some points, but in the end, his attempts at a comeback ended up being too feeble as the gulf in rankings between the two came to bear at the end of the day.
“I’m delighted to start my first tournament on a winning note today. This is my first match since being injured as I haven’t played any tournament since Chicago in February. Though I won the match, I believe I still need to improve as I couldn’t find my rhythm probably because it was my first match in a long time. I should have to play much better than this tomorrow,” the elated Elsherbini said.
Speaking about the draw, ElSherbini said, “The draw is good. I am prepared to enjoy my day on the court. Thank you to everyone who has come out to support me today.”
Up next for him is World No. 16 Gregoire Marche of France tomorrow.